As we know, there are vast differences between foods made from animal products and plant-based foods. Beyond the obvious difference of where these two food groups come from, there are also nutritional differences that it are great to be aware of.
You might not have heard the reasons why it is essential to not negate plant-based foods as a prominent part of your diet. In this post I am going to discuss certain nutrients that you simply can’t get in adequate amounts from meat products.
First of all, and perhaps most importantly, vitamin C is not present in beneficial amounts in any cooked animal products. On the flip side, vitamin C is found in abundance in many vegetables and fruits. This is an essential vitamin that maintains connective tissue, as well as preventing a wide range of health problems that are caused by vitamin C deficiency. It can also help to regulate blood pressure and promotes the optimum function of your blood vessels.
One of the most important groups of antioxidants to consume for good health is flavonoids. They are present in practically every plant-based food you can get your hands on, making it easy to get an adequate amount with a varied plant-based diet. Flavonoids have many uses in the body, not least aiding your brain function, protecting the cardiovascular system, lowering blood pressure and LDL cholesterol, as well as helping to protect against cancer.
You may not have heard of lignans before, but they have several incredibly important roles to play in the body. Not only do they help to regulate our hormone levels and support the immune system, but they are also thought to aid in the relief of menopausal symptoms. This is due to the way they interact with estrogen. However, they also interact with testosterone in such a way that they can improve prostate health! Lignans are phytonutrients that are high in antioxidants, which of course also means they are perfect for fighting free radicals in the body. The foods which are richest in lignans are whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds! So, as you can see, a varied plant-based diet will allow you to benefit from the fantastic benefit of lignans!
There are of course many more amazing nutritional benefits to be gained from eating a range of plant-based foods every day but hopefully these top three will motivate you to get started!
Want to learn more about nutrition? Head over to The Flexi Foodie Academy!