We have all heard that incorporating more plants into your daily diet will help increase your life span, help reduce your cholesterol, and significantly cut down the risk of a heart attack or other cardiovascular diseases.
Here are 7 ways why incorporating more plants into your diet is good for your heart and overall health:
1- Plants have significantly less saturated fats. Saturated fats are most commonly found in meat and animal products such as lamb, beef, butter, cheese, and other high-fat dairy products. However, oils such as palm oil, coconut oil and others are also high in saturated fats! A diet high in saturated fats greatly increases your risk of heart disease and stroke as these fats increase the amount of cholesterol in your blood.
2- Plants are a wonderful source of natural fibre. When you eat a well-rounded diet your also in turn increase your fibre intake. By increasing your fibre, you also help reduce the bad type of cholesterol from circulating in your body. Fibre interacts with the bad cholesterol in your digestive system and helps to remove it from your body. You can find fibre in these common plants: lentils, fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts.
3- By opting for more plants and less meat, you lower your risk of diabetes and obesity. A diet that is regularly consuming meat and saturated fats has an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Having diabetes makes you twice as likely to have heart disease or a stroke at an earlier age.
4- Fruits and vegetables help to lower your blood pressure. Citrus fruits including grapefruit, oranges, and lemons have been shown to help lower blood pressure even if just in pure juice form, such as lemon water in the morning! Consuming grapefruit or orange juice has also shown to lower blood pressure levels, but be cautious as some blood pressure-lowering medications interfere with citrus fruits!
5- Regularly eating omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce your risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Omega-3’s are not made by the body, so the only way to get them is through your food or supplements. You can snack on pumpkin seeds, soybeans, walnuts, and flaxseeds as an example, or choose to supplement.
6- Consuming plants regularly is a great way to absorb a variety of beneficial nutrients. Fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants, phytochemicals, and potassium, all of which are known to reduce the risk of heart disease.
7- Every time you choose plants over meat, you are avoiding a whole slew of harmful toxins! Aside from cholesterol and saturated fats which we mentioned above, you also cut out antibiotics and ‘heme iron’ which comes from the blood and muscle tissue in meat. This form of iron is readily absorbed into the body but not well regulated. The body has no way of filtering out excess iron. Iron is a pro-oxidant and when you have too much it can cause oxidative stress, (inflammation and DNA damage to the body).
Whether you’re trying out #meatlessmonday, an experienced vegetarian, a newbie vegan, or just trying to eat more plants, I think we could all benefit from the above 7 lifestyle shifts! Remember, you don’t have to be a full-fledged vegan in order to reap the benefits of a plant-iful lifestyle.
This all being said, not everyone is able or wanting to maintain a plant-based diet. With a busy and active lifestyle, it’s not always easy to ensure you’re getting all of your optimal nutrients. Even someone who is SUPER on their game with eating their food strictly for nutrients would still have to supplement their B12 and possibly Vitamin D. Luckily, there are hundreds of different antioxidants, proteins, irons, and other natural products to help fill that space between your diet nutrients or void, and optimal health.
Our online vitamin and supplements store, ShopAlive.ca is a great resource to find all of the latest and greatest supplements. Here are some top picks to help keep your body nourished, full of greens, and running optimally!
1- Green tea is incredibly good for your body! Does drinking green tea make you feel nauseous, or are you finding that you don’t have time to make it every day? Natural Factors Green Tea Extract Capsules are rich in polyphenols, antioxidant compounds that help prevent free radical damage in cells and help promote optimal health. An excellent source of antioxidants, this formula is standardized to ensure consistency and potency.
2- Chlorella is one of the most ancient food plants on earth. These tiny, single-celled green micro algae are “fresh-water phytoplankton” that float on the water’s surface soaking up sunshine and converting it into green energy power cells! Prairie Naturals Chlorella comes in two dosage forms of broken-cell-wall chlorella: powder and tablets.
3- Organic Moringa Leaf, a known global SuperFood Star! Sometimes called the “Miracle Tree,” this beautiful tree is native to India and other parts of South Asia. Virtually all parts of it are used as food and medicine in traditional Indian diets, but the leaves are recognized as the most nutritious part of the tree. Prairie Naturals Organic Moringa Leaf Powder is sustainably and certified organically grown in India. Packaged as pure powder and in vegetable capsules (without fillers), Moringa Leaf is a convenient way to fortify your diet with potent, plant-source antioxidants.
4- Cranberry juice is a popular way to help treat and prevent infections, but you get way more benefit from Alive Brand Cranberry extract and none of the sugar! Cranberry provides antioxidants for the maintenance of good health and has been shown to help lower cholesterol.
5- Acai Berries have been in the news a lot lately, and for good reason! The reddish purple acai berries are harvested from the acai palm tree, native to Central and South America. This berry is thought to have a very high antioxidant content, even higher than cranberry, raspberry and blueberry! Acai contains flavonoids and anthocyanins. Acai helps to fight against heart disease and is a wonderful weight loss, and anti-aging!
Although we all know we should eat more plants it’s not always easy and that’s where we can turn to supplemention to help us bridge the gap. If you have any questions about any of these suggestions, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Do not sit in silence; there are so many things you can do to better your health! Get excited and take charge of your health. Let’s work together, along with your doctor/health care professional to ensure you are doing all you can to lead a happy and healthy life. Our team looks forward to helping you with whatever your health concerns are.
Just a friendly note, that the above are only suggestions on how you can improve your overall body health. Please always consult your doctor or naturopath before making any changes to your medication. Blood pressure medication and grapefruit juice are an example that was outlined. PS, if you are still reading, you may want to check out this blog post too.