Imagine there was a way to cure and reverse the top killers in America; to control and eliminate the need for medication for high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes, an incredible way to prevent most types of cancer. Now imagine that this cure didn’t require any type of surgery or drastic medical procedure, only lifestyle changes. A whole food plant based diet can do that and much more.

A whole food plant based diet (WFPB) is based on eating foods that have been minimally processed, therefore you are basing your diet on vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes while minimizing your intake of SOS: salt, oil and sugar along with meat, dairy, animal products in general and refined grains. You could call this a vegetarian diet, however the top doctors on this topic prefer that we don’t apply the vegan or vegetarian label to describe this diet, as those terms only account for what you are not eating and a WFPB diet is all about embracing the full healing potential of food.

The benefits of a WFPB diet can be noticed from day one. You are eating a ton of fiber which solves constipation issues and on the long run, this will also help prevent heart disease, lower your cholesterol levels and will reduce the risk of colon cancer. When eating this way, you are also bathing your cells in a constant shower of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, preventing cell damage and as a side effect keeping you looking young and healthy. You are getting a lot of potassium too, a nutrient most Americans aren’t getting enough. Also, one of my favorite effects of this diet happens in our gut, since we are eating so much fiber, most of it feeds our healthy gut bacteria; research shows that a happy gut produces in exchange a lot of boosting compounds that can help you reduce levels of anxiety, depression and improve your overall mood. So, if eating a certain way could make you happier, would you do it?

Adopting this kind of diet can require some extra reading and planning. I always tell people who are interested in this lifestyle to start adding. Before cutting all meat products ‘cold turkey’, start adding more vegetables to your favorite recipes, substitute some processed mid-morning snacks for fruits or nuts and start shopping your groceries from the periphery of the supermarket, clean out your pantry and get ready to feel the best you’ve ever felt.

For more information visit: plantricianproject.com and nutritionfacts.org.

For recipes: forksoverknives.com

Happy healthy eating!

Kathya Ureña, Health Coach at Oasis of Hope Hospital, Tijuana, Mexico