You probably have heard of different diet recommendations designed to serve a certain purpose either for medical reasons or for a desired change in the body. Well, there are different versions and types of diets and among the leading types of matters to do with your health is a plant-based diet.
By definition, a plant-based diet is a diet focused on consuming plant foods, particularly in their unprocessed form. It is important to note that some heavily processed plant foods may not serve the purpose for which it is intended in this particular kind of diet.
Typical plant foods that match this criterion include fresh fruits and vegetables. Note that juices from these two food substances may not be as effective as when they are eaten whole. It is always important to remember about a plant-based diet. Other constituents of this diet may include oils, legumes, seeds, whole grains, and nuts. This does not mean that you are becoming a vegetarian.
There is a difference. It does not imply that you will be completely off animal products although they are to be taken in moderation if you have to – in very small portions. The overall objective is to have more whole plant foods and much fewer animal foods such as meat and dairy products.
Why should you eat a Plant-based Diet?
Now that you understand what a plant-based diet is, it is time to find out why it is something worth trying. Among the several benefits that come with it, the underlying one is particularly on grounds of health. This is born of scientific research that has produced evidence of the health benefits that come with taking this type of diet. There are different variations to it where some are characteristic of purely whole plant foods while others include some few portions of animal foods such as fish, eggs, skin-free chicken, and dairy products.
Taking a plant-based diet has been found to reduce risks of developing heart diseases, some cancer types, metabolic syndrome, depression, and diabetes among other health conditions. It is particularly good for older adults who enjoy better physical and mental function and most importantly, a reduced risk of becoming frail. Although this is not purely a vegetarian diet, the background research has also been drawn from vegans who have low risks of developing diabetic conditions, blood pressure, and heart diseases among other illnesses.
With a plant-based diet, you should expect to have all vital carbohydrates, proteins, minerals, fats, and vitamins to stay healthy. Most important to note is the fact that they have high fiber content and phytonutrients. Where some nutrients are required, you can use supplements to take care of that.
How to Kick-Start a Plant-based Diet
One of the reasons why you should try a plant-based diet is the fact that you can easily get started with it. There are various ways that you can use to approach this kind of diet. Vegetables are the best options to start with. All you need to do is make sure that almost half of your serving per meal comprises vegetables. It is recommended to factor in various colors in your choices.
Secondly, you will need to overcome the temptation of animal foods, especially meat. Change your mentality towards meat and start by taking small portions before finally keeping off for some time. It should no longer be your centerpiece in every meal but rather a garnish. Alongside this, make a good choice of recommended fats for a plant-based diet. Olive oils are a perfect choice as well as avocados and nut butter.
Go the vegetarian ways at least once a week focusing on whole grains, legumes, and vegetables? Have a high-energy breakfast with whole grains especially oatmeal or any other that you can find. Make sure that your meals are full of greens as you advance and create your meal recipes around a salad. Fruit will be a good option for your dessert.
The focus of a plant-based diet is on taking whole plant foods as your main diet. Even though you can add in a few animal and dairy foods here and there, they should be in very small quantities to tap into the health benefits of this diet.