Benefits of Eating More Whole Plant Foods

 

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When you take a moment to notice the vast array of different diets being promoted on a virtually daily basis, in addition to all the different “miracle foods,” and food supplements that are consistently being pushed, it can be very difficult to know what you should actually be doing. 

Whether you choose to follow an omnivorous diet, or are eating a fully plant-based one however, one thing that virtually all leading health researchers and experts agree on is that having a rich variety of whole plant foods in your diet is a great way of promoting good overall health, while also keeping your meals interesting.

There are a huge range of different meals out there that you could prepare, that are based around plant foods. For example, Chinese Forbidden Rice, when properly prepared, can serve as the backbone of various delicious rice dishes, while simultaneously having a richer taste than normal rice, and conveying additional potential health benefits.

Here are just a handful of benefits of eating more whole plant foods in your diet, however you choose to prepare them.

A richer and more robust gut Microbiome

In recent years, researchers have been finding all sorts of ways in which the gut Microbiome appears to be fundamental to good overall health, and can lead to a range of dramatic benefits, spanning from improved mood and mental function, to better immune function.

The gut Microbiome is essentially the colony of bacteria that lives in your gut – and it just so happens that the way that you encourage healthy bacteria to thrive in your gut, is to eat the richest possible variety of whole plant foods.

Essentially, gut microbes thrive on plant fibre, pigments, and other plant components. Some bacteria do grow as a result of a high consumption of animal products – but, unfortunately, these gut bacteria are harmful and toxic rather than healthy.

With a healthy gut Microbiome, as a result of eating a diet rich in a variety of fruit and vegetables, you can expect to find that you’re more energetic, are healthier, have a better ability to recover from disease, and may even find it easier to maintain a healthy body weight – as some twin studies have shown that the makeup of the gut Microbiome appears to play a substantial role in things like obesity.

Potentially more energy and better stress management

Low carbohydrate diets have become very popular in recent years, particularly among people striving to lose weight.

Unfortunately, although low-carb diets may be an effective way of losing weight, they also lead to dramatic elevations of stress hormones within the body – such as the primary stress hormone cortisol, and adrenaline.

Although carbohydrates get a bad rap, complex carbohydrates play an important role in helping to move the body from a “fight or flight” state, into a “rest” state.

This is at least partly because hormones like cortisol and adrenaline are used to free up energy from glycogen stores and fat tissue – and also muscle tissue – when the body isn’t receiving sufficient carbohydrate for fuel, from the diet.

Low-carb diets also tend to be deficient in certain micronutrients, such as the mineral magnesium, which play an important role in keeping stress hormones in check.

While it’s possible to have a diet rich in whole plant foods, but low in carbohydrates, you’d have to work pretty hard to achieve this.

All plant foods contain carbohydrates to varying degrees – and the only way to get some nutrients such as magnesium, in significant quantities, is from plant foods such as legumes and nuts.

Having a diet rich in plant foods, therefore, may contribute significantly to helping you to better manage your stress levels and experience elevated levels of wellbeing.

A more varied palette of flavours to enjoy

The world of plant foods is enormous, and includes all sorts of different flavours, textures, and densities of food to enjoy.

If you want to have a diet that is as rich in different flavours as possible, and that allows you to be truly creative in the kitchen, there’s no way of getting around having a pantry that contains a good range of different plant foods.

Cooking can and should be a joy rather than a chore, and eating should be, too. For this reason, falling in love with the process of cooking – and creating recipes which are not only healthy but also flavoursome and interesting, is something that everyone should look into doing.

The types of recipes that you choose to explore can take a variety of different forms, ranging from things like mushroom risottos, to grilled peppers stuffed with rice, or garlic stuffed olives.

There’s a whole culinary world out there for you to explore.

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