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What is a Plant-Based Diet?
Before you psych yourself out, we can tell you, plant-based meals are a far cry from boring. To use a phrase - innovatively delicious! Plant-based mean that animal products such as eggs, milk, and meats are not allowed. A plant-based diet encourages the consumption of whole plant foods. Simply put, a plant-based diet is what you follow to increase and improve your health, energy levels, and chances of not getting chronic diseases. Also, if you want to live longer this diet, this is a step in the right direction.
The foods which form part of the plant-based diet include legumes, fruits, vegetables, tubers, and whole grains. Each category adds its own unique foods and flavors. According to the spices used… Oh boy! Delicious meals can be created which defy the logic of the taste buds. Also, there are nuts, plant-milks, and seeds which, although dense in calories, can be savored in moderation. Be prepared to be blown away with Plant-Based Diet Recipes which you and the entire family can enjoy.
What are the benefits of the Plant-Based Diet?
I’m sure you can already think of a few benefits. That’s great! Here are our short plant-based diet benefits that are worthy of mention.
- Radiant Skin
Cut down on the processed and saturated foods to focus on a plant-based diet and your skin will thank you. They are very popular for keeping your pores clogged to promote acne and its entourage. Imagine this. Sweet potatoes promote collagen production which helps to smooth out wrinkles. Your skin will thank you.
- Weight Management
Feel fuller with fewer calories! It’s that simple. A plant-based diet does not mean bland or plain. Our tasty plant-based diet Meal Prep recipes will surely amaze you. Eat your way to a healthy weight with a plant-based diet.
- High Blood Pressure Control
A diet which is loaded in fruits and vegetables can help reduce hypertension. High blood pressure is the leading cause of many heart-related diseases and stroke. Hypertension and stroke are two of the leading causes of death in the United States.
- Prevent Constipation
I know we ALL hate that uncomfortable backed up feeling… not with the plant-based diet. With so many fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, fiber options are in abundance. Thus a plant-based diet can help to keep your bowel movements regular.
- Improved Vision
Oh, the doorway to the soul - those alluring eyes. The plant-based diet offers variety with carrots, kale, grapes, and kiwi to keep our eyes healthy. This is what brings a twinkle to our eyes. Your eyes will thank you for restoring nutrients for its use.
What are the risks of a Plant-Based Diet?
Of course, the plant-based diet may seem perfect. However, even plant-based alternatives may pose a few risks. For example, although 100% of plants are edible, not all of them may be safely consumed by humans. Here are a few risks associated with a plant-based diet, listed below.
Natural Plant Defense
Like all living creatures, plants also wish to live. Therefore plants have natural poisons which they produce to deter pests. Plants have poisons deposits in varying parts to ensure their survival. For example, the leaves of some nightshades like tomato have bits of poisons to rid it of bugs which feed on the leaves. Some root tubers, like cassava, are poisonous to humans unless properly prepared. Yet with the proper research into a plant’s background can guide you in making the right decisions about which ones are safe for you.
Worry not, this isn’t going to get complicated. Enzymes break down food so that it can be digested. However, certain seeds contain natural inhibitors which prevent the human body’s enzymes from doing their job. Yup, you guessed right - food isn’t digested properly and the body doesn’t get the nutrients it needs. This blockage can result in malnutrition, inflammation of the gut and leaky gut. For example, soybeans, although rich in protein, are packed with enzyme inhibitors. Again research is important.
Dangers of Cruciferous Vegetables
The vegetables belonging to this group are known for the pungent smells when prepared. That smell is meant to deter consumers from further eating. These vegetables are also known for their amazing ability to help destroy cancer cells. Can we have a drum roll, please? Do you have an idea of these vegetables now? Yup - cabbage, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, collards, radishes, kale are among these vegetables. However, it is advisable to use sparingly as they do not discriminate about which cells they destroy.
Common Misconceptions About A Plant-Based Diet
As with any diet, there are myths which individuals hold on to which prevent them from having other beneficial experiences in life. We’d like to take the opportunity here to shed light on a few of these falsehoods.
A Plant-based diet is NOT superior over any other.
Every diet would love to boast of the benefits of this diet. However, several studies conducted have concluded that a plant-based diet not only treats but also prevents coronary artery disease. When combined with exercise, this diet also helps to reduce stress and delay the progression of various cancers (like prostate cancer).
Plants have no protein.
Many believe that the plant-based diet lacks vital nutrients which can be found only in meat, like protein. This is totally incorrect. Yes, animal meat does contain protein but in far smaller quantities than plants. Also, the manner of preparation for most meats often adds unhealthy saturated fats and dietary cholesterol to the dish. Sad but true! Plants rich in protein include, but are not limited to: lentils, chickpeas, peanuts, almonds, potatoes, chia seeds, and dark-colored leafy greens.
All Carbs are Equal
This is so untrue. Not all carbohydrates are created equal. In order words, plant-based diet foods are not just rich in only one nutrient. Hence the benefit of eating whole plant foods. There is a balance of nutrients which release their nutrients accordingly to help develop the body. Therefore, plant-based diet foods are rich not only in carbohydrates but also in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. That way the body will not experience blood sugar spikes like what happens when one consumes sugary processed foods.
The Plant-Based Diet Foods are Not Fulfilling.
False! Many people hold dear the misconception that plant-based diet meals are all about salads. Gladly, we will debunk this falsity. Plant-based meals aren’t only about eating salads! Remember the food groups we mentioned earlier? You know - legumes, nuts, tubers and so on. The fibers which plant-based foods contain help to give you that full feeling which leaves, no negative side effects. However, the same can not be said for processed and artificially sweetened foods.
Although this may ring true…. It’s not totally true. Market prices may not consider your budget but there are affordable alternatives. A backyard garden can significantly cut down your spending if you grow what you eat. Also, meat and other processed foods can be a bit pricey also.
Top 15 Foods You Can Eat On A Plant-Based Diet
- Bananas Did you know that one banana can replace an egg in a recipe for pancakes as well as cakes? Yummy
- Nutritional Yeast Are you a cheese fan? Nutritional Yeast provides a similar flavor and texture to work as a replacement for cheese.
- Cashews Guess what…. Cashews can also be used as a cheese topping for vegan meals.
- Almonds Are you lacking in Vitamin E and manganese? Almonds are high in these nutrients.
- Leafy Greens Guess which leafy green is king? If you want a boost of Vitamins A, C, and K, then kale is king!
- Edamame Want a plant which can deliver 17 grams of protein per cup? Then edamame is an excellent source.
- Seaweed Can you believe that seaweed is also rich in omega 3 acids? It surely is.
- Lentils Yes, you guessed right. Lentils are yet another source of proteins - 16 to 18 grams a cup.
- Coconut Oil This is an excellent replacement for butter in your cooking or baking. Delicious!
- Avocados This super food is rich in protein, magnesium, healthy fats, vitamin B6, potassium and fiber. WOW…. Amazing!
- Squash So this fruit has the texture of a vegetable. It can be prepared in a variety of ways and is also packed with nutrients to include iron.
- Carrots Raw, steamed, stewed or baked… carrots are just awesome. They also offer vitamin A, C, and fiber.
- Quinoa If you’d appreciate something gluten-free and fiber-full, this is perfect.
- Teff Are you in search of something to spice up your gluten-free meals? Teff can surely add some more protein to your meals.
- Flax, Chia and Hemp Seeds Looking for seeds rich in iron, omega 3 fats, fiber, and magnesium? These seeds will surely fulfill your desire.
Our Favorite Plant-Based Diet Meal Prep hacks/products
Are you thinking - “How am I going to approach this diet...”? Well, we’ve got you covered. Here are a few things you could do, to reduce the amount of time it would take to prepare a meal.
- Steamed or Pre-cooked Veggies - Your vegetables could be steamed and stored in storage containers on your fridge until you are ready to use them with your meal the next day.
- Cook for the week - If you don’t mind eating the same meal every day, then this could work perfectly for you. Also we have a variety of high quality storage containers which would safely store your meals for refrigeration.
- Design A weekly Menu - That way you get to select your recipes ahead of time and shop accordingly for your ingredients. That way when you finally prepare your meal, all your ingredients are there for use.
- Incorporate Spices - Some of you may think that plant-based meals are going to be boring. Spice it up! With savory herbs from sweet basil to tyme, your options to enhance the flavours of your food are plentiful.
- Meat Alternatives - This should put a smile back on a few faces. Yes, indeed there are plant-based meat substitutes such as tempeh, tofu, lentils, and Jackfruit.
And you thought a plant-based diet couldn’t be fun. Let us know which plant-based recipes converted you onto the plant-side.