EAT YOUR HEART OUT!
February is heart-health month, and what better way to keep your heart healthy and happy than to explore a plant based diet. Consider Komo for your next plant based dinner to make weeknight meals a breeze.
By Sina Woerthle (R&D Product Lead at Komo Comfort Foods. Sina has a MSc in Nutrition and background in developing plant-based products).
Plant based diets (vegan or vegetarian) are the talk of the town in January, as the year kicks off with Veganuary - a time for flexitarians and omnivores alike to explore living a more plant based lifestyle. For many, the challenge opens their eyes to new foods, new flavours, and allows them to get creative in the kitchen. Many experience feeling healthier, happier, and stronger after the challenge and often adopt new habits or even fully make the switch.
So what is it really that makes people feel healthier and happier following a month of eating a plant based diet, and is there the science to back it up?
The short answer is yes - that plant based diets are good for your heart, and the heart is the strongest working muscle in the body - so it’s no wonder that many feel healthier when they provide the proper fuel for their heart.
The more in-depth answer is that a vegan or vegetarian diet contains a myriad of heart-healthy nutrients that help us function at our best. Cardiovascular disease is one of the most prevalent diseases affecting Canadians today, and oftentimes, the cause can be linked to improper diet, not enough exercise, and high-stress levels.
When it comes to eating, a plant based diet, when done right is full of heart-healthy fats that protect against cardiovascular disease. Monounsaturated fats help lower your “bad” cholesterol, or LDL cholesterol, and omega 3s - the healthy fats - are often found in nuts, avocados and healthy oils, and decrease the inflammation in your body. Less inflammation lowers your risk of developing cardiovascular events. Plant based foods, like fruits - think blueberries - are often also high in antioxidants, which help decrease oxidative stress in your body, and once again, decrease inflammation. Legumes, whole grains, and dark leafy greens - the holy grail of vegan and vegetarian meals - are put on a pedestal and are justifiably placed there: rich in vitamins, minerals, and fibre, this staple trio keeps your heart health in check by providing your body with what it needs to perform optimally.
Pairing a plant based diet with physical activity, something as simple as going for a quick walk after work, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or going for a bike ride with family and friends, all counts in taking steps in the right direction. Not only do these activities decrease your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, they also help manage stress, lower your blood glucose levels, and allow you to spend quality time with yourself and loved ones.
With February being a heart-health focused month, what better time than now to start incorporating more plant based foods into your diet: try our vegan Lasagna or vegan, gluten-free Shepherd’s Pie, made with wholesome ingredients for an easy vegan dinner option that the whole family will love. Whether you’re a new mom or dad, looking for more plant based options to feed your family, a seasoned vegetarian veteran, or a flexitarian extending your Veganuary challenge, Komo is sure to have a shareable offering that will help you elevate your freezer meal options when you’re in a pinch. Easy, convenient plant based food that you can feel good about sharing and enjoying - your heart will thank you.
At Komo, we’re on a mission to share the love of plant based foods and make plant based meals a staple at every dinner table. We believe change can start with a single bite and through our comfort foods, we aim to make plant based eating easy, wholesome, and hearty. We recently launched our shareworthy plant based Lasagna, Shepherd’s Pie, Chickenless Pot Pie, Bolognese Sauce, and Taco Filling locally in Vancouver, BC.