Plant-based foods provide you with some essential nutrients that are needed by your body. That is why it is important that you should include them in your meal. Plant foods are abundant in vitamins and minerals, but are low in calories and fats. To obtain the best nutrition, it is recommended that you should get the appropriate amount each day. Be sure to include 3 to 4 ounces of grains, 2 to 3 cups of vegetables, and 1 1/2 to 2 cups of fruit to your diet each day. Also, don’t forget to add 5 to 6 1/2 ounces of protein foods such as lentils, tofu, beans, etc.
You can obtain complete proteins from seafood, eggs, dairy, and meat. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these foods can provide 20 of the essential amino acids that are required by your body. Plants that have proteins include whole grains, nuts, and beans. However, they are insufficient and cannot provide you with all of the amino acids that your body needs.
If you want to maintain a vegetarian diet, then it is required that you must eat different types of protein-rich plant foods each day to obtain all the essential amino acids that your body needs. Keep in mind that you don’t have to eat different types of insufficient proteins in one meal.
If you are having brown rice for lunch, then you could go for some black beans at dinner. Protein gives you 4 calories per gram. 10% to 35% of the calories that you need should be obtained from protein.
Plants give us nutrition through macronutrients, which include calories for energy. Macronutrients are composed of fat, protein, and carbohydrates. Most plant-based foods such as spinach, potatoes, bananas, and apples are rich in carbohydrates, but not so much in fat and protein. Calories should be obtained from carbohydrates because this is the main source of energy.
Based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010, you should get 45% to 65% of your overall calories from carbohydrates, which consists of 4 calories per gram. If you are adhering to a 2,000-calorie diet, then you will need 225 grams to 325 grams of carbohydrates throughout the day.
Grains, vegetables, fruits, and other plant foods vary from seafood and meat since they also contain fiber. Fiber is important for your bowel movement to prevent having constipation. You can obtain a lot of soluble fiber in some plant-based foods while others give you an abundant supply of insoluble fiber. Oats and fruits have soluble fiber that can help in slowing down digestion.
This means that vitamins and minerals have a lot of time to absorb rather than just go to waste. On the other hand, vegetables and whole grains have insoluble fiber that sweeps your gut to fasten up digestion. According to Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010, for every 1,000 calories you consume, you should have 14 grams of fiber. For instance, if you regularly have approximately 2,000 calories every day, you should also have a total of 28 grams of fiber.
Vitamins refer to the organic substances produced by plants. To function normally each day, your diet should include vitamins. For instance, strawberries, broccoli, citrus fruits, and other plant foods have Vitamin C that can help your immune system is working excellently.
Dark leafy green vegetables contain Vitamin A that can keep your eyes healthy. While beans, nuts, and whole-grain foods contain B-vitamins that will help in extracting energy from fat, protein, and carbohydrates. Some plant-based foods such as whole-grain bread and olive oil contain Vitamin E that includes antioxidant properties to help in keeping your cells healthy.
Plants give you the essential minerals that your body needs. Minerals refer to the inorganic substances that are absorbed by plants either from the rainwater that touches the leaves or from the soil. Legumes, nuts, and whole grains are abundant in magnesium, which is necessary for the function of the nerves and muscles.
On the other hand, walnuts, almonds, lentils, and beans are rich in phosphorus, which can provide structure to tissues and keep your bones strong. Furthermore, lentils and bananas are high in potassium, which can help in regulating fluid balance. Potassium is responsible for making your muscles contract and relax, as well as keeping your heart beating.
Why Minerals, Vitamins, Fats, Proteins, and Carbohydrates Are Essential for Good Nutrition
Good nutrition can be achieved depending on the various components in your diet. Fat, protein, and carbohydrates are macronutrients in food that can give you energy and keep your system functioning well. While minerals and vitamins are micronutrients that are significant for your daily biological processes. Micronutrients and macronutrients will work together so they can function well. For instance, vitamin C helps in absorbing iron for transmitting oxygen, and B vitamins will metabolize the macronutrients. Other nutrients will work hand in hand so your body can function at its best to keep you healthy.
Having a balanced diet and obtaining good nutrition means that you are getting all the essential vitamins and minerals from the foods that you eat. Vitamins and minerals are important for your continuing biological processes like regulating your heartbeat, creating new red blood cells, hormone production, helping cells communicate with each other, and food metabolism.
Be sure to include various types of colored foods from different food groups in your diet. Colors signify different nutrients, that is why be sure to consume foods that have all of the colors of the rainbow. For instance, carrots, which contain beta-carotene, represent the color orange. This can help in promoting good eyesight. There are some vitamins that require fat for storage and absorption. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble vitamins that need fat so they can function properly.
Optimal nutrition means that you have to consume carbohydrates since this will provide fuel for all cells. Carbohydrates from the foods that you consume will be transformed into glucose in your small intestine. Glucose flows into your bloodstream, then it will be intercepted by cells together with the hormone insulin. In case there are no carbohydrates, your system will instantly look for protein or fat to obtain energy. It will depend on whichever is available.
Although carbs are the major source of fuel in your body, there are other foods that are excellent sources. Carbohydrates that are found in skim milk, beans, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are nutritious since they include minerals, vitamins, protein, and a bit of fat. Try to stay away from carbohydrates that come from foods that are made of white flour or processed junk foods. Most often, these foods are rich in fat or added sugar and have less or no nutritional value at all.
Various nutrients in your diet will work hand in hand to strengthen your bones and skeleton. The most vital mineral in your body is calcium which can be acquired from leafy green vegetables, milk, and other foods. It requires vitamin D for absorption. However, vitamin D requires fat so it can function well.
Another fat-soluble vitamin is vitamin K, which aids your body in creating bone protein. Bone protein is an essential structural component of bones. Since skeletal strength does not depend only on calcium, it is necessary that you must include different varieties of plant-based foods, low-fat dairy, as well as lean protein in your diet. In this way, you can get all the micronutrients and macronutrients that your body needs to keep your bones stronger.
Fiber and Digestion
Fiber is an important part of a nutritious diet. While fiber is considered a carb, it does not provide calories and it won’t be converted into glucose. What the fiber does is, it will flow through your gut and help with digestion. Soluble fiber that is found in barley, oats, and soft inner parts of fruits, is essential for the effective absorption of vitamins and minerals. Once the soluble fiber is blended with fluid in your gut, digestion will be slowed down. As a result, micronutrients will be given sufficient time to absorb through intestinal walls instead of being discharged through stools.
With all of these great benefits of consuming plant foods, it is only practical that you must adapt to a plant-based lifestyle. Pick Plants 4 Life in Austin, Texas can help you in achieving this. We offer lifestyle consultation to help you in achieving your goals. Best of all, we can do this virtually, so you don’t have to get out of your house. Phone consultations can be done wherever you are.
The first thing that we will do is to evaluate your current lifestyle and diet. Then we will give you some recommendations. We can assure you that we won’t provide you with short-term diets. Instead, our goal is to help you practice a plant-based lifestyle throughout your life. For more information, just get in touch with us at 512-656-9209 or send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.