To Be Healthier, Boost Immunity and Reduce Pain, Just Go Plant-Based

|Updated Jan 14, 2021
Getty Images
The simplest way to get healthier, boost immunity, lose weight, and reduce aches and pains is to change one thing: Go mostly plant-based. In a nation where 91 percent of consumers eat fewer than the recommended 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, just adding more plant-based foods to your plate is the single most powerful thing to do for your health.

Research shows that a plant-based diet promotes a healthy immune system,  reduces your risk for heart disease and cancer, and protects you against germs and microorganisms. Plant-based foods deliver antioxidants, vitamins, and other essential nutrients that work to lower inflammation in your body, lowering the risk of high blood pressure, and getting rid of minor aches and pains.

Most Americans don't know how much fruits and vegetables they're supposed to eat

A new survey polled 2,000 Americans between the ages of 2 and 45 and found that 71% admit they couldn’t identify the right number of daily servings required from each food group and more than a quarter, 26 percent, admitted they rarely or never consumer fruits, while one quarter said the same thing about vegetables. Being an adult is challenging, they report, when it comes to eating healthy foods.
Along with their concerns about their diets, these young Americans found themselves experiencing the physical stressors of aging with 9 out of 10 consumers worried about heart health and  64 percent feel physically older than their actual age. Meanwhile, 4 in 10 say that they have aches and pains with no identifiable source – seven of them, on average.

Feeling young is great, but acting like an adult means taking care of your health

Mentally, 73 percent of Americans feel younger than they really are. So while they are feeling old physically they are young at heart, but perhaps this youthful spirit could be misleading them to believe they can eat and drink as they did in high school. It's time to change our diets to reverse the clock, not replicate our happy days.
The top struggle of growing up is being responsible for their physical health, 4 in 10 people said, including making their own doctor’s appointments. The same proportion of respondents admitted to not buying nutritious food when grocery shopping.
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Omega-3 supplement Kori Pure Antarctic Krill Oil, the survey found that more than half of respondents said they still struggle to consume the right amounts of nutrients – and 71 percent admit they couldn’t identify the right number of daily servings required from each food group. Omega-3 fatty acids are also available through plant-based foods. For the 7 best plant-based sources check out this guide.
Sixty-three percent of respondents say they feel much older than they expected to at their current age.

Nine out of ten respondents reported being concerned about their heart health.

  • Immune health (87 percent) and eye health (87 percent) were also top health areas that gave respondents pause.
  • Knowing how to eat balanced, nutritional meals proved challenging for a good proportion of respondents.
  • Fruits are missing: 26 percent rarely or never consumed fruits.
  • Nearly one-quarter of respondents rarely or never eat vegetables.
  • Nearly a third of respondents (31 percent) in this age group reported that they rarely or never consumed fish, which USDA recommends people eat two servings of per week.
“The survey data reveals that nutrition gaps are more than common among adults in this age group, but that’s not necessarily a surprise. For example, it’s understandable that busy adults don’t necessarily have time to cook the recommended servings of fish per week, even though it is an excellent source of Omega-3s that support heart and immune health,” said Dr. Taz Bhatia, Integrative Medicine Physician. (Note that the Mediterranean Diet includes fish while a plant-based diet gets Omega-3s from algae and plant-based sources.)
“If you can’t add more of these foods to your diet, one of the best ways to mitigate these nutrient gaps is with high-quality supplements,” she added. “Look at how the supplements are sourced, the quality and quantity of the ingredients, and any third-party testing.” Sixty-three percent of respondents said that as they’ve gotten older, the number of vitamins and supplements they take has increased. However, two-thirds still feel like they should be taking more than they currently do.
The biggest challenges of becoming an adult, according to the survey
  1. Being responsible for my physical health (40%)
  2. Cooking balanced meals on a regular basis (36%)
  3. Budgeting (36%)
  4. Keeping my home clean (34%)
  5. Buying nutritious food while grocery shopping (34%) 
Top locations of aches and pains, among 24 to 45-year-olds
  1. Neck (54%)
  2. Joints (51%)
  3. Back (50%)
  4. Head (40%)
  5. Legs (38%)

Just go plant-based or lean into a diet of mostly plant-based foods

 Plant-based foods such as fruit, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds contain anti-inflammatory nutrients that help your body get rid of soreness, aches, and pains and allow the body to heal and recover from injury and over-use. For how to start a plant-based diet, read the 7 Day Beginner's Guide to Going Plant-Based.