As a growing number of people are becoming health-conscious, the trend towards eating less meat and more plant-based food is also becoming popular. It has its great benefits particularly when it comes to human health and the environment. A previous study conducted by the United Nations confirmed that consumption of less meat is good for the planet.
This being the case, the campaign focusing on plant-based diet is gaining ground worldwide. The experts are calling on consumers to have a deeper knowledge of how their food was raised and to eat locally grown and organic products notably those sold at the farmers market. With organic foods, there are no chemicals involved and therefore, less harm to the body and the environment. Fortunately, more stores these days are offering affordable organic foods.
The Healthy Alternatives
Food experts also pointed out the healthy meat alternatives ideal for people who could not live without meat. These include tofu, seitan, tempeh and edamame which are capable of adding texture, fiber and even healthy protein to one’s meal.
For people who love soy, experts advise to buy only the organic soy products instead of the commercial ones. Specifically, choose the fermented soy products instead of the frozen soy nuggets.
Soups can also do without meat. You can simply add miso paste to it and it becomes a healthy soup that can benefit one’s digestive system. Miso paste is great for use in chicken soup and is part of the macrobiotic diet.
As for fruits and vegetables, you can either buy the fresh produce or the frozen ones. Some people might think that frozen foods already lack the nutrients but on the contrary, they are actually budget-friendly and very healthy. Frozen fruits you can get are the berries while the frozen broccoli and spinach are also recommended. They can be used as part of your meals or in your smoothies.
Preparing healthy meals should not be difficult what with numerous websites to choose from these days. For those on the hunt for healthy recipes, there are plenty online. Visit Hampton Creek Youtube for some video tutorials on how to make easy and healthy dishes for you and your family.
And if you’re looking for protein sources other than meat and eggs, do consider the beans, oats and legumes. Those who want to stay away from the beans and nuts, hemp seeds and tempeh are great to use as well.
Even when baking, you can now use plant-based products in place of the usual eggs and dairy. Some of you may still be unaware but there is such a thing as baking substitute and add-in that can give more flavor to your favorite pastries. These include chickpea flour, banana (substitute for raw sugar), nut butter (using either peanuts almonds, cashew and hazelnut), sweet potato, avocado (good substitute for butter) as well as oats and nuts.
A plant-based diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables has so many benefits to people. Those who follow this kind of diet on a daily basis can be sure to stay away from chronic diseases and keep themselves healthy for the long term. They can also enjoy a higher sense of overall well-being and self confidence. Additionally, this popular diet today is more economical which means you can save more in the future.
Lower blood pressure. When people take in more potassium-rich foods, they can experience lower blood pressure. This is because potassium helps lower BP which often causes stress and anxiety. Foods that contain high levels of potassium include whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes as well as all kinds of fruits and veggies.
Steady blood sugar. A high-fiber diet is an effective way to lower the blood sugar and the risk of diabetes. Fiber usually helps in slowing down the absorption of sugar in the blood stream and balance the cortisol levels that lead to stress. It’s also worth noting that an estimated 387 million people worldwide are now living with diabetes and the number is expected to reach 600 million by 2035, according to the International Diabetes Federation.
Lower cholesterol. Plant-based foods are best for lowering cholesterol since they don’t contain any cholesterol at all. As such, it is recommended to focus more on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds instead of eating meat, poultry or fish. Even eggs and certain fish have been noted to contain cholesterol.
Low cancer risk. The risk of getting cancer varies among people depending on their diet and the lifestyle they lead. But if you follow a low-fat and plants-based diet on a daily basis, you can surely improve your chance of avoiding these cancer risks. Take note that eating animal foods has been associated with certain types of cancer particularly those affecting the colon and breasts.
Lower weight. With little to zero cholesterol, a diet containing plant-based foods is one way of losing weight. Those who regularly consume raw and clean whole foods have better chances of losing weight. Keep in mind that weight loss is possible when one consumes more fiber, vitamins and minerals. In fact, studies have noted that people who consistently eat a plant-based diet for two straight weeks lose five pounds without the experiencing the so-called hunger pangs.
In addition to the benefits mentioned above, health experts have also pointed out that a diet with more veggies and fruits can lessen the possibility of constipation, inflammation and can help people sleep better.