A plant-based nutrition, or the practice of eating a diet consisting mainly of plant-based foods, is becoming increasingly popular. People are becoming aware of the health benefits that they can obtain by eating a diet that is primarily plant based. The need to consume a diet rich in plant based foods is becoming more apparent with the increasing incidence of illness and disease in our society. Most people realize that a plant based nutrition is much better for them than an animal based nutrition. Also, awareness is growing that most plant based foods are much more nutritious than animal-based foods.
A plant based nutrition, also referred to as a plant food diet, emphasizes whole foods like fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, whole grains and legumes, while severely limiting animal sources like red meat and dairy. Plant-based foods are generally nutrient dense, and as such, very efficient in terms of calorie absorption. While a plant based diet may sound great on paper, the truth is that it’s not always that simple. The real challenge is choosing a plant-based food that fulfills your dietary requirements while still being easy to cook and clean up. While meat and dairy may be easy to digest, plant-based foods like whole grains and legumes may be much more difficult.
Fortunately, this task isn’t impossible. A great way to begin your new endeavor is by incorporating some new foods into your dietary pattern. Many experts agree that by adding new foods to your daily intake, you will begin to recognize which kinds of calories are beneficial to your body and which aren’t. This will dramatically assist in developing a healthier lifestyle that includes eating less but more often, which by itself is a wonderful start.
The challenge is that most plant foods aren’t very easy to prepare. For example, many whole foods like nuts and seeds can be quite difficult to mix into a standard dinner. The challenge lies instead in creating a well-balanced diet comprised of a wide variety of whole grains and other plant foods. Fortunately, the key to developing a tasty, healthy and fulfilling whole food plant-based diet lies in blending various plant foods with various types of spices and seasonings. In this way, you can create meals that are tasty on their own but which can also add variety to your diet.
For example, one of the easiest ways to incorporate new plant foods into your whole food plant based dietary pattern is to add a variety of beans to your dinner menu. Typically, you’ll find that black beans are the healthiest choice, but there are also Lima beans and chickpeas which will provide similar benefits at a fraction of the cost. Adding a few varieties of beans to your diet not only gives you more options for choosing meals, but also helps you avoid feeling starved when you do eat.
Beyond adding beans to your daily meals, another way that you can incorporate more plant foods into your diet is to make use of more cooked foods. Cooked foods, especially if they are high in fat content, can be excellent in developing a plant-based diet. You can simply replace butter or vegetable oil with olive oil or some other kind of light fat free alternative. You may also find that cooking vegetables, fruits and whole grains add a great deal of flavor and nutrients to your meals which you would otherwise get from eating an overly fried or greasy meal.