Can a Plant-Based Diet Help You?

Nutrition can play an integral part in the fight against pre-existing cancers and overall cancer prevention. Recent research has concluded that a plant-based diet helps decrease cancer and disease risk. If cutting out high-biological value proteins such as those from animals, you must ensure you continue to eat complete proteins (those that contain all nine essential amino acids).

Many clients wanting to follow plant-based diets often make common mistakes after eliminating animal protein sources abruptly. Often, they complain of hunger, weakness, fatigue, and dissatisfaction. They tend to increase their intake of refined carbohydrates and non-nutrient-dense foods to feel fulfilled. These unhealthy diet habits are of a lesser quality and need more balance.

“I often do not encourage clients to go strictly vegetarian/vegan immediately if they plan to start treatment, as their body will be in a catabolic state and highly crave adequate protein intake.
Lack of knowledge on how to follow a plant-based diet and not knowing which alternative protein sources to implement can even be detrimental to one’s health/recovery.” – Megan Sewards, MS, RD, is a Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition. She is well-versed in current nutrition research and recommendations for those with an active diagnosis of cancer, those in remission, and or those currently undergoing cancer treatments.

Try these suggested plant-based protein sources:

  • Beans/Legumes (black, lima, chickpeas tend to be highest)
  • Lentils or split green peas
  • Nuts/Nut-butters
  • Seeds (hemp, chia, flaxseed, sesame, to name a few)
  • Organic Tofu/Edamame
  • Seitan
  • Tempeh
  • Quinoa/Wild Rice
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Grains (i.e. farro, steel cut oats)
  • Dark Leafy greens/seaweed (spirulina, kale, mustard/collard greens)

Knowing which plant-based protein sources to substitute is the first step, yet understanding how to make meals satisfying can often come as a challenge. 

This article republished from WeSPARK’s blog.