What Is Vegetarianism?
What Is Vegetarianism?
Minimally, being a vegetarian means nothing more than abstaining from the flesh of warm-blooded animals. But in practice, there are many different approaches to vegetarian eating. Here a few definitions:
live on plant foods alone, eating vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, grains, and legumes. This regimen omits all animal foods, including meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products, fish, and honey (because it is made by insects). Vegans also abstain from all products derived from animals, such as leather or even wool and silk.
include dairy products in their diet in addition to vegetables.
consume eggs along with dairy products and vegetables.
add fish to their diet. Hundreds of millions of Asians live on the staples of rice, fish, and vegetables.
eat poultry (chicken, duck, game, birds) but omit red meat.
A Brief History of Vegetarianism
As indicated by the Latin root of vegetarianism- vegetare, "to enliven" - this practice has always offered a healthful approach to both diet and life. The health benefits are one of the main reasons that people choose to become vegetarian. Throughout much of human history, in many parts of the world, meat also has been relatively unattainable, causing people to get their nutrients primarily from plant foods. The practice of vegetarianism also is connected with religious disciplines that espouse a meat-free diet and respect for animal life. Vegetarianism also has roots in the early history of the East, where ancient religious beliefs held that the human soul transmigrated to "lower" life forms. Followers maintained a vegetarian diet out of respect for the animal life that may be housing human souls. Buddha later commanded: "Do not butcher the ox that plows thy field," and "Do not indulge a voracity that involves the slaughter of animals." Buddhism quickly spread eastward from India, becoming the state religion of China around 500 AD and arriving in japan a century later.
For Japanese Buddhists, vegetarianism included the belief that
Eating animal flesh polluted the body for 100 days.
In the Hindu religion of India, vegetarianism is founded on health standards formulated in the Hindu epic poem Mahabharata: "Those who desire to possess good memory, beauty, long life with perfect health, and physical, moral and spiritual strength, should abstain from animal foods." It has been estimated that 20% to 42% of India's 1.1 billion population is vegetarian. Some Egyptians also were vegetarian, according to analysis of TOWNSEND LETTER - JULY 2011 the intestinal contents of mummies. Some of these ancients have earned the modern nickname "the eaters of bread." Much later in the Middle East, Mohammed's holy book of Islam, the Koran, prohibited the eating of "dead animals, blood, and flesh."
Philosopher Henry David Thoreau dedicated pages to the ideals of vegetarianism. He felt that "it is a part of the destiny of the human, in its gradual improvement, to leave off eating animals, as surely as the savage tribes have left off eating each other when they came in contact with the more civilized."26 Like Shaw, Thoreau thought that avoidance of meat improved his work In his masterwork, Walden, he wrote, "I believe that every man who has ever been earnest to preserve his higher or poetic facilities in the best condition has been particularly inclined to abstain from animal food." His abstinence from meat, coffee, and tea was not so much for health reasons as because "they were not agreeable to my imagination."
Vitamin C - "the wonder worker"
In the 65 years since its discovery, vitamin C has come to be known as a
It's easy to see why: In addition to its role in collagen formation and other life-sustaining functions,
vitamin C serves as a key immune system nutrient
and a potent free-radical fighter. This double duty nutrient has been shown to prevent many illnesses, from everyday ailments such as the common cold to devastating diseases such as cancer. In the scientific world, the water-soluble vitamin C is known as ascorbic acid (meaning "without scurvy," the disease caused by a vitamin C deficiency). We depend on ascorbic acid for many aspects of our biochemical functioning, yet human beings are among only a handful of animal species that cannot produce their own supply of vitamin C. Like these other animals, including primates and guinea pigs, we have no choice but to obtain this nutrient in our diet. Considering the many benefits vitamin C may provide, that mandate is deceptively simple.
How Does Vitamin C Function in the Body?
Much like the immune system itself, which operates at a cellular level, the hardworking vitamin C reaches every cell of the body. The concentration of vitamin C in both blood serum and tissues is quite. high.' In fact, this nutrient plays a major role in the manufacture and defense of our connective tissue, the elaborate matrix that holds the body together. It serves as a primary ingredient of collagen, a glue-like substance that binds cells together to form tissues. Vitamin C helps some of our most important body systems. First and foremost, it helps the immune system to fight off foreign invaders and tumor cells. Vitamin C also supports the cardiovascular system by facilitating fat metabolism and protecting tissues from free radical damage, and it assists the nervous system by converting certain amino acids into neurotransmitters. The skin, teeth and bones also benefit from vitamin C's collagen-forming and invader-resisting properties; this vitamin contributes to the maintenance of healthy bones, the prevention of periodontal disease and the healing of wounds. It even serves as a natural aspirin, of sorts, by combating inflammation and pain, according to Formula For Life. It accomplishes this task by 174 inhibiting the secretion of the prostaglandins that contribute to such symptoms.
Power Up! Improve your Immune System
While garlic contains phytonutrients similar to those found in onions, it also possesses selenium, a substance that, according to some studies, offers protection against various cancers and the deterioration of the body caused by free radicals.
Researchers have studied the ability of garlic to guard against;
1. heart disease
2. Arterial calcification (hardening of the arteries)
3. Reduce cholesterol and blood pressure.
Because it is a source of the flavonoid quercetin, garlic contains antibiotic properties that empower it to fight colds, stomach viruses, and yeast infections.
Many edible mushrooms are among the more important immune-builders in the plant kingdom.
In particular, medicinal mushrooms inhibit tumor growth, strengthen immunity, and have anti-pathogenic and blood-sugar lowering properties. Among approximately 200 varieties of mushrooms whose health enhancing skills have been noted are the chaga, cordyceps, maitake, oyster, portobello, reishi, shiitake, and turkey tail. Although all of these types can be obtained in fresh or dried form, shiitake mushrooms currently are the easiest to obtain in the US. A list of the health benefits of mushrooms would have to include their antiviral and antibacterial properties, which in different varieties have shown some effectiveness against pathogens including polio, hepatitis B, influenza, candida, Epstein-Barr virus, streptococcus, and tuberculosis. The scientific literature also discusses the mutagenic benefits of mushrooms, which can be enlisted in the fight against leukemia, sarcoma, and the bladder, breast, colon, liver, lung, prostate, stomach cancers, even in advanced stages.
- Ann Larson
EVERYDAY HEALTH – The Cold Hard Truth
According to a 2015 report from a federal advisory panel on nutrition, about half of all-American adults have at least one preventable, chronic disease related to diet and lack of physical activity.
In addition, 37 percent of women are obese, and another 30 percent are overweight. The situation is not new. Many medical practitioners and the public at large are finally acknowledging what the natural healing community has known for ages:
A good diet can not only promote health, but also prevent disease.
Today it is customary to talk about how food choices affect overall well-being and help ward off heart problems, cancer, diabetes, stroke, osteoporosis, depression, and myriad other ailments. Most people are also aware that a healthy diet can decrease the risk of disease by reducing predisposing conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
Eating a balanced diet is the most effective way to ensure that our bodies receive the nutrients we need.
Unfortunately, the typical American diet does not meet many of the requirements for good health. Part of the problem relates to the types and proportions of foods people eat. Just as important to our health is how the foods are grown and processed as they make their way to our grocery shelves and kitchen tables.
Eating properly means:
- Selecting unprocessed or minimally processed foods.
- You want to avoid pesticides, dyes, and wax coatings.
- Adjusted to include more complex carbohydrates.
- Fewer proteins, and less fat.
- Consuming a wide assortment of whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds supplies multiple nutrients.
- Supplements are always necessary (Green Stuff, Energy Stuff, Red Stuff and more).
- Juices from watermelons, raspberries, pomegranates, and tomatoes are filled with phytochemicals that help repair DNA and prevent cancer.
We should be thinking about our diets as part of our daily health routines.
There are six major groups of nutrients:
- And water.
You need all of these nutrients every day. How much you require depends on your health as well as your energy needs. Along with an understanding of these basic nutrients, you also need to be aware of the air you breathe, the balance of enzymes in your body, and the function of antioxidants in helping your body to combat disease and degenerative processes.
- Ann Larson
Super Foods: What are they & Why you need them?
In recent years, nutritional supplements have become increasingly high tech, providing physicians and their patients with advanced formulations for many health-care needs. But despite their many benefits, these products should not detract from the more fundamental route to combating chronic disorders and improving one's health: the consumption of highly nutritious, powerhouse foods. Like all healthful foods, "super-foods" enhance a variety of bodily processes - but simply do it better.
These foods contain high levels of;
- Dietary Fiber
These much-needed elements give the body both preventive and therapeutic health properties. Native traditions throughout the world have long held that certain vegetables, fruits, and grains are especially powerful purveyors of health benefits. But it was not until these natural products were studied through modern biochemistry, botanical science, molecular biology, and clinical research that their extraordinary properties became more widely known. In this article, we present 18 super foods that should be featured in the diet of health-care providers and their patients. The benefits described have been culled from the medical literature, and a sampling of the research conducted on these foods and their nutritional components is included in the references. What follows is a look at the specific preventive and curative properties of these super foods.
For thousands of years, apples (Malus sylvestrsis) have been used to address numerous medical conditions, including diabetes, fevers, inflammatory disorders, and heart ailments. In addition to confirming many of the healthful properties of apples, modern research has identified invaluable phytochemicals contained in the fruits. One phytochemical found in apples is phloretin, a natural antibiotic. Apples also contain pectin and pectic acids that add essential bulk to a diet. The apple's tannins, quercetin, alpha-farnesene, shikimic acid, and chlorogenic acid offer health benefits as well. By increasing the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, for example, they help offset cognitive decline due to oxidative damage. Apples also have high levels of phenols and polyphenols, and possess other antioxidant, chemoprotective properties. Consequently, they help guard against a variety of cancers, including leukemia and cancer of the colon, lung, breast, liver, and skin. These chemicals also provide essential nutrients that improve cardiovascular health, reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke, and prevent atherosclerosis.
Although low in calories, bananas provide essential nutrients such as vitamin B6, vitamin C, potassium, and manganese. They also stimulate probiotic activity, which sustains a healthy gut flora. Bacteria in the gastrointestinal system are critical for the proper digestion and absorption of nutrients. Bananas help keep this system on track. Recent findings have indicated that bananas may offer protection against kidney cancer, particularly in women, and aid renal function.
While garlic contains phytonutrients similar to those found in onions, it also possesses selenium, a substance that, according to some studies, offers protection against various cancers and the deterioration of the body caused by free radicals. Researchers have studied the ability of garlic to guard against heart disease and arterial calcification (hardening of the arteries) and to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure. Because it is a source of the flavonoid quercetin, garlic contains antibiotic properties that empower it to fight colds, stomach viruses, and yeast infections.
Ginger is used throughout the world to cure dyspepsia (stomach upsets), reduce gastrointestinal gases, and relieve nausea caused by pregnancy, seasickness, and even drugs used in chemotherapy. Ginger is composed largely of fragrant essential oi Is that give it a distinctive aromatic flavor. One of these oils, gingerol, makes it a natural sedative for calming the gastrointestinal tract. This oil also provides some protection against pathogenic bacteria that upset the stomach. Ginger is rich in antibiotic properties that combat the Gl infections which cause diarrhea and dehydration. Folk medicine has long honored ginger. While some scientists may dismiss folk medicine, it should be remembered that many modern pharmaceuticals were derived from folk remedies and then price-tagged. This folk science, now supported by modern science, has viewed ginger as a mild immune booster that wards off colds, flus, sinus congestion, and coughs. New evidence suggests that ginger helps to lower cholesterol. Preliminary findings in animal studies also suggest that ginger may help to treat diabetes.
The Vegetarian Diet & Protein Needs
The Vegetarian Diet
In recent decades, vegetarianism has shed its image as an offbeat lifestyle choice and attracted many Americans who want to take advantage of the benefits offered by plant-based eating. These people are adopting a vegetarian diet to improve their health, avoid the chemicals used in animal foods, reduce food costs, conserve natural resources, adhere to religious disciplines, and respect animal life. More than 7 million Americans now eat a vegetarian diet for these reasons and others.
For many individuals new to the vegetarian way of life, getting enough protein has proven difficult. Let’s break it down…
Protein; what is it, what does it do and how do I get it enough?
There is no question that protein is an essential nutrient. It helps to build, maintain, and repair just about every part of the body. It makes up our hair, fingernails and toenails, muscles, cartilage, and tendons, along with many hormones, antibodies, and enzymes.
- proteins are long-chain molecules made up of amino acids.
- There are approximately 22 of them in the protein we use.
- There are eight amino acids that the adult body cannot manufacture: valine, leucine, isoleucine, lysine, threonine, tryptophan, methionine, and phenylalanine.
Because protein is so critical, we must ensure that we consume sufficient quantities. Otherwise, the body will break down more molecules than it can build up, resulting in overall deterioration. Pregnant women must be especially careful to avoid such a situation, as it will affect both their health and their unborn babies' as well. Below is a daily protein chart.
How Much Protein Do I Need as a Vegetarian?
The World Health Organization (WHO) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recently published a technical report on protein and amino acid requirements. This analysis finds that the safe level of protein intake for adults is 0.83 grams per kilogram (kg) of body weight per day -a level that "would be expected to meet the requirements of most (97.5%) of the healthy adult population." The safe levels of protein intake per kg of body weight are higher for children, while women who are pregnant or lactating require extra protein as well. 4 A simi lar recommendation for protein intake in adults - 0.8 grams of good-quality protein per kg of body weight -comes from the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academy of Sciences. 5 By this method, you multiply your body weight in pounds by 0.453 (to convert to kilograms), then multiply by 0.8. If you weigh 155 pounds, for example, you multiply that figure by 0.453, which is 70.2 kg, then multiply by 0.8 grams per kg to arrive at 56 grams of protein per day. The Institute of Medicine's 2005 recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) for protein are as follows6 :
1.2 g/kg/d or 11 g/d
Children (boys and girls)
1.05 g/kg/d or 13 g/d
0.95 g/kg/d or 19 g/d
0.95 g/kg/d or 34 g/d
Boys, 14-18 years
0.85 g/kg/d or 52 g/d
Girls, 14-18 years
0.85 g/kg/d or 46 g/d
Men, 19 years and older
0.80 g/kg/d or 56 g/d
Women, 19 years and older
0.80 g/kg/d or 46 g/d
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