You don't need to be a vegan or vegetarian to want to infuse your diet with more greenery. Enjoying a more plant-based diet is a way for anyone to live a healthier, cleaner and more sustainable life — and it doesn't involve you giving up the foods you love. It just means you are going to bring more whole, delicious and nutritious foods into your diet.
Why Go Greener?
The benefits of eating a plant-based diet (or more plant-based diet) are numerous. They include:
Reducing your risk of getting chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, diabetes. If you already have heart disease, diabetes or are obese, switching to a plant-based diet has been shown to help reverse or rid your body of the ailments. Seriously.
Improve skin health. The vitamin and mineral rich nature of plants combined with the influx of antioxidants and phytochemicals can actually improve skin appearance and boost collagen production.
Bolster gut health. This probably isn't that surprising, but it bears mentioning. Too much meat and too few plants may seriously upset gut health, causing inflammation, GI problems, obesity and even colon cancer. Increasing your consumption of plant-based foods, on the other hand, has been shown to improve gut-health, namely through increasing the good bacteria in our guts. And this will help us look, feel and be healthier.
Easier weight management. Again, here's another obvious benefit: eating tons of whole foods makes it easier to manage (and lose!) weight. Eating tons of processed, junky foods? Yeah, not so much.
Better for the environment. Our heavy reliance on animal by-products for food is not sustainable. At all. In fact, we are dramatically overburdening our world. Eating plants, however, is, making a predominantly plant-based diet better for the planet.
GO GREENER: 7 Easy Swaps
While you don't have to give up steak, ice cream or your cronut altogether, there's obviously a lot to be gained by eating more plant-based goodies. Don't even stress about overhauling your entire diet overnight. Instead, over the course of a few weeks, try implementing a few of these easy swaps.
- Try nut milk in your smoothie or on your cereal instead of dairy milk.
- Instead of scrambled eggs, try this polenta scramble!
- Instead of dairy-based dips, use hummus.
- Spread avocado on your toast instead of butter.
- Instead of snacking on beef jerky, try roasted edamame.
- Top your salad with beans instead of chicken.
- Use aquafaba to bake vegan treats instead of eggs.
Want more ways to make your diet more plant-based? Grab our new nutrition guide and meal plan for amazing recipes, made with the goodness of green! Have plant-based diet hacks of your own? We’d love to hear them! Share in the comments.