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One Simple Rule to Live Longer

Updated: May 16

"Eat food, not too much, mostly plants." Michael Pollan simply and elegantly summarized the single best lifestyle change that one can make to lead a healthier and longer life. Plant-based foods have been proven to promote a longer and healthier life. By putting plants at the center of your diet, you can reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. These foods are typically rich in essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, all of which play crucial roles in maintaining health and well-being.

One of the key advantages of plant-based foods is their low saturated fat and cholesterol content, which can help manage cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular issues.

Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes are all excellent sources of these heart-healthy nutrients. Additionally, many plant-based foods contain phytochemicals, compounds that have been linked to anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.

Moreover, plant-based diets tend to be higher in fiber compared to diets rich in animal products. Fiber is essential for digestive health, promoting regular bowel movements, and preventing constipation and colon cancer. It also helps regulate blood sugar levels, which is beneficial for individuals with diabetes or those at risk of developing the condition. Furthermore, a diet abundant in plant-based foods has been show to promote weight loss due to their lower calorie density and higher satiety levels, making it easier to maintain a healthy weight permanently.

Dr. Betler of Bodywork Docs is a living testament to the benefits of plant-based eating. For most of his life he struggled to lose weight. He hit a sort of "rock bottom" when he was found to have a severely elevated blood pressure at a routine doctor's visit. He decided to give up meat for lent, and never looked back-- first becoming vegetarian, and then switching to veganism the following year. When asked if it was hard to give up meat and dairy, he said:

"After going plant-based, I felt sick for the first month or so. But I realized I needed to compensate by hydrating well, and bulking up on complete proteins such as quinoa, and plant-based protein smoothies with microgreens. Just a few days later, I started to feel better, and then, a few weeks later, I started to feel better than I have ever felt in my life. My clothes fit better, I had higher energy, and I didn't feel bloated and heavy all the time. And I've never looked back."

Michael Betler, DO

Incorporating a variety of plant-based foods into your diet can lead to a more diverse and nutrient-rich eating pattern. From leafy greens packed with vitamins to protein-rich legumes and wholesome whole grains, there's a vast array of delicious and nutritious options to explore. By refocusing your diet on these foods, you can nourish your body and raise your quality of life for years to come.

At Bodywork Docs, we incorporate healthy lifestyle recommendations such as plant-based recipe suggestions into every patient encounter. Let us help you find a path to a longer, healthier life!


About the Writer:

Anu Kurra, MD, is a board-certified physiatrist with a passion for #holistichealing and #lifestylemedicine. She and her husband, Dr. Michael Betler, opened Bodywork Docs in Westport in 2022, with the goal of guiding people towards healthier and longer lives.

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