What plant-based diet actually is?
Many people interpret plant-based diets for a vegan diet. But it is a little more complex than that. The lifestyle involves a way of eating where the major source of consumptions are plant-centric. It not only includes fruits and vegetables but also oils, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans and legumes. The diet does not demand an absolute cut off from dairy or meat. It only suggests you eat foods from plant sources comparatively more. It also concentrates on healthful whole foods and exercises very minimal use of processed foods. The food regime provides all the vital fats, protein, vitamins, carbohydrates and minerals required for smooth functioning and are generally higher in fibre and phytonutrients.
Plant-based diet for THE BODY!
Most of the diseases such as cancer, heart diseases another modern-day health issues are mostly linked with diet. Eating pulses, cereal, fruits and vegetables ensures an adequate fibre intake. Consuming appropriate amounts of whole foods also eliminates the extra levels of sugar and salt present in many processed foods.
Plant-based diet for THE MIND!
The issue with processed and refined food is because they are low in fibre and digest quickly, they can cause fluctuations in blood sugar levels. These swings in blood sugar may be harmful to the overall health of the brain and affect your mood as well. As these are digested at a rapid speed, the human body tends to consume more food than required, thus, adding to weight gains and other such problems. Since plant-based diets include minimally processed foods, it helps in weight loss and improving health. Thus, promoting a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.
Plant-based diet for THE PLANET!
Apart from the health benefits that this diet offers, it also contributes largely towards sustaining the environment. In the past few years, it has been noticed that animal agriculture is one of the main causes of human-caused greenhouse emissions worldwide. About a third of Earth’s land and 16% of the freshwater resources are used to raise livestock. This automatically decreases when there is a major shift from meat to greens.
If you are motivated to take up a plant-based diet, here are some tips that you can follow:
Add whole grains to your breakfast – Begin with including quinoa, oatmeal, buckwheat or barley in your breakfast preparations along with nuts, fresh fruits or seeds.
Include nuts, legumes and seeds – Every once in a while, add beans, legumes and seeds to your main course dishes or munchies list. They are not only high in fibre but rich in flavour too.
Go for greens – Choose vegetables as a snack and enjoy it with hummus, guacamole or salsa. Start by eating vegetables instead of meat 4 times a week. Make it a point to add colourful vegetables to your lunches and dinners.
Fruits for dessert – Apples, bananas, berries, grapes, melons and citrus fruits are ideal dessert options to exercise a perfect plant-based diet.
Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.