Plant-based diets are good for the planet and healthy for you, too. Animal products like red meat increase inflammation and the incidence of diseases like cancer. You have options for plant-based meals that can replace meats, including vegan pea protein, tofu, beans, and many others. In this article, we will talk about plant-based meals for energy and immune support. So, keep calm; plants have protein. A plant-based diet can also boost the immune system by regulating the gut microbiome, which we now know is much more responsible for overall health than previously thought. Elect for a plant-based meal for energy and immune support, and watch your health improve.
Plant-Based Meals for Energy
Plant-based meals can boost your metabolism
Your metabolism is the vital process of breaking down meals into the nutrients and energy our body needs to run. Efficient metabolic processes mean we maximize our food’s nutritional value and get more energy from it.
In several large-scale human studies, vegan and vegetarian participants have more weight loss, lower cholesterol, and healthier metabolic activity than omnivores [1, 2]. Researchers believe this has to do with metabolic activity increasing and becoming more efficient but the decrease in caloric intake (many animal products are high in fat and/or carbohydrates) .
A plant-based diet can improve your nutritional intake
Picture a hamburger beside a garden salad. The hamburger is high in salt, fat, carbohydrates, and chemicals. The garden salad (especially when paired with a low-fat vinaigrette dressing) is low in all of these constituents, and the vegetables provide a wealth of essential nutrients we need to live.
Humans cannot survive on salad alone. You need protein for the essential amino acids that build our muscles and keep tissues healthy (among other nutrients found in protein-dense products), but this is a stark example of why many researchers believe vegetarians are healthier than non-vegetarians .
Eating more vegetables and fewer calories is overall better for your health. Plants contain antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds, and many other ingredients that can prevent disease . These keep us feeling filled with energy and healthy every day.
Nuts are incredibly powerful food to eat. Discover “The World’s Healthiest Nuts!”
Plant-based meals can cut your fat intake, which increases energy levels
That sluggish feeling after you eat a high-fat meal happens for several reasons. You are likely to eat more, high fat increases several hormones that make us tired, and it takes work for your body to break down those complex fats. NIH studies have now shown that vegetarian diets can curb your fat levels while leaving you just as energized and satisfied .
You might be interested in “10 Foods with Hidden Fats.” And remember, healthy fats also exist. “What Are Healthy Fats? (20 Examples)”
Plant-Based Meals for Immune Support
Plant-based meals can keep your gut microbiome healthy
The gut microbiome has shot to the forefront of medicine as we realize how large an impact it has on our health. The wrong amounts of bacteria in your gut make you more prone to autoimmune and inflammatory disorders (like IBD) and doesn’t allow you to maximize the nutrients in your food, extracting only a portion of what is there.
Vegetarian diets in clinical trials gave participants a healthier gut microbiome with healthy levels of bacteria [7, 8, 9].
A plant-based diet can give your immune system a boost
Your immune cells are always primed and ready to keep pathogens from causing disease, remove damaged tissues, and heal injuries. A plant-based meal-oriented diet can change your levels of different immune cells, boosting your immune response when you need it . This makes you more prepared and equipped to fight off any health problems that come your way.
Vegetarian diets reduce chronic inflammation
After you’ve healed an injury or fought off a pathogen, inflammation is supposed to go back down. If it doesn’t after the problem has been solved, this becomes chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammatory diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, among others.
Clinical studies have shown plant-based diets can reduce symptoms and risk of developing chronic inflammatory disorders and reduce inflammatory biomarkers, which indicate disease risk [11, 12, 13, 14, 15].
Unfortunately, our “western diet,” which is high in red meat, salt, fat, and sugar, seems to trigger chronic inflammation and inflammatory autoimmune diseases. This is partially why we see higher rates of diseases like asthma and arthritis today .
In conclusion, plant-based meal for energy and immune support
For many of us, the thought of starting a vegetarian diet is intimidating. Meat has become a mainstay of our plate, and we don’t know how we could fill the void and stay energized. The key is to start small by replacing one or two dinners a week with vegetarian options.
Choose soy products, eggs, beans, and other protein-packed sources to keep your energy and protein levels high. As you go, you’ll find it easier to live on a plant-based diet with fewer meat products, and your body will thank you.
You’ll feel energized, your immune system will be healthy and strong, and you’ll be even more ready to tackle your day each morning. So keep calm; plants have protein. Plants have nutrients. And plant-based diets are very healthy for you.