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10 Mindboggling Things You Get from Going Green
When we talk about going green here, we are referring to your diet. Changing to a plant based diet has so many benefits including cancer prevention and feeling great, but there are so many other cool things you get from changing your diet to a green one, you have no idea! Most people expect that when they cut way back, or even remove red meat from their diets that they will feel great, lose weight, and lower their blood pressure, all without medication. But in this article, we want to show you 10 things you probably never imagined you would get from going plant based.
By the way, for those of you shaking your heads saying “No way am I giving up bacon!” we want to assure you that you don’t have to. We are simply saying that by cutting back on your bacon (and steaks, hamburgers, etc.) to maybe just once a week, you will be lengthening your life and having a healthier life as a result of it.
Still not convinced? Keep reading and find out 10 almost unbelievable health benefits you will get from adding more green on your plate.
1. Super Skin
When you cut back on meat you are also cutting back on saturated fat, which is well-known for clogging your pores. In addition, vegetables and fruits contain many vitamins, minerals, pigments, and phytochemicals that are necessary for healthy skin. Tomatoes, for example, contain a compound called lycopene, which has been shown in studies to naturally protect your skin from the damage caused by the sun’s UV rays.
The vitamin C in sweet potatoes can stimulate your body’s production of collagen, which will make your face smooth and firm. Many people, who go plant based, or completely vegan, say that besides feeling lighter and having more energy, the first real difference they notice in their bodies is the improvement of their complexion.
2. Dynamic Digestion
This might not be as exciting as beautiful skin, but this is a difference you will certainly feel. Animal based protein is difficult for your body to break down and to process. It takes much more effort on the part of your stomach, liver, and intestines to break down these types of proteins. This means it puts a real strain on your digestive system. When you consider that the digestive system controls your energy, weight, moods, and immune system, it’s easy to see why this matters so much! When your body needs extra energy to break down meat, it will send a large amount of blood to the stomach or intestine, to help the body accomplish its task. Since you are spending more energy digesting food, there is less energy for the rest of your body. This is why you feel so sluggish and sleepy after a large meal that contains lots of animal protein. Fruits, vegetables, and other types of plant proteins, such as beans, are much easier to digest.
Although it might take your body a bit of time to adjust, (after all, how many years have you been eating these other foods?) you will feel so much better once you get there. Start with small changes to allow your body time to get used to these new and larger amounts of plant proteins. Before you know it, you will have a rockin’ digestive system that will leave you with energy all day long and then some! Imagine how thrilled your family will be when you come home from work and tell them “Let’s go bike riding!” rather than “Not now, I’m really tired.”
3. Excellent Eyesight
As you might already be aware, the vitamin A found in many vegetables, such as corn, squash, kiwi, grapes, carrots, and spinach, helps with your night vision. But did you know that eating more of these types of fruits and vegetables can help prevent age related eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration? It’s true!
The zeaxanthin and lutein in many fruits and veggies can give you super eyesight and prevent disease.
4. Forget Brain Fog
To improve mental focus, we need amino acids and proteins that support neurotransmitter function. Many people find that when they drop dairy products that their “brain fog” tends to clear up in days. This is because diary contains whey and casein, two proteins that the body is not designed to fully digest. Since animal protein is the most acidic forms of protein you can consume, doesn’t it make sense to choose whole food, and plant based proteins that are easy on the body and mind?
Pea and hemp protein are very easy for the body to digest, and many seeds, including flax, chia, hemp, and pumpkin seeds are loaded with omeg-3 fatty acids that are vital for brain function, among other things. Leafy greens are also a great source of amino acids and due to their high levels of magnesium; they can improve your mood as well as your cognitive power. That lunch time salad is looking better all the time, isn’t it?!
5. Healthy Heart
You probably assume that going green will help your heart but you might not know the true extent of this. In one study, researchers at Harvard noted the health habits of 110,000 subjects over a 14 year period. The subjects who had consumed higher levels of fruits and vegetables had a much lower chance of developing any type of cardiovascular disease.
In fact, those who ate, on average, 8 servings of fruits or vegetables each day had a 30 percent less likely chance that they would develop heart disease, have a heart attack, or suffer a stroke when compared to those who ate only 1.5 servings of produce each day.
6. Beautiful Hair and Nails
For shiny, strong, truly beautiful hair and nails, your body needs plenty of vitamin C. It’s vitamin C that stimulates the body to produce collagen. You won’t find vitamin C in meat protein, but there is tons of it in plants! Calcium is what makes your bones and nails super strong. You don’t need to eat dairy products for calcium; there are plenty of plants that are high in calcium including oats, beans, collard green, chia seeds, figs, and oranges.
You also need iron and zinc. These two minerals are found in beans, seeds, green veggies, and legumes. For truly shiny hair, you will need to consume plenty of healthy fats. As you probably already know, animal fats are not healthy. You can get plant based fats that will do your skin, hair, and nails a world of good through eating more seeds, avocados, nuts, and coconuts. For super hair and nails, try adding the following into your diet every day: 2 servings of broccoli or other types of leafy greens, 1 citrus fruit (such as an orange), 2 tablespoons of chia seeds, and 1 small serving of healthy fat, such as one ounce of almonds or half of an avocado. Within 30 days you should see shiny, silky hair, longer, stronger nails, not to mention beautifully clear skin.
7. Hypertension Control
There is a large amount of research, including plenty from the Harvard School of Public Health, which shows that a mainly plant based diet can lower blood pressure without the use of medication.
With about 1 in 3 Americans suffering from hypertension, and therefore at a greater risk of developing heart disease, or from having a stroke or heart attack, changing to a plant based diet just makes sense. Especially when you consider that heart disease and stroke are two of the leading causes of death in the US.
8. You Will Have Better Taste
OK, we don’t mean that your taste in clothes or music will improve, but your taste buds will actually go through a change once you change your diet. Your body tends to crave the foods you always feed it. So if you eat a great deal of sugar, it will crave more sugar. If you eat a lot of salty foods, it will crave more salty foods. When you start giving your body more plants and less animal protein, it will start to ask you for more of the same.
Imagine craving a big plate of steaming broccoli, or a tomato and avocado salad in the evenings? Sounds crazy, but it’s true. People who give up sugar or salt will tell you that after a few weeks, they stopped craving it and they stopped wanting it. After your body adjusts to the change, you will find that the more fruits and vegetables you eat, the more you will want.
9. Diabetes Prevention
More than 385 million people live with diabetes and the problems it causes every day. The International Diabetes Federation says that they expect this number to increase to 590 million by the year 2035.
Type 2 diabetes is almost entirely preventable and there is plenty of research to show that eating a plant based diet can help to fight off this disease.
10. No More Groggy Mornings
One of the things most people report after switching to a plant based diet is that their sleep improves dramatically. Not only that, but they also say that they wake up much more easily, not groggy and wishing they could go back to bed. There could be many reasons for this. One is that since your digestive system doesn’t need to spend so much energy on digesting animal protein, they can get the rest they desperately need.
Your digestive system and hormones reset themselves when you are sleeping. Since the digestion of animal protein can take as much as three times longer than plant protein, this means your body can still be digesting food while you are sleeping. Your body also does its detoxification process while you sleep. The less fat, animal protein and acid that your body has to clean out, the better you will sleep. If you are one of those persons who have a hard time falling asleep, forget the warm milk, try a cup of chamomile tea to naturally relax and calm both the body and mind.
With so much going for you, what are you waiting for? Meatless Mondays? Start with that, then perhaps every month, add one day each week where you go meatless. Before you know it, you will be eating a plant based diet and not only will your body be healthier, but, as kids like to say, you will be styling like you never imagined!