Healthy Bites!

Vegan, vegetarian, ovo-vegetarian, flexitarian…plant-based is the broader term to define these different types of diets!

Adopting a plant-based diet simply refers to consuming more whole food derived from plants (including nuts, oils, and whole grains) rather than processed foods. Even if you choose to go with a plant-based diet, it doesn’t mean you will need to cut out meat and dairy! Nothing is set in stone when it comes to adopting a plant-based diet. 

For instance, we all know vegetables are great for our health. They can help lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and eye problems, prevent certain types of cancer, improve digestion, and even promote weight loss! However, many of us rarely have enough vegetables in our diet. A healthy, balanced diet means having at least half of a plate filled with vegetables during your meals!

As vegetables differ in appearance, texture, flavor and nutrient content, it is important to consume a range of vegetables to maximize your intake of vitamins and minerals. By doing so, you expose yourself to hundreds of plant compounds, with each of them playing a different role in your body.

There are many ways to incorporate more vegetables into your diet. One would be to base your intake of vegetables according to their color categories (red, purple/blue, orange, green, and white or brown).

In the clip below, Okuni shares how she used her own vegan Japanese diet to start creating and selling authentic vegan Japanese bento! She explains that eating plant-based is not as difficult or expensive as you may think.

Heathy Bites, feat. Okuni Tomoe

Simply including vegetables in our diet isn’t all that’s important for our health either. Did you know that conventional farming can lead to a significant amount of carbon dioxide emissions, a greenhouse gas that harms the environment?

Organic farming, on the other hand, involves nutrient-rich soil being able to absorb carbon dioxide naturally, playing a part in protecting the environment! To ensure that organic vegetables are fresh and of good quality, farmers preserve soil fertility by rotating crops and leaving rich microorganisms in the soil.

If you are a meat-eater, organic meat is also obtained from livestock that are reared under specific conditions. These animals are bred in places that are similar to their natural habitats and are therefore free to move around outdoors, feed on organically produced agricultural products, and do not receive antibiotics or growth hormones.

This process results in much lower stress-levels in the animals, which can affect our health as meat-eaters, and also allows the meat to contain more healthy omega-3 fatty acids and less saturated fat compared to conventionally produced meat.

Thus, making an effort to purchase organic fruits and vegetables, as well as organic snacks and meat, can have profound effects on your health and energy levels. However, do note that organic foods should be purchased in smaller quantities because of their shorter shelf-life.

Eating more consciously and making certain small dietary changes not only improves our health and our own bodies, but it can also improve the environment and the health of those around us!

Not sure where to begin? Take some tips from Nicole and Jacqueline in the clips below.

7 years ago, Nicole decided to cut meat out of her diet and has never looked back!

Healthy Bites, feat. Nicole Goo

Jacqueline, on the other hand, hasn’t taken up a full vegan diet, but has started making more healthy diet choices and has even set her business up around promoting plant-based diets.

Healthy Bites, feat. Jacqueline Koay

So, ease into a plant-based diet and start eating consciously by making small changes in your life!

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