Changing a person’s perception of a plant-based diet can be difficult. There is a misconception that when changing to a diet that is plant-based it means that you are becoming a vegetarian or a vegan. This is extremely false. Plant-based is a change to a healthier way of eating. This can include adding grass fed beef, cage free/free range/hormone free chicken, as well as line caught fish.
When it comes to the plant side of this diet, which includes vegetables and fruit, one must know that although you may be eliminating some vegetables and fruit, you will not be eliminating all. In this particular diet, one must stay clear of vegetables/fruits such as beans, tomatoes, and some grains. Beans are full of lectin, which is an irritant of the body and promotes inflammation.
Stomach and intestinal lining, as well as pre-existing injuries can all be affected by a diet including lectin-based vegetables. Tomatoes, like beans, are full of lectins in both the skin and seeds. Unlike beans, tomatoes fall into the “Night Shade” category which can cause irritants to the body, as well as cause inflammation. Avoiding all grains, with the exception of sorghum and millet, will help reduce the issues associated with most gluten and lectin allergies. This would include inflammation, weight gain, and heart disease.
Introducing leafy greens, nuts, root vegetables, avocados, and others into your diet is a great place to begin when transitioning into a plant-based diet. Leafy greens such as dandelion greens, spinach, and Italian parsley are high in polyphenols, which help support full body health. Macadamia, pistachio, chestnut, and coconuts are all excellent sources of healthy fat, polyphenols, as well as fiber. Root vegetables are resistant starches. These carbohydrates give you a mostly free pass for your caloric intake which, unlike most starches, are not fully broken down and absorbed, but rather turned into short-chain fatty acids by intestinal bacteria. Including these starches into your diet will help promote a healthier digestive track.
Converting to a plant-based diet will not only will improve your overall health but can be an easy and delicious change to your everyday meals. Whether your personal chef is creating this new diet for you, or you are cooking yourself, a plant-based diet will improve your digestion and heart health and allow you to control your weight management and well-being going forward.
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