Looking To Improve Health? Try Switching To Plant-Based Foods

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Honestly, I am very picky with my veggies, except for a few popular ones such as potatoes, peas and cucumbers. But my lovely granny always had a different opinion. She insisted to have enough colourful vegetables on our plate daily, in order to live a healthy and long life. Since I may not wholly agree to her belief, however there are many people who have decided to go on a plant based diet for health, ethical or environmental reasons.

With the aim to reduce our carbon footprint to potential scientific benefits, there are many other reasons for us to turn to plants based food such as vegetables, grains, nuts, fruits, as well as food products made from plants. A healthy plant based diet can play a significant role in improving overall well-being including weight loss, improved blood pressure and lower risk of diabetes/heart disease, better digestion and sleep. Although a diet based solely on plant foods may increase the risk of nutrient deficiencies, hence a well-planned diet that includes nutrient-rich foods is much needed to provide adequate nutrition.

Why the need for plant based food products?
The expected growth of plant-based food globally can be attributed to the impact of non-vegetarian and dairy food on the environment and human health. One of the major contributors to global warming is the livestock industry, and, relative to plant-based agriculture, meat production has a much higher environmental impact in relation to freshwater use, amount of land required, and waste products generated. Promoting increased consumption of plant-based foods is a recommended strategy to reduce human impact on the environment and is also now recognized as a potential strategy to reduce the high rates of some chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.

Roughly 387 million people are living with diabetes, and according to the International Diabetes Federation, that number is expected to soar to nearly 600 Million by 2035. Studies claim a whole-food plant-based diet can prevent and even reverse a litany of food and lifestyle-borne illnesses, including heart disease and type-2 diabetes. The growing concerns regarding the sustainability of livestock production, meat availability, and change in food preferences have led to many people opting for meat substitutes. This has immensely benefitted the plant-based meat market globally.

With the growth of social media as a platform to share information, a plant-based diet is becoming more visible and could be more accepted in sports and in the health and fitness industry. When it comes to plant-based nutrition, people have moved towards alternative protein sources, with the traditional dominance of whey and other dairy proteins now being challenged by plant-based products. This trend is apparent across the food and drinks market, and sports nutrition is no exception.

Healthy reasons to choose plant based food products
The Plant-Based Food market stood at US$ 23 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 14.87% during the forecast period 2021-2026. Amid COVID-19 pandemic the consumers prefer plant-based foods products over conventional foods products and also because of the panic buying. The global meat and dairy sector are currently going through an unprecedented level of competition and disruption, driven by the growth of viable plant-based alternatives across many categories. People are reducing or eliminating animal products from their diet for a variety of reasons. Some want to cut back on cholesterol, others may be concerned about animal welfare, and some tend to worry about the effect of animal agriculture on the environment. Whatever the reason may be, consumers globally are shifting to a plant-based food diet. There is a seismic shift occurring in eating habits, creating a significant market opportunity for plant-based foods. Most important, many kinds of research reveal that for consumers, consuming plant-based foods has moved beyond experimentation into a permanent change brought on by health, lifestyle, and social factors.

Climate change is recognized as a significant public health issue that will impact on food security. One of the major contributors to global warming is the livestock industry, and, relative to plant-based agriculture, meat production has a much higher environmental impact in relation to freshwater use, amount of land required, and waste products generated. Promoting increased consumption of plant-based foods is a recommended strategy to reduce human impact on the environment and is also now recognized as a potential strategy to reduce the high rates of some chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.

Plant-based food product categories are in the beginning stages of the explosive growth. Due to the alignment of market factors between these emerging categories and the historic trajectory of the plant-based foods sector, one could expect to see these other plant-based dairy categories, as well as plant-based milk and meat, reach similar levels of ubiquity in the coming years. Plant-based milk is produced from plants such as almond milk, soy milk and coconut milk, is an alternative to dairy milk. For those with lactose intolerance or such medical conditions, they generally prefer plant-based milk, but some those still prefer this for reasons of lifestyle or improved living standards. Plant-based milk products are full of nutrients such as protein, fat, carbohydrates, and vitamins etc.

With the rising global food and water issues due to environmental and socio-economic problems, now is the time to adopt a more sustainable way of living. By shifting to a plant based diet we can help maintain our planet, as plant-based living is a prolonged way of feeding the human family. And what more could be better than starting the New Year with a new resolution?