A plant-based diet is one that consists exclusively or mostly of foods from plants. These include vegetables, fruits, grains, tubers, and legumes. Plant-based nutrition avoids meats, dairy, and egg; aiming to get most of its protein requirements from plant sources.
One of the companies raising awareness about the benefits of plant-based nutrition for people and the environment is Upfield, makers of consumer products such as Blue Band. Upfield is the largest plant-based foods company in the world and the number one producer of plant-based spreads and margarines globally.
Plant based diets are considered rich in fibre, good fats, vitamins, and minerals, that help lower blood pressure and LDL (bad) cholesterol, reduce the risk of diabetes, and help maintain a healthy weight. Upfield’s vision of ‘A Better Plant-Based Future’ therefore drives positive change in people’s health, their daily lives and the planet’s sustainability.
Below are some of the top benefits that will help you make the decision to embrace plant-based nutrition:
Plant-based foods are the richest source of phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are naturally occurring protective substances that are found in foods of plant origin and in plant-based diets. Their benefits include antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They can also enhance immunity, repair damaged cells, and help prevent disease.
Phytonutrients can be found in red, orange, and yellow vegetable and fruits such as peppers, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, mangos, and oranges. They can also be found in dark green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale as well as in garlic and onions.
Plant-based foods are the best sources of good fats and oils: For long-term health, it is important to include healthy fats in your diet. These ‘good’ fats are known as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats which can be found in foods from plant sources including margarine. Margarine and plant spreads are often wrongly interchanged with butter, but they are distinctively different.
Margarine is a plant- based fat as it is largely made from vegetable oils while butter is from dairy. This means that margarine and spreads like Blue Band contain the ‘good’ fats. These types of fats help reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) also known as ‘bad’ cholesterol. Butter, on the other hand, is made from animal fat, which is high in saturated fat. Saturated fats are considered an unhealthy fat which may increase your risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Plant-based foods are rich sources of vitamins and minerals. As has been well publicized, vitamins and minerals are essential for good health and growth. Vitamins can be found in plant sources including nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, carrots, sweet potatoes and other fruits and vegetables.
Blue Band margarine is fortified with important vitamins that are vital for child development including Vitamin A (for good vision, healthy skin, and immune system), Vitamin D (for growth and development of bones and muscle function), Vitamin E (for the protection of cells against oxidative reactions) and Vitamin B6 & B12 (for metabolism and converting food into energy).
Plant-based foods can be more affordable: In addition to all the health benefits noted above, research also shows that a plant-based diet can be less expensive when compared to meat-based diets. Plant foods including vegetables, fruits and grains are often readily available and more affordable when compared to non-plant options like meats, cheese, and butter.
Plant-based foods are good for the planet: If, like us, you are passionate about saving the planet, then you will be interested to know that your decision to embrace more sustainable food choices like plant-based foods can make a huge difference in managing your environmental footprint and lowering your climate impact. It is definitely a win–win!
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