The advantage of eating pulses, nuts and seeds gives you a nutritional advantage when you include them in any meal.
Beans, peas, nuts, seeds, soy and lentils are some of nature’s treasures. They are a powerhouse of good nutrition, a good source of plant protein, loaded with disease fighting phytonutrients, cholesterol-lowering fibre and naturally low in cholesterol and sodium.
When you take on a diet that focuses on eating plant-based protein you benefit your health greatly by helping prevent diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
Some of the best plant-based food with the richest sources of protein include: Lentils, Chickpeas, Peanuts, Almonds, Spirulina, Quinoa, Chia Seeds and Beans.
These super plant-based foods contain more protein than what you may think. A medium stalk of broccoli contains about 4g of protein. Kale offers 2g of protein per cup. 5 medium mushrooms offer 3g of protein.
For many, one of the driving forces behind deciding to cut out meat and dairy is to also reduce the impact on the environment. This year has seen 150,00 people taking part in Veganuary.
As we all know, the environment around us is facing increasing stress and damage, often caused by human actions. But did you know that the production of meat and other animal products, in particular, places a heavy burden on the environment in a number of ways:
1. The impact of animal agriculture on greenhouse gas emissions goes a lot further than just cows producing methane gas. Meat production requires vast amounts of energy. Not only do you have to grow the crops to feed the animals, but fossil fuels are also burnt in the raising, slaughtering and transportation of animals. In fact, livestock and their by-products account for 51% of annual worldwide greenhouse emissions and can be twice that of someone on a plant-based diet. Alongside this we need to remember that livestock consume much more protein, water and calories than they produce, as most of the energy taken in by animals is used for their bodily functions and not converted to meat, eggs or milk. In fact producing one calorie of food energy from beef requires 40 calories of fossil fuel energy, whilst producing one calorie of human edible grain takes only 2.2 calories of fossil fuel.
2. Eating animals is the largest contributing factor in habitat loss and extinction. First, producing meat requires large amounts of land to raise animals. Every second, an area of rain forest equivalent to a football field is cleared to rear and graze animals. It is estimated that 1lb of beef is equivalent to 200 square feet of destroyed rain forest. And overall, it’s estimated that eating meat requires three times more land than is needed for a vegan diet.
This year, we, as a family have made the choice not to eat as much meat to help the environment and climate change. We have stopped buying any meat or dairy products to eat at home (but still eat it when we go out). If more people ate a vegetarian diet within their weekly eating plans, this would greatly help our planet.