More and more Americans are adapting to the plant-based lifestyle. 9.7 million of the country’s population have made the shift, with Oregon having the most people following a plant-based diet. Other northern and western states such as California, Maine, and Washington follow closely behind.
There are many aspects to a plant-based lifestyle. While avoiding meat is an integral part, it also entails consuming things that don’t use animal byproducts. Plant-based medication has started to gain popularity as well as more people try to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Our previous article titled ‘Plant-based Vs. Animal-based Products’ explains how this way of living is better for the environment. Fostering agriculture can lead to fewer greenhouse gas emissions associated with livestock farming, which is the main reason individuals want to make the shift.
If you are interested in using plant-based alternatives for medicine, here are a few things you should know:
It has a rich history
Plant-based treatments have roots in traditional remedies popularized by many eastern cultures. This form of disease treatment relied heavily on utilizing flora found in different environments. Many remedies had effective active ingredients that helped communities to thrive and remain healthy. It has been around longer than modern medicine and continues to remain popular despite developments in the medical field.
The new plant-based medication is the western response to the practice. Similar to traditional medicine, it relies on extracting actives found in plants to treat diseases. Most manufacturers choose to synthesize the chemicals found in medicinal plants, making plant-based alternatives more natural yet effective alternatives.
It is prescribed by professionals
Healthcare professionals are also recognizing the benefits that plant-based medicine can provide patients. A study published in the Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners found that healthcare providers who shifted to a plant-based lifestyle (as part of the experiment) had a boost in mood and energy. They also had an easier time with weight management, in comparison to when they consumed animal-derived products. Nurse practitioners, as well as other healthcare professionals, are equipped to understand a patient’s individual needs. They are trained to assess whether or not plant-based medicine is right for their clients.
This can be seen with remote nurse practitioners in Iowa, Colorado, and Indiana. Once they’ve completed their education and received licensure, they use their knowledge about plant-based products to treat sensitive health issues, provide primary care services, and apply wellness treatments to patients. They also use opportunities in teletherapy to discuss plant-based diets with patients and how they would benefit them. With stronger backing from the healthcare field, plant-based medicine is expected to become even more popular in the coming years.
It is not as mainstream as traditional medicine
Though it is garnering more support from professionals, plant-based medicine has a long way to go before becoming mainstream. Industry insights from the Editorials on Plant-Based Nutrition explain that there is still a lack of understanding when it comes to the values of this form of treatment. There are also fewer financial incentives for healthcare professionals to encourage their clients to make the change.
Currently, physicians and healthcare workers are still inclined to recommend traditional forms of treatment. The information and data on these remedies are much more researched and are more accessible. Some may also find plant-based medicine too alternative.
At the end of the day, plant-based medicine – despite being highly beneficial – has a long journey ahead to achieve widespread public acceptance. But there is hope that with further research, its growth in popularity will continue and become more widely accepted.
Just 1 in 10 adults meet the federal fruit or vegetable recommendations, according to a study published in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). This report highlights that very few Americans eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables every day, putting them at risk for chronic diseases.
Studies have shown that supplementation with extracts from fruits and vegetables may improve age-related changes.
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