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The body is an incredibly precious temple. It’s the temple that will stay with us through life. For that reason, the kindness that the body offers us throughout daily life should be returned. Small efforts for the body make a lot of differences in the long term. Nutrition and exercise are two of the most important factors. The former indicates all that we eat while the latter is about movement through sports and even short walks. Nutrition could be tricky. What to eat is highly important and therefore mustn’t be unorganized. A plant-based diet is a key to maintaining good health; both mentally and physically.
“The foods we choose make a difference.” —Michael Greger
So what is a plant-based diet, how to implement it, and most importantly, what are the benefits?
What is a Plant-Based diet?
When we think of plant-based, we immediately assume that it’s only about plants. However, that’s not the case. According to Harvard Health, plant-based include not only fruits and vegetables, but also, nuts, oils, seeds, beans, whole grains, and legumes. It is you choosing your food mostly from plant sources.
Is Plant-Based the same as Vegan?
The short answer is no. The longer answer, however, requires us to look at definitions of both diet plans. As aforementioned, plant-based is choosing foods that are mostly from plant sources. Vegan, however, and as Christine Kirlew, M.D., defines it is eliminating all animal products, including dairy, meat, honey. and fish.
So while the two are somewhat similar, the key difference is that with a plant-based diet you don’t totally eliminate other food sources. You only focus more on plant-based sources.
How to implement a plant-based diet?
As with all changes, the first few days are the hardest. The Insider Magazine shared a 7-day plant-based diet meal plan. The aim is to try and jump-start a lifestyle that will last till much later on. From Day 1 to Day 7, the three main meals are easy to make and pocket-friendly. Oatmeal, lentil salads, zucchini, quinoa, bananas, and rice with beans are all recurrent ingredients in meals that will lead to a healthier body.
The School of Public Health advises building your plate keeping in mind 50% vegetables, 25% whole grains, and 25% lean protein. Lean protein can be obtained from eggs, beans, quinoa, or even meat, but you should only eat that occasionally.
What are the benefits of a plant-based diet?
Villanova University names four main benefits:
- Losing weight
- Feeling overall better about your body
- Improving or stabilizing heart diseases, diabetes, and high blood pressure
- Taking less medication in the long run
The MD Anderson Cancer Center encourages a plant-based diet because it boosts the immune system, provides your body with the necessary fiber that lowers cholesterol and stabilizes blood sugar, reduces inflammation, and lowers your cancer risk.
The Mental Health Foundation asserts that eating well is associated with feelings of well-being. Poor diets, on the other hand, are the downfall that leads to poor mental health, depression, and feeling of heaviness. The relationship between obesity for example and mental health is complex. A study found that people who are obese have a 55% increased risk of developing depression and people experiencing depression had a 58% increased risk of becoming obese.
Dangers of a plant-based diet
Piedmont Healthcare warns against abusing a plant-based diet. If you have diabetes, for instance, you can’t eat as many fruits as someone who does not. Add to that, B vitamin and calcium are two nutrients that are hard to get with the lack of animal products for the former and dairy products for the latter. This is why making sure your plan is balanced is crucial.
Anything can turn into an addiction, even a healthy lifestyle. When a diet plan is not studied well and is misused, eating disorders begin forming, even disguising as healthy habits. Orthorexia Nervosa, a less common food disorder, is the overwhelming fixation on eating healthy food. What might seem at first sight healthy is actually obsessive and addictive.
At THE BALANCE Luxury Rehab Center, our main target is the betterment of your health. Taking care of your needs is our priority. With a professional team and experts at your side, no goal will remain unattainable. We will help you organize your habits and daily routines. In order to improve your mental and physical health, our centers are ready to accompany you on your journey. You will have a perfectly tailored program and a personal nutritional chef to lead you throughout your stay.