How to Start a Plant-Based Diet: for Beginners



So what does a plant-based diet for beginners mean? Basically, it means 'No meat food consumption. So the main agenda is to make plant-based food a central and dominating part of your overall diet.



5 Benefits of Plant-Based Diet


The plant-based diet has consistently proven, over more than two decades, to reduce the risk of many life-threatening diseases including cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Let’s look at some of the benefits the plant-based diet brings to the human body.



1. Immune System support


Plants give our body what it needs to fight off infection. They provide essential nutrients that any other food can’t provide.

The phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals acquired by consuming plant-based food keep our body cells healthy and in balance for our immune system to work efficiently.




2. Reduced Inflammation


Prolonged inflammation can damage the body’s cells and tissues.


Plants provide enough antioxidants that go around the body neutralizing toxins from bacteria, pollution, processed food, etc. Antioxidants grab all these toxins and free radicals in our bodies and remove them, maintaining a perfect balance.




3. Healthy Weight maintenance


Excess weight causes inflammation, hormonal imbalance, and many other serious health issues.


Plant-based food is generally low in fats and is packed with fibres and essential nutrients and proteins. This makes them an ideal choice for people trying to lose extra weight.




4. High in Fibre


Eating a fibre-enriched diet improves the flora and fauna of our gut by enhancing good bacteria and eliminating the bad ones. And what’s better than adopting a plant-based meal?

Unprocessed plant foods are a better choice than processed ones as they contain more raw fibre than their processed counterparts.




5. Reduced Risk of Other Diseases


Plant-based diets have also been shown to reduce the risk for many diseases like heart stroke, cancer, indigestion, etc. Apart from these, it helps in lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels and hence reducing your risk for diabetes.


Plant-based food is also found to increase the life expectancy rate, so what are you waiting for? Start your plant diet now!



Food List of What to Eat, Limit and Avoid

What to Eat and Drink

Here’s your plant-based menu, try to add these items into your diet as much as possible.


  1. Fruits (including citrus, mango, strawberry, avocado, grapes, pomegranate, apple, berries, and banana)

  2. Vegetables (like spinach, cauliflower, carrots, potatoes, kale, broccoli, onion, garlic, asparagus, eggplant, okra, and bell peppers)

  3. Nuts (such as almonds, cashew, walnut, peanuts, and pistachio)

  4. Whole grains (including millets, whole wheat bread, brown rice, and maize)

  5. Seeds (such as chia seeds, flaxseed, linseed, hemp seeds, and melon seeds)

  6. Pulses and beans (containing lentils, mung bean, Lablab beans, sword beans, fava beans, chickpeas, black gram, and red gram)

  7. Tea (black, greens and fruity)



What to Limit or Avoid

This entirely depends on how strictly you want to follow your plant-based diet.

  1. Animal meat (like chicken, pork, and beef)

  2. Dairy products (including milk, cheese, curd, and buttermilk)

  3. Processed Meats (like sausage, pepperoni, bacon, hot dogs, and )

  4. All animal-derived products (including eggs, dairy, meat, fish oils, fats, honey, and all)

  5. Refined grains (such as white rice, white sugar, white bread, refined flour, and refined oils)

  6. Sweets (including cake, cookies, and doughnuts)

  7. Fast food (including cheeseburgers, pizza, white pasta, and fritters)




7-Day Plant-Based Diet Plan


Here’s a 7-day plant-based diet plan for beginners. You can always adjust this according to your preferences and availability of materials. This plant-based diet plan is so simple and affordable that it will not have any burden on your budget.


We have made some of these recipes, so just click on light green colour words to see the video of the recipe!


Day 1


Breakfast. Oatmeal-based breakfast muffins and soy/almond milk Lunch. Tomato basil soup with spinach crackers Dinner. Veggie-topped pizza Snack. Hummus wrap


Day 2


Breakfast. Tofu scramble with chia seeds breakfast bowl Lunch. Broccoli rice bowl with black beans, corn, avocado, and salsa Dinner. Veggie stir-fry with tofu Snack. Zucchini chips


DAY 3


Breakfast. Whole wheat burrito with eggs, peppers, and salsa Lunch. Veggie burger and Caesar salad Dinner. Cauliflower fried rice with roasted sweet potato and mushroom Snack. Veggies with hummus


DAY 4


Breakfast. Homemade oatmeal bars with a green smoothie bowl Lunch. Greek salad with a slice of whole-grain brown bread Dinner. Spinach and tofu curry Snack. Cashew yoghurt with berries and a scoop of peanut butter


DAY 5


Breakfast. Dairy-free yoghurt with berries and chia seeds or eggless vanilla sponge cake Lunch. A tomato sandwich with pesto and a drizzle of olive oil Dinner. Whole-wheat pasta with roasted tomatoes Snack. Roasted peanuts


DAY 6


Breakfast. Oatmeal with soy milk Lunch. Pearl millet bowl with roasted carrots and sweet potatoes Dinner. Chilli topped with slices of avocado and mushroom or peanut butter with banana roll-ups with roti Snack. Whole-wheat toast topped with grape jam


DAY 7


Breakfast. Chia seed pudding with fresh berries and a spoonful of almond butter Lunch. Avocado toast Dinner. Stir fry mushroom and French beans Snack. Handful of almonds or roasted chickpeas



Potential Disadvantages of Adopting a Plant-Based Diet

Sticking to a plant meal won’t necessarily mean that you’re eating a healthy diet, as many unhealthy options do qualify for being plant-based. This includes potato chips, French fries, processed fruit juices, and spicy, preservative-enriched fast food.

Adopting this unhealthy plant-based food can risk your health and cause extra weight gain.

Another thing you will notice is irregular bowel movements, constipation, or diarrhoea. This happens because plant-based foods are loaded with fibre, which helps in normalizing bowel movements. It will take only a few days for your body to adjust.

Furthermore, plant-based foods are rich in a plethora of nutrients, minerals, fibres, and vitamins including A, C, E, etc. but vitamin B is absent. So, you should look at this with consideration. Mushrooms are best for vitamin B, so adding them to your diet will benefit you.




Conclusion


A plant-based diet limits the consumption of animal-derived food and products while focusing primarily on plant-derived foods.

This includes nuts, vegetables, fruits, seeds, legumes and pulses, whole grains, and all.

It’s a fresh, flavourful, and healthy approach to reducing your carbon footprint and being more eco-friendly. You just need to add plant meals to your diet gradually, to give your body proper time to adjust.

Wanna start a plant-based diet? You can grow your own veggies with our Organic Smart Garden. Give it a try!


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