I am driven by the belief that most diseases can be prevented and even reversed if we’re aware of the essential nutrients we can consume from solely a plant-based diet.
Photo by Jeremy Ricketts on Unsplash I was inspired to write this because of a painful autoimmune disease my mother faced, which I believe she could’ve cured by just following a plant-based diet.
In case you don’t know what autoimmune diseases are, here’s a brief: these are diseases that generally cannot be cured but can be controlled, wherein your immune system attacks your healthy cells. So basically, your immune system is being a jerk.
My mother has Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), she went through agonizing pain, wherein even just picking a spoon was intolerable. I only wish I knew about plant-based living before I could’ve helped my mother. The effects of RA are inflammation in your joints. This inflammation can be reduced by increasing the intake of anti-inflammatory foods. Out of which, antioxidants are rich.
Antioxidants are substances that may protect your cells against free radicals.
Free radicals are compounds that can cause harm if their levels become too high in your body. They’re linked to multiple illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Your body has its antioxidant defences to keep free radicals in check.
However, antioxidants are also found in food, especially in fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based, whole foods. Several vitamins, such as vitamins E and C, are effective antioxidants.
free radicals are continually being formed in your body. Without antioxidants, free radicals would cause serious harm very quickly, eventually resulting in death.
Despite the harm, free radicals are essential for health; for example, your immune system uses these free radicals to fight infections. For this reason, your body needs to maintain just the right amount of balance between free radicals and antioxidants.
Several lifestyles can promote excessive free radical formation, stress, and environmental factors as little as air pollution, smoking, alcohol intake, excessive radiation, infections, etc. These are the few factors that promote cell damage. Antioxidants help reduce the risk of the effects these are likely to cause.
The reason a diet rich in plants is associated with a healthy lifestyle is partially due to the antioxidants they provide.
As a plant-based diet promoter, some of the foods I would highly recommend to add to your diet and are packed with antioxidants are all kinds of berries, broccoli, spinach, lentils, beans, green and black tea, pecans, coffee, and (unsweetened) dark chocolate. Here’s an entire list.
The following tips could help increase your antioxidant intake:
Include a fruit or a vegetable every time you eat, meals, and snacks included.
Have a cup of green or matcha tea every day.
Look at the colours on your plate. If your food is mostly brown or beige, the antioxidant levels are likely to below. Add in foods with vibrant colours, such as kale, beets, sweet potato, and berries.
Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash
Use turmeric, cumin, oregano, ginger, clove, and cinnamon to spice up the flavour and antioxidant content of your meals.
Snack on nuts, seeds, especially Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, and dried fruit, but choose those with no added sugar or salt.
Substitute vegetable or palm oil with extra virgin olive oil.
Add a handful of spinach in your curries. They taste good and increases the nutritional value of your meal.
I came across this article about how this woman tackled RA with the help of anti-inflammatory foods. I could correlate the pain she talks about in the report with what my mother went through. She says:
“It requires consistency. It has to be a process.”
If you don’t make time for your wellness, you’ll be forced to make time for your illness. Be mindful of what you eat, and your body will be thankful.
All the information I share here is scientifically based, researched thoroughly, or proved medically. As much as I wish I studied nutrition, and it’s benefits, I am not an expert, I am just a girl who thinks this information could help more and more people live a happy, healthy and wholesome life.