Plant-based refers to a diet based primarily on plant foods (like vegetables, grains and nuts) with limited or no animal-based products (like meat, poultry and dairy).
Plant-based diets are vegan when no animal-based products are consumed, but veganism extends to lifestyle choices beyond diet alone. A vegan lifestyle aims to avoid causing harm to animals in any way through products used or purchased (like leather, wool or honey).
But there are no fixed rules to following a plant-based diet. Indeed many people are 'flexitarian' or 'vegan-ish' and follow the diet as much as they can during the week.
Why is plant-based nutrition better?
You may have heard that more and more professional athletes are transitioning to plant-based diets. This includes lean athletes like Venus Williams (Tennis), Lewis Hamilton (F1), and Dotsie Bausch (Cycling), but also David Haye (Boxing), Nate Diaz (MMA) andPatrik Baboumian (Heavyweight Lifting). There are three key reasons:
1) Improved sport recovery
“I was 39 and a half years old when I stood on the Olympic podium. My [plant-based] diet was the most powerful aspect to me being able to perform and produce for the US team at the 2012 Olympic Games” - Dotsie Bausch (Cyclist)
Plant-based protein is much less inflammatory than animal-based protein. This is important because inflammation can prolong the healing time required for injuries or sickness and can also increase soreness and swelling. Plant-based protein can aid recovery because plants are naturally packed with high amounts of anti-inflammatory compounds, including thousands of powerful antioxidants. Indeed plants have on average 64 times the antioxidant content of animal foods. In addition to this, plants help to increase blood flow and make muscles more efficient. Combined, these effects can lead to significant performance advantages from plant-based protein.
We'd recommend looking into the science behind this in more detail by starting with a documentary like The Game Changers. You can learn more on their website or by watching the documentary on Netflix (trailer below).
2) Reduced risk of heart disease and cancer
"How can I get as strong as an ox without eating meat? Have you ever seen an ox eating meat?" - Patrick Baboumian (Heavyweight Lifter)
Cardiovascular disease, which includes heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure, is the world’s number-one killer, claiming twice as many lives as cancer. Science points towards animal-based diets being a significant contributor.
One notable Harvard study from2016 monitored 131,000 participants and found that each 10% increase in calories from animal protein led to a corresponding 8% increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. The conclusion is that simply avoiding animal products can reduce a man's risk of dying from heart disease by 55%. You can read more about the science here.
3) Better for the planet
“Go vegan, it is the only way to truly save our planet today. It can be done so quickly, all you have to do is put your mind to it.” - Lewis Hamilton (F1)
Three quarters of all agricultural land in the world is used for livestock production. This has a huge cost on biodiversity. The world's rainforests are being cleared for land and a quarter of the world's water is being consumed. Furthermore, the livestock sector alone is responsible for 15% of global carbon emissions, the same as all forms of transport.
This drain on the earth's resources is because animal-based protein is incredibly inefficient. Animals consume six times more protein than they produce, requiring huge amounts of food and water. As an illustration, one hamburger represents 2,400 litres of embedded water (through grain production, feed for cows, and finally beef).
According to allplants, if everyone in Britain went plant-based for just two days a week, we would reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to the equivalent of taking 54 per cent of cars off the road and save enough water to provide 11 years worth of showers for every person in the UK.
Turnativ is now closed.
It's been an incredible journey but we have decided to shut the business down to focus on other ventures.
A big thank you to all of our customers for your support!