The way that we eat has significant impact on our bodies, as well as the planet. While most people want to believe that they are living the healthiest life they possibly can, the reality is that the bodies of millions around the world tell a very different story. Maintaining physical health has increasingly become a focus for thousands upon thousands of people, a promising development after years of people embracing the “easy” lifestyle of eating fast foods and putting quick-fix products into their shopping carts (many of which are overly processed and not at all good for you). The world has seen many trends come and go, but this trend of improving one’s health is one that, hopefully, will stick. Individuals the world over are making radical changes to their lifestyle in a bid to forge themselves into healthier, more well-rounded people. From investing in ayahuasca retreats to phasing out meat and dairy from their diets, the lifestyle changes are pivoting people towards a healthier future.
It is not uncommon knowledge that the two biggest impacts in an individual’s health are diet and exercise. The effects of exercise on the human body speak for themselves, and in volumes at that. There has been much investigation and research into the benefits of exercise. Recently, however, the impact of diet is having its moment in the sun – literally. More and more often, we are seeing an increasing amount of media attention and personal recommendations to turn to a plant-based diet. It is not a new concept, but the global awareness and experimentation with the diet continues to increase. Superfoods are the latest and greatest trend in the health industry, and they are already proving their worth tenfold. In a truly astounding realisation, there are roughly 300,000 edible plant species, and just three of them make up almost 60% of calories in the US alone: wheat, corn, and rice. Not only does embracing a plant-based diet make one healthier as an individual, but it also contributes to the health of the planet as a whole. Avoiding meat and dairy products is the most profound way to reduce one’s environmental impact on Earth.
The rising popularity of using a plant-based diet to maintain one’s health is showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, the ever-increasing number of people eliminating animal products from their diets suggests that the diet not only works, but that it meets the taste requirements that other healthy diets appear to lack. The reality is that we want to eat things that we enjoy – there are very few people who prefer to eat bland, tasteless foods over ones that embody flavour that is at once delicious and enjoyable to consume. Previously, it was an alarmingly common misconception that a healthy diet centred around plants was decidedly tasteless in comparison to meat and dairy-rich diets. The biggest plus for a plant-based diet is that there are various meat alternatives available that are both healthy for you and delicious.
The biggest of these meat alternatives is mushrooms. Mushrooms can be an incredible substitute for the meat on your plate, as they can not only achieve the same consistency as most meats, but they also embody rich flavour – something that is a big tick for those looking to spice up their plant-based diet. Other great meat alternatives include eggplant, tempeh, artichokes, and squash. Filling up the rest of the plate with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts is the best way to increase one’s overall physical health, as well as offering them a new lifestyle that not only makes them feel good, but is ripe with beautiful, healthy foods and drinks that elevate their health, not deplete it.
Plant-based diets are among the healthiest available, and for good reason. For a lot of people, snacking is one of the most problematic parts of maintaining a healthy diet. The whole concept of a snack is that it is quick, easy, and curves the hunger. Unfortunately, people are often under the impression that snacking equates to having to resort to eating foods like potato chips, fruit juice, or candy. All these snacking foods and drinks are high in processed ingredients, sugars, and fats and oils that are not necessary for the body. Swapping out these kinds of snacks for healthier alternatives, such as roasted chickpeas, goji berries, nuts, kale chips, and vegan banana muffins not only gives one the same satisfaction of curving hunger, but they are also healthy alternatives that aim to increase overall health while offering individuals delicious, nutritious options for snacking throughout the day.
Improving one’s diet can ultimately lead to a healthier, happier lifestyle. What we so often forget to realise is that we can control what we fuel our bodies with, we just have to have the willingness and determination to ensure that we consciously and actively make healthier decisions on an ongoing basis. So much of our health is dependent on our diets, so we must make the effort to fuel our bodies with healthy foods and drinks. It appears, as more time passes, that a plant-based diet is one of the best ways to achieve this. When we only have one body, we should always make it a priority to keep that body in its healthiest form.