These Are Some of the Top Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet

Plant-based eating is quickly becoming a phenomenon among health experts, consumers, and even some of the world’s foremost environmental researchers.

While there are no official statistics as to how many Americans eat a plant-based diet, a recent survey found that about 5% of Americans consider themselves vegetarians (no meat products), and 3% consider themselves vegans (only plants, no animal products).

The rise of plant-based eating also can be measured by the increasing demand for plant-based alternative meat products. A 2023 market research report predicts the plant-based meat market to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 24.9% from 2023 to 2030!

What Is Plant-Based?

Plant-based Diet 2 There’s no exact definition of a plant-based diet – but it generally means a diet mostly or entirely consisting of plants.

While more people use the term to refer to a 100% plant diet, some people use the term to describe a diet made up predominantly of plant-based foods with small amounts of animal products, such as red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy.

A plant based-diet that includes small amounts of animal products can make getting certain nutrients such as high levels of protein, vitamin B12, iron, calcium, magnesium, iodine, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D easier. While you can get them all from plant sources or supplements, animal products offer them more readily.

With all that in mind, a plant-based diet consists of whole or minimally processed fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds, and herbs and spices. Since the focus of a plant-based diet is on health, it also minimizes processed foods, refined sugars, and grains.

A plant-based diet is also valued for being more environmentally friendly as cultivating plants is far less resource intensive than livestock productions (which accounts for roughly 15% of greenhouse gas emissions annually).

Although plant-based diets were born out of the scientific community, many people who follow it appreciate that it doesn’t contribute to animal cruelty. For those who follow a plant-based diet and eat minimal amounts of animal products, those products are usually ethically sourced and organic, if possible.

Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet

The myriad health benefits that come from eating a diet nearly or completely made up of plants are truly remarkable. Below are several highlights, backed by facts and research.

7 Health and Environmental Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet

  1. Increases Your Fiber Intake

An estimated 95% of U.S. children and adults don’t consume the recommended daily amounts of fiber. Guess where nature keeps its fiber stores? In plants!

Consuming a plant-based diet will help ensure you get more than enough fiber – both soluble and insoluble – which can do wonders for your health.

Adequate fiber supports a healthy microbiome, which is foundational to overall brain and body health. It also helps to support healthy blood sugar levels in the body, regular elimination, and healthy digestion.

  1. Boosts Your Immune System

Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, and legumes are loaded with vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and antioxidants. They’re treasure troves of nutrition that can fuel your body’s cells and keep them working optimally. This allows your body to fight off infection as the abundance of nutrients strengthens your immune function too.

In fact, nutrients from plant-based eating have been proven to improve the quality of health and immune responses. Scientific evidence indicates that simply increasing your vegetable intake can decrease the occurrence of virus-driven illnesses.

  1. Fights Inflammation

Whole plant foods are loaded with phytonutrients that have anti-inflammatory properties. These nutrients can help your body heal more quickly and keep inflammation levels down. Plant-based diets are simply low in inflammatory triggers. That may be why plant-based diets are so beneficial to people dealing with serious health issues.

One study showed that when an entirely plant-based diet was adopted for 8 weeks by a group of participants, their levels of C-reactive protein – a marker for inflammation – were 32% lower compared to the control group.

  1. Helps Mitigate Climate Change

This is a big one. Choosing to eat only plants or mostly plants – especially if done collectively across the world – is part of the climate change mitigation strategy proposed by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Additionally, a review study concluded that the adoption of vegetarian diets could reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 35%, land use by 42%, and fresh water use by 28%. What’s more, an entirely plant-based diet would cut GHG emissions and land use to half what it is with current dietary patterns.

  1. Reduces Risk of Serious Health Issues

The health benefits of plant-based eating are undeniable. Numerous scientific studies show marked, transformational health outcomes in individuals struggling with degenerative health issues relating to heart health, blood pressure, blood sugar, bone health, and excess weight. Research shows that adopting a whole-food, plant-based diet is truly one of the best things you can do for your health.

  1. May Brighten Your Mood

Some research indicates that eating plants may be good for your mood. One study found that when patients suffering from low mood ate a prescribed diet high in whole grains and plant foods – and low in animal-based foods – they were more likely to be relieved of their symptoms compared to those who consumed a diet high in processed foods and low in plant foods.

Interestingly, the mood benefits were independent of weight loss and physical activity. Those who improved their diet the most had the greatest reduction in symptoms of low mood.

  1. Prevents or Lessens Animal Cruelty

Although pasture-raised and grass-fed meat, poultry, dairy, and eggs are more available than ever, roughly 99% of animals are still raised on factory farms, many suffering horrific conditions.

Eating more plant-based meals, of course, lowers demand for these animal products and dramatically reduces animal suffering on factory farms. Even if you aren’t 100% plant-based, choosing to replace meat, dairy, or eggs just one day a week can make a difference.

Take It Slow and Easy

Moving towards plant-based eating is a lifestyle change, not a diet. Experts suggest starting slow. Maybe introduce more vegetables to your diet gradually – or adopt a meat-free, dairy-free day once a week to start, and then build on it.

Generally, the more vegetables, fruits, and whole foods you eat, the more you will start to enjoy them!


At BrainMD, we’re dedicated to providing the highest purity nutrients and standardized herbal ingredients to support your energy, focus and overall well-being. For more information about our full list of supplements, please visit us at BrainMD.

Kim Henderson