4 Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet and Their Effects on Longevity.

Plant-based wellness, healthy aging, and environmental sustainability all go hand-in-hand.  As a mother and a dietitian, I was really impressed by how Perennial’s mission supports these mutual goals.

I wasn’t always plant-based; but that all changed 17 years ago when I was in college.  My journey began in 2002 after taking a nutrition course at Cornell University from the encyclopedia of plant-based eating himself, T. Colin Campbell. I went plant-based because of all the health benefits associated with a plant-based diet including significantly lower risks of heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes, and stroke, the leading causes of death worldwide.  I have since learned that other benefits of plant-based diet lifestyles include slower rates of aging and the reversal of disease, especially the ones above.

Below are four benefits of how a plant-based lifestyle supports healthy aging and longevity:

1. Plant-based diets help prevent chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

In countries and cultures where the majority of people eat a plant-based diet, the rates of chronic disease such as diabetes, cancer, obesity, and heart disease are extremely low. For individuals who already have diabetes or heart disease or are obese, switching to a whole-foods, plant-based diet can help them reverse or cure these diseases. I've seen it happen in my own practice as a dietitian, and the evidence exists. The movie Forks over Knives does a great job of detailing this science as does the famous epidemiological China Study.  Perennial supports a plant-based diet by providing clean ingredients, filling protein, and several vitamins and minerals.

2. Eating a plant-based diet reduces inflammation.

Fruits, vegetables, whole-grains, and plant-based proteins house a slew of vitamins such as A, C, E, and K.  Plant-based foods also provide antioxidants and phytochemicals, plant nutrients, like resveratrol, anthocyanin, and lycopene.  These nutrients are beneficial for skin health, collagen production, and they reduce inflammation – a symptom of many chronic diseases - and may even reduce the risk of many cancers.

3. A plant-based diet supports gut health.

Evidence suggests that diets low in plants and high in animal products increase inflammation in our bodies and guts, disrupting the healthy microflora of our gastrointestinal tract. This type of diet promotes obesity, gastrointestinal problems, and even colon cancers.  If, instead, we eat diets high in fiber—particularly high in resistant-starches from plant-based whole foods like grains, seeds, and legumes—we can increase the healthy bacteria in our guts, feel better, and reap the benefits of a harmonious microbiome.  Perennial contains fructo-oligosaccharides, a prebiotic fiber that feeds the bacteria in our guts, the microbiome, keeping us healthy.

4. A plant-based diet supports healthy aging.

Heaping platefuls of produce, healthy plant-based fats (including olive oil, avocado, nuts, and seeds), and plant-based proteins (including legumes, pea-proteins, soy, and protein-rich grains like quinoa, farro, and bulgur) make it easier to maintain weight, even as your metabolism slows age.  Plant-based proteins support muscle maintenance and prevent muscle loss, which is critical for strength and balance as you age.

Perennial supports healthy aging and wellness by providing plant-based proteins, vitamins and minerals, and fibers that support gut health, strength, and overall wellbeing. 

Wellbeing is important because, unfortunately, with aging comes worry.  We worry about our own health, our children’s health, and the health of our planet.  Perennial’s sustainably sourced ingredients and support of a plant-based diet can alleviate some of those worries.  By doing good for our body and the planet, we can drink this knowing it is a win-win!

About the Author:

Dana Hunnes PhD, MPH, RD is a plant-based dietitian who has been quoted by Huffington Post, Associated Press, Health.com, Consumer Reports, and others on the benefits of a plant-based diet for both health and the environment. Dr. Hunnes received her B.S. in nutrition science and human biology from Cornell University, and her Masters in Public Health and PhD in Public Health with a focus on climate-change and food security from UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health. Dr. Hunnes has practiced as a dietitian for 15 years at UCLA Medical Center and is an adjunct assistant professor at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health where she teaches a course on nutrition and chronic disease prevention. Dr. Hunnes as a sole proprietor supports and agrees with Perennial, UCLA and any of its affiliations do not endorse this product. Dr. Hunnes lives in Los Angeles with her husband, young son, and (old) Labrador retriever. She enjoys plant-based living and advocacy.

“I, Dana Hunnes, sole proprietor as a plant-based dietitian who has education from Cornell University and UCLA agree with your product, but UCLA itself does not specifically endorse the product.”

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