What Is Whole Food Plant Based Nutrition?
“Nutrition is the master key to human health.” – T. Colin Campbell, PhD
The foods you choose to eat can have a profound effect on your short-term and long-term health. Short term health benefits of eating a whole food, plant-based diet include better digestion, more energy, and less muscle pain! With the prevalence of chronic diseases on the rise (heart disease, diabetes, cancer, obesity), we are finding more research supporting the importance of good nutrition and the role that it plays in our ability to live longer, healthier lives.
We want to focus on eating more whole plants such as grains, nuts, fruits, and vegetables while reducing, or avoiding, animal products, processed and artificial foods. We also want to be aware of foods with added fats and sugars that can create addiction-like cravings and try to avoid them as well.
So, what does a whole food plant-based diet look like? Think about eating a whole apple instead of applesauce. Both are great choices, but the whole apple has additional vitamins, nutrients, and fiber that gets lost in the process of making applesauce. Also, watch out for added sugars in that applesauce! Apples are plenty sweet on their own, so enjoy a fresh apple instead.
Another example would be making beans or legumes the center of your meal instead of meat. Beans and legumes are a great source of protein for the whole family with the added nutritional benefit of fiber, vitamins, and trace minerals.
Challenge yourself to make at least on meal a week that is meatless and fill your plate with more veggies, fruits, and beans. Vegetable jambalaya is a whole food, plant based dinner that is family friendly and might just become a regular in your weekly rotation. Check out more about plant-based protein for more on this topic.
Heather Hampton is a wife and mom to two children. She's always had a passion for helping people in the areas of health and fitness. She has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Dietetics from University of Wisconsin - Stout & a Master’s of Science degree in Exercise Physiology from University of Minnesota - Mankato, Heather is also an ACSM certificated group exercise instructor and a prior Baby Boot Camp franchise owner.
Heather understands the importance of a whole body wellness approach. She loves educating people about the power of whole food nutrition and how simple changes can make a lasting impact. She understands that life can be busy and complicated, but living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be.