Plant-Based Diet Promotes Healthy Aging - NOURISH Cooking Co.

Plant-Based Diet Promotes Healthy Aging

Switching to a healthful plant-based diet is a powerful move that may help delay the aging process, decrease mortality & age-associated co-morbidities, & boost life expectancy.

Studies show that: "plant-based diets rich in fruits, vegetables, grains & legumes, can reduce the risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cancer & heart disease by almost 50%, & cardio-metabolic-related deaths in the US could be cut by half" [1]

Did you know that a Plant-based diet can contribute to longer life expectancy?

Are you aware that plant-based diets have been linked to greater life expectancy? This is an incredible phenomenon, which has been clearly demonstrated by the world's renowned "Blue Zones" [2].

Blue Zones: The Lifestyle Factors Which Make a Difference

"One thing common to Blue Zones, is that those who live there, primarily eat a 95% plant-based diet. Populations that subsist mostly on plant-based foods rich in phytochemicals & antioxidants, have been associated with a longer life expectancy" [1, 2]

A Blue Zone is a non-scientific term which relates to five geographical areas in which individuals are renowned for 1: Longer than normal lifespans, and 2. Experiencing exceptionally low rates of chronic disease.

Add Vegetables and Fruits in Your Vegan Diet
So how do they do it? Well, the part of the answer is very simple; they consume a 95% plant-based diet which is abundant in nuts, vegetables, wholegrains, and legumes. All of which have been shown to play a role in increasing longevity.

And if the part that genetics play, is coming into your mind; then you may not be aware that this factor might only account for 20–30% of our longevity. To that end, we need to be mindful that our environment (which includes what we eat and drink), makes a massive contribution to determining how long we live [2].

Overwhelmingly Positive Research

Research on the link between healthy aging and eating a plant-based diet, is growing all the time. One case in point, is succinctly explained by a popular editorial, which was displayed in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.

Scientists based at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, analyzed numerous epidemiological studies and clinical trials, concerning aging and consuming a vegan diet [1]. Their findings were as follows:

  • A plant-based diet lowers the chance of developing type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome, by approximately 50%
  • A plant-based diet decreases the chance of suffering from coronary heart disease events by around 40%
  • A plant-based diet lessens the chance of suffering from cerebral vascular disease events by 29%
  • A plant-based diet lowers the chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease by over 50%
  • A plant-based diet could lower the chance of suffering from a cognitive disease (including Alzheimer’s disease), by approximately 50% [1].

Quality Not Quantity!

It is important to keep these key words in mind! So this means being aware about the food that you put in your trolley, eat in a restaurant, or order from a home delivery service. It may mean changing where you shop for groceries, switching to where you eat out in your work breaks, and on social occasions, and converting to a great vegan meal delivery service.

Some of the foods to aim for (in accordance with the aforementioned research), are easy to obtain, and your plant-food list should include: a broad selection of nuts, legumes, fresh fruit and veggies, and tea; as well as garlic. All of which act as primary protective contributors. Steer clear of sugar and preserved vegetables, both of which have been linked to a greater risk of mortality [3].

Add Years to Your Life Whatever Your Age!

Researchers from Norway’s University of Bergen had their study results published in the renowned US journal, PLOS Medicine. These results showed that: "people of any age can add years to their life expectancy by switching from a typical Western diet to a more plant-based regimen" [4]

So let's put a spotlight on the elements and results of this study, and see what simple changes we can make to enjoy healthy aging, and more time on the planet!

The Benefits of a More Plant-Based Regime

Here are only some of the advantages, as this list is far from fully comprehensive:

  • Young adults can add over 10 years to their anticipated lifespan, if they follow this change in what they eat
  • It's never too late or too early to positively transform your daily eating patterns
  • Specialists state that you can make this healthy aging transformation by: substituting animal protein for plant protein, eating brightly colored foods, and opting for unsaturated plant oils such as olive oil) [4].

The Workings of the Study

The scientists utilized existing data from the well-known study, the Global Burden of Disease, as well as previous study analyses. After carefully studying the information, they generated a model (known as the Food4HealthyLife calculator), which estimates the impact on life expectancy from a spectrum of dietary changes (including switching to a plant-based diet) [4].

The authors of the study noted: "Understanding the relative health potential of different food groups could enable people to make feasible & significant health gains" [4]

Their main findings comprise:

  • Consuming less processed meat and red meat; and eating more nuts, wholegrains, and legumes, boosts life expectancy
  • The largest increase in lifespan was apparent in the 20-odd age group. Males had an average increase of 13 years, and females had an average increase of approximately11 years.
  • Individuals their 60s experienced an increase of 8 additional years (on average), by shifting from a modern Western diet to one which is more-plant based [4].

Sources

 [1]. Physicians Committee of Responsible Medicine (2020). "Plant-Based Diets Promote Healthful Aging, According to New Editorial."

[2]. Robertson. R. (2017). "Why People in "Blue Zones" Live Longer Than the Rest of the World." Healthline.

[3].  Chen, H., Shen, J., Xuan, J. et al. Plant-based dietary patterns in relation to mortality among older adults in China. Nat Aging 2, 224–230 (2022).

[4]. Pugle, M. (2022). "How Switching to a Plant-Based Diet Can Add Years to Your Life, No Matter What Age You Are." Healthline.

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