Health and nutrition are both inextricably linked. Good health is the sum total of fitness and nutrition. The past decades have seen a dramatic worldwide increase in chronic diseases. Obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory disorders, and malignant tumors account for 63% of total mortality at a global level annually. Furthermore, chronic diseases represent almost 45.9% of all diseases worldwide (1).Dieticians stress that a properly planned plant based diet, with a particular focus on good quality plant-based protein is essential as it aids in muscle gain, weight-loss and overall good health. So if you're looking to improve your health and lose weight, you must consider plant-based food. What is a plant-based diet, and is it the right choice for you?
A plant based diet explained
A plant-based diet is one that focuses on whole, minimally processed plant based foods. This includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. While you can eat animal products on a plant-based diet, they are typically limited to small amounts or excluded altogether.
What are the benefits of a plant based diet?
There are many benefits of following a plant-based diet. Studies have shown that plant-based diets can help reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. They have also been linked to lower rates of cancer and improved mental health. If you're thinking of making the switch to a plant-based diet, it's important to do your research and make sure it's the right choice for you. There are a few things to consider, such as your current health status, lifestyle, and food preferences.
Here's a complete beginner's guide to plant-based diets to help you get started.
For starters it would be prudent to understand what consists of a plant foods diet. The term plant-based is a broad based term and encompasses nutrients that are sourced from plants. The following 5 are the main components of a plant-based diet.
- Fruits: Any type of fruit including apple, bananas, grapes, strawberries, citrus fruits, etc.
- Vegetables: Plenty of veggies including peppers, corn, lettuce, spinach, kale, peas, collards, etc.
- Tubers: Starchy root vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, and cassava (aka yuca).
- Whole grains: Grains, cereals, and other starches in whole form, such as quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat, oats, popcorn, etc.
- Legumes: Beans of any kind, plus lentils, pulses, etc.
What are the benefits of a plant based protein diet?
There are many benefits from switching over to a plant based diet. The most important one’s are listed below
Easy weight management:People who eat a plant-based diet which includes minimally processed whole foods, grains & legumes & have a healthy lifestyle tend to be leaner than those who don’t, and the diet makes it easy to lose weight and keep it off—without counting calories.
Disease prevention:Whole-food, plant-based eating can prevent, halt, and in some cases reverse chronic diseases. The scientific evidence is especially overwhelming when it comes to heart disease and diabetes, but research has also linked plant-based diets to lower rates of arthritis, improved liver function, and healthier kidneys.
A lighter environmental footprint:A plant-based diet places much less stress on the environment.
In the second part of this article we will delve deeper into the benefits of a plant based diet. Until then, have a great time ahead.
- Fehér A, Gazdecki M, Véha M, Szakály M, Szakály Z. A Comprehensive Review of the Benefits of and the Barriers to the Switch to a Plant-Based Diet. Sustainability. 2020; 12(10):4136. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104136
2.Mazidi M, Kengne AP. Higher adherence to plant-based diets are associated with lower likelihood of fatty liver. Clin Nutr. 2019 Aug;38(4):1672-1677. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2018.08.010. Epub 2018 Aug 21. PMID: 30578029.