For years it was believed that for a healthy diet you need to eat five servings of vegetables and fruits per day. This is approximately 400 grams. But in 2017, a study appeared according to which the daily intake of fruits and vegetables should be doubled. According to London scientists, this would prevent up to 7.8 million premature deaths worldwide every year.
Fruits and vegetables lower cholesterol and blood pressure, improve the state of blood vessels and the immune system. According to doctors, this effect is justified by the content of complex nutrients contained in them. Antioxidants reduce DNA damage, which lowers the risk of cancer. If ten servings of fruits and vegetables per day are significantly better than five, you can think about switching to exclusively plant-based foods. Let’s figure out how this will affect the body:
Fruits and vegetables will provide you with fiber and carbohydrates but you will not get the proper amount of fat and protein from them which are vital to the body. Fats are needed for brain health, energy, and metabolism. Proteins are for strong muscles and immune system. If you eat only fruits and vegetables, you will lose muscle mass and strength. A plant-based diet can provide protein but you need to include cereals in it.
Inflammation occurs when the body tries to defend itself against viruses and bacteria or repair damaged tissue. But some foods like meat, cheese, and processed foods increase inflammation. This negatively affects the body as chronic inflammation is associated with the development of unpleasant diseases such as arthritis, which first affects our spine. This isn’t good news and in severe cases may require chronic back pain treatment to relieve your condition.
A plant diet, on the contrary, reduces inflammation due to the high content of fiber and antioxidants in the diet. In such a diet there are significantly fewer triggers of inflammation, including saturated fat and endotoxins (these substances are released during the decay of bacterial cells).
A man with a moderately active lifestyle needs 2,400–2,800 calories per day and a woman needs 1,800–2,200. But if you don’t eat cereals, seeds, nuts, and vegetable oils, it’s extremely difficult to get that many calories. To make it easier for you to imagine, 2,200 calories are about 100 cups of chopped cabbage or 23 apples.
Of course, there are a lot of high-calorie vegetables such as avocados but even if you diversify plant foods as much as possible, you still have to eat a lot. You will not get the type of carbohydrates that gives energy and help you concentrate.
Due to the high content of fiber and water, plant foods quickly give a feeling of satiety. This helps to eat less and leads to weight loss. Even when we see a full plate of food, we quickly want to set aside a spoon. It seems to the brain that we have already eaten a lot, which means we must be full. With this kind of nutrition, you will often go to the toilet and this gives a feeling of lightness.
When switching to a vegetable diet, cholesterol levels drop by 35%. In many cases, the decrease is the same as with medication. This is a very significant result for those who want to lower cholesterol without drugs. Fruits and vegetables do not contain fats or processed sugar, which should be avoided if you want to lower cholesterol.
Editor’s Note: If you’re considering a radical change to your diet, please consult a medical professional for advice as making a big change could lead to unintended consequences.