9 benefits of a plant-based diet

Growing up, we were always taught to eat our vegetables, and as we get older, that saying holds true. For years, registered dieticians and food scientists have shared the benefits of eating plants and eating less meat.

RELATED: 6 easy tips to switch to a plant-based diet

Here are 9 benefits of a plant-based diet:

1. Lowers Blood Pressure

If you have high blood pressure, you probably know that it can lead to heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. The good news, though, is that the foods you eat can do wonders for your blood pressure.

In fact, data from 39 studies shows that people who followed a vegetarian diet had, on average, lower blood pressure than those who followed an omnivorous diet, i.e. people who included plants and meat.

RELATED: This Delicious Plant-Based Diet Could Hold the Key to Managing Diabetes

2. Prevents Type 2 Diabetes

If you want to prevent type 2 diabetes, take a look at what you eat. One study found that eating a plant-based diet filled with high-quality plant-based foods reduced the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 34 percent.

So how exactly does a plant-based diet lower your risk? Plants contain less saturated fat than animal foods, notes the American Diabetes Association. Consuming high levels of saturated fats raises your cholesterol levels and your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

3. Keep your heart healthy

Speaking of saturated fat, if eaten in excess, it can lead to heart problems. It is therefore wise to load fruits and vegetables.

In fact, a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that eating a plant-based diet can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease by 16 percent. A plant-based diet can also reduce the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by about 31 percent.

When building your menu, consider anti-inflammatory foods such as green leafy vegetables, yellow vegetables, whole grains, walnuts, extra virgin olive oil, fatty fish, tomatoes and fruits instead of processed foods.

RELATED: How Plant-Based Fats Can Lower Your Stroke Risk?

4. Helps you lose weight

It should come as no surprise that trading meat for plants will make you lose weight.

A small study found that 65 overweight adults who followed a plant-based diet for a year lost

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