Fueling Your Body with Plant-Based Nutrition: An Expert’s View
As the world becomes more health-conscious, there is a growing trend towards plant-based nutrition. Many people are beginning to realize that the food they put into their bodies can affect their overall health and quality of life. To help us better understand the benefits of a plant-based diet, we spoke with an expert in the field.
Dr. Michael Greger is a physician, bestselling author, and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety, and public health issues. He is the founder of NutritionFacts.org, a non-profit organization that provides free, evidence-based information on the latest in nutrition research.
According to Dr. Greger, a plant-based diet is one of the healthiest choices we can make for our bodies. “The evidence strongly supports that a diet centered around whole, plant foods is associated with a lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers,” he explains.
In addition to reducing the risk of chronic diseases, Dr. Greger notes that a plant-based diet can also improve overall health and well-being. “Eating a diet filled with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds can help maintain a healthy weight, lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, improve gut health, and boost the immune system,” he says.
But what about protein? Many people believe that a plant-based diet lacks the protein necessary for maintaining muscle mass and staying healthy. However, Dr. Greger points out that there are plenty of plant-based sources of protein. “Beans, lentils, tofu, tempeh, nuts, and seeds are all excellent sources of protein,” he explains. “In fact, studies show that people who eat a plant-based diet usually consume more than enough protein.”
Dr. Greger recommends that people interested in a plant-based diet focus on eating a variety of whole, plant foods. “Aim to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables, and choose whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice, and whole wheat bread,” he advises. “Include legumes like lentils, chickpeas, and black beans in your diet, and snack on nuts and seeds.”
Of course, like any diet, it is important to make sure you are getting all the necessary nutrients. Dr. Greger suggests taking a vitamin B12 supplement, as this is not readily available in plant-based foods. He also recommends getting enough vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and zinc.
So if you’re looking to improve your health, consider adding more plant-based foods to your diet. As Dr. Greger says, “It’s never too late to start eating more plants for a healthier future.”