You Need a Plant-Strong Diet

Wednesday, 23 Jan 2013 08:44 AM

By Dr. Crandall

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Once, people who ate no meat were known as vegetarians.

But these days, the term “plant strong” is becoming more prominent, both as a way to eradicate any negative connotations and to showcase the role that plants — mainly fruits and vegetables — can play in keeping us vigorous and healthy.

When I mention protein, most people think of eggs, cheese, and meat. But, in fact, plants also contain protein. Among the most protein-packed are:

• Almonds
• Asparagus
• Broccoli
• Cauliflower
• Mung bean sprouts
• Quinoa

Plants are also high in fiber, a carbohydrate that is low in calories, but fills you up. Fiber also helps to lower cholesterol, decreasing heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

For plants with higher fiber content, choose:

• Beans
• Berries
• Nuts
• Oats
• Spinach

Finally, plants are high in antioxidants, molecules that prevent or slow down oxidation, a process that ages our bodies and contributes to heart disease.

To fully harness the power of antioxidants, choose a rainbow of fruits and vegetables for your plate; the more vivid the colors (red, yellow, and green peppers, for instance), the more antioxidants the food contains.

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