The best way to turn to a healthy lifestyle is to have a clean plant-based diet, not just for weight loss but also for many other benefits. Recent studies have also revealed that this diet is excellent for maintaining health, especially in women.
Plant-based or plant-forward eating patterns focus on foods primarily derived from plants. This includes not only fruits and vegetables, but also nuts, seeds, oils, whole grains, legumes and beans. It doesn’t mean you’re vegetarian or vegan, and this also doesn’t mean that you’re never going to eat meat or milk. Instead, you choose more of your foods from plant sources.
As per Harvard medical school studies, “cutting back on meat and increasing our plant-intake is one of the best ways to boost our immune systems.” It states that as plant-based foods are easier to absorb, they are also great for our digestive tract.
Vegetarian diets are many
Vegetarian diets come in plenty of types and you can choose the one that fits you the best. Let’s take a look at some of them:
- Semi-vegetarian or flexitarian diet includes eggs, dairy foods and occasionally meat, poultry, ﬁsh and seafood.
- Pescatarian diet includes eggs, dairy foods, ﬁsh and seafood, but no meat or poultry.
- Vegetarian diet (sometimes referred to as Lacto-Ovo vegetarian) includes eggs and dairy foods, but no meat, poultry, ﬁsh or seafood.
- Vegan diet includes no eggs, meat, poultry, dairy products, fish or seafood. People who follow this diet stays away from any food items sourced from animals.
Diet and Women Health
“When we talk about women’s health, vaginal health is often ignored. Women need to maintain vaginal health as this directly affects the overall wellbeing. Multiple factors like pregnancy, hormones and more can impact vaginal health”, stated experts.
According to the experts, “Eating a plant-based diet has been found to support the generation of good bacteria which is necessary for combating disease-causing microbes. It also helps maintain its natural pH balance”.
Add a lot of whole foods, vegetables and fresh fruits as they not only help control the duration of your periods but also help maintain a balanced vagina. Seasonal fruits and vegetables such as cranberry help the vagina retain its odor and hold urinary tract infections at bay due to bad bacteria. A diet based on plants also allows the vagina to cleanse itself naturally, thereby keeping it free from infections.
Tips to get started with a plant-based diet
- Eat lots of vegetables: For lunch and dinner, fill half of your plate with vegetables. While selecting your vegetables, make sure you have a lot of colors in your plate.
- Change your way of thinking about meat: Have smaller quantities. Use it as a garnish instead of centerpieces.
- Opt good fats: Healthy options include fats in olive oil, olives, nuts and nut butter, seeds and avocados.
- Prepare vegetarian meals once in a week: Cook completely vegetable meals one night in a week using beans, whole grains and so on.
- Add whole grains for breakfast: Start with oatmeal, quinoa, barley or buckwheat. Then add fresh fruit along with some nuts or seeds.
- Go for green: Every day, try a variety of green leafy vegetables like kale, collards, Swiss chard, spinach and other greens. To maintain their flavor and nutrients steam, grill, braise, or stir-fry before consuming.
For optimum health, plant-based diet which provides all the proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals are required. These diets also contain a higher level of fibre and phytonutrients. However, some vegans may need to add a supplement (specifically vitamin B12) to ensure that they obtain all the necessary nutrients for a healthy lifestyle.