Plant based diet benefits and how it helps feel better, from energy to mood

PLANT BASED DIET TO IMPROVE YOUR ENERGY & MOOD

BY DIDI JOUNBLAT

FOUNDER OF WELLNEST, HOLISTIC NUTRITIONIST, CLINICAL HYPNOTHERAPIST, HORMONAL IMBALANCES & GUT HEALTH, AYURVEDIC PRACTITIONER

A plant-based diet is often touted as the healthiest approach to eating, and its benefits extend way beyond weight loss. It’s any diet that focuses around foods derived from plant sources. This can include fruit, vegetables, grains, pulses, legumes, nuts and meat substitutes such as organic soy GMO free.

Eating plant-based does not mean you can’t eat meat. It means your meals are mostly plants: vegetables, whole grains and fruits. Beans, seeds and nuts are also included.

People often have different interpretations of what ‘plant-based’ eating looks like. Some people still include small amounts of animal products such as meat and fish, while focusing mainly on vegetarian foods – this is referred to as a semi-vegetarian or flexitarian diet. If you choose to eat animal based products on a plant based diet, it should be around 10%, and the quality is very important, include only grass fed meat, organic eggs, organic chicken.  Plans that cut out meat but still include fish are referred to as pescatarian diets. People who don’t eat meat or fish but still include dairy and eggs are referred to as vegetarian, while those who cut out any animal derived products, including dairy, eggs, honey and gelatin are referred to as vegan.

 

BENEFITS OF A PLANT BASED DIET

 1. IT REDUCES YOUR RISK OF CANCER

A healthy immune system is essential for reducing your risk for cancer because it can recognize and attack mutations in cells before they can progress to disease. Almost every week a new trend is hitting the health food headlines. It can make it almost impossible to settle on what to eat and not eat; but plant-based diet is one diet that is consistently proven, over more than two decades, to reduce your risk for cancer.

2. IT SUPPORTS YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM

Plants have essential nutrients that you cannot get from other foods. The vitamins and minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants in plants help keep your cells healthy and your body in balance so that your immune system can function at its best.

3. IT REDUCES INFLAMMATION

Plants’ essential nutrients work to resolve inflammation in your body. The same tiny phytochemicals and antioxidants that boost your immune system also go around your body neutralizing toxins from pollution, processed food, bacteria, viruses and more. To reduce inflammation, it’s important to eat plant-based and to listen to your body’s signals for how foods work for you.

Fill two-thirds of your plate with these plant-based foods. The remaining one-third should be a lean protein like chicken or fish, or a plant protein like tofu or beans.

4. IT HELPS MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WEIGHT

Excess weight causes inflammation and hormonal imbalance. If you eat mostly plants, you remove many of the foods that lead to weight gain. Add in exercise and you’re on a path towards weight loss.

 

HOW CAN A PLANT-BASED DIETS ENSURE THAT WE ARE GETTING ALL THE NUTRIENTS WE NEED

The human body requires lots of nutrients to function properly, including carbohydrates, protein, fat, 13 vitamins and many minerals. Some of them we can make ourselves and some of them we must obtain from the external environment (AKA food, the sun, supplements, etc.). The good thing is it is totally possible to get all the nutrients you need as a vegan. Between whole plant foods, fortified foods and supplements, you can get all the nutrients you need to live a happy, healthy vegan lifestyle!

The key to getting the most benefit from eating plant-based is to consume a variety of whole plant foods every day. When you base your meals and snacks on whole grains, legumes, vegetables, nuts, seeds and fruit, you’re loading up on nutrients.

That doesn’t mean there’s not room for processed foods, fun foods and celebratory foods. Fortified foods and plant meats can be key sources of important nutrients and it’s important for food to be pleasurable, too.

If you’re struggling to find balance with nourishing plant foods and an eating pattern that allows you to go out to eat and enjoy celebrations, you can always have a personalized guidance with a vegan registered dietitian nutritionist.

 

Most important, it has been proved that there is a relation between our food and our mood. When you are on a plant based diet, you will be in a good mood because everything is coming from the earth, and it’s a total different energy.

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