What if one simple change could lead to a better life? And what if the change could save you from obesity, heart disease, and cancer? You have the power to change your life by having a plant-based diet. Many omnivores say that a meal without meat is incomplete. People are moving towards vegan and Vegetarian plant-based life for many good reasons. plant-based foods range from fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains. Having less meat means having less fat. This goes a long way when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight and cholesterol levels. Remember that you do not need to indulge in full vegan foods and increasing your intake of vegetables, fruits and grains can do wonders for your health.
What is a plant-based diet?
Plant-based food patterns focus on food from plants. This includes not only fruits and vegetables, but also nuts, seeds, oil, whole grains, legumes and beans.
It does not mean that you are a vegetarian or vegan and that you should never eat meat or milk. Instead, choose more of your food from plant sources.
Benefits of plant-based diet
There are many benefits of a vegetarian diet. This makes your body naturally healthy, helps curing many diseases and also to save your planet earth.
Some benefits are given under as
Plant-based diet is good for our planet
Switching to plant-based foods not only benefits your health – it also helps to protect the planet.
Using plant-based food can help reduce greenhouse gas emission, less water and land use. This contributes to less global warming and saves our environment.
Many studies have shown significant environmental benefits of using less animal-based food.
A study reports, if you want reduction in greenhouse gas emission, you need to reduce animal-based food and increase plant-based food.
How to help plant based diet in many Health Condition
Avoid Heart Disease
The American Heart Association says that approx. 80 million Americans have some form of heart disease, and many of the risk factors, such as obesity, are high.
But you can reduce your risk. Study says that a nutritious, low-fat, plant-based diet can help lower cholesterol, weight loss, and lower blood pressure. All which leads to heart problems.
High fat diets have links to higher levels of cancer.
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine’s Cancer Project has shown that meat eaters are 40 percent more likely to get cancer than non-meat eaters.
Meat is usually high in fat and low in fiber. Fiber plays an important role in keeping your digestive system clean and healthy, removing cancer-causing compounds before they cause harm.
Vegetarian diets and vegan diets are high in fiber, low in saturated fats and trans-fats and include fruits, vegetables and other cancer-preventing phytochemicals.
Low Blood pressure
When you eat fatty meats and dairy products, your blood viscosity increases, putting more pressure on your blood vessels.
Plant-based foods fill you with vegetables and fruits, which are high in potassium.
A high potassium diet lowers blood viscosity.
These vegetarians tend to have lower levels of hypertension, a “silent killer,” according to studies published in the Nutrition Review.
Low Blood Sugar
The most effective way to control high blood sugar is to increase fiber in the diet.
A high-fiber diet is perfect for helping reduce blood sugar intake. An added benefit is the ability to control hunger throughout the day.
Animal-based diet can increase blood sugar levels. Plant-based diet helps in reducing blood sugar level.
Low Cholesterol Level
A major benefit of using plant-based foods is the ability to lower cholesterol.
Plant-based food does not contain cholesterol, even the most abundant varieties such as cork and coconut. Thus eating a vegetarian diet can provide a simple solution to lower cholesterol.
Good food choices for low heart disease and cholesterol include seeds, nuts, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
Some plant-based diet food list
- Whole grains: brown rice, mixed oats, quinoa, brown rice pasta, barley, etc.
- Fruits: Berries, citrus fruits, pears, peaches, pineapples, bananas, etc.
- Vegetables: spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, capsicum, basil, cucumber, etc.
- Starchy vegetables: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, taro root, butternut squash, etc.
- Healthy fats: Avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, unsweetened coconut, etc.
- Legumes: peas, nuts, lentils, peanuts, black beans, chickpeas etc.
- Seeds and nuts: Almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, melon seeds, onion seeds, etc.
- Vegetable milk without sugar: Coconut milk, almond milk, cashew milk, etc.
- Herbs and spices: Basil, rosemary, turmeric, curry-leaf, black pepper, salt, etc.
- Condiments: Salsa, mustard, healthy food yeast, soy sauce, vinegar, lemon juice, etc.
- Plant-based proteins: Tofu, tempeh, plant-based protein sources or sugar-free powders or artificial ingredients
- Drinks: Coffee, tea, blue, white tea, etc.
What are the problems with a plant-based diet?
Vegan diets are usually rich in nutrients, saturated fat and cholesterol, and are high in dietary fiber. But there are many nutrients that those who follow a vegan diet often do not eat enough.
If you are not careful, you can develop certain deficiencies in vitamin D, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, and zinc.
These deficiencies can affect your body in a variety of ways, which can weaken immune systems, increase risk of developing fractures, high blood pressure, rash or fatigue.
Quick Plant-based weight loss diet
Load half your plate with non-starchy veggies
“Vegetables are not only a source of nutritious food but also a food group that is much lower in calories,” said Chef AJ.
Vegetables such as cabbage, spinach, and lettuce are especially beneficial:
A combination of dark green leaves can shut down your appetite and help fight cravings for unhealthy foods. That’s why Chef AJ recommends that you make 50 percent of your starchy vegetarian diet.
His favorites are Brussels sprouts and zucchini. On the other side of the plate, fill it with whole foods that will meet your hunger, such as grains, legumes, and vegetables.
Snack when you’re hungry
It looks like most of the diet plans that are throughout the day are the enemy, and ask yourself, Is the last still bad if you eat the right foods? As it turns out, you’re hungry, make sure to look something up, but make sure that it’s not a waste. – Healthy nuts, fruits, and vegetables may reduce your cravings and help you stay true to your vegan diet.
If you are one of those people who love to eat between meals, then make sure that you get the high-quality and whole-grain snacks on hand when you need them. After all, a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts will not interfere with your diet, but to a hungry and binge eating can be sure of that.
Cut oil from whatever you eat
A lot of diets are promoting the use of oil in the kitchen, as a better alternative to butter than it really is!!! The problem is that ” better “doesn’t mean”good”. Plant-based oils replace the harmful saturated fats that can damage the blood vessels and increase the risk of heart disease.
The plant-based diet is not about how to use and less harmful to healthy food. This means that you will have to stop the oil, and switch to a low-calorie plant-based diet, that will help you be healthy.
Avoid liquid Calories
In addition to avoiding oil, you should also avoid any calories that appear in any form, if your goal is to lose weight.
“Don’t drink your calories, especially with sports drinks, sodas, other sugary drinks, and alcohol,” said Michelle McMacken, MD, director of NYC Health, Bellevue’s Plant-Based Lifestyle Medicine Program.
“Calories in these drinks add up quickly and don’t fill up. And for weight loss, in my experience, eating burnt fruit is all drinking fruit juice. Water is the only drink we need.”
Eat lots of fiber rich food
One of the healthiest ways to lose weight is to use low-calorie, high-fiber, nutritious foods, which means whole foods, plant-based foods, says Alone Pulde, MD, a family herbalist in Carlsbad, California.
“Add, add and add whole grains, plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes to all foods,” he said.
Easier said than done? No, not when you think of combining these foods to make delicious foods like oatmeal and berries and fried vegetables and pasta. “The variety of foods you can include is limited only by your imagination,” he said.
Best plant-based diet recipes
Recipe #1: Tofu and Vegetable Stir-Fry
- 4 cups brown rice (cooked)
- 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
- 12 piece baked tofu
- 2 cups mushrooms
- 1 cup mix vegetable (your choice)
- Roasted cashew
- Olive oil to cook
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
Steps to prepare:
- Place a large sauté pan over medium heat. Cut the baked tofu into 1-inch-by-1/2-inch pieces and marinate them.
- Fill a small measuring cup or bowl with cold water and keep by the stovetop.
- Add the olive oil to the hot pan and swirl to coat. Add the mushrooms and cook until tender and browned in spots, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes.
- Add the stir-fry vegetable mix and a large pinch of salt. Cook until crisp tender, 3 to 5 minutes (the cooking time will depend on the size of the vegetables in the mix).
- If at any time the pan seems too hot, stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of water.
- Add the marinated tofu to the vegetables along with 2 tablespoons of water. Cook until the tofu is warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Transfer the stir-fry to a large platter. Scatter the cashews on top and serve alongside the rice.
Recipe #2: Vegan Pumpkin Risotto
- 1 onion (diced)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups risotto rice
- 1 cup white wine
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger (grated or minced)
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil (chopped)
- 1 tablespoons butter
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Steps to prepare:
- Sauté the onions in the olive oil over medium heat until the onion is mostly soft.
- Add in the rice. Allow to cook, stirring, for a minute or two, just to lightly toast the rice.
- Slowly add in the white wine.
- Start to add the vegetable broth, 1/2 cup at a time. Allow the moisture to cook off before adding the next 1/2 cup. Stir frequently, and continue adding the vegetable broth 1/2 cup at a time.
- Once you’ve added all the vegetable broth and the rice is nearly cooked, add in the pumpkin, fresh ginger, nutmeg, fresh basil, and butter. Stir well to combine everything well, and season lightly with a bit of salt and pepper, to taste.
- Let it heat for 5 more minutes on low flame.
- Serve hot.
Recipe #3: Vegan Oven-Roasted Cauliflower Buffalo Wings
- 1 cup unsweetened soy milk (or almond milk or water)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (gluten-free)
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 head of cauliflower (washed, stemmed, and cut into pieces about the size of chicken wings)
- 1/3 cup hot sauce
- 1 to 2 tablespoons vegan butter (or olive oil)
Steps to prepare:
- Preheat the oven to 450 F.
- In a medium bowl, combine the soy milk, flour, garlic powder, and salt, whisking together until well combined.
- Coat each individual piece with the soy milk and flour mixture until well covered. Then place in a casserole dish or baking sheet that has been lightly coated with cooking spray.
- Bake the cauliflower in the heated oven for 15 minutes.
- In a small bowl whisk together hot sauce of your choice and the melted butter.
- When the cauliflower has finished cooking, remove it from the oven and carefully coat pieces with the hot sauce mixture.
- Return the cauliflower to the oven for an additional 5 minutes. Let it cool for a few minutes and then enjoy.
Recipe #4 : Potato Salad with Avocado and Dill
- Red potatoes ( 1-2 pounds)
- Avocado (1 Ripe)
- Lemon juice (1 tablespoon)
- Mustard seeds (1 teaspoon)
- Smoked paprika (½ teaspoon)
- Sea salt (½ teaspoon / as per taste)
- Maple syrup or liquid sweetener (½ teaspoon, OPTIONAL)
- Black pepper
- Fresh dill (1 cup, chopped )
- Spring onions ( sliced )
- 3 stalks celery ( sliced )
- White onion ( diced )
Steps to prepare:
- Wash the red potatoes and steam them for approx 10 minutes.
- Refrigerate the cooked potatoes for half an hour.
- Cut the potatoes into 4 equal parts, and place them in a mixing bowl.
- Peel and mash the avocado in another bowl. Add the lemon juice, paprika, salt, and maple syrup (optional), and stir well.
- Add dill leaves, spring onion, celery, white onion, and avocado mix to the potatoes.
- Toss until everything gets coated well.
- You can refrigerate for 2-3 days.
Recipe #5 : Italian-Style Zucchini and Chickpea Sauté
- Onion, chopped (1 cup)
- Red bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- Dried oregano ( 1 teaspoon)
- Dried thyme (1 teaspoon)
- Zucchini (4 cups)
- Chickpeas, rinsed and drained (1½ cups)
- Oil-free marinara sauce (1 cup)
- White wine vinegar (1 tablespoon )
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 8 to 10 basil leaves, chopped
Steps to prepare:
- Heat a pan.
- Add onion, red bell pepper, garlic, dried oregano, dried thyme, and add 1-2 cups of water and stir often. let them cook for 10 minutes.
- Now, add zucchini and cook until it gets tender.
- add chickpeas , marinara sauce and vinegar.
- Add sea salt and black pepper.
- Serve hot by garnishing with basil.
Plant-based foods are a way of celebrating plant foods and cutting down on unhealthy things like added sugar and refined grains.
Plant-based diets have been linked to many health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease, certain cancers, obesity, diabetes and blood pressure.
switching to plant-based foods is the best way to keep planet earth happy.
No matter what type of diet you choose, plant-based foods you choose, using this diet will definitely improve your health.