Embrace a plant based diet, even if just for a little while

Embrace a plant based diet

People who follow a plant based diet have significantly lower rates of chronic illnesses, including cancer and heart disease, and it's easy to see why:  Based primarily on produce, beans and other legumes, whole grains, and nuts and seeds, with modest amounts of fish and other lean proteins, it's a diet rich in health-boosting nutrients.

THE BENEFITS

Besides being an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, the foods in a plant-based diet contain a wide range of antioxidants and anti inflammatory compounds.  They are also high in dietary fiber that helps rid the body of harmful toxins and helps keep the digestive tract working smoothly.  So it should come as no surprise that eating a plant-based diet (similar to the Mediterranean diet) is strongly linked to lower cholesterol and reduced risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain forms of cancer.

CHANGE FOR GOOD

Plus, filling up your plate with plants means there's less room for animal-based foods- and their saturated fats.  Butter, cream, red meat, and skin-on poultry are the most obvious culprits.  You don't have to cut them out entirely, but rather eat them in moderate amounts.

Once you incorporate more plants into your diet, you'll also find they actually help curb your cravings for sugary sweets and other less-healthy options.

The more you eat a plant based diet, the more you will appreciate the way it makes you feel.

EXPLORE THE PRODUCE ISLE

Rather than sticking with the tried-and-true, experiment with at least 2 new vegetables or fruits each month, picking what's in season and grown locally, whenever possible.  as an alternative to potatoes, try turnips, parsnips, rutabaga, or celeraic; choose mustard, turnip, or collard greens instead of kale or Swiss chard.  You can also explore the produce aisles at Asian, Middle Eastern, or Latin American food markets for a wider variety of options.

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