Facts about plant-based diets
The mere mention of eating more greens has probably already sent shockwaves through your electronic device. But we’re here to tell you that eating more plant-based foods ain’t a bad thing if you want to grow muscle, stay lean, and keep your insides clean.
We’re talking about everything from veganism, raw food diets and vegetarianism, to a lifestyle choice that simply favours more fresh fruit and veg and less meat and animal products. If you’re still reading – that’s a good start. But to make it easy, we thought we’d get some fact straight about plant-based diets, so you can decide for yourself if you want to give plant power a go.
“You’ll need supplements for life”
Not exactly. Like any diet, if you’re not eating a range of foods in the right quantities your body will become deficient in certain vitamins and minerals. Plant-based diets are no different. You need to eat a good mix of pulses, seeds, fruit, veg and fortified foods (like breads and cereals). Of course, some people prefer to take supplements, even if they don’t need them.
“You can’t get calcium from plants”
Wrong. Leafy green veg, like kale, broccoli and bok choy, are rich in calcium and have even been shown to be absorbed by the body better than dairy milk. Soy, almond, oat, cashew, coconut – many plant milks are also fortified with calcium, too.
“You need meat for protein”
Yes, meat is a source of protein. But how do you think pigs, cows and chickens get their protein? You guessed it – plants. And so can you. Think green superfoods like kale, broccoli, peas as well as beans and pulses, grains, and nuts. What’s more, you don’t have to eat it all in one go like a big steak on a plate, you can enjoy these foods as healthy snacks as well as mix them into meals. Add soy-based mince and other plant-based meats to your shopping list, and you’ve got yourself a pantry packed with protein.
Put your knowledge about plant-based diets to the test
“You won’t have enough energy”
Pull the other one! Sure, protein, mineral, vitamins, and carbs are essential sources of energy for your body. But they can all come from plant-based foods. Fresh fruit and veg like apples, bananas, avocados, spinach, and sweetcorn are full of healthy energy. Grains likes oats, wild rice and barley will also keep you going. As will plant proteins like puy lentils, chickpeas, beans and peas. But if you really want a plant-power boost, there’s coconut, hummus, nuts, sprouts, and oatmeal just to name a few. If plant energy is enough to fuel world-class athletes like Lewis Hamilton, Scott Jurek, David Haye, Kendrick Yahcob Farris, and Serena and Venus William – it can also work for you.
“You won’t feel full after a meal”
Maybe at first. But once your body is used to a more plant-based diet, it won’t be craving the stodge that often comes with animal-based foods. Give it a few weeks, and you’ll probably realise that you’re actually more satisfied eating cleaner, fresher food more often.
“You’ll gain weight”
Actually, there’s more chance of losing weight when you eat more plant-based foods. In fact, 87% of people who took part in Veganuary 2017 reported losing weight and had more energy, and 97% felt their health was better for it. But beware – don’t fall into the trap of thinking that just because you’re eating more fruit and veg you can get away with eating more junk food too. It doesn’t work like that. But if you do it right, being on a plant-based diet can reduce your risk of developing heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, which isn’t a bad thing, right?
If you’re thinking about fuelling your health and fitness with more plants, you’ve now got your facts straight. But if you’re thinking about making any drastic diet or lifestyle changes, you should always talk it over with your GP first to make it’s good for your body and lifestyle.
– Team Anarchy