Can you Eat more Plant-Based Foods?

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One of the biggest message that seems to be streaming out through the nutrition world (among others) is the message to eat more plant-based foods each day. That is vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds etc but especially vegetables.

But Why?

Why eat more plant-based? Scientific research shows eating this way helps lower risk of numerous health conditions like: type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart disease, cancers and high blood pressure. The recommendations for adults are to eat 5-6 serves of vegetables and 2 serves of fruit per day. One serve of vegetables being 1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup raw. How many people eat this quantity? According to the 2011/2012 Australian Health Survey only 5.5% of Australian adults had an adequate usual daily intake of fruit and vegetables with fruit intake much higher than vegetable intake. So there’s definitely room for improvement here…Note: other plant-based foods include nuts, seeds and whole grains which are an essential part of your diet but more on these in another post.

Are you trying to turn me into a Vegetarian?

No! While I myself am a vegetarian, I don’t believe that you should be one because I’ve decided to. Rather this post is to highlight the importance increasing the amount of plant-based foods in your diet (you can still eat meat, don’t worry).

In a world that seems to have become reliant on take away, packaged and convenience foods, eating a diet high in plant-based foods seems more difficult than ever. In fact a more plant-based diet is likely viewed as time consuming and bland. But it doesn’t have to be. If you know how to pair up flavours and batch cook, plant-based eating can really be quick, easy and delicious. It doesn’t have to be complicated either. For example salad for lunch doesn’t always sound that exciting because we envision lettuce leaves and a few cherry tomatoes but add some nuts, chopped apricots, sun-dried tomatoes and a delicious dressing and you can transform a boring salad to something amazing, here’s some delicious salad transformation ideas ideas:http://nutritionsavvy.com.au/taking-your-salad-from-averag…/

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What about plain old steamed vegetables? If you serve steamed vegetables on it’s own, it’s unlikely to get you excited but try making a dressing of lemon juice, crushed garlic, dried or fresh oregano or basil, cracked pepper, pinch salt, toasted pine nuts and your favourite protein e.g. tuna, grilled tofu / chicken and steamed vegetables aren’t so ordinary after all!

While it’s still early days, on this website I will be slowly adding more and more plant-based recipes. While these recipes will be mainly vegetarian or vegan, the intension isn’t to turn you into a vegan but rather to help you increase plant-based foods in your diet with delicious recipes. Note: you can also add your favourite meat ;). There will be many recipes going up using plant-based proteins such as tofu, tempeh, chickpeas, lentils etc which may be unfamiliar to you and may not be something that appeals but I urge you to try making some of these. It’s a great way to increase variety in your diet and learn how to cook these foods, which many people avoid because they don’t know how to cook them. I’ve even gotten my dad and brother who were almost anti-vegetarian / vegan to eat these foods and enjoy them (although they may deny it if asked ;). They haven’t turned vegetarian but they eat a greater variety of foods now which you can do also (my mum happily eats all my vegetarian food but she’s not hard to please like the boys!).

 

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