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Why a plant-based diet could be your answer to a healthier, happier life in 2022 Wine News

As obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes rates continue to soar, “What should I eat?” has become one of the most important issues of the 21st century.

As a doctor who specializes in gastroenterology – the diagnosis and treatment of digestive health problems – I find that when faced with a new illness, every patient quickly asks me questions about diet: “Is there- Is there anything I should or shouldn’t eat? We each intuitively know that food can play a vital role in helping us improve our health, optimize our quality of life, and even help us heal and recover from illness.

Scientific evidence shows this to be absolutely true. Food is medicine. To maximize your chances of being healthy now and in the future, to reduce your risk of chronic disease, and to add healthy years to your life, you need to start with the food on your plate.

After years of reviewing food, nutrition, and health research, I’m convinced that the more plants and the less processed foods on our plates, the better. The logical conclusion? A complete plant-based diet.

A diet built from the nutritious foods humans have thrived on for centuries—fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts, and seeds—can yield incredible benefits both in preventing chronic disease and restoring true health. .

Whether it’s preventing or treating heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, digestive cancers or any of the illnesses that have become so common in the 21st century, a plant-based diet has something to offer.

I now start conversations with my patients by asking them questions about the foods they eat every day. By putting more plants on their plates, I’ve seen individuals of all ages improve both their gut and overall health, lose weight, improve their mood, and even reverse long-term illness.

The benefits of a plant-based diet

More than just a label

No dietary change can make a person immune to the disease, and if you have persistent symptoms or think you have an underlying health problem, it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor. . This has been consistently ranked as one of the most nutrient-dense diets available to humans, meaning most of the common deficiencies that lead to poor health are far less likely to occur.

A healthy plant-based diet contains more fibre, folate, vitamins A, C and E, thiamin, riboflavin, magnesium, healthy oils, copper and iron than a diet that includes meat and dairy products.

Joining the plant-based food revolution isn’t about going “vegan” or applying another label to your diet or lifestyle. It’s just about choosing to make most (or all) of your meals from foods that have consistently been shown to benefit human health. The weight of scientific evidence overwhelmingly favors a whole, plant-based diet as the optimal choice for human health and longevity.

Diversity is key

There are more microorganisms living in each of our digestive systems than there are trees on planet Earth or stars in the Milky Way. These microscopic bacteria, archaea, viruses and yeast make up your gut microbiome, which contains 10 times more cells and 100 times more genetic material than the rest of your body combined. As you embark on your plant-based food revolution, friendly microbes will become your crucial allies.

Between 2012 and 2017, a team of American researchers set out to discover the factors that influence the health of the human gut microbiome in the industrialized world. They carried out a detailed analysis of more than 11,000 volunteers, most of whom lived in the UK, US and Australia.

Results from what has become known as the American Gut Project reveal that when it comes to diet, the number one predictor of a healthy gut microbiome is the diversity of plants in your diet. Participants who ate more than 30 different plants per week had unique fiber-loving bacteria that were simply not found in people on a plant-free diet.

Of the 11,000 volunteers who participated, less than 1 in 250 hit that magic number of 30 different plants per week.

I’m not asking you to eat thousands of different fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains, but I strongly suggest that we can all benefit from increasing plant diversity in our diets. Try it for a week.

Keep a running total for each meal and snack to know how many plants are fermenting your microbes. Can you reach over 30?

Reasons to be happy

In the US, heart disease now affects more than 1 in 12 working adults, while in the UK more than 4 million people are living with type 2 diabetes, a condition that barely existed a while ago. 50 years.

But hidden among these sobering statistics is a message of hope: many of the chronic health conditions that reduce our quality of life can be prevented, stopped, and even reversed through a healthy lifestyle and a healthier dietary approach. healthy herbal. The future already looks brighter.

The questions I ask each patient:

  1. How much fruit do you eat each day?
  2. How many servings of vegetables do you eat each day?
  3. How many servings of whole grains do you eat each day?

I hope they will answer “at least three” to each question.

But what does three servings of fruits, vegetables and whole grains look like?

Fruits: 1 small apple + 1 large banana + 1 large orange
Vegetables: 1 bowl of leafy greens cereal + 3 heaped tablespoons of any vegetable + 3 heaped tablespoons of beans
Whole grains: 3 tablespoons of cooked porridge + 1 slice of wholemeal bread + 3 tablespoons of cooked brown rice

How did you answer these three questions? Do your numbers add up to nine or more? If not, we have identified your first target for healthy dietary change!

The perfect vegetable dish

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This notice was published: 2022-01-12 15:25:16

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