Many people who visit my clinic have the idea that if they lead a physically active life, they can eat anything. Not true! Burgers, fries, pizzas and other junk foods will clog your arteries no matter what. Besides, if you lead a physically active life style, then I promise you that with the diet adjustments I urge you to make, you will rarely suffer from aliments that are directly or indirectly connected to the food you eat.
In my previous blog I had written about the consequences of a diet in which the main source of protein and fat came from animals and had urged my readers to espouse a more vegan diet i.e. retain some lean meats but shift to a diet largely free of junk food and in which the main source of protein and fat came from vegetables.
Now, let’s see how you can not only introduce more vegetables in your diet but also enjoy it.
Idea 1: Instead of turkey, use hummus in your sandwich
Idea 2: When making a smoothie, just add peanut butter to it
Idea 3: Have brown rice with stir fried vegetables and garbanzo or kidney beans with lentils
Idea 4: For a sandwich, grill the tofu along with onion and pepper
Idea 5: Snack on an ounce of nuts such as almonds everyday
Many people also often complain about vegetables being drab in appearance and therefore unappetizing. The truth is actually other way round. Think about it – have you ever seen “colorful” yellow, purple or green colored meat?
Vegetables that are lightly cooked and chosen for their colors can pack a whollop in terms of nutrients, but will also be delightfully crunchy and a delight to your senses.
Here’s a list of fruit and vegetable colors and what nutrients they contain:
- Red – Indicates the presence of lycopene, ellagic acid, and Quercetin. These are nutrients that help in lowering blood pressure, LDL (bad) cholesterol, reduce the risk of cancer and have anti-inflammatory properties that is especially beneficial to people suffering from arthritis.
- Yellow and Orange – These colors indicate the presence of potassium, flavonoids, beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, vitamin C and lycopene. These nutrients are highly effective in preventing your eye sight from deteriorating, lowering blood pressure, reducing the risk of prostate cancer, lowering LDL cholesterol, promoting collagen formation and maintaining healthy joints.
- Green – It has all the goodness of chlorophyll, zeaxanthin, fiber, lutein, folate, calcium, vitamin C, calcium, and beta-carotene. All these lovely nutrients reduce the possibility of developing cancer, lowers blood pressure, reduces LDL cholesterol levels, supports retinal health and vision, fights harmful free-radicals, and boosts the body immune system.
- Blue and Purple Indicates that the food is packed with fibre, ellagic acid, lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin C, resveratrol, flavonoids and quercetin. These too help you maintain your eye sight, keep your LDL cholesterol in control, jack up your immune system, support healthy digestion, fight inflammation, shrink tumor growth and act as anticarcinogens in your digestive tract.
- White – White is the color of nutrients like lignans, beta-glucans, EGCG and SDG. All these nutrients not only provide powerful immune boosting activity, they also cut down the risk of breast, colon and prostate cancers. They are also known to balance hormone levels, thus reducing risks of hormone-related cancers.
Along with the adoption of a more vegan diet,
you should aim to dramatically reduce (or preferably drop completely) butter, whole milk, bacon, cream, processed meats and non-lean versions of red meat. Think about it, every day you have a choice – eat junk food and live a miserable life in later years or eat healthy and live a long and eventful life free of diseases. Live long and prosper!