Adopting a plant-based diet doesn’t mean giving up meat entirely; it simply means consuming most of your daily protein from nuts, seeds, beans and leafy green vegetables—you can also enjoy cold water fish (salmon anyone?) that promote heart health. As those in healthy careers know, the folate, magnesium, potassium and fiber in fruits and vegetables boost immunity, prevent cancer, Type 2 diabetes and strokes. U.S. healthcare systems, like Kaiser Permanente endorse a plant-based diet.
Healthy recipes are plant-based, cholesterol free, high in protein and fiber, and low in saturated fat. Here are a few other reasons to pursue a greener plate.
- #1: Plant-based diets help your heart: **Studies show that people who eat eight-plus servings of fruits and veggies a day are 30 percent less likely to have a heart attack or stroke, compared to those who had less than 1.5 daily servings. The fiber and nutrients in plant-based foods help your body block the absorption of bad cholesterol, and counterbalance salt to keep blood pressure under control.
- #2: Plant-based diets are earth friendly: In 2006, The World Health Organization proposed that a plant-based diet is sustainable and can meet the nutritional needs of a growing population. More fossil fuels and natural resources are used to make meat than plant-based foods; that being said, one of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint is by going vegetarian.
- #3: Plant-based diets are good for your eyes: Spinach, kale, corn, squash, kiwi and grapes all have something in common: the lutein and zeaxanthin pigments in these foods are thought to help prevent cataract and macular degeneration. Look for healthy kale recipes and get cooking!
- #4: Plant-based diets clear up your skin: Cutting back on animal products means reducing saturated fat, keeping your pores unclogged; veggies are also hydrating, which makes skin glow.
- #5: Plant-based diets buck unhealthy trends: U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services showed that Americans eat nearly triple the recommended limit of solid fats and added sugars while getting only 15 percent of the whole grains and 59 percent of the vegetables we need.
- #6: Plant-based diets help maintain a healthy BMI: Because of their high fiber content, fruits and vegetables help you feel fuller on fewer calories.
- #7: Plant-based diets let you eat deliciously: Plant-based recipes are healthy recipes and represent a broad spectrum of fresh, in-season veggies, seafood, fat-free and low-fat dairy, and only moderate amounts of lean meats, poultry and eggs. Cooking plant-based lets you capitalize on spices and herbs that not only taste great, but have a positive impact on inflammation and cholesterol.
Healthy Careers Encourages You to Get Cooking!
Armed with a good working knowledge of plant-based diets comes with a few caveats—like steering clear of sugar, refined flour and refined products designed to boast a long shelf-life. Cooking daily with fresh fruits and veggies helps the busy working professional in healthcare jobs stay true to a plant-based diet—even strut their stuff in a long running Healthy Recipes Contest that just announced its 4th winner! Try a healthy recipe today, and check out nutrition and fitness tips designed for today’s conscientious healthcare professional.
**Information for this blog was taken from U.S. News and World Report’s healthy living slide-show.