9 Reasons To Eat A More Plant-Based Diet
Can I be honest?
I’ve always been a keen carnivore. I love the taste of meat, and although I have grown up with a vet for a dad and considered my pets siblings, I’ve always happily devoured the meat on my plate and asked for more.
It still surprises me that my vegetable drawer is now fuller than my chest freezer, and my Meat Free Mondays have merged into any day of the week; sometimes all of them.
I’m the one who looks for the ‘V’ sign at restaurants, and my newly built veggie garden gets me more excited than a BBQ ever could.
Image via Unsplash
It’s important to know that eating a plant-based diet doesn’t have to mean becoming a vegetarian or vegan.
1. The planet will thank you
The meat industry contributes dramatically to environmental devastation such as deforestation, loss of biodiversity, and water and land degradation. I’m not suggesting you become a strict vegan, but reducing how much meat you eat is one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Even reducing meat by 2-3 days a week will have a positive impact.
2. Your health will skyrocket
In the past six months, I’ve felt healthier than I’ve ever felt before. This may be a combination of a few other changes I’ve made to benefit my health, but I put a lot of it down to my plant-based eating. Plants are full of vitamins and minerals that are great for our bodies, and purposefully seeking plants out, rather than processed food, just makes sense. Protein and nutrients come in many different forms, it’s not only found in meat.
3. Your wallet will (probably) be more full
Depending on how you currently shop, the chances are high that you’ll save money when switching to a plant-based diet. Although you’ll have to buy more vegetables (and organic is usually best), meat is often more expensive than plants.
4. You won’t have to be a part of the meat industry
There’s no doubt about it: the way the meat industry is currently conducted, is wrong. The mass production, interference of antibiotics and growth hormones, and inhumane treatment of animals is not something I want to be part of. A plant-based diet means I am thoughtful about what meat I do eat, and purchase it from sustainable and ethical sources. A plant-based diet allows you to remove yourself from the meat industry, and take a stand for what is right and wrong.
5. You won’t take food for granted
Consciously eating a plant-based diet, makes you think more about what you’re putting in your body, and reminds you to consider and reflect on every meal. Perhaps all diet changes do. I now try my best to sit in a conscious moment of gratefulness before I eat. No matter your beliefs, I’d encourage you to do this regardless of how and what you eat.
6. You’ll never get bored
Meat holds a lot of flavour and can be eaten on its own easily. Broccoli, not so much. There’s only so many broccoli stalks you can eat raw before you want to go back to being a full-time carnivore. Cooking with plants has stretched my imagination to the max. Now, I have a huge range of recipes I can easily whip up with low preparation time. Plus, with the rising awareness of the benefits of eating more plants, there are thousands of plant-based recipe blogs to pull ideas from.
7. You may dodge diseases
Several studies have shown that a plant-based diet can reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. If eating more plants can help you in the long run, why wouldn’t you?
8. You could lose weight
Losing weight wasn’t the purpose of my personal plant-based diet decision, but I’ve heard others have great success. Several diets promote eating less or starving yourself to shed weight, but a plant-based diet could be your answer to losing weight while staying healthy and strong.
9. You WILL want to grow your own
WARNING: If you switch to a plant-based diet, you will, without a doubt, develop the urge to grow your own vegetables. Don’t resist the pull. Do it! Popping out to the garden for a handful of tomatoes, or grabbing mint straight from the plant to sprinkle on top of your morning smoothie bowl, is a feeling like no other. Growing your own vegetables benefits your body, mind, and soul.