Staying Fit With a Plant Based Diet
Today, many fitness minded people have begun to adopt a plant-based diet. This can be for reasons such as improving their performance or to have a more ethical diet, out of concern for the environment. Though it is possible to live on a plant-based diet, it is important to know how to create a meal plan that is nutrient-rich, energy providing and keeps you both healthy and strong. Here are some tips to help you feel your best whilst enjoying sports, working out, or outdoors activities.
Is There A Lack Of Protein?
There is a common misconception that protein can only be found in animal products. Protein can be found in many non-animal products throughout your daily meals. An excellent source of plant-based proteins includes quinoa, miso, buckwheat, chlorella or amaranth. Another way to enjoy your proteins is by combining brown rice and beans. Other good sources of plant-based proteins are tofu, tempeh, seitan, natto, chia, flax and sunflower seeds, nut butters, teff, oats, and lentils.
How To Include Calcium In A Plant Based Diet
When you exercise, you are putting stress on your bones on a daily basis. Hence making Calcium a vital nutrient in your diet is important. Some foods that are abundant in Calcium are:
- Green vegetables – watercress, broccoli, kale, spinach, bok choy, Brussel sprouts and cabbage
- Soy products – tofu, tempeh and natto
- Legumes – lentils, peas and beans
- Sea vegetables – wakame, hiziki and dulse
- Seeds and nuts – sesame, flax, chia and almond butter
- Berries – raspberries, blackberries and black currants
Vitamin C And Iron
Iron is found in many plant-based foods, however, the inclusion of Vitamin C helps to absorb the iron more effectively. Most iron-rich foods are also high in protein. Some great sources of Iron – hummus, lentils, tempeh, quinoa, seeds, nuts, mushrooms, oats, sea vegetables, olives, watercress, spelt or dried thyme.
Sauerkraut, parsley, kale, lemons, strawberries or swiss chard are high in vitamin C and can be paired with foods that are high in iron.
Healthy fats are really important when it comes to keeping your energy levels up whilst exercising. They are also necessary for hormonal balance, heart health and cognition, which are vital for active individuals. It is best to include fats that are high in calories and omegas such as nuts, seeds, avocado, olives, flax, olive and sesame oil.
Protein Bars May Not Always Be Best For You
It is always advised to check the labels on "nutrition products", as many are high in sugar and contain additives. It is easy to make healthy bars at home with a few environmentally friendly ingredients. The best way to make sure you are getting all the nutrients for a well balanced, high energy diet is to cook your own food (as much as possible).
To ensure your body functions at its best it is important to drink enough fluids. If you feel thirsty, it often means you are already dehydrated. You can add a little umeboshi vinegar to your wáter bottle to help refuel during workouts. Ume vinegar is alkaline forming and packed with nutrients that help stabilise blood sugar and provide energy.
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