by Charles Weller January 14, 2016
If improving your health is high on your list of resolutions this year, you might want to consider incorporating more plant-based foods into your diet. Everybody knows that they probably should eat more plants and vegetables, but a diet centered around foods that come from the ground really will have you looking and feeling like a new and improved you. Going green in 2016 does not mean that you have to change your whole lifestyle to reap some of the benefits that mother nature has to offer – you don’t have to follow super strict diet, you don’t have to eat foods that tastes gross, and you don’t have to stop eating foods that you love! Following a plant-based diet might seem like a challenging endeavor that is more on your wish list and less like something you will actually do, but try simply adding more plant-based foods into your diet. It will having you say yes to all things green!
The best plant-based foods to add to your diet are those that are fresh and organic
(USDA certified organic). More fresh and organic means fewer added artificial
ingredients and preservatives. Unless they are labeled as organic with no added preservatives or artificial ingredients, most food items that are processed and packaged have man-made chemicals added to them. These can be for a variety of reasons – flavor, looks, preservation, texture, ease of manufacturing, etc. However, if it is a man-made chemical them it most likely is not something you want to eat too much of. Read through some of the ingredients on the nutritional info labeled on some of your favorite snacks the next time you go to the grocery store and you might be surprised to see what exactly they are made of.
Preservatives and artificial ingredients affect people in different ways, but many will lead to health problems. Among the list are allergies, hyperactivity, attention deficit disorders, asthma, rashes, hives, drowsiness, sleep disorders, headaches, and thyroid disorders. One of the problems is that many of the additives have not been studied for safety or toxicity, especially in such small doses over long periods of times. And if most of the foods that you eat throughout the day tend to be processed or packaged, just imagine all the ingredients and preservatives that have gone through your system. For people that have been eating this way for many years, the effects might not be as noticeable or directly attributed to certain foods. However, it won’t take long for you to notice the benefits of replacing some of these items with
those that are fresh and organic.
More fresh and organic plant-based foods also means a wider variety of vitamins and nutrients. If you make yourself a plate of fresh vegetables or a bowl of fruit, notice how much more colorful it is than say a microwave dinner or bowl of chips! The colors themselves indicate how much more vitamins and nutrients the plant-based food has, and the more variety in your plant-based foods the better.
Choose red vegetables and fruits to help lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels and reduce risks of tumor growths and prostate cancer. Beta Carotene, vitamin C and flavonoids can be found in orange and yellow fruits and vegetables. Beyond helping to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, they also work as cancer fighting agents, promote healthy joints, and encourage a healthy alkaline balance. Of course, you can thank your green and blue fruits and vegetables for providing the nutrients that not only reduce cancer risks, lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels but also help to maintain a healthy digestive system, support retinal health and vision, and your boost immune system. Surely the list of ingredients that you can barely pronounce on the nutritional label of those processed grocery food items won’t work as hard as your plant-based foods to keep your body healthy!
This is just the tip of the iceberg as to why adding more plant-based foods to your diet is essential to improving one’s overall health. Go green, stay healthier and feel better!