We have all moved to a more conscious lifestyle. The general awareness and focus on health and factors like the pandemic have forced us to reassess our lifestyles and choices and move towards more intelligent alternatives.
Our food choices form the basis of all health – be it in combating diseases like cancer or bolstering our immune system to make it stronger. Plant-based diets have become more popular and preferred because of their potency and inclusivity.
What is a plant-based diet?
A plant-based diet essentially comprises all fruits and vegetables, nuts, grains, seeds, oils, beans, and legumes. It also includes dairy, and is, therefore, not necessarily a vegan diet.
Benefits of a Plant-based diet
Plant-based diets are usually suitable for people of all ages, including those with health conditions. Here are some of its benefits:
- Boosts immune system: Nutrients from a plant-based diet including antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals are essential in strengthening the gut, building immunity against germs, and fighting infections. These benefits are hard to find in other foods.
- Reduces inflammation: Antioxidants and phytochemicals in a plant-based diet help eliminate toxins, bacteria, pollutants, and viruses. This can help reduce inflammation and restore balance in the body. Diseases like cancer and arthritis can be effectively controlled.
- Maintains weight: A plant-based diet can help shed the extra kilos. It can help flush out toxins, restore hormonal balance, and add bulk to regulate bodily processes and maintain optimal weight. It is also effective in cutting fat and preventing its build-up in the body.
- Increases fibre: Almost all unprocessed plant foods contain high amounts of fibre. Fibre is essential in boosting the immune system, improving digestive health, reducing inflammation, managing bowel movement, and lowering blood sugar and cholesterol.
- Reduces risk of disease: A host of ailments ranging from cancer, heart ailments, diabetes, cholesterol, and even mental health issues can be controlled with regular and adequate intake of plant-based meals.
Plant-Based Diets: Eating Them Right
Often, the goodness of plant-based diets is diluted when they aren’t cooked or eaten correctly. Here are some tips to enjoying a good plant-based diet:
- Fats and sugars: Adding fats and sugars in cooking or serving plant-based foods can rob them of all their nutrients and cause a build-up of weight and cholesterol. They take away the goodness of the foods and add to the damage done to the body.
- Cooking: It is important in finding the right cooking medium and method. Light oils are perfect at keeping the freshness and nutritive value of plant-based foods intact. Eating plant-based foods like fruits and vegetables raw is ideal.
- Processed foods: Often, grains are highly processed to make them easier to cook and more appealing in taste. This takes away much of the goodness of plant-based foods. Brown rice and whole-wheat foods are the best forms consumed.
- Fresh foods: A plant-based diet is best enjoyed fresh. Packaged and processed plant-based foods may seem convenient, but are deprived of a large chunk of their nutritional value. Plants that are grown organically and consumed fresh have the best value to add in taste and goodness.
A plant-based diet opens a world of opportunity in experimenting with tastes and cuisines. It also brings a wealth of goodness into our lives. It’s time we embraced a healthier, wiser choice.