How to achieve good nutrition by eating a plant-based diet?

plant-based diet

When it comes to nutrition and the calorific value of our food, it is often based on ‘what’ we eat rather than ‘how much”. And how that food traverses its journey from the farmland that it is grown on- to your plate- makes all the difference. Seldom do we find locally-sourced, mutually beneficial food for our consumption, as the industry which partakes in feeding the seven billion-strong population of our planet is not entirely inclined to have a sustainable, restorative approach to growing food.

Eighty-six percent of people consume some of the other forms of meat for their sustenance and a vast majority of the farmland utilized by us is dedicated to supplying feed to the meat industry. And while many may argue about the solely plant-based diet which lacks certain minerals and nutrients, there is irrefutable proof that shows a plant-based diet is not only more beneficial for humans, but also far more sustainable and ecological for our planet.

Benefits of Plant-Based Diet

The plant-based diet has shown to be better for the consumer when compared to a parallel-meat-based diet- with research showing that a plant-based diet is beneficial in cases of heart disease, some forms of cancer, and even diabetes. Restricting the consumption of red meat and replacing it with vegetables and fruits shall help one lead an actively better life- as plant-based foods are the healthier alternative of the two.

Furthermore, a plant-based diet has a wider range of benefits, not only for the end-consumer but also for the producer. For instance, if the locally produced food is so managed that it reaches the desired consumer, then this not only solves the issue of hunger prevalent around the globe but also helps the environment by reducing the emissions from the logistical aspect.
Besides, the health benefits linked to the plant-based diet could be the bigger selling point in comparison to sustainability. Whole grains when introduced to our diets, with fruits, especially for breakfast is a good way to take steps toward a plant-based approach to food.

Eating Meat vs Eating Plant-Based Diet

One of the most alarming issues to public health- obesity- could be tackled head-along with the plant-based approach to food habits. Reducing meat in everyday staples has led to enhanced general health in several research control groups. And maintaining a stable, healthy weight could also be beneficial for the body to strive off more serious ailments such as cancer.
Perhaps replacing meat right-off could seem like a harsh update to people’s diets- and hence, one could start by reducing the amount of meat consumed in a sitting- and using it as a side dish instead of the main course could help.

Sore joints and muscles and overall inflammation has been found to be reduced when the subject was fed a solely plant-based diet. And the antioxidants and micro-phytochemicals present in the food boost the immune system and invoke a better response from the body against the garden-variety bacteria, viruses, and pollutants. Green, leafy veggies and salads for meals, even if once a week- could be a distinct step towards healthier eating.

Plants are a higher source of fiber among all the food groups. And having a fiber-rich diet has a score of health benefits- from better gut health to lower blood pressure and increased metabolism to name a few.

Besides, a plant-based diet also induces your body to be at a lower risk for a host of other diseases and ailments as well. Stroke, heart disease, and even a handful of mental maladies can be countered with a plant-rich diet. Cooking vegetables and grains in ‘good’ oil- olive oil for instance enhances the benefits of such a diet.

With people citing drawbacks of plant-rich diets such as the diet being protein-deficient, or even lacking certain nutrients such as metals and vitamin compounds, it is imperative that you be clear of the steps needed to ensure maximum benefit out of the plant-based diet, while also maintaining the meat-free stint.

The Myths

One popular argument is that plant-based diets do not provide us with adequate protein- which can be easily countered by including superfoods such as soy, lentils, peanuts, and whey.

Perishability of the foods is also a concern- with products having a seemingly shorter shelf-life. Planning out meal portions and a buying-on-the-go approach could be utilized here.

Another myth is that plant-based foods lack omega-3 fatty acids and DHA/EPA- there are several algae-based supplements available- and consuming them along with flax seeds and walnuts ensures we get the recommended amount of the nutrients.

Vitamins (D, C, and A) and several micronutrients such as iron, calcium, iodine, and zinc are also very much needed by our bodies and plant-based foods are less-concentrated with such nutrients as compared to alternatives.
Nevertheless, there are several sources of these nutrients in the plant kingdom. Citrus fruits and leafy vegetables (vitamin A), bell peppers, kiwis, and similar fruits, vegetables such as cauliflower and even tomatoes for vitamin C and adequate sunlight and supplements for vitamin D can be used to bridge the gap for our requisite nutrients in food.
Iron can be found in legumes, lentils, and spinach class of foods- which are often rich in zinc as well. Calcium from milk, its derivatives, and sprouts and kale could provide the needed accessories.


We can consciously choose the plant-based diet which can not only help us, as individuals, but also the producer of food on farmlands, and in a broader perspective- our planet, too. All it would need is for us to embrace the changes to be inculcated to make it possible.

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