Plant-based diet is making it to the headlines for all the right reasons. Loaded with vegetables, fruits, nuts and whole grains, it has a rich nutrient-profile and helps maintain well-balanced diet regime. Several studies from around the world have time and again established the positive effect of plant-based diet on our kidney lungs, heart and more. It is also known to promote weight loss and lower the risk of obesity and related health issues. Hence, over the years several fitness enthusiasts are making a shift to plant-based diet for healthy living.
Adding to its pool of benefits, a new study finds a surprising link between plant-based diet and healthy gut bacteria. For the uninitiated, our digestive tract is a storehouse of an extensive variety of bacteria. Also called gut microbiome (or gut microbes), most of these micro-organisms influence our overall health. Healthy gut microbes help absorb nutrients from food and provide nourishment and prevent several diseases. The findings were published in the journal Nature Medicine.
Benefits Of Plant-Based Diet On Gut-Health:
This new study finds, that healthy plant-based foods "encourage the presence of gut microbes", which can lower the risk of common illnesses including heart disease, diabetes and obesity. It was a large-scale international study that included researchers from King's College London, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the University of Trento, Italy, and health start-up company ZOE.
The researchers also found the good and bad bacteria that have positive and negative effects on these health conditions including diabetes, heart disease and obesity. As per the researchers, our gut bacteria are yet more important than any other factors that affect these health issues.
After an extensive trial on the participants, it was inferred that healthy diet that includes more fruits and vegetables lowered the risk of chronic disease. "The researchers also found microbiome-based biomarkers of obesity as well as markers for cardiovascular disease and impaired glucose tolerance, which are key risk factors for COVID," read a statement on the official website of King's College London.
"As a nutritional scientist, finding novel microbes that are linked to specific foods, as well as metabolic health, is exciting. Given the highly personalised composition of each individual's microbiome, our research suggests that we may be able to modify our gut microbiome to optimize our health by choosing the best foods for our unique biology," explained Dr. Sarah Berry, Reader in Nutrition Sciences at King's College London.
Here're 4 Most Popular Plant-Based Diets For You:
1. Vegetarian Diet:
The oldest form of plant-based diet, it is includes every kind of vegetable, fruit, nut, grains and dairy products.
2. Vegan Diet:
Ask any vegan to define the diet, the only answer you will get is, 'it is not a mere diet, veganism is a form of life'. Veganism is a lifestyle that excludes any product that has an animal origin, including milk and dairy products.
3. Mediterranean Diet:
As per the recent U.S. News & World Report's annual ranking, Mediterranean Diet has been voted the best form of diet for overall health. Majorly plant-based, it also allows you to include poultry, egg and cheese to your diet in moderation.
4. Flexitarian Diet:
One of the most popular diets across the world it a plant-based diet regime that allows you to include meat and animal products time to time. Flexitarian diet has grabbed the second position (in the overall healthy diet category) on the the recent U.S. News & World Report's annual ranking.
Note: The above-mentioned diet options are not part of the study. These are plant-based diets that you may follow after consulting your doctor.