A plant-based diet is a diet focusing on whole grains, fruits, beans, vegetables, seeds, herbs and spices etc., wherein every item is extracted from a plant. It is an effective way to prevent, manage and even reverse diseases like diabetes. A research study found that individuals who are on plant-based diet are less likely to be prone to a heart disease, diabetes, cancer, hyper tension etc.
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The idea of plant-based food gained momentum in 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic led to global lockdown. This made people prioritize health and well-being, reassessing the impact of what they eat on the environment. It was during this period, many individuals discovered about plant-based alternatives. From burgers to pastries, pizzas and bakeries, almost every food item came up with a vegan alternative.
A plant-based diet is highly effective in weight management and supports the immune system as plant foods reduce inflammation. It also has essential nutrients that can’t be extracted from other food items. According to a nutritionist, the phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants in plants help in keeing the cells of the body healthy, balancing body’s immune system. They also release toxins from the body.
The increased demand for a plant-based diet is a result of the growing consumer awareness about their food and eating habits. As plant-based foods are rich in amino acids, fibers, natural nutrients, polyunsaturated fatty acids, oligosaccharides and carbohydrates, they help in keeping a check on cardiovascular diseases, obesity, cholesterol, and other health issues. Additionally, they also contain bioactive compounds which are anti-inflammatory in nature.
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However, a plant-based diet might not fulfill the requirement of protein, calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin B12, alpha-linolenic acid (omega 3), and riboflavin completely. Individuals who have a sensitive gut and are not able to tolerate fibrous diets should consult a nutritionist before switching to a plant-based diet. Following a plant-based diet is a personal choice, and before switching to it, one must consider their genetic make-up, pre-existing medical conditions, food allergies or any nutritional deficiencies beforehand.