There are different types of food eating habits, most common being – vegetarians, non-vegetarians and vegan.
But with changing times, food habits and lifestyle changes there is another popular trend gaining ground – being flexitarian.
And if you are wondering what it is being flexitarian, let us tell you that it involves all vegetarian, non-vegetarian and vegan eating habits.
What Is A Flexitarian Diet?
Flexitarian diet focusses more on the intake of plant-based food without completely stopping meat. It is all about adding new foods to the daily diet instead of excluding it to provide body with all essential nutrients, vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates in right amounts.
Flexitarian diet encourages in including lentils and beans for the high soluble fibre found in these items as it reduces cholesterol and good amounts of different nuts and seeds like flaxseeds, pine nuts, sesame seeds, walnuts as they contribute to a healthy heart.
It allows adding lean meats like chicken and turkey. Since flexitarian diet discourages the intake of red meat, it is advised to include green leafy vegetables, spinach, cabbage, kale and broccoli for iron, fresh fruit juices, lettuce, bell peppers to meet the requirement for vitamin C.
Several studies prove that following a flexitarian diet has significantly decreased the risk of breast and prostate cancer. Here are few more health benefits you would derive being a flexitarian:
Reduces Risk Of Heart Disease:
Since flexitarian diet is rich in fibre and healthy fats, it leads to good heart health. With an increased intake of plant-based diet, it contributes to reducing blood pressure and increases good cholesterol. Studies reveal that following flexitarian diet has significantly decreased average systolic blood pressure by 7 points, than that of people who ate vegan or only meat.
Aids Weight Loss:
Flexitarian diet limits intake of high calories, processed foods and encourage eating plant-based diet naturally low on calories contributing to weight loss. People on plant-based diet tend to lose weight faster than non-vegetarians. If you are planning to lose weight the healthy way, follow flexitarian diet for at least three weeks to lose up to 2 kilograms.
Type 2 diabetes is a very common condition and management of blood sugar levels mostly depends upon diet. Intake of healthy food, like flexitarian diet brings down the prevalence of type-2 diabetes by 1.5% than compared to non-vegetarians. Including lean meats along with plant-based diet also increases the level of hemoglobin, than those who are only vegetarian or vegan.
Flexitarian diet is wholesome as it packs fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, legumes all into one, make it very rich in antioxidants. Eating flexitarian diet helps in preventing cancers, especially the occurrence of colorectal cancer. Semi-vegetarians like flexitarians are 8% less likely to get colorectal cancer as compared to non-vegetarians.
Foods To Include:
Legumes, tofu and lentils.
Green Leafy Vegetables:
Greens, bell peppers, Brussel sprouts, beans, carrots.
Apple, oranges, berries, grapes.
Almonds, flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, peanut, olives, coconut.
Basil, oregano, mint, thyme, cumin and turmeric.
Coffee, Tea and plain water