In today’s world of diets and hashtags, you’ve probably come across plant based often. On Instagram, #plantbased has almost 22 million posts! I know that the terms across the nutrition world can be both overwhelming and sometimes restrictive. If you’ve gotten confused over the terms plant based, especially if you are not vegan, I want to make a clear distinction between plant based and plant powered, and draw some connections through many popular diets out there. Does it mean that if you are not vegan, the term plant does not come into your book of nutrition? Let’s get a little deeper before answering this question.
There have been many debates between the vegan world and the world of Whole Food Plant Based followers. Vegans exclude everything from an animal source, including the use of leather, but they could be eating huge amounts of processed foods as well, especially given that there are so many fake meats, fake cheese etc. Whole Food Plant Based followers place emphasis on eating whole plant based foods awith no animal sources, with minimal processed food. Don’t fret if you are neither, for this article is not about either a vegan diet or a Whole Food Plant Based diet.
If you are someone who has tried various diets, ranging from Autoimmune Paleo to Keto, or if you are an omnivore or a vegan, this article is for each and every one of you, to draw a valuable distinction between what is plant based and what is plant powered. In order to understand this better, I want to quickly run through a few diets and how they fall into the terms plant based or plant powered.
If you are someone who has tried keto or paleo, have you thought about plants within them?
- If you’ve tried a rigid keto diet, it can ask you to exclude grains, starches, tubers and fruit. You can include low starch vegetables, but have you consciously included enough?
- If you are an omnivore who doesn’t think too much about plants, and focus on how much protein you get, is just protein enough?
- If you are a vegetarian or a vegan, in reality you should be getting many portions of plants, but many vegetarians and vegans are eating more carbohydrates from grains and starchy vegetable sources, than from that wide variety of plants.
So are you plant powered? There is a world of difference between plant based and plant powered. Plant based can just mean vegan or whole food plant based. Plant powered can be inclusive within the context of every diet philosophy you follow. If you are eating keto, are you plant powered keto? If you are a vegan, are you a plant powered vegan? If you are an ominivore, are you plant powered? What does it mean to be plant powered?
Are you plant powered?
Whatever your diet, become plant powered. Plant based is more narrow, but plant powered is more inclusive, and applicable to every diet or philosophy. Here’s a little side note. When we named our brand Phytothrive, it was this belief that made us come up with this! We wanted it to mean, that no matter whether you are an omnivore or a vegan, you require phytonutrients from plants to thrive. So think of a few things to make you plant powered, and proudly tag us on posts of being #plantpowered!
- Eat the Rainbow. Nature has provided us an amazing supply of richly coloured fruits and vegetables. Some time ago, I asked my mother to write me a list of all the vegetables we have in India, and I was taken aback by how much I was not eating! Each colour has specific phytonutrients, and this can range from Polyphenols in red foods to Anthocyanins in purple foods.
- Increase your portions. Whether you are an omnivore or a vegan, make sure that the majority of your plate is filled with richly coloured vegetables. Explore if you have ruts in your eating variety. Think of adding a minimum of 6 portions of vegetables in a day. Think of being 90% plant powered.
- Thrive. Remember that whatever is your diet, if you increase the variety of richly coloured vegetables into your diet, you can only thrive.
Remember not to fret whatever diet you are on. You just want to be proudly plant powered!