With more and more people choosing to follow a plant based diet or to include more plant based eating into their weekly diet due to ethical/animal welfare or dietary concerns this blog will provide some interesting information and a sample day’s plant based eating menu.
What are the health benefits of a plant-based diet?
Studies show that plant-based diets have an array of health benefits including a 15% lower risk of developing or dying from a cancer, reducing symptoms of arthritis and reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Those that follow a plant-based diet also tend to be slimmer than those who don’t, with studies demonstrating vegans have a lower body mass index (BMI) than non-vegans. This lower BMI trend may be caused by a higher dietary fibre with a vegan diet intake which can make you feel fuller.
For such health benefits to come to fruition, a well-planned diet that limits processed foods and embraces organic and nutrient-rich ones is crucial. Those who follow poorly planned plant-based diets - just as with badly planned omnivore diets - are at risk of certain nutrient deficiencies. These include a significantly higher risk of having inadequate levels of vitamin B12, vitamin D, omega-3s, iodine, iron, calcium and zinc.
A common concern amongst plant-based diets is a lack of sufficient protein. Higher protein diets promote muscle strength and satiety. Protein is of course vital for muscle and bone health but also for our cellular structure, even affecting our skin and hair. With about 20% of the human body made up of protein and as our bodies don’t store protein, it’s important to get an adequate amount from your diet every single day. Thankfully, there are plenty of delicious, protein rich plant-based foods to consider including tofu, lentils, quinoa, hemp, chia and beans.
that protein is a plant based range of super proteins that are all organic and cold pressed and an excellent and easy way to add protein and lots of nutrition to your plant-based diet. You can add it to all you fav recipes or make protein shakes. It is also important to vary your sources of protein throughout the day, as each provides different amino acids, vitamins and minerals that are all uniquely important for your health.
Vitamin B12 is a water soluble vitamin that is involved in the function of every cell in the body.
It is particularly important in the formation of blood and the function of the brain. As B12 is critical for life it is by far the most important nutrient that plant-based eaters must be concerned with. Many foods however are now fortified with vitamin B12 and nutritional yeast like Marmite will also add B12 or you can add a B12 supplement.
The type of vitamin D we get from the sun isn’t always enough, especially in colder countries such as the UK. This issue is so apparent that it is now widely recommended that everyone supplements with vitamin D in winter months.
With studies suggesting vegans are up to 74% more likely to be deficient that meat eaters, fortified milk alternatives should be consumed.
Omega-3 containing foods, especially those high in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), can help the body produce longer-chain omega-3s such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Foods rich in Omega-3 include, hemp, flaxseeds, walnuts and soybeans.
A daily intake of 200–300mg of EPA and DHA from an algae oil supplement is an alternative preventive measure against Omega-3 deficiency.
Despite a plentiful dark leafy green diet, without vitamin C very little iron is absorbed and any benefits won’t be obtained. Additionally, the type of iron in plant-based sources contain non-haem iron which is very difficult to be absorbed effectively. With too much iron causing serious health complications, iron supplementation should only be considered where there is documented deficiency.>
As you can see planning a plant-based diet is key and thankfully there is a wide range of alternatives to animals products as well as nature’s array of plant goodness to make a plant-based diet healthy and easy!
A Healthy Plant-Based Day’s Diet
Porridge with that protein's I Heart Pumpkin and Chia Seed Raw Vegan Super Protein is a great start. Prepare with almond milk topped with almond nut butter and a handful of raspberries
Quinoa falafel on a bed of spinach, peppers and pomegranate topped with flaxseed and seeds. Snack: Brown rice cakes with hummus
An Asian stir fry with tons of vegetables and bok choy, complete with some baked tofu.
Coconut yoghurt mixed with that protein’s Blissful Brown Rice and Raw Cacao Super Protein topped with blueberries, crushed nuts and some cacao nibs.
The extent to which plant-based sources can provide excellent sources of nutrition is endless. With a balanced plant-based diet, you can help yourself become the healthiest version of yourself. These minimally processed substitute animal products can be seen as ideal replacements to animal protein.
Tofu and tempeh:
Versatile protein-rich alternatives to meat, fish, poultry and eggs.
Beans, lentils and peas are excellent sources of many nutrients.
Nuts and nut butters:
Most nuts are good sources of iron, fibre, magnesium, zinc, selenium and vitamin E with almonds, walnuts and pistachios the most nutritious varieties.
Hemp, chia and flaxseeds are also sources of protein and omega-3 fatty acids Alpha Linoleic Acid (ALA). that protein's I Heart Pumpkin and Chia Seeds Super Protein is a great source of ALA.
Calcium-fortified plant milks and yoghurts:
In order to achieve your recommended daily allowance of calcium, opt for fortified varieties with vitamins B12 and D.
Spirulina chlorella are sources of complete protein that aren’t animal based, they have added bonus of containing Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA), the most active Omega-3 fatty acid. All that protein's Super Protein Powders will provide a great boost of plant protein.
Spelt, amaranth, brown rice protein and quinoa (technically a seed) are all great sources of complex carbs, fibre, iron, B-vitamins and are especially high in protein.
Sprouted and fermented plant foods:
Tempeh, miso, sauerkraut and kimchi all contain probiotics and vitamin K2.
Fruits and vegetables:
Leafy greens such as spinach, kale and bok choy are both particularly high in iron, calcium and other key nutrients.
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