Nutrition plays a key role in preventing diseases. If you consume appropriate foods that provide you with the daily requirement of essential nutrients, your health is secured. There are so many diets that you may have heard of. On the occasion of World Health Day, let us tell you about another very effective diet which is whole foods and plant based diet. We reached out to renowned dietitian and diabetes educator Swati Bathwal to know about this diet and whether it can help in the prevention of diseases.
What Is Whole Foods and Plant Based Diet?
WFPB diet is basically eating fruits and vegetables as it is with minimum processing. In short, you are supposed to eat unprocessed and fresh whole foods and plants. A lot of people are relying onto processed variants just because they can lie on their kitchen cabinets for months without spoiling. For example, using canned tomato puree instead of fresh tomatoes. This diet requires you to consume a natural form of foods with zero preservatives. If we look at vegans and vegetarians we have so many food products on the shelves which are processed. For example, a homemade chutney is more nutrient-dense than ketchup or even chutney from the supermarket shelves.
Benefits of Whole Foods and Plant Based Diet
“If something doesn’t stay fresh on your kitchen bench, how can it stay fresh on supermarket shelves”?- Swati Bathwal
This diet minimizes the intake of processed foods and animal and animal products. The key element is freshness. The fresher you eat, the more disease-free life you can attain. Talking about the benefits, Swati Bathwal has listed down some potential benefits of WFPB diet. Whole food plant based diets reduce the risk of-
- Cardiovascular diseases
These are some of the chronic diseases that affect the quality of life and lifespan. While there are numerous causes of each of these diseases, poor nutrition is common amongst all. Not taking care of what’s on your plate can bring you a step closer to diseases. You may not be able to live healthily if you happen to get affected by these. The whole foods and plant-based diet help in improving the intake and absorption of nutrients in the body that helps in keeping diseases at bay. The unprocessed foods which are organic or closer proximity to where it’s grown or is local assists in better absorption.
You don’t need a multivitamin supplement which has numerous added colours and preservative if u have variety of seeds like watermelon sesame flaxseed pumpkin sunflower seeds and legumes like chickpeas. For example, the same tomato which is raw is rich in phytonutrients vitamin c and lycopene but keeping it longer and processing it reduces its health benefits to a great extent. Let us take another example of fruits. Eat fresh oranges than buying orange juice in a tetra packet which is more of a chemical than orange juice.
If you are worried about food options or how you can consume them in unprocessed form, there are plenty of options available for you. You can have sprouts or boiled legumes, have fresh vegetables and fruit salad, consume fresh fruit juices, have raw paneer, etc. Just start limiting processed food intake and you will notice the difference yourselves.
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