If your new year’s resolution was to enjoy more plant-based meals, you’re certainly not alone. They may be music’s biggest power couple but Beyonce and Jay-Z are urging fans to enjoy a more plant-based diet.
The couple, who share three children, recently shared that their health-conscious approach was a direct result of their children. In the introduction to the new book, The Greenprint: Plant-Based Diet, Best Body, Better World, by Beyoncé’s trainer, Marco Borges, the couple wrote, “Having children has changed our lives more than anything else. We used to think of health as a diet – some worked for us, some didn’t. Once we looked at health as the truth, instead of a diet, it became a mission for us to share that truth and lifestyle with as many people as possible.”
They further added that a plant-based diet would have a profound impact on both one’s health and the environment. “We all have a responsibility to stand up for our health and the health of the planet” they stated, “Let’s take this stand together. Let’s spread the truth. Let’s make this mission a movement. Let’s become “the Greenprint,”.
What is a plant-based diet?
A plant diet is a diet that heavily features plant-sourced foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while minimizing refined foods, processed grains, meat, and dairy. There are various types of plant-based diets such as a Mediterranean-style diet, vegetarianism (which has its own various degrees), veganism, pescetarian, and even flexitarians.
A plant-based diet is one of the core principles in Blue Zones – areas around the world inhabited by the oldest centurions. Additionally, a plant-based diet has been linked to a number of health benefits.
Reduces the risk of chronic diseases
A plant-based diet is extremely high in antioxidants and vitamins and as a result, it can help to protect your health by fighting off chronic diseases.
One study found that the removal of animal products from one’s diet helps to lower the risk of diabetes. Additionally, a plant-based diet can also help to improve blood sugar levels in diabetics. In regards to cancer, one study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine found that a pescatarian diet helped to reduce the risk of colon cancer by over 40%.
Moreover, research has revealed a correlation between plant-based diets and the slowed progression of cognitive decline such as Alzheimer’s disease.
The foods in a plant-based diet are antioxidant-rich, which means that they are perfect for heart-health.
Aside from lowering levels of high blood pressure, a plant-based diet also lowers levels of cholesterol and this effectively reduces the risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke.
Obesity increases the risk for chronic diseases as well as mental illnesses like depression.
Adopting a plant-based diet can help one lose weight in an effective and healthy manner. It should be noted that the foods in a plant-based diet are high in fiber which also contributes to satiety. A study published in the journal Nutrition and Diabetes revealed that obese adults who adopted a plant-based diet were able to sustain a weight loss of 4.2 kg.
Transitioning to a plant-based diet not only protects your health but also helps protect the planet.
Following a plant-based diet reduces your carbon footprint, conserves water, and also preserves animal and plant habitats. All of these factors ensure environmental sustainability. In fact, one study revealed that shifting diet patterns to become more plant-based could reduce greenhouse gas emissions and land by 70% while also dropping water use to 50%.
Tips for adopting a plant-based diet
1. Ease slowly into it by cutting out foods that you are unlikely to miss.
2.The more colorful your plate, the better.
3. Make sure that all your meals contain carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats. Aside from vegetables, include foods like brown rice, quinoa, barley, peas, lentils, potatoes, avocados, olive oil, and tempeh. If you’re going to use animal products, be sure to consume pasture-raised eggs, grass-fed beef, and wild-caught salmon.
4. Indulge in snacks such as dried fruits, seeds, and nuts.
Want to know more?
While adopting a plant-based diet is a great way to start the year, an active lifestyle is just as important. Click here to find out more about Halle Berry’s fitness resolutions and how you can follow them with her.