In a bid to improve our natural defences against diseases, experts recommend eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. Our immune system needs essential nutrients in order to function properly and fight off illness. A plant-based diet is a relatively new concept, and is not to be confused with being a vegetarian. Vegetarians do eat mainly plants, but also certain animal products such as cheese and eggs. A plant-based diet focuses on plants instead of meat and other animal by-products which can be inflammatory. Inflammation is bad for the immune system, so meat can be harmful to the system.
Not only will a primarily plant-based diet help you stay healthier and more resilient to diseases but it’s also a good way to eat more sustainable produce. In this way you can help take the pressure off of our meat supply chain, which has caused ecological damage by contributing to increased greenhouse gasses.
Here are a few tips to help you eat more vegetables!
Add Veggies To Your Staples
A great way to incorporate more plants into your diet is to add them to staples like maize, rice and potatoes. Spinach goes nicely with many starches and works particularly well in this recipe for Umfino Pap. Let your imagination go wild!
Meat Replacements Are Great
Luckily, we live in a day and age in which there are many meat-free substitutes that you can incorporate into your favourite recipes. Think soya mince and veggie patties and sausages, for example. Buy and keep them in the freezer - or you can make your own. The internet is full of ideas on how you can use a substitute for meat - while being kind to the planet and your body.
Do It Gradually
We know that a sudden shift to plant-based eating isn’t always easy. Dr Craig McDougall from ForksOverKnives.com recommends that you, add around 1,000 calories of legumes, whole grains, and starchy vegetables to your everyday diet. Starchy foods keep you feeling full and satisfied, so you’ll naturally eat less of the animal products and processed foods that can make you sick.
Enjoy your journey to better health - and to making a difference to our planet. You can do it!