5 Reasons to Try a Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet

Phoenix Huber
5 min readNov 8, 2022
Photo by Anna Tarazevich via Pexels

My friend’s dad thought he had three days to live. A lifelong outdoorsman diagnosed with heart disease, he declined so much after multiple surgeries he could barely step outside. He was nudging his loved ones to fly on over and say their final goodbyes.

Deciding this was no time to worry about coming across as pushy vegan, my friend suggested her dad try a whole-food, plant-based diet for his heart. We’re talking:

  • Whole food: Where you avoid the more processed stuff. Picture strawberries instead of sugar, steamed potatoes over potato chips, and a handful of nuts as opposed to oil.
  • Plant-based: Meaning few or no animal products. It is recommended to eat a diverse diet of different vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains, nuts, seeds, mushrooms, herbs, and spices.

To my friend’s surprise, her dad actually did it — not perfectly, but never before had the man downed such an array of vegetables or so little meat. Able to move around more right away, within a week his condition improved so much that he hiked off to the nearest cave, a favorite spot that he had feared he would never see again.

This story is an example of why someone may want to try eating whole-food, plant-based (WFPB). Here are 5 major motivations to consider.

1. Lower the risk of disease

Many clinical studies have shown whole-food, plant-based diets not only reversing heart disease, but also helping with type 2 diabetes. It’s hard to generalize due to the multiple aspects of diet that get studied—fully vegan or mostly vegan, and how healthy of a diet—but you will find ample suggestive evidence for prostate and other cancers, autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, and more.

WFPB benefits also show up in longevity studies. The term “Blue Zones” has been used to describe five places on Earth with the most centenarians. From Okinawa, Japan to Loma Linda, California, one of the common threads was that these long-lived peoples averaged a serving of meat five times a month, with some being vegetarians. Other demographic comparisons favoring a plant-based diet include studies on Seventh Day Adventists, the China Study, and the Nurses’ Health Study.

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Phoenix Huber

Trans girl. Beyond-human ally. I unite with members of my species for all sentient beings. Free hug: uberpath@gmail. Feed me: Ko-fi.com/phxhu