New Study Reveals Impressive Potential Health Benefit Of A Plant-Based Diet

No matter what lens you use to examine plant-based diets, there are many benefits to be had from practicing vegetarianism or going vegan. While the lower environmental impacts of plant-based diets are attractive for some, others have found motivating health benefits. According to Healthline, a vegan diet can help people lose weight, have better heart health, and simply improve their overall wellbeing due to the fact they're eating more nutrient-dense foods. Victoria, Australia's government-backed Better Health Channel also notes that a vegetarian diet can reduce the risk of high blood pressure and diabetes. 

While impressive, a new study conducted by Oxford University researchers found another compelling reason to consider going plant-based (via The Guardian). Though the findings do not conclusively prove that plant-based diets are the sole reason for it (citing smoking and body fat percentage as other possible factors), the study did establish a notable correlation between those who follow plant-based diets and a lowered risk of developing some types of cancer. 

These were the study's findings

The study examined the data of more than 470,000 people living in Great Britain and found that those who follow a plant-based diet were the most likely to have a reduced risk of developing certain types of cancer: namely breast, prostate, and bowel cancers (via The Guardian). The biggest, overall take away from the study was that vegetarians have a 14% reduced risk of developing such cancers as opposed to those who eat meat regularly. Men could see a 31% lower risk of prostate cancer on a vegetarian diet, while women were found to be 18% less likely to develop postmenopausal breast cancer. 

Even those who do eat meat and seafood could see some benefit by eating smaller quantities. The study found that pescatarians are 10% less likely to develop select cancers; Those who eat meat fewer than five times per week could be 2% less likely to encounter the disease. Even though the study cannot base the findings on the eating habits of its subjects alone, it's clearly well worth considering switching to a meat-free diet, or at least revisiting the concept of "meatless Mondays."