You may have heard of the plant-based diet, and research continues to link it to a wide variety of health benefits. Starting your day by focusing your breakfast on whole ingredients and unprocessed foods can make a big difference in your health.
Not to mention your energy level throughout the day.
“Plant-based diets have been linked to a number of health benefits, including reducing your risk of heart disease, certain cancers, obesity, diabetes, and cognitive decline,” wrote Healthline.
Whether or not you fully adopt the lifestyle, starting your day off with a plant-based meal has a variety of health benefits.
Here are the top 4 perks of a plant-based breakfast.
Benefit #1: Reduces the risk of all kinds of diseases. Plant-based diets have been shown to reduce the risk of a variety of diseases and conditions.
“If you’re eating mostly or only fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, whole grains, and meat substitutes like soy, you may cut your odds of getting heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes, compared to a diet that includes a lot more meat,” wrote WebMD.
Benefit #2: Energy boost. With traditional processed or sugary foods (like cereal or waffles), the energy we get from those foods is short-lived. In addition, you might be surprised at how much energy it takes for our digestive systems to process meat products (like breakfast sausages).
A nutrient-packed plant-based breakfast gives us all the natural energy we need without the sugar crash afterward, or the energy required to digest heavier meat products.
Benefit #3: Weight loss. Research has consistently shown that a plant-based diet promotes weight loss. By avoiding high-calorie processed foods and dense meat, a plant-based diet allows our digestive system to efficiently burn through everything that we eat as energy, limiting the additional calories that would otherwise be stored as fat.
Benefit #4: Better regularity. Many plant-based diets have been shown to improve the digestive system, thereby boosting bowel movement regularity.
“Soluble fiber allows more water to remain in your stool, making waste softer, larger, and thus, easier to pass through your intestines. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to your fecal material, which hastens its passage through your gut and prevents that constipated feeling,” wrote Everyday Health.
Note that not all plant-based diets are healthy.
For instance, you might be surprised that Oreos are vegan, as are sugary fruit juices, candies, and other sugar-packed desserts.
“A plant-based diet that emphasized less healthy plant foods like sweetened beverages, refined grains, potatoes, and sweets” has NOT been shown to reduce the risk of heart diseases, notes Science Daily. As a result, not all plant-based diets are created equal.
The best foods to eat on a plant-based diet include kale, spinach, broccoli, peppers, cauliflower, and tomatoes. For more substance, try sweet potatoes, beans, and butternut squash. Also, berries, pineapple, peaches, and other citrus fruits are good options for natural sugars.