Focusing on only or most foods from plant sources, a plant-based diet has enormous benefits for both human health as well as the environment. Among the numerous arguments about an ideal diet, most health and wellness experts agree that diets that emphasize fresh and whole ingredients are great for overall health. And a plant-based diet that includes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seeds, nuts, and legumes, excluding refined foods, animal products, and processed foods does just that.

Here’s a list of the important health benefits of consuming a plant-based diet:

1. Promotes Weight Loss- Obesity being one of the leading cause of several alarming health conditions, making dietary changes like consuming a plant-based diet can facilitate weight loss. The high fiber content alongside the exclusion of processed foods makes it an ideal weight-loss diet. A recent study has reported that plant-based diets help reduce body fat by improving gut microbiota, increasing insulin sensitivity, and reducing caloric density.

2. Improves Heart Health- Plant-based diets are heart-healthy which reduces the risk of stroke, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. A 2019 study has reported that middle-aged individuals who consumed this diet had a reduced risk of heart diseases and all-cause mortality.

3. Prevents Diabetes- With the ever-increasing prevalence of diabetes throughout the world, lifestyle modifications like plant-based diets are some effective tools to prevent and manage the condition. A 2017 study has emphasized that consuming a plant-based diet improves insulin resistance by promoting healthy body weight, increasing fiber, phytonutrients, and food-microbiome interactions.

4. Prevents Chronic Kidney Disease- Low-protein diets like plant-based diets have been widely sought-after for the prevention and management of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and to prevent dialysis therapy. A new study has reported that physicians and nephrologists should recommend the diet to their patients to prevent and manage CKD.

5. Reduces Cancer Risk- Cancer is the leading cause of deaths worldwide and dietary factors account for about 30% of all cancer. Several studies have reported that consuming a plant-based diet reduces the risk of some kinds of cancer. A 2012 study has reported that people who consumed plant-based diets had a reduced risk of all cancers, especially gastrointestinal cancers compared to those who consumed meat.