Why should you switch to Whole Foods Plant-Based (WFPB) diet? #1 They’re good for you and the planet. And this is not just the only one, there are nine more! Read ahead.
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Before we get into why you must shift to a Whole Foods Plant-Based (WFPB) diet, let us understand what exactly is the WFPB diet.

Whole basically means all foods in their whole form or how they came from nature, before they were processed, refined or given a new form by man. This even means fruits and vegetables are to be had with their peel/skins, grains and lentils should be with their skins, and not polished. Things like oil, white sugar, white rice and white flour are out and everything that has them are out!

Plant-based diets exclude everything coming from animals in out—so not meat, dairy products, honey and eggs.

Shifting to a WFPB diet has the potential to be the most powerful and positively impactful choice you can make for yourself, for others around you and for the planet.

Benefits of being a vegetarian

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1. It helps manage lifestyle diseases:

Way back in 2013, Bill Clinton was advised by the white house doctor, to go on a plant-based diet. His cholesterol was building up, despite his stent implants. Of course it would, because the lack of stents is not the reason for cholesterol, animal products are! He continues to enjoy his diet till date and his heart only gets healthier. Closer home, actress Sonam Kapoor recently declared that she is free of Diabetes and PCOD as a result of going on a plant-based diet. The WFPB diet has also found to help in managing lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and hormonal imbalances. If you have any health issue, its time you give the plant-based diet a serious thought.

2. Aids in losing weight:

Plus, you’ll lose weight, the healthy way. That’s because it is a bit difficult to put on weight on a WFPB diet. Most plant foods are low in calories, and loaded with nutrients and fibre. This ensures you get the proper nutrition and you are satiated faster. In addition, the fiber pushes out waste from your system. And all these factors together ensure that we lose excess weight in a sustained and healthy way.

3. You’ll gain energy and feel great:

Our body is designed for plants and it takes less energy to break down plant foods, assimilate them and get the required nutrients from them. Ever noticed how sleepy you feel after a heavy meal, where you gorged on kebabs and rich gravies? That’s because our body has now been put onto the job of breaking down these foods. And hence it is pulling the breaks on everything else to try and do so. Net result is a slump in energy levels!

Environmental Facts of being a vegetarian

4. Your athletic performance will receive a boost:

Current Tennis champions Djokovic and Serena Williams are both on a plant-based diet. So is the soccer super star Lionel Messi. Yes, plant foods contain sufficient protein! That apart, they change our internal ecosystem to alkaline, which boosts our immune system and improves recovery. Imagine running, in absolutely clean air, as opposed to running in polluted air. This is the difference the plant-based diet creates for the cells within.

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5. No fear of calorie counting:

The food is yummy and there’s no calorie counting! Do we need a better reason that this? Once you are over the addiction inbuilt in animal products, refined sugar and processed foods, your taste buds return to their original sensitivity. Then the pleasure you experience from the subtle flavours of pure simple fruits and vegetables is something no words can do justice. Try it for yourself.

6. No animal is harmed:

You get to practice compassion three times a day! Once you realise that your diet is not just the perfect one for you, but also ensures that no animal was harmed, exploited or killed to be your food, you may begin to wonder how you never made this connection before.

7. You conserve water:

The meat and dairy industry combined use 1/3rd of the entire planet’s fresh water! A thousand gallons of water goes into producing one litre of milk. With the water crisis that we go through every summer, this is something we need to think about, especially because dairy products are not crucial and can be easily replaced with healthy alternatives.

8. You live an eco-friendly lifestyle:

You live the most eco-friendly lifestyle on the planet. A plant-based diet can cut your carbon footprint by at least 50% or more! We all complain about pollution caused by vehicles. Now here’s the news. Livestock industry is the single largest contributor to carbon emissions globally – contributing 38% more emissions than the energy industry, 28% more than transportation and 12.5% more than the industrial sector.

Benefits of being a vegetarian

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9. You save forests:

Meat eaters require 18 times more land than plant eaters. Why? Because one acre of land can produce 375 pounds of meat or 37000 pounds of plant food. The question now is – where is the land coming from? By razing forests of course. Currently, one acre of the Amazon forest is raised every second, for animal agriculture. Related to this is species extinctions as well. Go on a plant based diet – your body will thank you, and so will the planet!

10. You help reduce world hunger:

The current amount of grain production in the world is more than sufficient to feed every hungry mouth. However, instead of feeding the people, poor countries end up exporting grain to richer countries to feed their farmed animals! Switch to eating plants, and you’re correcting a lot of wrongs!

(All facts and numbers taken from U.N report 2010 www.unep.org)
Illustrations by Vartika Pahuja.

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