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You probably already know that eating a plant based diet can help reduce the chance of certain cancers, improve cardiovascular health, and help you maintain a healthy weight. This, however, is only the beginning of the many advantages. There are several great benefits of eating a plant based diet that you may not be aware of.

Improved Eye Health

Including the right kind of vegetables in your diet may improve overall eye health. Carrots are rich in vitamin A and are an excellent source of nutrition for your eyes. Vitamin A is known to provide protection over the surface of the eye. Other orange vegetables that can protect your vision include pumpkins and sweet potatoes. Tree nuts are rich in vitamin E, another excellent nutrient for eyes. Vitamin E can help limit the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.

Stronger Bones

Eating soy may help maintain better bone health, especially in post-menopausal women. Nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, and vitamin K are essential to keeping bones in optimum health. These nutrients are found in a plant based diet that includes veggies such as kale, spinach, broccoli, and quinoa. Vitamin K in particular has been shown to reduce the potential for hip fractures. Getting the calcium your bones need can also be accomplished by eating the right kind of plants. The following are great sources of calcium:

  • kale
  • watercress
  • sesame seeds
  • dried figs

Healthier Skin

Healthy fats and omega-3s can help improve your skin by keeping the cells flexible and functioning properly.  Plant based omega-3s such as chia seeds and mustard greens can help preserve collagen. Vitamin C in certain foods, such as sweet potatoes, may even reduce wrinkles by increasing collagen production. Eating more fruits and vegetables in general will improve your skin due to the high water content. Increasing water consumption can reduce irritation and remove toxins.

Better Gut Health

The community of gut bacteria and the type of microbes in your intestinal system can dramatically affect your overall health. A plant based diet can also do wonders for improving your gut health while a diet that has a lot of animal products can produce excessive inflammation. Everything from increased immunity to better digestion is associated with how well your intestines function. Foods high in fiber and resistant starch can dramatically improve gut health. High fiber foods that are good for your gut include the following:

  • lentils
  • peas
  • artichokes
  • lima beans

Slowing the Aging Process

Going completely vegan may even help slow down the aging process. The insulin growth factor, or more specifically IGF-1, is an important part of how your body ages. A plant based diet may play a role in IGF-1 activity and limit the risk of disorders related to aging. Animal protein is likely to cause IGF-1 levels to increase. To achieve the best results it’s recommended to go beyond vegetarian and stick to a vegan diet.

Eating a diet rich in plants can have a tremendous impact on your overall health and well-being. There are many incredible benefits that not only help you live longer, but live better.