Many people today are moving towards leading a more sustainable lifestyle. There has been a drastic shift in the perception of plant-based foods. Be it the food that we consume or the beauty products we use, people have started to shift towards more organic and vegan food items as well as essentials. Plant-based eating patterns focus on foods primarily from plants. These include not only fruits and vegetables, but also nuts like almonds, seeds, oils, whole grains, legumes, and
Prioritization towards plant-based food consumption can be looked up as a sign of change towards health, ethics, and the environment. Well-planned plant-based diets may help prevent heart disease, Type-2 diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. Here are four plant-based foods that you can add to your diet if you are a vegetarian or vegan, or thinking of becoming one:
♦ Almonds: Consuming almonds every day is probably an integral part of many Indian households. Almonds are among the world’s most popular tree nuts. They are a rich source of protein and can be consumed as a protein-rich alternative to any unhealthy snack like potato chips, wafers, etc. In 100 g of almonds, you get 21.15 g of protein. They are also rich in over 15 nutrients such as vitamin E, magnesium, protein, riboflavin, and zinc. Having a handful of almonds helps to keep hunger at bay in between meals. Almonds also help in lowering total LDL cholesterol improving your heart health. Therefore, be sure to include a handful of almonds in
your and your family’s diet every day.
♦ Citrus fruits: We have been consuming citrus fruits like oranges, lemon, grapefruit, and sweet lime our whole lives. The best part of consuming citrus fruits is that they are high in fiber and low in calories. They are an excellent source of vitamin C, antioxidants, folate, and potassium. Vitamin C is known to give your immune system a boost and assist in iron absorption. As they contain a high degree of moisture, they help you stay hydrated.
♦ Root vegetables: All vegetables are nutritious including root vegetables. Some of the most widely consumed root vegetables are onions, beetroot, potatoes, sweet potato, ginger, carrots etc. They stay fresh for much longer than other vegetables. They play a role in keeping our bowel habits regular. They contain antioxidants that can help fight free radicals. They also provide carbohydrates, which are a source of energy for the body. The best part is that root vegetables are easily accessible and are available at most times of the year.
♦ Lentils (dals): Lentils, popularly known as dals come in red, yellow, and white variants (moong, tur, chana, masoor, urad). They all belong to the legume family and contain high levels of protein and fiber. Lentils are a staple in most Indian households, although the way they are consumed varies across states. They are easy to prepare and are a good source of protein. They provide many of the essential amino acids to the human body. However, they need to be consumed in combination with cereals to obtain all the essential amino acids. Lentils can be consumed in a variety of ways: dal tadka, sambar, dosa, idli, khichdiand so it is.
(The author is a nutrition & wellness consultant.)