Spring is here and who is super excited, not only for the beautiful weather, but also to get out of lockdown?!
This is the perfect time of year to introduce more plants into your every day food, so for the next couple of weeks we're going to be focusing on eating plant-based - why, debunking myths, eating plant-based on a budget, the best snacks to have on hand and the best plant-based foods to keep in your kitchen.
Are you ready? Let's go!
In recent years, it’s become hyper evident that our food plays a significant role in our health and wellness. Heart disease, cancer, obesity – these are just a few of the health issues that we are facing as a society obsessed with processed foods, sugary snacks and fast food drive-thrus. Not only is our diet lacking in fruits and vegetables, but we consistently fill up on foods that have zero nutritional value and wonder why we have no energy to get us through the day. It all comes back to what we are eating and it’s a big reason why adding more plant-based foods to your diet may be one of the best things you could ever do.
Here are 5 ways that a plant-based diet will improve your overall health and lifestyle.
- More Energy: One of the great things about adding more plant-based foods to your diet, is that your energy levels will noticeably increase. Plants based foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds provide the nutrients your body needs to thrive. The more you fuel your body, the more energy you’ll have to get you through the day. If you notice yourself feeling drained, think about the foods you consume on a daily basis and try adding a few more healthy choices to your plate. It may just help you feel like a brand new person.
- Immune System Boost: Although there are many risk factors that contribute to a weakened immune system, your diet is one that you can control. A diet that is high in processed fat and sugar can wreak havoc on your overall health, causing you to succumb to illness much more often. There are several plant-based foods that can help boost your immune system including garlic, spinach, citrus fruits (lots of Vitamin C) and almonds. These and many others can improve your chances of warding off sickness during cold and flu season as well as make you feel better all year round. Plus, with all your newfound energy (see #1) it will be easier to make exercise and daily movement a part of your normal routine which helps improve your immune system as well.
- Less Risk of Heart Disease: One of the benefits of a plant-based diet is you have less risk for health issues like heart disease. A typical American diet consists of red meat – a lot of it. Meat is known to be high in saturated fat and when eaten consistently, can contribute to heart issues. When you load up on plant-based foods and lessen your meat consumption, it does your heart and overall health a huge favour. This doesn’t mean you have to give up meat entirely. Simply cut back and replace it with lean meats such as chicken, pork and fish and save the steak and burgers for a special occasion. Plus, less meat and more plant-based meals have also been known to lessen the risk of other health issues as well including diabetes, high blood pressure and even cancer.
- Environmental Benefit: Not only is a plant-based diet great for your health, it also contributes to a better, less polluted environment. Livestock farming plays a big part in global warming due to all the greenhouse gas emissions created during production. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, livestock farming is responsible for creating around 14.5% of the greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans. In other words, the more meat you consume the more the climate and the planet suffers. Try setting aside one or two “meat-free” nights a week where you load up on plant-based foods instead. It may not completely fix the problem, but it will be a huge help in reducing the pollution caused by meat production.
- Overall Better Nutrition: Fruits and vegetables are stocked full of vitamins, minerals and nutrients like fibre that provide your body with the nutrition it needs to thrive. Fibre has numerous health benefits but it’s something we don’t often get enough of in our diet. Not only does it help you maintain a healthy weight, but your gut and heart will also benefit from a daily dose of this plant-based nutrient. Choosing a more plant-based lifestyle will ensure that you fuel your body with the right kinds of nutrients so that it can function at 110%.
Choosing to add more plate-based foods to your plate is probably one of the best things you can do for your health and lifestyle. You don’t have to become a full-on vegetarian and cut meat out forever, simply be aware of the foods you’re eating and choose to add more fruits and veggies to your diet on a daily basis.
If you would like help incorporating more plant-based foods into your every day food, we can assist you with our range of 7 vegan salads, 9 soups (which can be consumed warm or cold) and 2 types of protein balls. Our customisable My Healthy Day Packs were designed specifically to help you stay healthy via delicious plant-based foods during your busy workday. Try them today!