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The 3 Principal Reasons to Start Plant-Based Nutrition Now

We are hearing the word plant-based nutrition more and more in our society. With the launch of documentaries like Game Changers, books like Forks over Knives, and the emergence of athletes changing their nutrition to be plant-based, one has to wonder what this is all about.

Our understanding of plant-based eating may differ from one individual to another. In the world of nutrition, plant-based eating is having a large portion of one’s nutrition coming from vegetables, fruits, herbs, nuts, whole grains, and also include legumes, or other plants. Many reasons exist for choosing plant-based nutrition, here are our 3 principal reasons:

1)  Improve your health: Most Americans consume double the recommended daily intake of protein which can also cause issues with digestion. By reducing your intake of animal food, you will most likely reach the recommended daily intake of protein without surpassing it. In addition, increased consumption of vegetables, grains, and beans will bring more fiber into your nutrition. Most Americans don’t consume enough fiber and that can lead to inflammation of the digestive tract, constipation, and hemorrhoids.

2) Succeed in weight loss and weight management: In general, individuals who are on plant-based nutrition tend to consume fewer calories than other types of nutrition. That is because most of their calories are coming from healthier options and fewer calories per weight. Some studies indicate that individuals who had plant-based nutrition with reduced sodium consumption (2300-1500 mg a day) showed a reduction in blood pressure and increased weight loss.

3) Prevent or manage chronic disease: Research demonstrates that individuals on plant-based nutrition can prevent or manage chronic disease. A report published by the World Health Organization recommended that a daily intake of 400 g of fruits and vegetables would contribute to preventing chronic diseases which include diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and obesity.

While thousands of research demonstrate the health benefit of consuming vegetables as a way to prevent illness, many of us still refuse to change our nutritional habits to increase our quality of life and health. Many people believe that exercising, medication, and supplements are sufficient to maintain health. Meanwhile, experts in the field of health and wellness say that weight management is 75–80% nutrition and 20–25% exercise. The best approach remains balanced nutrition with a lot of variety and refrain from overindulging.

Image by Anna Pelzer

Plant-based eating can be for everyone, the main idea is not to “diet” or remove something from your nutrition but more about adding more plant-based foods. For those of you who love a burger once in a while, you don’t have to completely eliminate animal-based food. You can certainly reduce it by making more meals that are plant-based.

Step 1: Choose your motivation

Giving yourself a reason to make the change will help you stick to it! Whether you want to save the animals, become healthier or simply feel better, the plant-based nutrition is a great option for those of us who want to be a better and healthier person.

Step 2: Choose Your Type

A spectrum of plant-based eating is available to you. Start by identifying what you would like to change in your nutrition. Considering that your nutrition will be mainly coming from plants, your options are:

Strict plant-based nutrition (vegan): You are not going to consume any meat, fish or animal products like dairy foods, honey or eggs.

Vegetarian plant-based nutrition: You will be able to consume eggs, milk, cheese and other products of animals but no meat or fish.

Flexitarian plant-based nutrition: Your meals will have a large proportion of plant-base food. In addition to small portions of eggs, or dairy foods and, on occasion, include meat, fish, seafood or poultry.

Step 3: Plan Your Meals

One of the most difficult parts of adapting to plant-based eating is adopting new habits in the kitchen. Start looking for recipes now and ideas for your meals. Our favorites are salads, bowls, wraps, soups, and overnight oatmeal.

Step 4: Make Your Grocery List

In order to ease yourself into plant-based eating, try to slowly increase the amount of plant-

base food on your grocery list. This would include, vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains, spices and vegan products like hummus or coconut milk.

Step 5: Implement the Changes

The best way to start plant-based eating is to start with small steps now. Choose a day this week when you want to have a plant-based nutrition day. That day will be the beginning of your journey in plant-based eating. Once you’ve chosen a date, pick your recipes!

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