4 Diseases and Health Problems a Vegan Diet Will Help Prevent

Ever since watching Forks Over Knives I been reading more and more about the benefits of a vegan diet. I keep reading more and more about the great benefits of going vegan and even just going vegetarian can help with certain disease. I don’t know it it’s because I’m paying more attention or there are just more reports out there relating to the benefits of a plant based diet but whatever it seems like you see something new everyday. And more and more people are going on a plant based diet and I also thing more people that were vegan before all this are talking more about it. I found this article that I wanted to share with my readers. Enjoy!

 

4 Diseases and Health Problems a Vegan Diet Will Help Prevent | Ecorazzi

Here are four health problems a plant based diet can help prevent or even reverse. Now, each time you eat your delicious veg meals, you can think to yourself crisis averted.

1. Heart Disease

Don’t just take Bill Clinton’s word for it. The American Dietetic Association (ADA) also sings the praises of a plant based diet to prevent or even reverse heart disease. CNN’s resident physician Dr. Sanjay Gupta notably declared that a vegan diet makes the human heart “heart-attack proof.” What makes a vegetarian or vegan diet so adept at maintaining a healthy heart? PCRM writes on their website, “Vegetarian diets also help prevent heart disease. Animal products are the main source of saturated fat and the only source of cholesterol in the diet. Vegetarians avoid these risky products.”

2. High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can start or be worsened by a diet high in salt, fat, cholesterol and by eating too many calories. Thankfully, a vegan diet tends to be low in all of those things. Although you certainly can consume a bunch of salt, it’s pretty difficult to load saturated fat and cholesterol into a plant based diet. Live Strong reports that a “vegetarian diet that is high in a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes that are prepared in a healthy way can help to bring high blood pressure numbers down or prevent high blood pressure from developing.” And of course a whole bunch of studies back up the info including one dating back to the early nineteen hundreds. The ADA lists lower blood pressure as a perk of the diet. Want numbers? Check out this study discussed on The Vegetarian Resource Group.

3. Type 2 Diabetes

Studies show that a vegan diet helps to prevent Type 2 Diabetes, and, miraculously, can even help to reverse the condition. A few years ago PCRM’s study showed that a low fat plant based diet was more successful at preventing Type 2 Diabetes than the diet recommended by the American Diabetes Association. PCRM writes, “Forty-three percent of the vegan group and 26 percent of the ADA group reduced their diabetes medications. Among those whose medications remained constant, the vegan group lowered hemoglobin A1C, an index of long-term blood glucose control, by 1.2 points, three times the change in the ADA group.” Perhaps our favorite real-life turn around story comes from Dr. Oz and the Texas cowboy he turned vegan for 28 days. What a transformation!

But if you want more data, Live Strong has this to say: “Research by scientists at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami in Florida and published in “Ethnicity and Disease” in 2003 discovered that the prevalence of diabetes is lower among long-term vegetarians.”

4. Various Types of Cancer

Whether it’s breast cancer, colon cancer or prostate cancer, a vegan diet has the scientific data behind it to show that it works as preventative care. Kathy Freston writes on the findings of T. Colin Campbell’s The China Study, “In fact, these findings indicate that the vast majority perhaps 80 to 90% of all cancers, cardiovascular diseases, and other forms of degenerative illness can be prevented, at least until very old age, simply by adopting a plant-based diet.” Bill Clinton cited The China Study when he gave up meat and dairy. Campbell isn’t alone in his findings. Live Strong reports, “According to a study published in the December 2008 issue of “Urology,” men with early-stage prostate cancer were able to avoid or delay conventional treatment by consuming low-fat, plant-based diets, engaging in exercise and reducing their stress levels.”

10 Tips on Becoming a Joyful Vegan

I know that once a person has made the choice to go on a vegan diet there can be many things that can get in the way of sticking it out. Sometimes it would be so easy just to call it quits and go back to your old way of eating. I know at times it just seems like why am I doing this, yes I know it’s good for you but it would just be so much easier to just be able to go out to any restrauant and order something from the menu without having to worry about what it has in it. But maybe these 10 tips can help you out I know they helped me.

 

10 Tips on Becoming a Joyful Vegan

10 Tips on Becoming a Joyful Vegan

Who says you can’t be vegan and be happy?
1. Be Rigorously Honest with Yourself. 
There are many great reasons for going vegan. Whatever it is that is pushing you to make the change, be honest with yourself about it. If it’s animal welfare, stop denying the misery of those animals you care so deeply about. If it’s health, be honest with yourself about the artery-clogging cheese, or the cancer-causing burger you’re trying to justify eating. If it’s the environment, be honest about what kind of steward you want to be and what kind of steward you are. Be honest about what you need to do to be the person you want to be. The more honest you are with yourself, and the more information you absorb, the greater your motivation will be, which will make it a lot easier to stick to your commitment.
2. Focus on What You’re Adding to Your Diet and Your Life, Rather than What You’re Giving Up. 
Transitioning to a plant-based diet turns out to be more about what you add into your diet than what you give up. Letting go of what we’re comfortable with is never easy, whether it’s a relationship, a job or a hairstyle. A bird in the hand, and all that. But, once we let go of that thing we cling to despite the pain it causes us, we open ourselves up to the possibility of receiving something better. In this case, that means better health, better skin, a healthier weight, a clearer conscience and a bounty of new delicious whole foods to discover.
3. Stop Worrying About Where You Will Get Your Protein. You Will Get Plenty! 
Most Westerners are over-nourished and eat too much protein, which is why, according to doctors like Dr. Colin Campbell and Dr. Casswell Esselstyn (both featured in the life-changing documentary Forks over Knives), Americans suffer from such high rates of the so-called “diseases of affluence,” which include cancer, heart disease and diabetes, specifically because we eat too much animal protein. Vegans can easily obtain optimal levels of protein by eating a range of foods like beans, seeds, nuts, whole grains, vegetables, soy products like tofu and tempeh (which, by the way, tastes like bacon when sautéed until crispy in olive oil, drained, then returned to the pan with some soy sauce), and seitan (vegetarian wheat meat), which contains about 26 grams of protein per half cup.
4. Discover the Awesomeness of the Daiya Cheese Wedge. 
OMG. If you liked Daiya’s shredded cheese on your pizza, you will love this. If you hated their shredded cheese on your vegan pizza, you are in for such a treat. Giving up dairy seems to be the last frontier for most people. This vegan cheese wedge could seriously single-handedly convert millions. The Daiya cheese wedge takes the martyrdom out of veganism. And if you can’t find the Daiya, or if for some unfathomable reason you don’t like the wedge, you can make shockingly good cheese at home with little more than nuts and herbs.
5. Learn to Eat with Your Eyes. 
Eat beautiful whole foods, i.e. foods that look the way Mother Nature made them. Eat plants. Lots of them. The more the better. Eat a rainbow of plants every day. Pigments in food represent nutrients. Different pigments mean different nutrients, so the more colors (natural that is), the more nutrients. Engage your sense of sight, and enjoy your food on a whole new level. Eating vegan is beautiful!
6. Expand Your Mind. 
People often wonder what they will eat if they give up so many of the foods they are accustomed to eating. Open yourself up to a new way of thinking about food and how to build nutrient-dense and delicious plant based meals. The basic elements of a healthy vegan diet should include varied protein sources (including seeds, nuts, beans), unrefined grains, vegetables (especially dark leafy greens which are full of antioxidants and cancer-fighting phytochemicals, besides being good sources of calcium), healthy oils (unsaturated oils and omega-3s found in flax and hemp seeds) and fruits. Try to include something from each of these groups into your diet every day. For example, for dinner, try roasting a variety of vegetables, and serve with crispy tempeh over a bed of Indian fried quinoa, followed by a bowl of cut fruit topped with soy yogurt (more calcium) for dessert.
7. Aim for Progress, Not Perfection. 
Giving up meat and dairy is a huge step towards better health — for you, for the animals and for the planet. The more you can reduce animal products, the better. The more whole plant foods you can add into your diet, the better. Acknowledge all the improvements, and don’t expect to become a raw vegan whole food tri-athlete overnight. While cooking for yourself will usually be the healthiest option, there are a ton of new meat alternatives and vegan convenience foods on the market that are easy to prepare, taste good, and while they may not all be superfoods, they are certainly healthier than their animal-based counterparts. And, if you’re not ready to give up that one last favorite animal-based food, give yourself a break and feel good that you are making improvements.
8. Veganize It! 
Modify your favorite dishes to make them vegan. Replace eggs with ground flax seeds in baking. Use raw cashew cream to make dishes creamy. Use nut milks instead of dairy milks. Get online and find recipes for vegan versions of your favorite foods. There is a vegan version for everything!
9. Notwithstanding Tip #1, Limit Your Exposure to Traumatizing, Graphic Images, and Do Your Best Not to Attack Friends, Family or Complete Strangers. 
Remember, this post is about becoming a “joyful” vegan. For many, going vegan is a natural consequence of awakening to the oftentimes cruel reality of the world in which we live. In this age of instant and incessant global transmission of every instance of suffering occurring on the planet at any given moment, it is easy to drown in despair, bitterness and resentment. We need enough information to make wise decisions, and that’s enough. Don’t torment yourself. Once you’ve given up the products of cruelty, stop looking at those images. It doesn’t do anyone any good. You are a force of Light and Love in the world. Your actions speak Peace. Remember what Martin Luther King, Jr. said: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Be Light. Be Love.
10. Reap the Rewards! 
Changing habits, especially those as deeply ingrained as our eating habits, is not easy. But, once we take the first step, it gets exponentially easier with time. In short order: you will feel more energy; your digestive tract will work more efficiently; your waistline will begin to shrink; and, you will like yourself better. There is a real spiritual pleasure that arises when you realize that all things are connected. What’s best for you is best for the planet and all her inhabitants, and when you realize that you are living in harmony with all, you will feel satisfied. Now, get out there and be joyful!

5 Crucial Nutrients and How to Get Them as a Vegan.

Cardamom Chocolate Cupcake with Dipped Pear

As always when you tell someone you are vegan most generally the conversation comes round to getting enough protein on a vegan diet. Of course there are a number of other nutrients that also need to be considered and most people think that one has to eat meat to get these nutrients. But here is an article that explains how to get these 5 crucial nutrients.

 

Tips for vegans: 5 crucial nutrients and how you can get them | NOLA.com

Here are five of the harder-to-get nutrients, withstrategies for getting enough of them in a vegan diet:

Protein

I generally base my protein recommendation on a person’s body weight, aiming for at least 0.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight (up to a gram of protein per pound, particularly for people who are very physically active).

So a 150-pound person would aim for 75 to 150 grams of protein daily — not hard to do, even on a vegan diet.

Incorporate meat substitutes such as tofu, seitan (a wheat-based meat alternative), veggie burgers and other veggie “meats”. The protein content can vary widely, however, so check labels closely. Boca Burger’s Original Vegan Burger, for example, has 19 grams of protein, compared to just five grams of protein in Amy’s Sonoma Veggie Burger. And Tofurky’s Italian Sausage has 29 grams of protein per link, compared to 13 grams per link of Lightlife’s Italian Style Sausage.

Even whole grains and other types of starches can differ greatly in protein content. One cup of black beans has 15 grams of protein, compared to eight grams of protein per cup of quinoa, seven grams of protein per cup of whole wheat pasta, and just 4.5 grams of protein per cup of brown rice.

Protein supplements like protein bars and powders also can make it easier to meet protein requirements for the day. Two of my favorites: Clif Builder’s Bar (20 grams of protein) and Garden of Life RAW protein powder (17 grams of protein per scoop).

Omega-3s

EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are two types of omega-3 fats (primarily found in fish) that, among other benefits, have been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect, help to maintain a healthy heart and circulatory system, and are linked to a lower risk of depression.

Plant-based sources of omega-3s, such as flaxseed, walnuts and chia seeds, however, provide a type of omega-3 fat called ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) that hasn’t been shown to have all of the health-promoting benefits of DHA and EPA. And while it can be converted into DHA and EPA, the conversion is minimal: Less than 15 percent of ALA is converted into EPA, and less than 5 percent is converted into DHA.

I typically recommend aiming for a total of 1,000 mg of EPA and DHA daily, with a minimum of 500 mg of EPA plus DHA daily. Fortunately, vegan EPA and DHA (derived from algae) supplements are available, and top the list of my supplement recommendations for vegan clients.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is needed for the metabolism to function properly and to help keep nerve and blood cells healthy.

Low levels of B12 can cause weakness, anemia, loss of balance and numbness and tingling in the arms and legs.

Animal-based foods, such as eggs, meat, poultry and shellfish, are the primary sources of B12, though vegan products such as soy milk and breakfast cereals are often fortified with B12. Nutritional yeast (a yellow flake or powder with a nutty-cheesy flavor) is packed with B12; two tablespoons provide 130 percent of the Daily Value. Available at natural foods stores or online, nutritional yeast can be sprinkled over foods such as vegetables, popcorn or whole grain toast, and added to dips, dressings and sauces.

Vitamin B12 also is found in many multivitamin supplements and is sold individually as B12 capsules or as tablets that dissolve under the tongue.

Iron

Iron is a mineral that is part of all our cells, and, among other functions, helps to transport oxygen throughout our bodies.

Symptoms of an iron deficiency include feeling tired and weak, decreased mental performance, difficulty maintaining body temperature and an increased susceptibility to infection. Although iron is found in a wide range of foods, including legumes, leafy greens and pumpkin seeds, the iron in plant-based foods generally isn’t well absorbed. As a result, the recommended intake for vegans is 33 mg daily for pre-menopausal women and 14 mg daily for men (nearly double that of non-vegans). Soaking and sprouting beans, grains and seeds can enhance iron absorption, and adding a source of vitamin C can enhance the iron absorption from non-meat foods (think peppers with lentils, and kiwi slices on a spinach salad).

Calcium

Calcium is the easiest of the five to get enough of in a vegan diet, since vegan milk alternatives (e.g. almond, soy, flax, rice, and coconut milks) nearly always have added calcium.

Foods like tofu and cereals are often fortified with calcium as well, and calcium is naturally found in leafy greens. But some leafy greens, such as spinach and Swiss chard, are high in oxalates — compounds that interfere with calcium absorption, so low-oxalate greens such as bok coy, broccoli, collards and kale are our better bets for calcium-rich vegetables.

The Best Diet Program for Humans

Dr McDougall in the video explains what the best diet is for humans. He explains that every animal has a certain kind of diet that is best for them. And we as humans are not different. He explains that there seem to be too many different ways of describing this diet such as vegetarian, vegan, plant based and so one. He says the best way to explain it is starch based diet.

 

Reduce Inflammation With a Vegan Diet

I’m always looking at ways that a vegan diet can be of help to people with different health problems. I’ve read in several places that inflammation can cause many different health problems. It’s even been said that it’s inflammation that causes heart problems not the colestrol. That the build up in the artieries if caused from inflammation. Of course we know that a vegan diet has helped people with heart problems and I don’t know what the actual thing it does to help with this.

 

Reduce Inflammation With Vegan Diet | Be Well Buzz

What Is A Vegan Diet?

Veganism is a dietary choice that excludes meat, eggs, milk and its products in the daily meals. Fundamentally, for vegans, animals or animal derived products are out of bounds. In fact, many vegans do not use animal products like leather and completely avoid refined sugar and some wines that may use animal products in their manufacturing process.

One might think, “What’s left of life after quitting all of that!” On the contrary, vegans have an innumerable number of options in the form of grains, beans, legumes, vegetables and fruits, and there many delicious vegan recipes. Moreover, being vegan keeps many health problems at bay.

What Is Inflammation?

As undesirable as inflammation sounds, it is an amazing alarm system when our body is invaded by infections, pathogens, injuries and irritation. It is, in fact, the first line of defense in our body. The four characteristic signs of inflammation are redness, pain, swelling and warmth at the site of inflammation. Inflammation can be both external and internal.

When And Why Does Inflammation Happen?

Normally, inflammation or “an inflammation response” occurs subsequent to an injury or an infection as a defense mechanism.  This defense system is not something our body has adapted to but it is something that is innate to our system. Hence, it is an innate immunity response of our body. When an injury occurs, the first step is to detect the site of injury. For this reason, the nervous system has devised an inflammation response that ‘flags’ the site. A series of complex chemical reactions take place which over all, are termed as an ‘inflammation cascade’.

What Happens When An Inflammation Goes Out Of Control?

While inflammation is a good sign to learn that our body’s defense mechanism is working fine, too much of inflammation is not healthy. Immune responses like anything else can go out of control. The repercussions of such a mishap can range between being uncomfortable to deadly.

According to Dr. Peter A. Ward, Pathologist at Michigan Medical School, all autoimmune diseases are the cause of immune responses going awry. Autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis are often caused due to the inability of the immune system to differentiate between self-cells (cells that are a part of the body) and the foreign particles (pathogens or injuries). Because of this, the immune system begins to destroy self-cells and cause the dreaded tissue degeneration. Under minor circumstances, out of control immune responses can cause severe pain and swelling. Sometimes, they can even lead to allergic reactions and severe infections.

Vegan Diet Reduces Inflammation!

According to a study done at the prestigious Karolinska University, Sweden, by Dr. Ann-Charlotte Elkan, a vegan diet can significantly reduce unnecessary inflammatory responses in the human body. A study consisting of 66 subjects suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Out of which 38 subjects were placed under a vegan diet for three months, and the remaining 28 subjects were placed under a balanced yet non vegan diet.

  • After a specific duration, the blood serum was analysed for the compounds LDL (Low density lipopolysaccharide), oxidised LDL and arthero-protective antibodies against phosphorylcholine (PCs).
  • Elevated levels of LDL and oxidised LDL are associated with induction of an inflammatory response.
  • For patients who followed the vegan diet showed decreased levels of LDL, oxidised LDL and PCs.

In conclusion, Dr. Elkan has confirmed that a gluten-free vegan diet can induce changes that are potentially atheroprotective and anti-inflammatory, including decreased LDL and LDL levels and raised anti-PC IgM and IgA levels.

What Are The Other Benefits Of Being A Vegan?

  • Following a vegan diet helps to reduce risks of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and other chronic illnesses.
  • Men with prostate cancer have shown to cease as well as reverse their illness by following a strict vegan diet.
  • Vegan diets contain no cholesterol and are high in fiber and nutrients.
  • Following a vegan diet not only helps you but it does a good turn on the environment as well. It reduces the need for livestock farming, which helps in maintaining the balance on the ecosystem.

Following a vegan diet requires some commitment from one’s part. It would alter not only one’s diet but the lifestyle, as well. But as it is said, “Nothing in this life worth having comes easy” :-)