Spring time is such a beautiful, awakening season. Temperatures are finally warming up, summer vacations are beginning to come closer, and most importantly, plants are coming back to life! Theres no better feeling than walking outside and smelling fresh, warm air, and watching the plants finally begin to thrive.
Planting a seed and being able to watch it blossom and thrive is an amazing process to be involved in. Seeing the seed grow into a bushy kale bunch, a watermelon, or even a juicy tomato makes you appreciate that food so much more. Having the power to grow your own food and watch it change from nothing to something is an amazing process. You know exactly what you’re eating, and that it came directly from our Earth. A plant-based or plant-focused diet is optimal for providing the body with raw, natural vitamins and minerals. The earth is providing these vegetables with all of these amazing nutrients in order to allow it to grow and become its final product. Plants go through a process of photosynthesis which is the process of creating energy in the form of carbohydrates. These reactions use enzymes, also called phytochemical’s to speed up the conversion process. Phytochemical’s (or phytonutrients) are unique to each vegetable and are often what makes vegetables and fruit different coloured. The body uses these phytochemical’s to fight off free-radicals in the body. Free-radicals are caused from pollutants in our environment such as smoking, caffeine, alcohol, as well as pollution in the air. Free-radicals damage healthy cells in the body which can lead to the formation of cancer cells. Phytochemical’s found in plant-based foods stop these free-radicals from damaging our healthy cells. Some more familiar names for phytochemical’s you may have heard are beta-carotene, flavonoids, or lycopene. Not only do plant foods provide this amazing chemical process, but they also contain a rich amount of vitamins and minerals.
Vegetables and plant-based foods are extremely high in fibre found in the skin as well as internal. Fibre is beneficial for a healthy digestive system as well as weight loss. It’s also seen to reduce risks of cancer and diseases such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, as well as breast cancer. High fibre plant-based foods include all types of beans, lentils, green peas, apples, as well as dried fruit (dates, apricots). They also provide a rich source or vitamins and minerals. Vitamins such as vitamin A can be found in orange coloured foods such as mango, sweet potato, grapefruit, carrots, and cantaloupe. Vitamin A is beneficial for the health of our eyes and skin. It also protects us against infections by fighting free-radicals.
Eating animal products can increase risks of a whole bunch of negative effects on the body. For example, animal-based foods are high in cholesterol, which can lead to poor heart health such as heart disease or high blood pressure. Animal foods are also hard to digest and can cause an acidic environment in the body. Cancer cells thrive in acidic environments, so preventing this from occurring is essential for a healthy lifestyle. Plant-based foods are very alkaline which is on the opposite side of the spectrum from acidity, meaning they can stop or reverse the formation of cancer cells.
Good news is its never too late to switch your lifestyle and live a happier and healthier life! Your body will thank you 🙂