Happy Earth Day!
So today, let’s talk about plants, and their ecological sustainability.
From flowers to trees, succulents to cacti, fruits to vegetables, plants are all around us and play a huge part in our daily lives. Without trees we wouldn’t have oxygen and therefore wouldn’t be able to breathe. Without flowers, bees wouldn’t have the necessary pollen to pollinate other plants and keep nature alive. We can’t deny we need plants to survive.
At Cajuu we recognise the importance of plants, protecting and caring for them, which is why we strive to keep a low carbon footprint, as well as plant more cashew trees each year. Plants are easy to grow, not as costly to harvest, produce and store as meat, and there are added health and mental benefits to both being around plants, as well as consuming them as a focus in your diet.
We wanted to look at the ways we can protect plants, encourage the take up of a plant based diet, and why plants are good for you.
Firstly, we wanted to look at why we need plants around us and how we can increase this. As mentioned previously, we need plants to provide oxygen to breathe, however we also need plants to breathe in the carbon dioxide that we breathe out, to keep the air around us stabilised. Places where plants and trees are fewer, such as built up cities, tend to suffer from more pollution and higher levels of CO2 in comparison to countryside areas, which can lead to complications with our breathing and lungs.
If you do live somewhere that isn’t dense with nature, you can bring nature inside! By having plants in our home, you increase the levels of oxygen in your space, which can help especially with anyone who suffers from sleep apnea or asthma. They’re also great odour killers depending on the type you get, and if you opt for something more flowery, can add a lovely scent to the room. Plants are also great for anyone who suffers from mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety, as they improve cognitive functions and sleep quality.
Instagramer @magicalvelvet recently reached out to us with this fabulous photo of their succulent plant homed in one of our old Cashew Nut Tubes. Not only does that plant look super cute in its little Cajuu home, but reusing food packaging such as egg cartons, sauce jars, fruit containers, and even our Cajuu tubes is a brilliant way to reuse and recycle, but lower your own carbon footprint and give new life to an item such as this. We’re definitely about to put Cajuu Tube plants all over our house!
So that covers why plants are great to have around, but why should we incorporate them into our diet?
As much as plants support us in our everyday life, they can support our diet and body too. Plants are extremely rich in ‘vitamins and minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants in plants help keep your cells healthy and your body in balance so that your immune system can function at its best’.
Because plants have essential nutrients that you cannot get from other foods, they directly support your immune system, unlike other foods such as meat.
But what about protein, don’t we need meat for that?
While yes, meat is a high source of protein, you can get enough protein from a plant based diet. ‘Beans and legumes — meaning all types of dried beans, split peas and lentils — are fair game for increasing your protein intake’. ‘Beans and legumes are also fibre-rich nutrient powerhouses and an excellent source of protein’ with ‘one serving (1/2 cup cooked) of beans providing about 7 grams of protein, the same as 1 ounce of meat.’ Beans and legumes also keep you fuller, longer. Animal sources of protein, in contrast, have little fibe. Beans and legumes are also much higher in antioxidants.
Nuts are also a great source of protein, as well as fibre and other nutrients. We’ve discussed many times across our blogs and social media why cashews are brilliant to incorporate into your diet if you are able to, purely because of how low in sugar and rich in fibre they are, and much heart-healthy fats and plant protein they contain.
We also don’t mean everyone reading this should switch to a solely plant based diet immediately, or soon or even ever. We believe it's best to incorporate what you can when you’re able to in order to make it a permanent lifestyle change. This could mean having one out of seven days of the week being purely plant based foods, or switching your meat order at a restaurant to a vegetarian or vegan option.
Being plant based doesn’t just help our bodies, but it goes back to the alternatives and how they are produced and the effects this has on the planet. ‘Meat consumption is responsible for releasing greenhouse gases such as methane, CO2, and nitrous oxide. These gases contribute to climate change, such as global warming’.
Majority of livestock is now solely bred and raised for food consumption, therefore some companies and farms allow the use of chemicals to produce more chemically engineered meat with a higher yield and better taste. Those chemicals are then ingested by us, which isn’t good for our bodies at all.
When able, if you are a meat eater, try to visit your local butcher where you can get a more direct answer about where your meat is coming from and how it’s produced.
Let us know if you’ve made any dietary changes to become more plant based, or if you’ve got any tips for better caring for plants, as today of all days it’s important we recognise what we can do to protect our planet!