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  1. News Release

  2. Jun 29, 2023

Plant-Based Women’s Wellness Weekends Help Women Prioritize Their Health

WASHINGTON, D.C.—With demands from work and family, women often find it difficult to prioritize their own health. However, they are often the central figures in the health and well-being of their children, partners, and parents. The Food for Life Women’s Wellness Weekends campaign launching in July is designed to help women across the globe learn about the role that plant-based eating can play in achieving optimal health. The aim of the campaign is also to conduct the classes during the weekend or other convenient times so that women can fit them into their busy schedules.

“Research shows that eating a low-fat plant-based diet rich in fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans can help women fight diet-related health conditions ranging from heart disease to hot flashes,” says Stephanie McBurnett, a registered dietitian with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. “Food for Life’s Women’s Wellness Weekends empower participants to use this knowledge to take charge of their health with the foods that they put on their plates. What we feed ourselves can be a powerful form of self-care and self-love.”

Food for Life instructor Brenda Workman, who is based in West Virginia and is offering a Women’s Wellness Weekend this September, lost 60 pounds and improved her heart health after starting a plant-based diet following her doctor’s recommendation.

“I’m now putting in my body just stuff that’s good for it all the time. And I think my body was finally saying, thank God, you’ve got some sense and you’re giving me what I need,” she said in an interview with Today.

More than 60 million women in the United States have some form of heart disease, which is the leading cause of death for women. But decades of research shows that a low-fat plant-based diet can help prevent and reverse heart disease. A landmark 1990 study by Dean Ornish, MD, tested the effects of a plant-based diet and lifestyle intervention on participants with moderate to severe heart disease. Within weeks, 90% of participants’ chest pain diminished. After just one month, blood flow to the heart improved. After a year, even severely blocked arteries had reopened.

The second leading cause of death for women is breast cancer. Research shows that plant-based diets reduce the risk for breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Diets high in fiber—found only in fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans—and low in fat can also help reduce estrogen levels. Lower estrogen levels can lower the risk of breast cancer.

A plant-based diet is also beneficial against other hormone-related conditions that affect women. A study by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine found that a plant-based diet rich in soy reduced moderate to severe hot flashes by 88% and helped women lose, on average, 8 pounds in 12 weeks. Eating a plant-rich diet may also help against endometriosis.

Designed by physicians, dietitians, and other health experts, Food for Life classes promote healthful plant-based eating based on the latest scientific research. Each class includes information about how certain foods and nutrients work to promote or discourage disease, cooking demonstrations of delicious and healthful plant-based recipes, and practical cooking skills and tips for incorporating healthful eating habits into daily life.

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in education and research.

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