HEARTY & HEALTHY

A Quick Guide to a Plant-Based Diet

plant-based diet meal

A plant-based diet is one in which you eat largely or exclusively plant-based foods instead of meat. 

 

In Malaysia, people interpret and use the phrase “plant-based diet” in various ways. Some perceive it as a vegan diet in which all animal products are avoided.

 

Others say that a plant-based diet means eating mostly plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, and vegetarian meat. A plant-based diet also emphasizes whole foods as opposed to manufactured foods.

 

In this guide, we’ll talk about the benefits of a plant-based diet and how to follow one.

 

 

The Benefits of a Plant-based Diet

It builds your immune system

Plants include important nutrients that are not found in other foods. Plants’ vitamins and minerals, phytochemicals, and antioxidants help maintain your cells healthy and your body in balance, allowing your immune system to work optimally.

 

Plant foods help to decrease inflammation

The vital nutrients found in plants help to reduce inflammation in the body. The same phytochemicals and antioxidants that help your immune system also move through your body and get rid of toxins from pollution, processed foods, germs, viruses, and other sources.

 

A plant-based diet aids with weight management

One of the most essential things you can do to lower your risk of cancer is to maintain a healthy weight.

 

This is due to the fact that being overweight creates inflammation and hormonal imbalance. Obesity increases the chance of 12 distinct cancers, including colorectal, postmenopausal breast, uterine, esophageal, kidney, and pancreatic cancer.

 

When you largely consume vegetables, you eliminate many of the things that contribute to weight gain. With exercise, you’re well on your way to losing weight.

Plants have a lot of fibre

All unprocessed plant foods include fibre. It is the part of the plant that holds everything together, and eating more of it has a lot of benefits.

 

Eating a plant-based diet enhances gut health, allowing you to absorb more nutrients from the food that boost your immune system and reduce inflammation. Fibre can help with bowel control by lowering cholesterol and stabilizing blood sugar.

 

Fibre can help with bowel control by lowering cholesterol and stabilizing blood sugar.

Foods to Eat on a Plant-based Diet

When shifting to a plant-based diet, people should prioritize the following food groups. This group comprises plant-based meats, fruits, and vegetables.

Vegetables

Vegetables are abundant in a healthy plant-based diet. A variety of colourful veggies supply a variety of vitamins and minerals.

 

Here are several examples:

  • broccoli
  • kale
  • beetroot
  • cauliflower
  • asparagus
  • carrots
  • tomatoes
  • peppers
  • zucchini

Root vegetables are high in carbs and micronutrients. They are as follows:

  • sweet potato
  • potatoes
  • butternut squash
  • beets

Fruits

All fruits are included in a plant-based diet, including:

  • berries
  • citrus fruits
  • bananas
  • apples
  • grapes
  • melons
  • avocado

Legumes

Legumes are a great source of fibre and plant protein. People can eat a broad range of foods, including:

  • chickpeas
  • lentils
  • peas
  • kidney beans
  • black beans

Plant-based meat

Vegetarian or plant-based meat in Malaysia is used to describe meals that resemble meat but are manufactured from plants. You can eat them in different forms, including:

Seeds

Seeds make an excellent snack or a simple way to add extra nutrition to a salad or soup. Calcium is found in sesame seeds.

 

Sunflower seeds are both high in vitamin E. Other seeds to consider are:

  • pumpkin
  • chia
  • hemp
  • flax

Nuts

Nuts are high in plant-based protein and micronutrients like selenium and vitamin E.

  • brazil
  • almonds
  • cashews
  • pecans
  • macadamia
  • pistachios
 

Healthy fats

Consuming polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, is critical. Among the plant-based sources are:

  • avocados
  • walnuts
  • chia seeds
  • hemp seeds
  • flaxseed
  • olive oil
  • canola oil
 

Whole grains

Whole grains are high in fibre and assist in keeping blood sugar levels constant. They also include important minerals, including magnesium, copper, and selenium.

 

Whole grains include the following:

  • brown rice
  • oats
  • spelt
  • buckwheat
  • quinoa
  • wholegrain bread
  • rye
  • barley
 

Plant-based milk

If you wish to cut back on dairy, there is a broad selection of plant-based milk available in grocery stores and online. These are some examples:

  • almond
  • soy
  • coconut
  • rice
  • oat
  • hemp

Make sure to choose unsweetened plant milk options.

 

In Summary

Following a plant-based diet and cutting down on animal products can be advantageous to your health in many ways. For instance, you can lose or keep an ideal weight and lower your risk of heart disease and diabetes.


When switching to a plant-based diet, you should start by cutting back on meat and dairy. Eating an entirely plant-based meal once a week or substituting a meat dish with plant-based ingredients is a good start. 

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