What Is A Plant-Based Diet?
Plant-based diets primarily focus on deriving food from plants. The list not just include vegetables and fruits, but also seeds, nuts, oil, legumes, whole grains, and beans. However, having a plant-based diet does not mean that you are vegan or a vegetarian. Also, it does not imply that you should avoid meat or dairy products. Having a plant-based diet simply means that you choose to have larger portions of plant-based food. Many researchers have looked into plant-based diets like Mediterranean food. The Mediterranean diet is known to have a foundation of plant sources.
Plant-based food is known to offer all necessary elements like vitamins, proteins, fat, mineral, and carbohydrates that are vital for their bodily functions. Such diets offer a high amount of phytonutrients and fiber. In some cases, some people may need to supplement themselves with vitamin B12 that ensures they procure all the essential nutrients.
How To Get Started On A Plant-Based Diet?
If you wish to start a plant-based diet, here are some tips that may help you.
- Include Lots Of Vegetables: Make sure to fill a major portion of your plate with vegetables. The regime should be followed at both lunch and dinner. An excellent method is to select colorful vegetables every time, helps you in getting rid of the boredom. The natural colors will entice you to have more of them. Even if you choose to snack, choose a recipe with veggies in them. For example, you can snack on salsa, hummus, or guacamole.
- Fewer Portions Of Meat: Think of meat as a side dish rather than a centerpiece. Make sure you include fewer pieces of portions of meat every time you have your lunch or dinner. You can also use meat as a garnish to reduce its quantity on your plate.
- Choose Good Fat: When making food choices, make sure to choose good fat. Good fat includes fat from nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil, butter, and olives.
- Include Vegetarian Meals: Try to include vegetarian meals at least once a week. Schedule your lunch and dinner around beans, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and salads.
- Include Whole Grains: Start your day with barley, buckwheat, quinoa, and oatmeal. Adding interesting combinations, you can add some nuts or seeds to it with fresh fruits on the side.
- Choose Greens: Choose a variety of green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, Swiss charts, and collards. Additionally, try to include a variety of greens in your diet. You may want to either grill, stir fry, braise or steam the vegetables to preserve the nutrients, color, and flavor.
- Take Huge Portions Of Salad: Fill a huge bowl with salad greens like spinach, red leafy vegetables, romaine, Bibb, and other leafy vegetables. You can also add-in peas, beans, tofu, and other fresh herbs.
- Eat Fruit As Dessert: It is common to have sweet cravings after a meal. Hence, instead of indulging in anything sweet, try to have a slice of watermelon, or a juicy and ripe peach, or a flavorful apple that will suffice your sweet pangs.
Benefits of A Plant-Based Diet
Plant-based food is known to be one of the healthiest and rich approaches to eating. The diet is known to help people lose weight. For a couple of years, dieticians have recommended to include a majority of plant-based foods and cut off on meat. Now, slowly people are getting used to the concept and also adapting to the idea. Let’s have a look at the benefits of following a plant-based diet.
- A plant-based diet lowers blood pressure
Hypertension or high blood pressure is linked to multiple health issues like stroke, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. However, the food that you choose to eat has a great effect on your body. Good food choices will keep you healthy and fit. Research studies have often shown by statistics plant-based diet to normalize blood pressure. Hence, your chances of a stroke, heart disease, or diabetes are also lowered.
A study showed that people who followed a plant-based diet or a vegetarian diet were found to have lower blood pressure. It was also found that vegetarians had a 34% lower chance of having hypertension as compared to those who had meat and other foods.
- A plant-based diet reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes
We all know there is a great link between the food that we eat and type 2 diabetes.
Weight is a risk factor since the fat cells make the body resistant to insulin. Hence, which is the best diet to prevent type 2 diabetes? Studies represent the benefits of a plant-based diet to prevent type 2 diabetes.
Consuming a plant-based diet with a high quality of green and leafy vegetables is known to lower the risk of type-2 diabetes by 34%, mostly because plants are known to be low in saturated fats as compared to animal-based food. Animal-based food is known to increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and is also known to boost your cholesterol levels.
- A plant-based diet keeps your heart healthy
As we all know that meat usually comprises high amounts of saturated fats, which is not good for the body, leading to heart issues when eaten in abundance. To keep your heart healthy, you can cut down on the meat factor, and increase your plant-based foods, helps to manage your heart healthy and fit.
When the amount of saturated fats is lowered, it helps the heart and your body. A study conducted in August 2019 shows that consuming a plant-based diet reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular issues by 16 percent. You not only have to consume large amounts of plant-based foods but also make sure that the food you consume is healthy and is of great quality.
Limit meat as much as you can and make larger portions of vegetables and fruits a must. Load up on grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, and healthy oils like olive oil. Completely avoid unhealthy food like sugary beverages, processed food which can lead to heart diseases.
- A plant-based diet will help you lose weight
You lower your risk of obesity when you swap a meat-based food with a plant-based diet. In other words, people who indulge in plant-based food sources are known to weigh less as those compared to people who indulge in meat-based foods.
The main idea of having a plant-based diet is to nourish your body and cells with healthy options. However, weight loss is a result of replacing certain foods in your diet. Eating huge portions of plants can help you lose that extra weight around your waist.
A study that was carried out on 65 overweight people wherein they ate a plant-based diet for a year. These people were found to lose 9.25 pounds on an average.
Vegetables and whole grains are very low on the glycemic index, which is one of the most important reasons for weight loss. Additionally, these foods are digested easily, while fruits contain fiber and antioxidants, which are known to keep you fuller for a longer period. If you are looking to lose weight, the best option would be to switch to a plant-based diet.
- A plant-based diet helps you live longer
Studies show that a plant-based diet is known to reduce the mortality rate by 25%. Additionally, having plant-based food choices increases your protective levels. Now there are healthy plant-based diets, and there are unhealthy plant-based foods out there. Do your research and only consume healthy and quality rich foods that do well to your body than bad. Avoid sodas, cake, and white bread, processed food, while eating more of beans, legumes, fruits, vegetables, and salads.
Plant-based diets have numerous advantages as compared to other diets. They reduce the risk of cancer and help you lose weight to a great extent. Plant-based foods are known to be a wholesome diet plan which provides your body with essential nutrients, vitamins, fiber, proteins, and carbohydrates. You can include meat, but make sure to consume them in limited amounts. Keep larger portions of fruits, vegetables, and salads and have meat as a side dish. Plants have the essential nutrients that will help your body fight off illnesses.