What is a plant-based diet?
A plant-based diet is basically a diet consisting of mainly eating foods derived from plants such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, tubers, seeds, whole grains and of course, nuts and dried fruits, including cashews, and eating fewer (or no, if this is your choice) foods that derive from animal products or foods that contain sugars, salt and saturated fats.
The Mediterranean Diet, for example, could be considered as a plant-based diet, as within it, foods deriving from plants are more predominant than sugars, salt and saturated fats, which are all reduced.
Why are cashews important?
Cashews are energy-dense foods and contain a variety of vitamins and minerals therefore, adding them to your meals or eating them as a snack will give you the nutritional boost you need. Cashews are high in iron which contributes to the normal function of the immune system (3). Your immune system defends your body against infectious organisms and other invaders such as viruses and bacteria which can damage your health. In addition, their high vitamin K content may also contribute to normal blood clotting and healthy bones (1,2,3).
Not only that but cashews are also high in minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese and copper. Also, they are a source of fiber, thiamin, pantothenic acid and minerals like potassium and selenium (1,2).
Simple tips for going plant-based
Going plant-based doesn’t have to be vegetarian or vegan. Each person is different but, here a few things to get started.
1) If you don’t want to go vegetarian or vegan why not try cooking one meat free meal per week to start off with.
2) Choose good fats as part of your diet such as those found in cashews, remember the 30 g per day makes up a healthy handful.
3) Make sure your daily snacks are plant-based like these vegan cashew balls.