Plant-based diets focus on eating foods primarily from plants – fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, oils, whole grains, legumes, and beans. Having a plant-based diet or plant-forward eating patterns does not mean you can never eat meat or dairy. While you may choose to follow a strictly vegetarian or vegan diet, the idea is to consciously focus on choosing more of your foods from plant sources. Eating more plant-based foods can be beneficial for your health and longevity, according to a recent umbrella review of more than 20 years of data. 

By carefully studying scientific literature published between 2000 and 2023, a team led by medical doctor Angelo Capodici of the University of Bologna in Italy has found humans eating vegetarian and vegan diets tend to have measurably better health outcomes in several areas.

Health Benefits Of Following Plant-Based Diet

The researchers studied 48 reviews and meta-analyses conducted between January 2000 and June 2023 and found that vegetarian and vegan diets were associated with better health status on several risk factors for both cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Overall, these plant-based diets were associated with:

  • better cholesterol levels 
  • better blood sugar control
  • a lower body mass index
  • less inflammation 

The findings have been published in PLOS ONE. It is important to note that the results of the new analysis are also subject to the limitations of the original studies. Because of this, the researchers caution against the large-scale adoption of plant-based diets. Instead, the research does suggest that “making dietary changes might be a much more powerful tool than we knew for improving health outcomes, if it can be done safely.” Here are some tips to help you get started on a plant-based diet.
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5 Tips To Include More Plant-Based Foods In Your Diet

The following tips to help you get started with a plant-based diet are shared by Harvard Health:

1. Eat Lots Of Vegetables

Fill half your plate with vegetables at lunch and dinner. Make sure you include plenty of colours in choosing your vegetables. You can also enjoy vegetables as a snack with hummus, salsa, or guacamole.

2. Cook More Vegetarian Meals

Cook a vegetarian meal at least one night a week. Build these meals around beans, whole grains, and vegetables.

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3. Go For Greens

Try a variety of green leafy vegetables such as kale, collards, Swiss chard, spinach, and other greens each day. Steam, grill, or stir-fry to preserve their flavour and nutrients.

4. Eat More Salads

Fill a bowl with salad greens such as lettuce, spinach, or red leafy greens. Add an assortment of other vegetables along with fresh herbs. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice dressing to enhance the taste of your salad bowl

5. Eat Fruit For Dessert

Instead of processed, sugary desserts, choose a refreshing, seasonal and local fruit of your choice – a juicy peach, slice of watermelon, or a crisp apple to satisfy your sweet craving.
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Follow these dietary practices for a happy and healthy body. Ensure to follow a healthy and active lifestyle, along with getting good sleep quality and proper stress management, for good health.

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.