There are all sorts of benefits from eating lots of plants.
Now granted, I’m on the record for stating I don’t buy into the claim that meat is inherently bad for you (we dig into it in this article).
However, I’m also on the record for stating you should eat your fruits and veggies (scope out our Guide to Healthy Eating).
Let’s rap about the good things found in the plant kingdom:
- Fiber: studies have shown that eating dietary fiber (found in plants) can have loads of health benefits. Fiber from plants can help lower raised blood pressure, improve insulin sensitivity, and help with digestive issues.
- Vitamins and minerals: plants contain vitamins E, C, K2, and calcium, to name just a few. You need these things to survive.
- Antioxidants: there are all sorts of toxins in the modern world (air pollution, BPA in plastic, etc). Plants, and the antioxidants in them, can help defend against some of these pollutants.
When you start to factor this together, it makes sense to eat a lot of plants
It also makes sense that people who eat a lot of plants, like flexitarians, tend to be in good shape.
Whole plants are high in nutrients and low in calories, making them ideal for creating an energy deficiency.Again, this is needed for weight loss.
Here’s where the debate rages on the internet: are people who follow a plant-based diet generally healthier than omnivores because meat is bad for you, or because vegetarians tend to eat more fruits and vegetables and less processed foods?
It’s hard to say.
More studies are rolling in every day, so I’m not going to declare a winner over the other.
I will say that I actually resonate with a “flexitarian” lifestyle, though I just call it “mostly healthy eating” = eat mostly plants, healthy sources of protein, and keeping total calorie intake under control.
The moral of the story: eat lots of plants…and maybe a little meat.