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Plant-Based Nutrition – Man-made vs. Nature-made

The Second Harvest Food Bank programs team will be presenting the benefits of a plant-based diet at Passion For Produce sites in August.  This includes a food demonstration and food distribution. This month’s lesson objectives are to discuss the health benefits of eating a plant-based diet and the potential impacts of consuming excessive meat.

Why plant-based?

As medical research improves, evidence confirms the direct relationship between adequate food and lifestyle for the prevention of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, asthma and food allergies, among others. There are also studies that show how adequate food, adequate eating habits and healthy lifestyle produce positive results in the treatment to reverse many chronic diseases. The minerals, vitamins and Phyto nutrients in plants reduce the risk of developing coronary, autoimmune diseases, and especially cancer. A plant-based diet does not mean becoming vegetarian or vegan. The important thing is to reduce consumption of meats, processed foods, and foods created by man not nature.

  • Look for fresh, locally grown, and when possible, organic produce. 
  • Minimize or eliminate processed foods. 
  • Eliminate refined sugars, flours and oils. Refined oils cause inflammation to the body.

In general terms, it is a style of nutrition based on fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains such as legumes (chickpeas, lentils, beans) and whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, etc.), dried fruits, seeds, and healthy oils like olive oil. Significantly reduce the consumption of animal foods and its by products, processed foods and food with high amounts of sugar.

Through Second Harvest Food Bank’s nutrition education and distribution programs like Passion For Produce and Food For Children,  everyone in Santa Cruz County can have a choice to eat a healthy diet, regardless of income.

Other resources: Musician Paul McCartney created a movement called “Meat Free Mondays”, now in it’s 10th year, the site is a great resource for plant-based articles, recipes, and tips.