You may have heard the term ‘plant based’ being used quite frequently nowadays - whether it be in someone’s social media post, a cookbook, or in the news, more and more people are turning towards incorporating more plants into their diets… and it’s for a very good reason indeed.
Over the past decade we have seen such an increase in processed and packaged food - whether it be due to our time-poor/busy lifestyles, our disinterest in cooking for ourselves, or because of a lack of education around what our bodies need in order to function optimally.
Combine highly processed foods and excess sugar with chronic stress, poor gut health, not enough water, and not enough exercise, and our bodies will eventually become run down and inflamed. Like most engines, it’s only a matter of time before the wrong fuel causes the vehicle to cease up.
What’s positive about all of this is that many of us are starting to question why this is happening, and in doing so, we are looking back to nature for the answers. We are starting to realise that the solution is literally at our doorstep (or more specifically, in our gardens). That being the antioxidant rich, nutrient dense, fibre laden goodness of plants. A plant based diet incorporates a delicious variety of fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains.
For the meat lovers out there, plant based eating does not necessarily mean you have to turn vegan in order to be ‘healthy’. It simply means being mindful of your balance between meat and veg and making sure that every meal still comprises of at least half a plate of plant based foods.
Incorporating more vegetables into our diets is associated with a lower risk for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and many forms of cancer. It improves our digestive capabilities, feeds our good gut bacteria, improves our immune system, reduces oxidative stress, and so much more.
So how can you get more onto your fork?
Here are our top 5 tips for easy plant based eating:
- Incorporate more veg into your main meals - whether that be adding lentils to your bolognese, blending broccoli and sweet potato into a soup, or adding extra veg to a delicious curry
- Make your own dips for a healthy mid afternoon snack - white bean and rosemary, beetroot hummus, pumpkin + dukkha, broccoli + spinach pesto - use raw veggie sticks instead of crackers for a double whammy of goodness
- Load up your morning smoothie - we add spinach, avocado, chia seeds, hemp seeds, kiwifruit, lemon juice and even coconut oil to ours!
- Try going meat free a few days a week - swap it out for tempeh, beans, or chickpeas as an alternative source of protein
- Know your seasons! It’s not normal for foods to be on our supermarket shelves all year round. Foods which are in season are much higher in nutrients as opposed to foods which have had to travel a long distance to get to us. And what’s even better is that seasonal eating means you won’t break the bank - cost effective AND nutritious… what more could you ask for?