Yes, you've got your whole life ahead of you! But your food choices during your 20s and 30s determine how you live the next sixty years! Whether you find yourself busy with work, traveling the world, or starting a family, yours 20s and 30s full of excitement and intensity — and your nutrition should mirror your needs. And the best diet for a long, healthy life? Studies point to a whole food plant-based diet. Here's why it's a good idea to get a jumpstart now.
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5 Reasons to Eat More WFPB Foods in Your 20s and 30s
1. A Big Time Energy Boost
Your 20 and 30s are BUSY! From traveling and building your career to starting a family, you'll need energy (and lots of it) for whatever it is you've got going on. Avoid burnout by loading up on foods that provide you with steady, lasting energy — and nothing is better at that than whole grains, fruit, and vegetables.
Complex carbohydrates give you a slow release of energy that can sustain you throughout the whole day. Make sure to include sweet potatoes, quinoa, and brown rice for sustainable energy during your busy 20s and 30s.
2. Stronger Bones
Your bone density continues to grow until you reach your late twenties, which means that your diet should provide plenty of calcium and vitamin D. If you are planning to stay active for the next sixty years, then you need strong bones...and a plant-based diet can help. Calcium-rich foods include figs, tofu, sesame seeds, oranges, and leafy greens.
(Think you need dairy to build strong bones? We hear you — it's a common nutrition myth. Here's the truth about dairy and bone health.)
3. Prevent Heart Disease
People over 65 years old are much more likely to suffer from heart disease than younger people, but they were once young, too. And research shows nearly all American kids have the the first sign of atherosclerosis by 10 years old.
What's causing this? Dietary cholesterol leads to plaque buildup in the wall of the arteries that supply the heart with blood, increasing the risk for cardiovascular disease. Guess what? Whole plant-based foods do not contain any cholesterol, keeping your arteries clear and healthy, which is why this way of eating is one of the best ways to prevent (and even reverse) heart disease. On the contrary, red meat, saturated fat, and dairy products lead to increase in cholesterol and cause problems later in life.
4. Healthier Pregnancies
Planning to start a family in your 20s and 30s? A plant-based diet may not only help women with PCOS conceive, it provides all the nutrients any woman needs for a healthy pregnancy.
Folate is essential for healthy fetal neurodevelopment, and iron helps to make more blood to supply oxygen to your baby and your growing body. Plant-based foods high in folate and iron include leafy greens, beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas, oranges, beetroot, quinoa, mango, asparagus, and avocado.
(By the way, eating a plant-based diet can help you maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy and reduce your risk for developing gestational diabetes.)
5. Smoother Skin and Fewer Wrinkles
Keep that smooth, glowing skin well into your 40s, 50s, and beyond. A plant based diet is high in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals – all of which reduce inflammation and boost collagen production, which means you get healthy-looking, smoother skin, at any age.
- Your food choices during your 20s and 30s determine how you live the next sixty years.
- The best diet for longevity is a plant-based diet! And you can benefit from eating this way right now, too: expect more energy, stronger bones, heart disease prevention, healthier pregnancies, and smoother skin and fewer wrinkles.
- Get plant-based meals delivered from MamaSezz and reap the benefits of eating this way, without all the work!
Rafaela Michailidou is a Vegan Lifestyle Coach, and a freelance health and wellness content writer, with a Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies.