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What can Plant Based Food do for you and what other options are there; aside from plant based food we see vegan, lactovegetarian, raw, paleo, primal, pescatarian, vegetarian, herbivore, carnivore…..it’s not surprising that most of us are confusedivores! And with a good reason, these definitions can mean so many things; just like a meat-eater’s diet can be unhealthy, so can a vegan lifestyle. Food is a shared, global experience; we all eat to live. However, the kind of food we eat and don’t eat varies significantly from individual to individual.
What is Plant Based Food and how does it come in to play? While someone following paleo might avoid grain or a raw foodie might not cook their plants and thus avoid certain types of vegetables, the common ground is the appreciation of certain plant based food as a foundation for optimum health.
Whatever your opinions, diet choices and or lifestyle, our true belief is that no matter your diet, you can benefit from enriching your way of eating with the rich, pure and natural nutrient content of plants. The pure energy that plants absorb from the sun, harness into chemical energy via photosynthesis and store in their stems, leaves and roots provides nourishing benefits to our bodies. As a result, these green gems provide a much needed TLC boost, paramount to health and longevity. The goal, of course, is to boost this rich food to the point that you crowd out consumption of processed/unhealthy foods.
This blog aims to highlight the importance of plants based food and also provide you with ideas and resources to apply in your day-to-day habits. However, in doing so we don’t want to impose a particular diet or method as the ‘one-way’ or ‘only-way’ to health. We don’t assume there is a right or wrong way. We love raw, vegan food but even if you do still eat meat, fish or poultry, this information is very much relevant.
At iRaw, we work tirelessly to provide you with genuine nourishment. This is a non-negotiable core value at the heart of our product range;
Purity in Every Bite – Straight from Nature to your Lips.
So what is plant based food?
Plant-based does not equate to ‘plant-only’ but rather discourages or minimises the consumption of non-plant based food including processed and refined foods, meat & dairy.
First of all, to define plant based food, google highlights two interpretations which we like:
“A whole-food, plant-based diet is centered on whole, unrefined, or minimally refined plants. It’s a diet based on fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grains, and legumes; and it excludes or minimises meat (including chicken and fish), dairy products, and eggs, as well as highly refined foods like bleached flour, refined sugar, and oil” – Source
“A plant-based diet is a diet based on foods derived from plants, including vegetables, whole grains, legumes and fruits, but with few or no animal products” – Source
Now that we looked at couple of definitions of plant based foods, let’s look at some sources and ideas.
Sources of Plant-based foods:
- Vegetables: No introduction needed, vegetables are the true king of plant foods. Pick a wide spectrum of colours for maximum antioxidant benefits. Also, you can mix both raw and cooked options as certain vitamins and enzymes can be damaged when heated. At iRaw, we love to dehydrate our vegetables for natural extension of shelf life – check our kale, courgette and onion!
- Fruits: Like vegetables, are full of nutrition and energy Try to eat seasonally and aim for variety and colours.
- Nuts & Seeds: Energy dense rich in protein, fibre and omega 3 & 6, nuts and seeds are a wonderful source of whole foods and healthy fat. We love sunflower seeds, flaxseeds and cashew nuts but there are so many others to choose from.
- Starches & Tubers: Satiating, resilient and rich in nutrition, options include carrots, beets, sweet potatoes and squashes.
- Whole grains: The key point with whole-grains is the ‘whole’ part. Try ancient grains like spelt, millet, teff, sorghum, quinoa and amaranth as well as other whole varieties like oats and buckwheat. Grains can be a source of dense energy and nutrition when unprocessed, unrefined and in their natural state.
- Legumes: High in fibre and protein, legumes are a great source of energy. A really quick and easy snack can be hummus with raw crackers! What about sunshine in a box crackers? A match made in heaven with either hummus or guacamole.
- Superfoods: We love a little extra boost therefore our products come with a little added oomph in the form of superfoods. On the ingredients list you’ll find things like maca, lucuma, algaroba, pink himalayan sea salt, chia, goji, cacao and spirulina.
Top tip: Sprouting! To maximise the nutrient content of nuts, seeds, legumes and grains, try out sprouting. See our article about how it applies to nuts here.
Three easy ways to add more plant foods:
- Join our #RawWickedWednesdays challenge to eat raw every Wednesday
- Take one day meat free like a #meatlessmonday where you can choose protein sources like nuts, legumes, tempeh, fermented tofu, seitan, edamame and quinoa.
- Finally, make it easy! Take advantage of the amazing raw vegan and plant rich brands on the market to make eating more plants quick and easy. Stock up on some snacks that’s one meal covered! Of course, we believe our range is truly the best….so check out our favourites below.
Our personal plant based favourites:
Plant Based Food for the Savoury Foodie!
- Try our sunshine in a box crackers with your favourite hummus for lunch
- Snack on our Courgette Diskettes or Kale while on the go
- Finally, savour our iQuiche for dinner
Plant Based Food for the Love of Sweetness!
- Start your morning with a perfect sweet and sour pairing
- Try our Choco Rockets on the run
- Indulge in a beetroot brownie for dessert
In conclusion, eat more plant based food no matter what diet you follow. It’s as easy as that!