World Health Day
With World Health Day fast approaching, there’s no better time to start eating healthier, especially if it has made a regular appearance on your new year resolutions for the nth year now. Hopping on the plant-based diet bandwagon, whether full-time or occasionally, has proven health benefits. As the pandemic rages on in most parts of the world, it makes sense to adopt a more healthy and nutritious diet to support our immune systems.
Research shows that plant proteins are cleaner than animal proteins due to the absence of industrial pollutants from industrially-farmed meat, such as growth hormones, nitrites, heavy metals and saturated fat. Plant proteins are naturally more alkaline-forming compared to animal proteins, which are highly acidic. As such, meat proteins increase the risk of diseases like cancer, heart disease and other chronic diseases. According to health professionals, people on vegetarian or vegan diets (which often rely on plant protein) are at a lower risk of certain diseases, including cancers, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and ischemic heart disease.
Animal proteins, such as meat, eggs and milk, may have the advantage of being complete proteins and providing all nine essential amino acids. Still, they also come with higher calories and other health risks. Try switching them out for plant-based complete protein options such as quinoa. It is true that some plant proteins only contain part and not all nine essential amino acids that we need. You can overcome this easily by filling your bowl with various plant proteins, especially since they are lower in calories than their meat counterparts!
Hesitant to make that leap of faith immediately? Go flexitarian instead! While a poorly-researched vegetarian diet could result in various nutritional deficiencies, including iron, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12 and protein itself, a flexitarian diet allows you to reap the health benefits from eating more plant-based foods while still ensuring that you’re getting all your needed nutrition. It also helps cushion the dietary transition, so your cravings are still satisfied!
If you’re not the biggest fan of salads, we’ve got good news for you. The meat alternatives market is booming, and we’re here for it. Brands like Impossible, OmniFoods and the newest kid on the block TiNDLE, are putting out plant-based “meat” products that taste like the real deal – minus the meat! With the range of plant-based alternatives on the market, easily swap out animal proteins in your favourite dishes with a close vegan replacement and continue tucking in. There’s a chance your veggie-hating friends might not even notice the difference!
If you’re keen to give plant-based meats a try, hop over to our feature on The Soothe, where we have rounded up 20 top restaurants in Singapore that serve delicious meat alternatives on their menus.