6 Reasons You Should Go On A Plant-Based Diet

Dr. Ivan Edwards Physiatrist (Physical Medicine) | Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation San Antonio, TX, TX

Dr. Ivan Edwards (DO, FAAPMR, FRSA) is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He was inducted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and simultaneously accepted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine (UK). He is... more

Like we all intrinsically desire, you want to live a healthy and better life. A life well lived serves a purpose. Getting sick is undesirable; it robs your joy, peace, and purpose. A life of good health is what defines a good quality of life. A good quality of life is what you want. 

There is something you can do, that is reasonably easy and doable, to live a healthy and better life - a life that truly embodies a good quality of life. You can choose to eat more plants than animals. That choice will benefit your life. 

Below are 6 reasons you should go on a plant-based life. 

First, if you choose to go on a plant-based diet, you will maintain a healthy weight. Plants, unlike animal products, have fewer calories. Eating fewer calories in your diet will not result in the excess conversion of ingested food into stores of fat. 

Secondly, eating a plant-based diet increases your fiber intake. This affects your satiety. It gives you early satiety - in effect, it makes you feel fuller early and curbs your appetite to eat less. 

Thirdly, eating plants makes you dispense less and fend off the intrusive inflammatory factors and the inflammation that comes along with them. Inflammation, in its purest form, is a natural protective response of the body to fight and protect you against pathogens, damaged cells, and released chemicals that your body perceives as obnoxious. But a good process like that can also stress your body's cells if it is extended to an abusive limit. Think of it as hypervigilant police and military that are on the highest alert 24-7. What was meant to be a good protective measure then becomes a state in which hypervigilance becomes burdensome. Inflammation produces chemicals (cytokines) that can greatly tax the body. The release of these cytokines, over a sustained period, produces the opposite effect on the body, contrary to what they were meant to do in the first place. That is why a lot of disease states, like strokes, heart attacks, and COVID thrive under a high inflammatory state. However, eating plants can uniquely assist you. How? Plants are laden with nutrients that have anti-inflammatory properties. Anti-inflammatory properties counter inflammation.  

Fourth, eating a plant-based diet helps strengthen your immune system. Plants contain antioxidants. Antioxidants help your cells fight oxidative stress, the element under which disease and microbes thrive.  

Fifth, eating plants helps fight cancer. Cancer arises from cells that break away from the controls that are in place at the cellular level. The "rebellious" cells grow and divide outside this established protective control mechanism. A plant diet has non-toxic nutrients that help regulate normal cell function. 

Lastly, a plant-based diet helps reduce aging. You have protective caps at the ends of your chromosomes called telomeres. Telomere length is associated with health and lifespan. The longer your telomere length, the longer your life will be. Telomere length is associated with the aging process. You age faster as your telomeres shorten. Conversely, you tend to age less with preserved telomere length. Numerous studies have revealed that a lifestyle with a diet rich in fruits and vegetables (including other variables like lower BMI, exercise, and not smoking) is associated with longer telomeres. Thus, eating a plant-based diet reduces the underlying causes and effects of aging, as they pertain to telomere length.   

Living a healthy and better life is feasible. A life of good health will give you a good quality of life. Regulating what you eat is one way you can make this reality in your natural life. All it takes is to go on a plant-based diet.

About the writer
Dr. Ivan Edwards is a renowned medical doctor (board certified in the specialty of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation), a USAF Reserve flight surgeon, at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, a humanitarian, an entrepreneur, and an international motivational speaker.

He lives in San Antonio, TX, where he practices medicine.