You've been told a thousand times to eat your vegetables because they're good for your health. But what if I told you that these vegetables could be the basis of a healthy diet? That's right - the whole food, plant-based diet focuses on foods that come from plants. You might think this a fancy way to say your vegan, but they're actually completely different. 

The name might give it away, but this diet is completely animal-product free. That means no meat, poultry, dairy or eggs (no matter how much you love these foods). This diet brings along a bunch of added health benefits that will catch your attention - because who doesn't love hearing something is good for your health. What exactly does this way of eating entail, let me tell you. 

What is it? 

vegetable, garlic, pasture
Hannah Tate

For starters, the whole food, plant-based (WFPB) diet is exactly what it sounds like. Your diet will consist of foods that come from plants and are not processed. There's so many plant-based products out there that most people don't know about (like tempeh, seitan, or spirulina to name a few). 

You're still getting all the vitamins and minerals you need to survive, just from plant-based foods instead of animals products. The one thing you want to make sure you watch out for is vitamin B12 - which is found in animal products. As long as you take this in supplement form, you'll be alright. 

What foods should you eat and avoid? 

rice, quinoa, vegetable, meat, couscous, pepper
Julie Goldstein

You're diet is going to change a lot with the whole food, plant-based diet. No longer will you be eating meat or cheese, but you'll be reaching for some veggies or beans. Make sure to add a lot of leafy greens, nuts and seeds, healthy fats, good starches and fruits to your daily meals. Foods such as avocado, sweet potatoes, quinoa, chia seeds, and garbanzo beans are perfect.

No matter how much you love steak, seafood, eggs or milk, you're going to have to give them up. In fact, refined grains and processed sugars are a no-go as well. It's all about eating foods that aren't altered in any way - the foods you eat should be whole and natural foods. 

Even if you think eating the whole food, plant-based diet will get boring, you don't know how many plant-based foods there actually are. Sure, you might have to double up on recipes now and again. But the combinations and possibilities are endless - as long as you know where to look. 

What are the health benefits? 

vegetable, tomato, carrot, pepper
Christin Urso

Eating a diet high in plant-based foods can help lower your blood pressure, improve your heart health and fight diabetes. Plus, eating a plant-based diet can help you lose weight if that's what your trying to do. Plant-based foods essentially help your body be healthy and live a long life. 

Don't make the switch all at once

They say "slow and steady wins the race" for a reason. You don't usually stick with something if you try to tackle it all at once. Baby steps will make you more likely to continue on with the whole food, plant-based diet. Instead of trying to cut out meat and dairy all at once, slowly take those foods out of your diet. They'll be long gone before you even realize you missed them. 

Not only that, but taking this diet change slowly will let you discover if it's something you want to commit too. This WFPB diet is no joke and it requires commitment. You have to want to eat this way to stick with it - even if it's challenging at first, keep going. Just think about all the new foods and health benefits you'll be discovering.