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Plant Based Diet
By
Prakriti Jena

 

 

Plant-based food or plant-based diet refers to the food that we get from plants. Although there is no precise definition of a plant-based diet, there’s a huge variety of foods that fall into the category of plant-based diet. For some, this means eating more plant-food than usual. For others, it means eating processed plant-based foods as well as eating meat and dairy products, or anything which containts gelatin. Everyone can have their own definition of plant-based food, but the basic idea is to have a plant-based diet plan. 

 

To follow a healthy lifestyle, humans, especially the elderly, should increase plant-based food intake in their everyday life. Today in this blog, we will tell why a plant-based diet is the best for good health of elders? Along with this, we will also highlight the benefits of a plant based diet. 

 

Plant-Based Diet

Being involved in a plant-based whole diet means maximizing the intake of fruits and vegetables, and limiting the consumption of meat, egg and dairy products. Do not confuse plant foods with vegetarian food, although studies suggest that more than 30% of people believe a plant-based diet is equivalent to a vegetarian. Anyway, more than half of them are interested in learning more about food fashion, so let's do it. 

 

The health benefits of edible plants are widespread. A plant-based diet can reduce the risk of cognitive disorder, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Why so? 

 

It is because of the presence of Polyphenols, which are the micronutrients in plant foods [soy/tofu, nuts, legumes, dark chocolate, berries, tea] that can delay the development of dementia and dementia in people over 65 years of age. Another such example is the prevalence of type 2 diabetes is higher in semi-vegetarians and non-vegetarians than plant-based diets [or similar diets]. In addition to regular medical insurance, a plant-based diet can prevent diabetes by improving glycemic control. 

 

Plant-Based Foods For Elderly

Here are some common plant-based foods in India that can be served to growing adults.  

 

Fruits:

Citrus fruits, berries, bananas, grapes, apples, avocados, and melons. 

 

Vegetables:

Broccoli, asparagus, peppers, tomatoes, beetroot, zucchini, cauliflower and carrots. 

 

Root vegetables:

Sweet potato, butternut squash, potato and beetroot. 

 

Legumes:

Chickpeas, legumes, peas, black beans and kidney beans. 

 

Seeds:

Chia, pumpkin, Hemp and Flax seeds. 

Nuts:

Macadamia nuts, Cashews, Pistachios, Almonds and Pecans.  

 

Whole grains:

Buckwheat, Brown rice, Rye, Oats and Whole grain bread. 

 

5 Types of Plant-based Diets

Although a plants-based diet in India includes a wide variety of food, here are 6 simple plant-based diets.  

 

Dietary Efforts to Prevent Hypertension

A diet based on eating fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy. This type of plant based diet reduces the consumption of saturated fat, meat, sodium and sugar, in elders. 

 

Macrobiotic diet

Emphasis is on locally grown, whole grain cereals, pulses (legumes), vegetables, seaweed, fermented soy products, and fruits, in the form of yin and yan, according to ancient principles of sugar balance combined in food is known. 

 

Mediterranean Diet

This diet includes- High intake of olive oil in the form of dietary fat, fruits, nuts, vegetables, and grains; A moderate intake of fish, Reduced intake of dairy products, meat, and sweets and an average intake of alcohol with food. 

 

Pasteurian diet

A Pasteurian diet including fish or other seafood, but not the meat of other animals. 

 

Vegetarian diet

Plant-based vegetaria food majorly exclude the anumal based products such as meat, eggs, dairy products and other products tested on animals. 

 

Plant-Based Diet Versus Vegetarian Diet

A whole-food, plant-based diet is exactly what it sounds. However, most people confuse it with a vegetarian diet. A plant-based diet is different from a vegetarian diet. Although similar in many ways, they are not precisely the same. A plant-based diet consists primarily of plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, and grains as their complete meals. 

 

On the other hand, a vegetarian diet is less about choosing certain foods to be healthy but to avoid the suffering of other creatures as far as practicable. Therefore, a vegetarian diet can be unhealthy, and vegetarians eat junk food too, as it is not about their health but about not eating animals. So any given time, plant-based diets are better for elders, then vegetarian diets. 

 

Plant-Based Diet Benefits For Elderly

Several important benefits of plant-based diets - particularly climate health and animals - are well known. Here are some common benefits of a plant-based diet for the elderly that may surprise you. 

 

Improves mental health and well-being

Dietary choices can have a significant impact on mood and mental health, especially in the senior years. Diet affects the health of our gut bacteria, which produce many hormones active in the brain. Fiber bacteria thrive on fiber, which is found only in whole plant foods. It is, therefore, no surprise to find that plant-based diets can benefit mental health. 

 

Reduces arthritis pain

Arthritis pain is another common problem among the elderly. Osteoarthritis seems to be an inevitable consequence of aging, the painful breakdown of cartilage in joints. But it can be easily managed with proper medication and surgery. 

 

So what role can a plant-based diet play here? A small study looking at the effects of diet showed significant improvement in self-reported pain and functioning in people with osteoarthritis. One of the reasons may be the anti-inflammatory properties of micronutrients present in plant foods. Inflammation is the leading cause of pain in arthritis. Meat-based diets have the opposite effect and, in general, increase levels of inflammation in the body. 

 

Reduces Bad Breath

Foul mouth or bad breath/odour is also a major problem among the elderly, but one can easily get rid of it with increased plant-based diet intake. Experts say that a plant based diet for bad breath is effective due to the natural herbs and fresh food that plant-based diet includes. 

 

Reduces Cholesterol

Increased cholesterol can have life-threatening effects on elder health. It builds up plaque in the small arteries of your heart, narrowing and stiffening them. This further lowers the blood flow, making elders feel tired and short of breath. Elders should start consuming plant-based diets to reduce cholesterol and a healthy heart.  

 

Saving on hospital costs

So if those following a healthy plant-based diet are less at risk of getting sick, it will also save them huge hospital expenses. Vegetarians are found at lower rates of outpatient visits, translating into 13% lower outpatient spending and 15% lower total medical costs. Hence, we can say that with a plant-based diet, elders can reduce the need of medical assistance. 

 

5 Ways To Add Plant-Based Food To Elders’ Diet

Plant-based food is healthy, but suddenly asking elders to increase plant-based food intake could be challenging. After a certain age, the elderly become choosy like kids. So what to do? Well! We advise you not to tell them to explicitly eat more plant-based food but add it to their diet in passive ways. Here are some simple ways to add plant-based food to elders’ diet: 

 

Prepare Fascinating Salads

They might not like to eat too much salad, but if you really want to add healthy plant-based food to their diet, you’ll have to make extra efforts. Instead of presenting a boring bowl of salad, make it fancy, along with spinach and other leafy greens, add some of their favorite veggies too and decorate it well to make it fascinating for elders.  

 

Replace Dessert with Fruits

Having too many sweets in the form of dessert can be harmful to senior citizens. So gradually replace the dessert with fruits like peach, watermelon, apple, or so on. 

 

Increase The Amount of Greens

Increase the amount of leafy green vegetables, not just in salads but in their whole meals. Also, if you really want elders to eat without being choosy, don’t serve just boiled veggies to them; instead, prepare delicious dishes with greens.  

 

Whole Grains for Breakfast

Another way to promote a plant-based diet among elders is to start with a healthy breakfast. And there could be nothing better than a bowl of whole grains. Do not forget to garnish their whole-grain breakfast with fresh fruit and nuts to make it delicious for elders. 

 

Change Their Mind

Finally, the best way to encourage the elderly to eat more plant-based food is to change their minds. Instead of directly imposing your strict plant-based diet plans on them, teach them the changing needs of the elderly and the benefits of eating greens and other plant based food. 

 

Here are some vegan diet plants based food ideas to include in the everyday diet of elders:

 

Breakfast

 

Omelette:

Add tomato + mushroom or sweet corn. 

 

Toast:

Add tomato, spinach, and mushrooms. 

 

Toasted sandwiches or brochetas:

Add avocado, spinach leaves, tomato or basil leaves. 

 

Homemade juices:

Add Carrot, Spinach, Bok Choy Stem, Beetroot, or Ginger. 

Lunch

 

Soup:

Add tomato, carrot, peas, lentils, corn, and bok choy. 

 

Veg Wrap:

Add chopped carrots, lettuce, tomato, corn, capsicum, or avocado. 

 

Toast:

Add tomatoes, mushrooms, capsicum, Spinach, or beans. 

 

Stuffed hot potato or sweet potato:

Add lentils or other pulses/beans, corn, tomato, capsicum, onion, or avocado. 

 

Soft or hard tacos:

Add lentils or other lentils/beans, chopped lettuce, corn, capsicum, tomato, avocado, Spanish onions, or chives.  

 

Salad

Add lots of green veggies or fruits.  

 

Dinner

 

Lasagne:

Add more tomatoes, lentils or other beans, spinach, mushrooms and add a side green salad. 

 

Homemade Pizza:

Serve it with mushrooms, tomatoes, onions or snow peas, corn, spinach, or roasted eggplant or pumpkin. 

 

Stir-Fries:

Add carrots, broccoli, green beans, capsicum, corn and cauliflower.  

 

Spaghetti Bolognese:

Add Tomato, Spinach, Carrots, Lentils, Mushrooms, or Corn. 

 

Grilled or Sliced Fish or Other Protein:

Add Roasted Vegetables, Eggplant, Asparagus, Tomato, Mushroom, Carrot, Zucchini, Pumpkin, Capsicum Beetroot and Broccolini.  

 

Meat or lentils:

Add mushrooms, chopped zucchini, carrots, and tomatoes. 

 

Plant-Based Diet For Weight Management for Elderly

Obesity among the elderly is another serious issue in India. But it can be curbed with a regular intake of plant-based meals. The modern lifestyle is a busy one, so most people no longer have proper exercise time. They also choose fast food over healthy food because they are comfortable and quick to prepare. Unfortunately, their elders are even compelled to follow this unhealthy lifestyle with them. But when it comes to elders, we should not forget that this lifestyle is also one that is causing our health to decline. 

 

In the 2018 study, 75 people who had a history of obesity or were overweight were assigned to either continue their standard meat-based diet or switch to a vegetarian diet. After four months, only those who were in the vegetarian group lost a significant weight of 6.5 kg or 14.33 pounds. They also lost more fat mass and improved insulin sensitivity. In comparison, those who continued their previous diet with meat showed no significant weight loss or improved health. 

 

Hence, diet and lifestyle changes and including a plant-based diet can have a significant and lasting effect on elderly health. Researchers have also discovered that people who eat mainly plant-based foods have a lower body mass index (BMI). They are also less susceptible to health conditions such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. nbsp;

 

Additionally, the high fiber, water, and complex carbohydrate content of vegetables and fruits help keep senior citizens full longer. So, the best diet for the elderly includes a diet rich in plant foods. 

 

Reduced risk of heart disease and other health conditions

According to experts, plant based diet also reduces the risk of heart diseases in the older-adults. Also, as per AHA or the American Heart Association, lesser meat consumption is directly proportional to the reduction in the risks like high cholesterol, hypertension, heart diseases (especially strokes) some few types of cancers, diabetes ( Type- 2), obesity, and many others. 

 

Conclusion

Given its many benefits, plant-based foods for the elderly are essential. With growing age, seniors should increase the intake of natural plant-based foods. So there's a lot to learn, understand, and do, when it comes to eldercare. Suppose you’re not able to care for your beloved elderly and look after their everyday meal plans, you can also hire home based professional elder care service for elders. 

 

Here, a personal carer will come to your place and serve the elders as per their bodily requirements. This is not it; the professional carer also assist elders in healthcare and other daily activities, ensuring an overall better lifestyle for them. Thats how we, at Emoha, exactly work. For us, elders are always the primary priority. With successful delivery of service, we are in our journey to spread smiles amongst thousands of elders, in Delhi-NCR. Connect with us at eldersfirst@emoha.com or call us at 1800-123-445555

 

 

 

 

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