Plant Forward Eating is where Emphasis is placed on getting more of your energy from plant foods and minimising processed refined foods and animal products. 

Is Plant based always healthier? 

Reasons eat plant based. 

  • Boost your immune system.
  • Reduce inflammation. 
  • Maintain a healthy weight. 
  • Increases fibre. 
  • Lower your cancer risk. 

Plants have essential nutrients that you cannot get from other foods The vitamins and minerals phytochemicals and antioxidants in plants are vital to overall body health.

The nutritional benefits of eating more plants are grounded in solid evidence. A diverse range of plants providing 30g of fibre each day supports gut health, while fruit and veg are great sources for a range of vitamins and minerals.

 Research suggests that plant based linked to lower levels of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers compared with diets high in red meat and animal products.

However, some plant-based diets carry a risk of not getting the right nutrition through protein, mineral intake. These risks can be overcome by choosing the right vegetarian foods and when necessary, supplements. 

Some nutrients are trickier to get such as iodine which is mostly found in diary and fish. The iodine content of plant foods depends mainly on the iodine content of the soil which is variable.

Foods grown closer to the ocean tend to contain higher in iodine Where soil is iodine deficient ionised salt and seaweed can provide iodine.

The way vegetables are cooked is also relevant steamed vegetables are far more nutritious than deep fried or boiled where vital nutrients are either destroyed or leach into the water and discarded.

Plant Alternatives may not be nutritionally balanced for e.g., jackfruit is often used to replace pulled pork but contains no protein. 

The Anit Nutrient 

Phytic acid is present in plant seeds such as nuts, whole grains, and beans.

In the body this acid bonds to minerals to form phytate which is known as an anti-nutrient since it impairs the absorption of zinc, iron and calcium and can cause deviancies in those on a plant-based diet.

 As an antioxidant can help prevent cardiovascular disease and kidney stones and plants are abundant the benefits out way the risks.

Preparation is key to avoiding the anti-nutrient effects By soaking, cooking and fermenting and sprouting beans and grains you can reduce the phytate content while the mineral affected can also be sourced elsewhere

8 ways to get started with plant based. 

  • Include veg with every meal making sure to incorporate plenty of different colours as different colours indicate presence of different nutrients.
  • Change the way you think about meat – Have smaller portions with each meal and have 1 meat free meal a week.
  • Choose good plant fats such as fats like olive oil, olives, nuts, nut butters, seeds and coconut oil as alternative to cook with
  • Have a plant-based breakfast – oatmeal, quinoa or barley with added nuts seeds and fruit.
  • Build a meal around a salad or stir-fry. 
  • Eat fruit as your go to snack or as desert to up your you plant intake. 
  • Choose ingredients and flavours you like Don’t start with foods you have never eaten just because they are deemed healthy, and you think you should be eating them. Instead start with what you enjoy and expand your palate over time. 

Conclusion The best evidence and research around healthy eating come from Finding the right balance between solely Plant based and animal-based nutrition.

 The Mediterranean Diet has come out on top as the best way to achieve this balance. With a foundation of plant-based food it also includes fish, meat, poultry, eggs, cheese, and yogurt a few times a week with meats and sweets less often. It is this way of eating that is notoriously associated with the BLUE ZONES  – areas of the world with the most centurions thereby illustrating the beneficial effects of Plant Forward eating.