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The Benefits of Plant-Based Protein

Add Variety To Your Diet

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A new study in Japanese suggests that getting more protein from plants instead of animals could prolong your life. Researchers followed 70,696 Japanese men and women, average age 55, for an average of 18 years. All of them had completed detailed health and diet questionnaires. None of them had a history of cancer or cardiovascular disease at the start. There were 12,381 deaths over the period.

After taking into consideration various factors such as age, sex, smoking, fat intake, body mass index, physical activity and other health and behavioural characteristics, they found that compared with the one-fifth of the group who ate the least plant protein, the fifth who consumed the most had a 27% lower rate of cardiovascular death, a 28% lower rate of death from heart disease and a 28% lower rate of stroke.

Substituting plant protein for red or processed meat was associated with a lower death rate, though the researchers found no correlation between the amount of animal protein intake and mortality when considered alone. This is most likely due to the fact that most animal protein in the Japanese diet comes from fish, not red meat.

Those who ate the most plant protein, which is abundant in such foods as spinach, broccoli and legumes like lentils, soy beans and chickpeas, had a 13% lower all-cause mortality rate than those who ate the least.

The study authors wrote in JAMA Internal Medicine, “Our study suggests that plant protein may provide beneficial health effects and that replacement of red and processed meat protein with plant or fish protein may increase longevity.”

With these results, it further proves the theory that increasing the variety of protein in your diet is substantially more beneficial to your health as not only will it help you feel better day by day, it can also help increase life expectancy.

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