Special chemicals found in plants called phytochemicals may explain many benefits of a plant-based diet. A meta-analysis of studies on frailty found that phytochemicals are likely why plant-based diets reduce older adults’ risk of falling and other injuries.1 Another study also found that phytochemicals improve cholesterol and reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure.2 Citrus fruits, colorful berries, leafy vegetables, and soybeans are especially high in phytochemicals.
- Dominguez LJ, Donat-Vargas C, Sayon-Orea C, et al. Rationale of the association between Mediterranean diet and the risk of frailty in older adults and systematic review and meta-analysis. Exp Gerontol. 2023;177:112180. doi:10.1016/j.exger.2023.112180
- Li Y, Xu Y, Ma X, et al. (Poly)phenol intake, plant-rich dietary patterns and cardiometabolic health: a cross-sectional study. Food Funct. Published online April 17, 2023. doi:10.1039/d3fo00019b