Over the last decade, we have witnessed a gradual shift towards conscious consumption as an increasing number of people adopt lifestyles that place less pressure on natural resources, ecosystems, and the environment.
While people in the West have strongly taken to plant-based diets to improve their personal health, these practices have been commonplace in India for generations.
In this blog, we will cover why every Indian can enjoy a plant-based diet.
Viewing a plant-based diet from an Indian perspective takes us back to our ancient eating habits and preferences. For hundreds of years vegetarianism has been prominent in India, but this includes dairy.
Aside from daily consumption, dairy products have played a cultural role. From rituals and traditions like drinking 'haldi ka doodh' on your wedding night to having 'thandai' during the festival of Holi, this can explain why dairy consumption has trickled down to one generation after the other.
Not too long ago, dairy products were made in a more compassionate manner, such has hand milking. However, as the demand has skyrocketed, there was no choice but to streamline the process and throw out kinder farming practices.
Today, it’s no secret that livestock are subjected to forceful steroid injections, hormones to make them grow faster and bigger, and unknown antibiotics. These inhumane practices have ushered in an era of consumers willing to give up meat and dairy products in order to reduce the amount of suffering caused by modern animal agriculture and farming practices.
Thankfully, the Indian diet has always been spoilt for choice when it comes to vegetarian delicacies, such as a variety of daals, parathas stuffed with finely chopped veggies, sarso ka saag, rice submerged in sambhar, and many more dishes that make our stomachs grumble and our mouths water.
A major concern and common myth surrounding plant-based diets is the lack of nutrients but this is not true. Lentils or daals have protein and the variety of tastes and nutrients never ends!
For example, Moong dal contains lots of protein along with dietary fiber, copper, phosphorus, and manganese. This offers a lot more than chicken, which contains cholesterol, saturated fat, and lacks essential nutrients like fibre and vitamin C.
In the Indian market, alternatives for dairy milk such as almond milk, oat milk, cashew milk, and soy milk are becoming readily available at your local organic stores and online, and offer comparable amounts of protein as traditional dairy milk.
For example, soy milk contains nearly the same amount of protein (7gms) as cow’s milk (8gms) but with fewer calories! Plant-based milk is also packed with phytonutrients and is lactose-free.
Another concern people tend to have is regarding the availability and taste of ‘vegan’ or ‘plant-based’ recipes in India, since the concept is predominantly popular in the West and usually features dishes that suit a different palate. Well, time to bust that myth too!
Check out our Indian Beginner’s Guide to Veganism to discover tips, vital information, and ways to help you get through difficult situations!