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Why should you inlcude more plants in your diet?
Throughout my life I have personally experienced a number of the symptoms that are due to a non plant based diet. That’s not so surprising when you consider that I was a child of the 80’s and was raised almost completely on fast food and pre-packaged meals. This means I was not even close to getting the recommended 5-9 servings a day of fruits and vegetables.
I honestly think that I went through at least two years of high school without ever eating a vegetable during lunch. My husband’s nutritional habits as a child were no different. Both of us have fond memories of Little Debbie Snacks for breakfast followed by a Happy Meal for lunch as kids.
At the time our moms had no idea that those companies were pumping the food full of fillers, artificial ingredients, and preservatives. They naively thought that a drive thru hamburger was the same as a burger made at home.
Luckily, as adults we became much more health conscious and have found ways to incorporate a more plant based diet into our lifestyle. One of our favorite ways to do this is by making smoothies with a variety of fruits and vegetables. (even our kids don’t know they are eating veggies).
Unfortunately for most, today’s Standard American Diet (its acronym is ‘SAD’ for a reason) is lacking in healthy vegetables, fruits and grains. And this same basic processed and sugar-filled diet is prevalent in most modern societies and cultures throughout the world.
Now we know that plants play a vital role in proper nutrition. When veggies are combined with a diet rich in whole grains and fruits you can get all of the essential vitamins, nutrients and minerals you need for excellent health.
So, how do you know you need a more plant based diet?
If any of the following signs sound familiar, you probably aren’t eating enough on a day-to-day basis.
1 – You have been diagnosed with heart problems – This could be due to family history and heredity. However, if your doctor tells you heart disease, stroke and heart attacks are on your horizon and there is no family history of these events, you need to begin eating more vegetables.
2 – You have problems regulating a healthy body weight – If you are eating more processed foods than vegetables, you could be underweight, overweight or obese. Those conditions lead to more serious health problems, and can often be alleviated by eating more vegetables.
3 – You experience regular digestive issues – Fruits & Vegetables are high in fiber. Because of this, they help to regulate your digestive system. Chronic bloating, upset stomach, gas, hemorrhoids, constipation and pains in your midsection can all be corrected with a healthy and steady dose of food that was once growing in the ground.
4 – You are tired all the time – If your body does not get the wonderfully healthy phytonutrients, minerals and vitamins fruits, veggies and grains provide, your sleep cycle can be thrown off. This means you have a problem sleeping at night, and staying awake during the day.
5 – You are sick frequently – A healthy immune system, your body’s natural defense system against infection and sickness, depends on a steady diet of the nutrients found in a plants.
6 – Your skin, hair and teeth are unhealthy – A plant-rich diet leads to overall body health. Outward signs of a diet devoid of enough vegetables can include dry and damaged skin and hair, hair loss, scurvy and a multitude of dental problems.
7 – You are frequently stressed out, anxious or depressed – Hormones regulate your moods and emotions. These hormones start acting up when you don’t eat right. A diet rich in fruits, veggies and grains gives your body all of the hormone-healthy nutrition it needs to help you handle stressful and high-anxiety situations correctly. You will also find you suffer fewer erratic mood swings when your diet includes a lot of plants.
Isn’t it amazing that a variety of conditions, from mild to serious, can all be related to our diet? Of course if you are experiencing any of these symptoms you should definitely check with your doctor in order to rule out a more serious condition.
At the same time – go ahead and boost your intakeof fruits, veggies and grains for a few weeks and see if that helps. If you need some ideas for what to eat you can follow our Healthy Eating board on Pinterest.
So, there you have it – 7 Signs You Need a more Plant Based Diet!
If you are looking for more ways to get healthy check out our post on Walking for Weight Loss.
PS- We would love to hear from you! What is your favorite way to make sure you get your fruits and veggies in?