Saturday, July 5, 2008


Many people worry that a plant-based diet will not offer them the essential nutrients they require for a healthy and balanced diet. We have been brought up to believe that meats (all kinds) have to be included in our every meal in order for us to enjoy optimum health. Medical experts, who once advocate the eating of meats, now say otherwise.

To be realistic, eliminating meats alone and eating a plant-based diet does not guarantee that you are onto a healthier diet. We must eat a wide variety of plant foods so as to benefit from the
various nutrients they have to offer.

GRAINS : Rice, wheat, oat, barley, millet, corn, rye fall under this category. They also
include grain-based foods such as breads and pasta. The bulk of your diet should
come from this list as they are rich in fibre and other complex carbohydrates,
proteins, B vitamins and zinc. Brown rice offers more Vitamin B1 and 6 and iron.
Recommended : 3 - 4 servings a day

VEGGIES : Packed with nutrients, they provide a good source of Vitamin C, riboflavin
iron and calcium, beta-carotene and fibre. Have lots of these in your meals.
Veggies can be eaten raw (as in salads) or quick stir-fried to preserve their
nutrients. Include dark greens, red, orange and yellow veggies in your shopping
Recommended : 4 - 5 servings a day

LEGUMES : Not a veggie but another term for beans, peas and lentils. A good source of
protein, iron, calcium, zinc and B Vitamins. Include chickpeas (kacang kuda),
tofu (made from soya beans), red beans, green beans , kidney beans in your diet.
Recommended : 2 -3 servings a day

FRUITS : Rich in fibre, Vitamin C and beta-carotene and anti-oxidants. Local fruits such
as papayas, guavas, bananas, pineapples, mangoes, etc are great sources of
vitamins and lots of other good nutrients. Eat them raw, juice them or as salads.
Recommended : 4 - 5 servings a day

NUTS & : Go nuts with these protein-packed wonders. They are also rich in vitamin A & E,
SEEDS minerals such as phosphorus and potassium. Include walnuts, almonds, peanuts,
hazel, pistachio, pine nuts, cashews, in your diet. Seeds viz: pumpkin, sunflower,
sesame and raisins. Eat them as snacks , add them to salads or include them
in your breakfast menu to help kick-start your day!
Store them in the fridge to keep them from going rancid.
Recommended : 1-2 servings a day

We are in the midst of collecting local recipes to be posted soon on this blog, until then,
to help you get started, we recommend that you go the the following websites and check out the
many available : (Malaysian recipes) (Western recipes) (Asian recipes)

And before I sign off, here's a statement from a health expert :

" WHY must we be reticent about recommending a diet which we know is safe and healthy? We, as scientists, can no longer take the atttitude that the public cannot benefit from information they are not ready for. I personally have great faith in the public. We must tell them that a diet of roots, stems, seeds, flowers, fruits and leaves is the healthiest diet and the only diet we can promote, endorse, and recommend."
(Director of the Cornell-China-Oxford Project on Nutrition, Health and Environment)

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