Whether you follow a vegan or vegetarian diet or include animal foods in your diet, plant-based foods can offer many health benefits. Plant-based foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds. Here are the top 5 benefits of adding more plants to your diet.
- They’re packed with vitamins and minerals. Vitamins and minerals are essential for hundreds of reactions that happen in your body every day. They also support a healthy immune system, contribute to bone health, and some — such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium— can act as antioxidants, which may help ward off disease and promote healthy aging.
- They help you meet your daily fiber needs. Eating fiber can help support healthy digestion, lower cholesterol, and support blood sugar management (which in turn can help manage cravings and support consistent energy). Fiber also helps fill you up and keep you full for longer. Most Americans don’t come close to eating the recommended 25 to 35 grams of fiber per day. Fiber is found in plant foods, and you can get your fill by eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and even some nuts and seeds. BeBOLD bars contain between 3-5 grams of fiber per bar, which contributes up to 18 percent of your daily needs.
- They up your antioxidant intake. Nearly all plant-based foods contain some antioxidants (yes, even the brown and white ones). Antioxidants may lower your risk of chronic diseases and promote healthy daging. Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of antioxidants, each variety offering a different nutrient. Antioxidants are also found in whole grains, nuts, seeds, and beans — so the more variety you eat, the better.
- They contain healthy fats. Both mono and polyunsaturated fats are found primarily in plant-based foods such as nuts, seeds, olives, avocado, and their respective oils. These foods are known to support heart health, brain and cognitive health, and may even lower risk of type 2 diabetes. BeBOLD bars contain 14-15 grams of healthy fats from nuts and seeds.
- Plant-forward diets are known to lower risk of chronic disease. A plant-forward diet (sometimes called plant-based) is one that’s primarily made up of whole plant-based foods (and may or may not contain meat, fish, poultry, and dairy). Diets that are filled with plants are linked to lower risk of most chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, certain cancers, cognitive disorders like dementia, and more.