Switching to a plant-based diet is one of the best health choices you can make. Eating more plants instead of animals is a great way to enhance your longevity, balance your hormones and mood, and reduce the risks of chronic diseases. But it is always all roses at the beginning?
The internet is flooded with stories of people who transitioned to a plant-based diet and felt great. They experienced increased levels of energy, less stress, improved sleep, a sharper brain, improved sex drive, fewer stomach troubles, and more.
But an essential concept to keep in mind here is that even the best choices of health come with some challenges. When someone changes their diet, they experience the symptoms of that change. Some may feel amazing and want to spend the rest of their life like this, while others may have rough days, particularly in the beginning.
Some people’s bodies actually go through withdrawals and detox symptoms such as irritability, fatigue, headaches, body pain, skin issues, etc. Some may also face mental and emotional challenges, like feeling crappy for the first few days since their body goes through withdrawals due to a change in food habits after so many years of eating a certain way.
If you’re experiencing some of these symptoms, don’t worry because it’s all normal. Some of you might have feelings of sadness as you give up old traditions of eating your favourite meals with eggs, dairy or meat.
Withdrawal is an actual issue most people go through. These symptoms and bodily changes can continue for a week, a month or even a little longer. With the transition and acceptance of a new diet, the body undergoes the process of cleaning itself from old hormones, toxins, bacteria, pesticides, mercury, and other harmful things contained in animal-based foods.
Dealing with bodily changes
As you adopt a plant-based diet, your digestive system, kidneys, lymph system, and liver get onto a major cleaning drive. Have an understanding of this because all the harmful animal protein from the cells is being swept out without you consuming any more of those foods. You may feel more tired than usual, have longer bathroom time, and frequent headaches. The entire phase can be extremely exhausting especially if your previous diet was highly toxic. So, this is actually a good way to see just how toxic your diet was before. Be patient though as these are signs that your body is cleansing itself and you need to give it a little time to repair, so to speak.
Also, make sure you’re eating a clean diet. Remember to avoid processed foods to allow your body to do its job more efficiently. As you keep eating clean food, your body continues to detoxify and supply you with nutrients for fuel.
Some of the clean food choices include fruits, greens, complex carbs from gluten-free grains, legumes, beans, raw nuts and seeds. You also need to focus on healthy fats such as coconut, avocado, olives, and nuts. It’s important for your body to receive adequate protein and for that you need many grains, greens, and seeds. All greens and vegetables are great sources of protein.