Benefits of a plant based diet

By Raksha Shah

Being born in an Oshwal family, all of us already have a head start to adopting a plant-based diet. It took me a long time to adopt an exclusively plant based diet.

Whilst I was consuming milk, cheese and yoghurt, my skin was drier and I used to constantly suffer from colds/flu. Having stopped their consumption, my skin became smoother and I noticed that the tendency to suffer from colds/flu had reduced. However, I had not yet adopted an exclusive plant based diet because I still needed ghee on my rotlis! I had read about the treatment of the cows and their babies in the milk industry but the extent of the cruelty only registered when I watched a video. As a follower of Jain religion, I could not partake in this cruelty and so giving up milk and all its products was a no brainer!

Since the adoption of the new diet, I noticed that I had more energy, people commented that my skin glowed, my mind has become calmer and I have not had a single bout of cold or flu. The pleasant side effect that I have ‘suffered’ is loss of weight!

Initially, I used to struggle with what dishes I could and could not cook and what I could and could not eat. However, as time has passed, I have learnt to unlearn a lot of what I had learnt about food to date and have taught myself a new way of putting together a nutritious dish. I am now more aware of what contribution food makes to our health.

My mainstay is fruit, salads, vegetables and daal! Each morning on waking up, I shall have a couple of glasses of turmeric and ginger water or ginger water with 2 squeezes of lime juice, about 4 to 5 types of fruit, for lunch it is normally a home made soup or salad, failing which a Pret vegan sandwich and/or soup and in the evening shaak, rotli and salad. Sometime during the day I will also have 7 soaked nuts, no more. The types of nuts are rotated over the whole week. I also have soaked sunflower and pumpkin seeds, as well as flaxseed and Kalonji seeds. At the weekends it could be anything from South Indian to Mexican to Italian to Chinese.

On my recent visit to Copenhagen, I went for lunch at Plant Power Food and got chatting to its owner. He said he had had asthma since he was a little boy and latterly had been on an inhaler. He did some research and since adopting a plant based diet his asthma has been eradicated. His girlfriend, herself a vegan, does the cooking, which I highly recommend if you are ever in Copenhagen!

I cannot recommend the plant based diet enough but the power to make the change for the better can only come from you! I hope you take the courage to make this change. Good Luck!

Please note this article is based on the author’s recommendations and not OAUK.

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