Alchemy Organic Super Blends Nutritionist co-Founder shares her top 5 reasons why we need to eat more plants…
Plant based nutrition is one of the most important elements to our diet. Plants are so nutrient dense verses other food groups but are sadly often missing in our diets. Brits on average fail to meet the 5 a day guidelines, with children on average only getting 3 portions of fruit and veg a day. I recommend to patients that they should be having at least 8 portions a day – at least 5 of which should be vegetables. This is similar to the Australian recommendations and in Japan they recommend 10 portions a day! Here’s why plants are so good for us:
- They are crammed full of micronutrients – I call them nature’s multi-Vit. Vitamins and minerals are the ‘spark plugs’ of the body – they make us go! – if you don’t have enough then health issues can start to manifest. Vitamin C and some of the B vitamins are also not stored very effectively in the body so need to be absorbed from the diet on a daily basis. These micronutrients are essential for collagen formation and also help support glossy hair and stong nails.
- Phytonutrient rich – ‘phyto’ is the Greek word for plant. There are 1,000s of natural chemicals which help to protect plants from germs, fungi and other threats and help us too.
- Anti-oxidant rich – acting as free radical scavengers, essential to help support the immune system and to slow the signs of aging. Juicing and smoothies using antioxidant rich beetroot, carrot, ginger can give your body a hit of essential nutrients. I would recommend using mainly organic vegetables, or washing non-organic produce to remove as many pesticides as possible.
- High amounts of fibre helps to nourish the gut and help reduce cholesterol. The fibre from plants is also gentle on the system (unlike fibre from grains) so helps massage the gut on it’s way down and help create the right environment in the gut for good bacteria to grow. Smoothie making is especially good for increasing our fibre intake.
- Plants help us to lose weight as they are so low in calories plus the fibre helps to increase satiety levels. This then minimises cravings for sugar and caffeine!
The simple message here to quote Michael Pollan ‘Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much’
Words by Karen Newby, BSc Nutritional Therapy, mBANT, CNHC. Karen is co-founder of Alchemy Organic Super Blends