Are you considering introducing more healthy plant-based food into your diet? Everything you need to know about it you will find in this article…
A plant-based diet focuses on foods from plants and includes vegetables, nuts, seeds, oils, whole grains, legumes, and beans. Some consider a plant-based diet synonymous with a vegan diet, while some consider it a diet consisting mostly, but not entirely, of plant foods. Depending on how strict one wants to be, one can choose to cut out animal foods completely, or just limit their intake.
The purpose of plant-based food is to support our immune system and contribute to overall health. Plants contain nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that cannot be obtained from other foods. The plant nutrients help maintain healthy cells and balance in our body. The Mediterranean diet is a version of a plant-based diet because although it includes fish and poultry, the emphasis is on plant-based foods.
There are various types of plant-based diets, including:
- Vegetarian – A diet based on plant foods including fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, seeds, and nuts and allows the use of dairy products, eggs and honey.
- Vegan – One of the most restrictive diets. Includes only plant-based foods.
- Pesco vegetarian – A plant-based diet that includes the use of fish and seafood.
- Semi-vegetarian or flexitarian – A plant-based diet that includes meats, dairy products, eggs, poultry and fish on occasion in small amounts.
- Ovo-vegetarian – Includes the use of eggs.
- Lacto-vegetarian – Includes the use of milk and dairy products.
- Lacto-ovo-vegetarian – Plant-based diet that includes the use of eggs, milk and dairy products.
- Row vegan – The most restrictive type of plant-based diet. It includes row plant-based foods.
Plant-based diet drinks that are allowed include:
- Nut-based drinks such as almond milk, soy milk, cashew milk and rice milk
- Green smoothies
- Fruit-based smoothies
- Fruit juices
Benefits of a plant-based diet
- Improves heart health
- Reduces risk of cancer
- Lowers blood pressure
- Promotes bone health
- Prevents type 2 diabetes
- Reduces symptoms of asthma
- Improves the immune system
- Lowers cholesterol levels
- Reduces body mass index
- Improves the health and functioning of the brain
- Extends life
- Reduces the risk of chronic diseases
Numerous studies have shown that a plant-based diet is one of the most effective in improving and preserving health. In order to get the most benefits of a plant-based diet you must choose a variety of healthy foods such as whole fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains; Avoid foods that contain added sugars, sodium and unhealthy fats, sweetened drinks, processed and junk foods.
Keep in mind
A plant-based diet must be well-planned to be healthy. You may be deficient in some nutrients that your body needs to function properly, such as vitamin B12, vitamin D, iron, zinc, iodine and protein. You need to make sure your diet includes everything your body needs, so it is best to do your research or simply consult a nutritionist or health professional if you decide to include a plant-based diet.
Looking For More Recipe Ideas? Check These Out:
➥ DISCLAIMER: This post is not intended to replace medical treatment. The information provided is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice.