101 Benefits of Whole Foods Plant Based Diet

We become what we eat. Our body is the only thing that stays with us until the end. Then why not take good care of it? Of all the diets out there, a whole foods plant based diet is the only diet that has withstood the challenge of time and has shown to not only improve health but also reverse various diseases. Below are 101 benefits or reasons to eat a whole foods plant based diet. Tell me yours not to adopt this diet. Enjoy !

  1. Body Weight 

    • Several studies and observational data suggest that people with whole foods plant based diet are able to achieve and maintain lower, healthier body mass index. ​

  2. Hypertension

    • Whole foods plant based diet helps maintain lower blood pressure and the dietary benefits can reverse hypertension in many people. ​

  3. High Cholesterol 

    • Most people can reverse hyperlipidemia or high cholesterol by eating whole foods plant based diet. ​

  4. Diabetes

    • As a syndrome, diabetes can negatively impact almost all organ systems. A whole foods plant based diet can reverse diabetes and dependence on medications to treat diabetes. ​

  5. Atherosclerosis 

    • Atherosclerosis or thickening of blood vessels which occurs due to high burden of oxidized cholesterol inside the blood vessels, can be reversed with plant based diet.

  6. Cellular Aging 

    • Cellular aging which can be measured in the form of length of telomeres can be slowed and in some cases reversed with plant based diet. ​

  7. Immune Function

    • Due its ant-oxidant benefits and nutrient rich contents, a whole foods plant based diet supports immune function and helps fight against countless diseases.​

  8. Inflammation 

    • A whole food plant based diet leads to much lesser degree of inflammation than animal based diet.​

  9. Oxidative stress 

    • Every time we eat, we introduce oxidative stress to our body because certain metabolic pathways have to be activated to digest, process and eliminate food. Plant based diets typically contain a variety of anti-oxidants to combat oxidative stress.​

  10. Longevity

    • Plant based diets are linked with healthier and longer life spans. ​Centenarians living in blue zones eat whole foods diets which mostly consist of plant derived sources.  

  11. Healthy Blood Vessels 

    • Like all other organs, our blood vessels start aging over time which is a combination of endothelial dysfunction, oxidative stress and inflammation. Plant based diet leads to much lower endothelial dysfunction and less vascular Aging. This translates to healthy circulation in all organs where blood supply is needed. 

  12. Hormone Balance - Cortisol and DHEA

    • Several types of hormone imbalances lead to a decline in optimal health. Some of these imbalances include elevated cortisol levels or stress hormone and lower DHEA levels which is essential for healthy aging. Whole foods plant based diet helps improve DHEA levels and lower Cortisol/DHEA ratio. ​

  13. Hormone Balance - Estrogen and Progesterone 

    • Estrogen and progesterone imbalance in the form of estrogen dominance or progesterone dominance can lead to a wide range of metabolic dysregulation. A whole foods plant based diet ​helps detoxify rapidly cycling sex hormones in the body and achieve optimal balance. 

  14. Hormone Balance - Testosterone

    • Contrary to common belief, ​animal based processed foods devoid of essential micronutrients lead to metabolic derangement and lower testosterone levels specially when combined with sedentary lifestyles. A whole foods plant based diet improves conversion of inactive testosterone to its active form and when combined with an active lifestyle, stimulates natural production of the hormone. 

  15. Appetite Regulation

    • Due to filling effect, plant based foods stimulate the release of satiety hormones which help regulate appetite and overall caloric intake.​

  16. Food Addiction

    • Casomorphons are natural peptides which have opioid like activity in the brain due to strong affinity with the mu like opioid receptors. These peptides are abundant in dairy products such as milk, cheese, and creams and lead to food addiction. ​

  17. pH balance

    • Whole foods plant based diet offers less acidic and more balanced ​pH milieu which reduces oxidative stress and inflammation and is necessary for optimal metabolic functions.

  18. Insulin levels

    • Whole foods plant based diets improve insulin sensitivity and insulin levels thereby reducing detrimental effects of sustained hyperinsulinemia caused by consumption of processed and animal based foods.​

  19. Insulin like growth factor (IGF)

    • Insulin like growth factor is necessary for growth. However, very high levels which result from consuming animal based products can lead to excessive inflammation and have carcinogenic effects. ​

  20. Suforaphanes

    • Sulforaphanes are natural substances released from green cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage etc and provide a vast array of benefits including protection against oxidative stress, inflammation and cancer. ​

  21. Polyphenols

    • Wide variety of fruits contain polyphen​ols which provide health benefits including anti-aging, protection against inflammation and degenerative diseases.

  22. Flavanoids

    • Flavonoids are a group of plant metabolites thought to provide health benefits through cell signalling pathways and antioxidant effects. These molecules are found in a variety of fruits and vegetables​.

  23. Phytoestrogens 

    • Phytoestrogens are plant nutrients found in several different types of food such as soy products, grains, beans, and some fruits and vegetables. In addition to many health benefits, phytoestrogens have been linked to a decreased risk of breast cancer.​

  24. Resolvins

    • Resolvins are specialized mediators which block cascade of inflammation in the body which may initiate in the setting of various stresses ​such as autoimmune diseases, chronic infections and accumulation of toxins. Plant based seeds such as flax and chia seeds provide long chain omega 3 fatty acids which are precursors to resolvins.

  25. Short Chain Fatty Acids

    • Plant based foods provide gut microbiome with healthy fiber which is then used by the gut bacteria to form short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) such as butyrate, propionate, acetate. SCFAs provide us with a wide variety of benefits including digestive support, protection against cancer, weight loss and metabolic support. ​

  26. Neu5GC

    • Neu5GC or N-glycolylneuraminic acid ​is found in animal products and is linked to chronic inflammation.

  27. Heme Iron​

    • Heme iron in animal products ​is absorbed at a much higher rate than non-heme iron found in plant based products. Excessive iron accumulation leads to toxicity in several organs. 

  28. TMAO​

    • TMA or Trimethylamine ​N Oxide is derived from gut bacteria in response to ingesting red meat. TMAO is pro-inflammatory for blood vessels and causes significant atherosclerosis. Plant based diet provides protection against TMAO formation. 

  29. CRP

    • C reactive protein is a general marker of inflammation and people who eat whole food plant based diets have much lower levels than those who consume animal products.

  30. IL-6

    • Similar to CRP, people who consume plant based diet have much lower IL-6 levels than those who eat animal based products and IL-6 is a strong mediator in the inflammation cascade. ​

  31. HCAs and PAHs

    • Heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) which are formed by grilling and/or cooking meat at high temperatures. Both are linked to cancer.​ A healthy plant based diet guarantees against such harmful compounds. 

  32. Dioxins

    • Dioxins are POP (persistent organic pollutants) which are carcinogenic and are found in processed animal based products such as dairy, met and fish. Plant based diet is protective against such carcinogens.  ​

  33. Nitrosamines

    • Nitrosamines are carcinogens and are formed in the body as a result of consuming products mainly derived from meat, dairy and ​fish. 

  34. Micronutrients

    • A whole food plant based diet is packed ​with essential vitamins and minerals which animal based and processed foods often lack. This included water soluble and fat soluble vitamins and important trace minerals which are needed for countless metabolic activities. 

  35. Cognitive Function

    • Contrary to earlier data suggesting possible link between plant based diet and cognitive decline, newer , robust data establishes that plant based diet is linked with 18-33% less cognitive decline. ​

  36. Anxiety

    • People eating plant based diets report lower levels of anxiety.​

  37. Depression 

    • Based upon review of several studies, fruits and/or vegetables, and some of their specific subgroups, seem to have a positive influence on mental health, as stated in the vast majority of the included studies. Therefore, the general recommendation to consume at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day may be beneficial also for mental health.

  38. Parkinson Disease

    • Frequent consumption of dairy product is linked with increased risk of Parkinson's disease and ​neurodegenerative disorders.

  39. Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease

    • Research shows that saturated and trans fats found in dairy products, meats, pastries, and fried foods can increase the risk for cognitive decline. Instead, eat a plant-based diet, which helps protect brain health. Berries and foods rich in vitamin E, including nuts, seeds, leafy greens, and whole grains are especially beneficial.​

  40. Multiple Sclerosis

    • Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory and autoimmune disease of the central nervous system. ​Consumption of animal products rich in animal based proteins and saturated fats increase the risk of multiple autoimmune and inflammatory diseases including MS. 

  41. Migraines

    • Migraine sufferers are often prone to several dietary triggers. Many of these triggers come from animal based products such as meat, dairy, cheese etc. A plant based diet followed by elimination diet can reduce intensity and frequency of migraines. ​

  42. Autism 

    • Maternal obesity and diabetes during pregnancy are linked with higher rates of autism in the off springs. A healthy and well balanced plant based diet can lower the risk of developing obesity and diabetes in expectant mothers. ​

  43. Cerebrovascular Disease

    • Cerebrovascular diseases which result in stroke are largely caused by inflammation of blood vessels supplying to the brain. ​

  44. Neuropathy 

    • A low fat vegan diet is shown to improve pain associated with neuropathy.​

  45. Vision - AMD

    • AMD (age related macular degeneration) is one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide. Diets high in red and processed meat, fried foods, and high-fat dairy products have a threefold increased incidence rate for late AMD when compared to healthier diets.​

  46. Cataract

    • Increased animal products in diet are linked to higher risk of developing cataract which is one of the most common eye disease of old age. ​

  47. Bad Breath

    • Unpleasant breath or odor is often caused by microbial imbalance in oral mucosa. A whole foods plant based diet helps improve oral microbiome and reduce ​bad breath. 

  48. Oral Microbiome

    • Unbalanced oral microbiome is linked with a variety of systemic diseases and chronic inflammatory disorders. A whole foods plant based diet helps balance oral microbiome. 

  49. Thyroid Function

    • Thyroid disease is very common. One of the most common causes of poorly functioning thyroid gland is the autoimmune Hashimoto's disease. Consumption of animal products specially dairy have been linked to development of this disorder. In addition, a properly functioning thyroid gland needs micronutrients such as selenium, zinc and iodine which are abundantly found in plant based foods. 

  50. Gut Microbiome

    • A healthy and well balanced gut microbiome is essential to healthy ​gut. A healthy microbiome balance can be acheived by eating pre and probiotic containing plant based foods and this balance can easily be disturbed within a few days when animal based and processed foods are consumed. 

  51. Bowel Function

    • Plant based foods are rich in soluble and insoluble fiber and these promote proper bowel function. ​People eating plant based diets report much lower incidence of constipation. 

  52. Irritable Bowel Syndrome

    • Irritable bowel syndrome is highly prevalent and one of the most effective treatments to alleviate symptoms and fix root cause is feeding the gut with a healthy fiber rich plant based diet. Due to individual variability, an elimination diet may need to be followed within the plant based diet protocol. 

  53. Diverticulitis

    • Diverticuli are small pockets within the mucosa of large intestine and are exceedingly common in advance age. These can get infected and cause a variety of acute symptoms and complications. Prevention of occurrence and complications associated with diverticuli can be achieved by adopting a plant based diet full of fiber. ​

  54. Inflammatory Bowel Disease

    • Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease are two types of inflammatory ​bowel disease. Several case studies report remission of these diseases by following a whole food plant based diet. 

  55. Stomach Acidity

    • Animal based products are harder to digest and require much more amount of acid production in the stomach. Plant based diet reduced ​development of acid related diseases such as acid reflux and peptic ulcers. 

  56. Fatty Liver

    • Incidence of fatty liver is rapidly rising in the United States and has become one of the major causes of liver failure. One of the biggest causes of fatty liver or NAFLD (non alcoholic fatty liver disease) is consumption of animal based products full of saturated fats. A plant based diet can mitigate this. ​

  57. Liver Function

    • Liver is the metabolic factory in our body. A variety of ​detoxification reactions take place in the liver and countless micronutrients in the form of co-enzymes and co-factors are required for these detox reactions. The only natural way to ensure that these nutrients are available to the liver is through a whole food plant based diet.  

  58. Pancreatic Cancer

    • Pancreatic cancer poses one of the highest mortality rates. Use of animal meat and dairy products significantly ​increases the risk of pancreatic cancer. 

  59. Colon Cancer

    • Colon cancer is one of the most common cancers and a plant based diet is associated with much lower risk of developing colon cancer as opposed to animal based diet.

  60. Hemorrhoids

    • Incidence of hemorrhoids is much lower in people who consume plant based diet due to its high fiber content. ​

  61. Allergies

    • Plant based diet has shown to improve allergy symptoms. Foods rich in vitamin C and beta carotene are associated with lower risk of allergies and these ingredients are abundant in plant based foods.  

  62. Asthma

    • Several studies show that severity of asthma symptoms ​can be reduced by following an anti-oxidant rich plant based diet. Conversely a diet rich in dairy and animal based foods increases the severity of symptoms.

  63. Heart Disease

    • Major driving factors for common heart disease are modifiable lifestyle factors. ​And one of the biggest modifiable risk factor is diet. A healthy whole food plant based diet mitigates the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol, blood pressure and preventing heart failure. 

  64. Breast Cancer

    • Animal based foods high in saturated fats are linked with higher risk of breast cancer.

  65. Dysmenorrhea

    • Plant based diet has shown to alleviate symptoms of ​dysmenorrhea and premenstrual syndrome.

  66. PCOS

    • PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome) is characterized by an imbalance in h​ormones in the form of excessive androgens and insulin resistance. These hormonal and metabolic derangement can be managed with a healthy lifestyle which includes whole foods plant based diet. 

  67. Menopause

    • Symptoms of menopause including hot flashes, sleep and mood disturbances can be alleviated by incorporating healthy isoflavanoids which are abundantly found in plant based products such as soy and nuts and seeds. ​

  68. Prostate Cancer

    • Animal products such as red meat and dairy are linked with higher prevalence of prostate cancer in men.

  69. Kidney Function

    • Consumption of animal based proteins leads to higher oxidative stress and a decline in kidney function over time. ​Plant based diet offers a protection against such damage.

  70. Kidney Stones

    • Excessive animal based foods such as red meat, cheese and are lead to purine and pyrimidine metabolites which pose a greater risk of kidney stone formation. ​

  71. UTIs

    • People consuming animal based products have a higher prevalence gut ​dysbiosis which increases the risk of recurrent urinary tract infections. Plant based diets lead to improved microbiome balance in the gut.

  72. Gout

    • Uric acid which causes gout is formed by metabolites of animal based proteins from dairy and meat. Therefore meat consumption is associated with higher prevalence of gout and uric acid crystals.​

  73. Erectile Dysfunction

    • Men eating plant based diets have much lower incidence of erectile dysfunction than men on animal based diets. ​This is largely due to endothelial dysfunction and inflammation that occurs in blood vessels as a result of eating animal based diets.  

  74. Lupus

    • Systemic lupus is an autoimmune condition which can affect almost all organs in the body. ​Several case studies have shown to reverse this disease with the help of whole food plant based diet.  

  75. Osteoarthritis 

    • Osteoarthritis is caused by inflammation of the joints. ​Pain caused by osteoarthritis can cause a crippling compromise in the quality of life. Plant based diet with functional foods and spices such as turmeric, ginger and herbal teas has shown to improve symptoms. 

  76. Rheumatoid Arthritis

    • Several studies have shown improved quality of life and reduction in symptoms in patients with Rheumatoid arthritis who adopt a whole foods plant based diet.​

  77. Fibromyalgia

    • Based upon several studies many of the fibromyalgia symptoms were alleviated following a whole foods plant based diet. ​

  78. Myasthenia Gravis

    • Myasthenia Gravis, another autoimmune disease of the muscles causes weakness and significant disability. A healthy whole foods plant based diet provides s​upport to the immune system and should be incorporated into the overall management of this debilitating disease. 

  79. Bone Density

    • Plant based diet provides essential micronutrients such as calcium, magnesium and vitamin K and helps improve quality and density of bones. 

  80. Eczema

    • Several studies have shown that animal based diets are linked to increase in severity of eczema symptoms. 

  81. Psoriasis

    • Plant based diet improves symptoms of psoriasis because of its anti-oxidative properties. 

  82. Acne

    • One of the many benefits of plant based diet include improvement in acne symptoms largely due to its beneficial effects on microbiome ​and absence of pro-inflammatory saturated fats found in animal based diet.

  83. Wrinkles

    • Due to micronutrient rich properties of plan based diet, vegans report less appearance of wrinkles than meat eaters. ​

  84.  Hair

    • Hair loss is associated with advanced age. Due to its anti-aging properties, plant based diet offers an advantage in terms of lower rate of hair loss. 

  85. Nails

    • Healthy nails require a healthy and well balanced diet and plant based diets offer abundant nutrition and anti-inflammatory support to maintain healthy nails.

  86. Response to Chemotherapy

    • Not only plant based diet offers protection against several types of cancers, people receiving chemotherapy for cancer treatment can benefit from whole foods plant based diet to its detoxification benefits, immune support and anti-oxidant effects. ​

  87. Food Born Infections

    • Several food borne infections are linked to high consumption of animal based products. ​

  88. Antibiotic Resistance 

    • Animals being grown for human consumption are given heavy doses of antibiotics. This leads to a high risk of antibiotic resistance and emergence of superbugs.​

  89. Pandemics

    • Handling of livestock has lead to emergence and spread of several pandemics throughout history. ​​Some of these are 

    • Plague

    • Bird Flu​​

    • SARS/MERS

    • Ebola

    •  COVID-19

  90. Toxins 

    • Animal products such as fish and meat tend to accumulate toxins which pose significant health risk. ​Some of these heavy metals and POP (persistant organic pollutants) toxins are 

    • Mercury

    • Lead

    • PCBs

    • DDTs

  91. Green House Gases

    • Meat-eaters are responsible for almost twice as many dietary greenhouse-gas emissions per day as vegetarians and about two and a half times as many as vegans. The researchers found that the diets of people who eat more than 3.5 ounces of meat per day—about the size of a deck of playing cards—generate 15.8 pounds of carbon-dioxide equivalent (CO2) each day, whereas vegetarians and vegans are responsible for 8.4 pounds and 6.4 pounds of CO2, respectively.

  92. CO2 production

    • Eating vegan foods rather than animal-based ones is the best way to reduce your carbon footprint.​

  93. Methane production

    • The billions of animals who are crammed onto U.S. factory farms each year produce enormous amounts of methane. ​

  94. NO production

    • Nitrous oxide is about 300 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. According to the U.N., the meat, egg, and dairy industries account for an astonishing 65 percent of worldwide nitrous-oxide emissions.

  95. Air purification

    • Factory farms engaged in livestock bring about massive amount of dust and contaminants which lead to air pollution. Production and consumption of plant based diet can reduce this environmental hazard. 

  96. Water Usage

    • It takes significantly larger amount of water to ​produce meat versus plants. While amount of water usage for growing different vegetables and raising different animals varies, plant based foods need 5 times less amount of water than animal based foods. 

  97. Tropical Rain Forest

    • Strategies involved in relying on plant based food production and lowering animal production for meat consumption will reduce tropical rain deforestation.​

  98. Agricultural land use

    • Use of agricultural land can be tremendously reduced by following a plant based diet.

  99. Animal cruelty

    • Poor and inhumane treatment of animals to raise meat for human consumption is an indisputable ​and unfortunate reality of our times. Animals do not need to suffer to satisfy our palates when modern science has proven that whole foods plant based diet can suffice human beings' nutritional needs.

  100. Opportunity Cost

    • Food loss is widely recognized as undermining food security and environmental sustainability. However, consumption of resource-intensive food items instead of more efficient, equally nutritious alternatives can also be considered as an effective food loss​. plant-based replacement diets can produce 20-fold and 2-fold more nutritionally similar food per cropland than beef and eggs, the most and least resource-intensive animal categories, respectively.

  101. Food Variety 

    • Who can deny the colorful variety of foods we can enjoy when we adopt a whole foods plant based diet as opposed to eating a handful of types of different shades of red and brown meats. ​

Important Notice:

This website and its contents are for the purposes of general information and education only and are not to be used for diagnosis or treatment without the supervision of a healthcare provider.

Email info@nutrigenmedicine.com for general information

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