New Delhi: A plant-based diet focuses on foods that come from plants. Fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, legumes, nuts, and meat alternatives such as soy products can all fall into this category. They are also likely to have sufficient intake of fiber and vitamins and minerals found in fruits and vegetables, such as folate, vitamin C and potassium, all of which are essential for overall health.
Health benefits of plant protein:
Plant proteins have been gaining popularity for all good reasons. Here are some key health benefits associated with consuming plant-based proteins, shared by Niharika Nahata, clinical nutritionist and health coach at Fast&Up:
Nutritionally Dense: Protein-rich plant foods are also naturally rich in other essential nutrients such as fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B9, vitamin E, magnesium, calcium and potassium, as well as phytochemicals. All of these nutrients play key roles in supporting overall health.
Gastrointestinal health: Protein-rich plant foods are typically high in fiber – an essential factor for good gut health. Adequate fiber intake has been linked to better digestion and regular bowel movements. Not only that, but high fiber intake is also associated with better gut flora, meaning fiber promotes the growth of beneficial gut microorganisms while suppressing the growth of bad bacteria. This, in turn, will create a healthy gut microbiome and reduce the risk of gastrointestinal disorders like constipation, diverticulosis, etc. Additionally, a healthy gut microbiome has also been linked to weight management and healthy heart health.
Reduces the risk of chronic diseases: Consumption of plant proteins has been linked to a lower risk of chronic diseases, including diabetes and certain forms of cancer – breast, colorectal and prostate. Plant protein sources include lentils and legumes, nuts, whole grains, etc – all of which have improved metabolism and metabolic markers and therefore provide better long-term health outcomes.
heart health: Plant foods are naturally cholesterol-free and low in saturated fat. These are essential for optimal heart health, thus reducing the chances of cardiovascular disease. In addition, numerous studies show that the high fiber content of plant foods also helps to lower blood pressure.
Diabetes regulation: Research suggests that plant proteins may be beneficial for people with diabetes. The high fiber content along with the protein can promote satiety and facilitate the slow release of glucose into the system, thereby controlling blood sugar levels.
Kidney health: Studies are emerging that show that consuming plant-based proteins has been linked to a lower risk of developing kidney disease. Also, people who consume plant-based foods are less likely to develop kidney stones compared to those who consume animal foods regularly.
Weight control: Plant-based protein sources are naturally low in calories and saturated fat (as long as you cook them healthily) compared to animal proteins. Because they are high in fiber, they also provide satiety, giving you a sense of control over your appetite – all of which can contribute to weight management.
Environmental impact: Plant proteins have a smaller environmental footprint compared to animal proteins, thus emerging as the most sought-after sources in the coming times.
While plant proteins offer a myriad of health benefits, not all sources have all the essential amino acids required by our bodies. Thus, it is advisable to eat balanced meals, including a variety of food sources, i.e. mixing different plant protein sources, throughout the day to ensure that you receive all the essential amino acids that are vital for your well-being.
Are plant-based foods suitable for everyone?
While a plant-based diet can provide many health benefits and be appropriate for many people, it is important to consider individual nutritional needs.
In this regard, Ms. Richa Anand, chief nutritionist at Dr. LH Hiranandani, Powai, Mumbai, said: “Plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and plant proteins can provide a variety of nutrients, vitamins, minerals and fiber. They can form part of a balanced and nutritious diet for people of different age groups, including children, adults and the elderly. 3 fatty acids and calcium are provided in adequate amounts from plant sources or through appropriate supplements.”
“Certain individuals, such as pregnant or lactating women, athletes or those with certain medical conditions, may need additional nutritional considerations and should consult a physician or registered dietitian to ensure their nutritional needs are met.
How plant-based foods offer a sustainable alternative:
Plant-based foods offer a sustainable, eco-friendly alternative to conventional products that can help protect the environment and our health. People are increasingly reaching out to natural products, and the growth of plant-based foods demonstrates just how effective these products are.
Mr. Shammi Agarwal, director of the Pansari Group, said: “Milllet is a prime example of this as climate change has made it difficult to grow wheat and grains, so millet provides the same nutrients as other grains while preserving a healthy attitude towards our ecology. People are becoming increasingly concerned about the impacts of a non-vegetarian diet as the number of diseases increases. and general well-being.”
Starting with small changes to build a healthy habit, there are many ways to transition to a more plant-based diet and help protect the environment and ourselves.
In this regard, Dr. Mickey Mehta, Global Leading Holistic Health Guru/Corporate Life Coach, said: “Transitioning to a plant-based diet can reduce carbon footprints, combat climate change and promote human well-being by introducing fewer toxins into our bodies, providing essential nutrients and promoting a beneficial gut microbiome that helps manage health issues.”
“Fiber, antioxidants and nutrients from whole foods allow our cells to thrive, ensuring a safe and healthy state. Thus, adopting a clean and green diet not only benefits the environment, but also nourishes our bodies, minds and souls, infusing us with positivity and vitality for a better life,” he added.