Can a diet really improve your overall health and sense of happiness? Every year, new fad diets appear, only to soon disappear as so many others did before them. Without exception, the vague promise of each of these is rapid fat loss and nothing much else. Little mention is made of any health benefits they supposedly bring—probably because those pounds of body fat quickly return and even multiply. Health and, certainly, happiness, quickly disappear as one gets caught up in what is known as weight cycling or yo-yo dieting. One researcher believes there may be a link between weight cycling and blood pressure, high cholesterol, and gallbladder disease. It may also affect your mental health, too, making you more likely to feel depressed about your weight. So much for that road to health and happiness!
A Healthy Body Means a Healthier Mind
We all intuitively know that long-term health benefits can only come from eating more whole, unprocessed, natural foods. A Nutrition Journal study adds weight to this argument by showing that after just two weeks on a vegetarian, plant-based diet, subjects showed significant mood improvements compared with those who ate meat, fish, and poultry. An outcome such as this is what many people probably would not expect! When we talk about whole, unprocessed foods, we are, in essence, talking about God’s Diet, a vegetarian diet based on Genesis 1:29. This way of eating is all we need to support long-term health and vitality. As promoted by the Hallelujah Diet, this predominantly raw plant-based diet encompasses a wide range of different foods, including:
- Any and all vegetables
- Any and all fruits
- Beans and legumes
- Organic whole grains
- Vegetable juices
- Nuts and seeds
- Dairy alternatives, such as almond milk
- Organic whole-grain bread
- Vegetable soups
Specific Benefits of Following a Plant-Based Diet
In its article, “7 Benefits You Are Likely to Experience Within One Week of Eating a Healthy Plant-Based Diet”, OneGreenPlanet succinctly describes, as listed below, the overall health benefits and feelings of wellbeing you can expect by following this way of eating.
- Better Digestion
Plant-based foods consist essentially of water, plant-based protein, healthy fats, and fiber. The latter, in its soluble form, dissolves in water and is thought to help your body absorb vital nutrients. Insoluble fiber, often called roughage, stays intact, helps food pass through the digestive system, and adds bulk to the stool.
- Happier Outlook
Knowing that you are eating healthily, in ways that promote and respect life, naturally adds to your sense of overall happiness. A plant-based diet also has less impact on the environment, so you know you are living life thoughtfully and respectfully.
- Better Blood Sugar
As reported in the Journal of Geriatric Cardiology , patients who adopt a plant-based diet can experience decreases in blood sugar and blood pressure relatively quickly after changing to this way of eating.
- Smooth Skin
Plant foods are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, antioxidants, and chlorophyll, not to mention water. These all add moisture and nutrients to your skin. The best fruits and vegetables to improve the condition of your skin include apples, oranges, berries, greens, broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes, avocados, lemons, beets, squash, and tomatoes.
- More Energy
Since meat, eggs, poultry, dairy, fish, and other animal foods have little or no fiber and are extremely hard to digest, this results in your digestive system becoming overwhelmed, which could be a huge drain on your energy. Eating a plant-based diet, on the other hand, aids your digestion and provides you with almost instant energy.
- Less Inflammation
Have joint pain? Eat more plants! Plant-based foods are known to lower inflammation. In the article, “10 Ways to Reduce Inflammation,” Forrest H. Nielsen, Ph.D. says, "There's much evidence that people with high inflammatory markers often have low magnesium levels.” Moreover, guess what? Green leafy vegetables are rich in magnesium!
- Better Sleep
Specific fruits, vegetables and seeds like bananas, cherries, kiwifruit, pumpkin seeds, sweet potatoes, broccoli, cashew butter, peanut butter, avocados, kale, almonds, walnuts, spinach, and squash all contain vitamin B6, tryptophan, and magnesium, which ensure a healthy sleep cycle.
Enjoy that Zest for Life!
Following a plant-based diet, specifically that recommended by the Hallelujah Diet will have the most positive and far-reaching effects on your health and sense of wellbeing. Not only will you feel lighter, and perhaps lose some weight, but you will feel energized and have a more positive mental attitude and zest for life!