How does a Plant-based Diet promote healthy ageing?

From preventing disease and helping the environment to being cruelty-free, the
plant-based diet has been steadily growing in followers as awareness of its benefits
grows. If you’re not quite convinced of the merits of going plant-based, here’s one
more reason to consider this now popular lifestyle choice; and if you’ve already
made the switch, here’s a new reason to celebrate: it promotes healthy ageing. Yes,
you’ll still grow older – that’s natural, but you’ll age gracefully, and hopefully free of
the diseases typically associated with getting older.

A recent editorial published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition in
2020 reviewed clinical trials and studies related to diseases and ageing and found
that a healthy diet helps reduce risk and promotes healthful ageing.

A plant-based diet is high in fibre and lower in cholesterol and therefore scores
higher on the Healthy Eating Index. It’s also key in reducing the risk of type 2
diabetes, cancer and heart disease. According to the research, plant-based diets:
● Reduce the risk of developing metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes by
about 50%.
● Reduce the risk of coronary heart disease events by an estimated 40%.
● Reduce the risk of cerebral vascular disease events by 29%.
● Reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by more than 50%.
● May reduce the risk for cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease by as
much as 50%.

But this isn’t new news to the population living in the Blue Zones. They’re the living
proof of the effectiveness of a plant-based diet and its results on health and life
expectancy. If you’re not familiar with the Blue Zones, these are communities where
it’s quite usual for people to live to a 100 with little to no health issues. These zones
are spread across various parts of the world (Okinawa, Japan, Sardinia, Italy,
Nicoya, Costa Rica, Ikaria, Greece, and Loma Linda, California) and have one main
feature in common – their plant-based and healthy lifestyle.

While it all sounds simple, it’s not always easy to change the way you fuel your body.
What’s important is that you take steps in this direction to increase your life
expectancy but more importantly, lead a disease-free, healthy life. Here are a few
tips to get started:

  1. Increase the amount of fruits you consume
  2. Add more veggies to your meals – they should be around 50% of your plate
  3. Be open to new foods – there are so many fruit, veggie and protein sources
    that we often overlook in favour of meats and simple carbs
  4. Try different protein sources – for instance, legumes and beans are filled with
    protein and offer a slew of health benefits

Going plant-based can seem like a daunting choice to make, but it’s not. You don’t
have to do it all at once, overnight. Baby steps are a great way to start – there are
many resources available to help you on your journey. And if you’re worried about
meeting your protein quotient for the day, you can also complement it with vegan
protein powder like Origin Nutrition, that comes packed with all the goodness of
clean protein and is 100% vegan, soy and gluten-free and GMO free.