Fill your plate

A healthy plant-based diet focusses on the 4 main food groups, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. With the addition of some mushrooms (technically not a plant), spices, nuts, and seeds, plant-based meals supply you with all your daily requirements, plenty of fibre and protein. The only exception being vitamin B12, which is recommended to supplement. B12 supplementation is recommended for everybody of age of 50 regardless of diet.

Nuts and seeds are very beneficial additions to your diet, with small amounts incorporated in your diet already offering significant health benefits. When you are struggling with your weight or need to restrict your calories, nuts and seeds are best minimized. Nuts and seeds have around 2800 calories per pound, which makes them highly calorific. When you consume nuts and seeds in their whole form, your body will not absorb all the calories and part of the calories are excreted with your stool.

Fruit

A variety of different fruits is recommended. Each different type of fruit comes with its own set of nutrients. Try to choose fruits that are in season in your area, as these will be the freshest and most delicious fruits. The inclusion of fruit in your diet will provide you with lots of fiber and vitamins. Fruit is best eaten in its whole form to get all the benefits. Smoothies are faster digested by your body and can give you a spike in your blood sugar, and juices even more so. Even for people with diabetes, whole fruits are recommended. There is lots of evidence that fruit is beneficial for insulin sensitivity and the consumption of fruit increases your lifespan.

Vegetables

All vegetables are considered healthy, try to incorporate as many different vegetables as you can find. Bright colours are a good indication of freshness, the beneficial nutrients are also responsible for the colours of the vegetables. Different vegetables will provide your body with different nutrients. Vegetables provide vitamins, minerals, fibre and other beneficial plant nutrients. The dark green leafy vegetables are especially loaded with these nutrients. Try to incorporate several different vegetables into one dish. Smoothies are an easy way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet.

Whole grains

This group includes brown rice, grains like wheat, rye, oat and barley, and corn. As well as the products made from whole grains, like bread, pasta, and cereal. The less processed, the more nutrients will be retained in the grain and the more they will fill you up. Bread has double the calorie density as the whole intact grain berry. Whole grains are a good source of fibre, energy, B vitamins and minerals. And whole grains are naturally low in fat. Refined grains like white flour are stripped from most of their nutrients and have a higher calorie density. In countries where whole grains are a staple food, there is less incidence of chronic diseases.

Legumes

Giving legumes a prominent place on your plate is beneficial for your health. The legumes group includes all types of beans, peas, lentils, and products made from beans. Examples are tofu, tempeh, miso, and vegan burgers. Legumes are one of the best sources of dietary fibre, as well as containing protein, minerals, and B vitamins. Legumes will fill your stomach and give a feeling of satiety, while being low in calories. When you first start incorporating beans into your diet, cook the legumes thoroughly and start with small portions as they can cause some gassiness. It takes some time before your microbiota adapts to the legumes.

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