Feel Good and Look Good by Exploring a Plant-Based Diet

Natalie Buscemi Healthy Living, Nutrition

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Have you ever thought about how switching to a plant-based diet—a diet consisting of nuts, seeds, whole grain, vegetables, legumes, and fruits—could drastically improve your lifestyle and the way you feel every day? If you haven’t you’re not alone. The unfortunate reality is that many people refuse to try a plant-based diet because they’re afraid it will lead to boring, bland, and unappetizing eating. But these fears are unfounded; the vegan food industry is booming, and it wouldn’t be doing so well if many of its foods weren’t delicious. Though they’re not converting to veganism in droves, many meat-eaters are consuming more vegetarian meals than ever before. Part of the reason meat-eaters are increasingly willing to eat more and more vegetarian meals is tied to the fact these meals can be prepared in a variety of ways!

Take grilling as an example. When you think about a mid-summer barbecue, you probably envision a sizzling grill loaded with burgers, steaks, and hot dogs, right? But what about a little sliced eggplant? Or some delectable shoots of asparagus? Or a mouthwatering ear of yellow corn? Just brush those veggies with some extra virgin olive oil. Season them with a little salt, a dash of pepper, and pop them straight on the grill. In 10 or 12 minutes, you’re going to have some mouthwatering veggie bites that your friends and family will love.

Now, if you haven’t tried a mouthwatering plant-based burger yet, head to your nearest Impossible Burger in the Metro Detroit area. I promise you won’t regret it!

Now, the reason I’m spending so much time talking about vegetables, and vegetable-based diets is because I want you to start spending a little more time thinking about how your diet can radically impact your health. Plants are LOADED with vitamins, minerals, and other dietary essentials that you just can’t get from meat Take fiber, for example. Fiber helps you manage your weight, and regulates the functioning of your digestive system.  Additionally, fiber can help in the prevention of chronic diseases like coronary disease, hypertension, obesity, type-2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. And that’s just ONE of the many dietary advantages a plant-based diet can provide!

How about the rumor that a plant-based diet can’t provide enough protein? Or that someone on a plant-based diet will always feel hungry? Well, both are myths. A half cup of kidney beans delivers the same amount of protein as an ounce of meat (about the size of a matchbox), and hunger is most easily suppressed by fiber (again, something only found in plants) which keeps the gut full and stabilizes blood sugar levels. Do not let inaccurate assumptions dissuade you from adding more broccoli or collard greens to the menu at home, as a more vegetable heavy (if not vegan) diet will invariably lead to a  healthier lifestyle for both you and your family.

Also, don’t overlook the economic advantages of a plant-based diet! As you’re probably well aware, meat is expensive, and while they’re not giving away vegetables, legumes, fruits and nuts—they are a LOT cheaper on average. If you’re someone who’s keeping a close eye on the grocery budget—or just someone with a lot of mouths to feed—shifting to a more plant-centric diet will take your dollar further. For all the advantages a plant-based diet has over the meat-heavy alternative, it’s not without its flaws. Remember that meat products are rich in protein and other nutrients like calcium, zinc, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and vitamin B-12. These are nutrients your body needs to operate at optimum levels.

So, if you’re thinking about transitioning to a plant-based diet, be sure to talk to the professionals at Allure Medical  before taking the leap. We will be able to provide you with the advice you need to make a successful switch, and can offer supplementation (for instance, we offer b-12 injections for our patients) as needed. Speaking of supplementation, in my next blog, I’ll talk about the benefits of supplementation, specifically the benefits associated with B-12.

 

Until next time!