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Category Archives: Health

A Double Case of Back Injuries

A day at the park with my family turned into one of pain due to an injury. My grandfather slipped and fell, causing him to have pain in his back that prevented him from walking. Our outing had to be cut short so we could find one of the Petaluma chiropractors to treat him. While trying to carry my grandfather back to the car, I injured my own back. The pain interfered with my ability to walk as well, so my wife had to take both of us to the chiropractor. We should have just gone to the amusement park like I suggested in the first place.

The chiropractor examined us and determined that nothing in our backs were broken. We just needed to stay off our feet for a few days while our injuries had a chance to heal. For the next week, my wife essentially took the role of caregiver for the both of us. She had to prepare meals for us, help us get in and out of the bathroom, and even helped us change clothes.

Easy Vegan Snack Idea

Fresh Fruit

The health benefits of eating fresh fruit daily should not be minimized. So make sure that you enjoy some in-season fruit as one of your daily vegan snacks. Chop your favorite fruit and make a fast and easy fruit salad, adding some squeezed orange juice to make a nice juicy dressing. Serve with some soy or coconut milk yogurt or vegan ice-cream if desired, and top with some tasty walnuts or toasted slithered almonds to make it a sustaining snack.

Vegan Cake

If you are tired or very busy during the week, I recommend you set aside a few hours on the weekends to do your baking. Bake one or two yummy vegan snack recipes to last you the week, and freeze them in portions. Find some easy (or gourmet if you wish) vegan cake recipes, muffin recipes, brownie recipes or slice recipes that look delicious, and that you know will satisfy your snack cravings during the week. You should look online or purchase some vegan recipe e-books to find some beautiful vegan baking recipes that will keep you happy every time your snack time arrives! Who doesn’t look forward to their piece of cake now and again? And remember, if the ingredients that you put in are healthy, you can enjoy your vegan cake or muffins on a more regular basis – without having to feel guilty!

Vegan Health Slice

Once again, if you bake it on the weekends, you will not have to prepare your morning and afternoon tea during the week. There are so many delicious recipes nowadays for vegan health slices. There’s apple-crumble slice, oat and nut slice, dried-fruit slice, blueberry slice, chocolate-brownie slice, and so many more delicious recipes! Why not bake a different vegan slice every weekend? This will keep your vegan snacks from becoming boring.

Nutritional Factors Involved with Vegan Diet

The nutritional implications of the vegan diet extend even further than that of the vegetarian diet. If not properly planned the vegan diet can be low in vitamin D, zinc, iron, vitamins B2 and B12, and omega-3 fatty acids. That is why it is imperative for anyone starting on a vegan diet plan to consult a physician and dietician. That way they can be sure the change will not bring on any unforeseen health issues. Next the diet must be planned out so all the nutritional requirements are met. Fortunately today we have come a long way in understanding nutritional balance, and with the use of supplements we are able to fill any gaps in nutritional deficiencies.

So if you make sure your diet is up to speed nutritionally with your vegan diet, what are the benefits? The American Dietetic Association concludes that a well-planned diet is healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may help in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases, including cancer. People on a vegan diet have been tested to have lower cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and hypertension and type-2 diabetes as opposed to non-vegetarians. They usually have a lower body mass index, and have been found to live longer. These are all excellent reasons to consider a vegan diet.

But it would be impossible to know for certain these are all cause-and-affect relationships. A person who goes on a vegan diet it can be assumed is very attuned to his diet and therefore, his health. Is that person being compared to a non-vegetarian who doesn’t give his diet a second thought? In other words, if a person maintained diet that included lean meat, fish and animal products that were truly healthy and avoided animal products that were not healthy, how would he compare statistically to people on a vegan diet. I have not been able to find statistics that are specific to that group comparison, and without one I would hold that statistics can be deceiving.

Now keep in mind we are just talking about going on a vegan diet for health purposes, but as listed earlier there are other very valid reasons to consider this diet. And if you do pursue a vegan diet because you feel it is your best option to a healthy eating plan, we commend you for your efforts.

Vegan Diet Healthy Or Unhealthy

Some studies indicate that eaters of red meat are more likely to die prematurely than those who eat little to no red meat. One US-based study of 120,000 people determined that eaters of red meat are 20% more likely to die younger. Those who ate processed meats regularly boosted this premature death rate to a further 20% higher.

On the other hand, Michael F. Roizen, MD, concludes that those who switch from eating meat products to vegetarian foods could easily add at least 13 years to their life. Why? Vegetarians eat less animal fat and cholesterol, whilst vegans consume no animal fat or cholesterol. Professor T. Colin. Campbell (raised on a dairy farm) concludes from his experimental research program that a meat and dairy-free diet can both prevent and reverse 70-80% of disease!

Fact: most meat and dairy products are high in fat and calorie content. For example, 100g of lamb contains approximately 294 calories and 21g of fat (9% saturated) whilst 100g of cooked lentils contains only 128 calories and 6.5g of fat (0.8g saturated). Lamb has 0g dietary fiber, whilst 100g of lentils contains 7.5g dietary fiber. Fiber helps you to feel fuller for longer.

Evidence:

Angela Stokes (AKA ‘Vegan Raw Food Goddess’) lost over 154lbs (70kg) on the vegan raw food diet. This amazing woman, once morbidly obese, attests her weight loss and newfound zest for life to the vegan raw food diet and refuses to return to the standard American way of eating! Why? The health benefits of the vegan diet (particularly weight loss in Angela’s case) are too great to give up. Angela adopted raw veganism overnight and has never looked back since.

Time and time again, persons who adopt veganism proclaim that their skin clears up (acne, psoriasis, etc.), their eyes become whiter, their hair becomes thicker and healthier, their nails become stronger, their energy levels skyrocket and their allergies clear up. Sound too good to be try, right?

These amazing health testimonials can be attributed to the high mineral and nutrient content found in fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, legumes and beans, leafy greens and whole-grain foods. The American Dietetic Association concluded that a well-planned vegetarian or vegan diet is most definitely ‘nutritionally adequate,’ and may provide numerous health benefits and treat or prevent certain diseases. Yes, a ‘well-planned’ vegan diet will provide you with a generous amount of essential vitamins and minerals, so undoubtedly one’s health is bound to improve.

So is the vegan diet healthy or unhealthy? You decide. Those who have adopted veganism however, will always answer ‘healthy.’ The health benefits of the vegan diet clearly become evident after one adopts this lifestyle.

Prevent Breast Cancer With Vegan Diet

Studies have shown that a diet high in animal products and dairy- which is full of hormones and saturated fat- can cause breast cancer, while vegan diets can help prevent and even reverse it. A vegan diet is a plant-based diet where all animal products such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, and dairy are avoided.

There are several ways that a vegan diet reduces the risk of breast cancer. When our body is overloaded with toxins, it is unable to fight off disease. However, the body naturally wants to heal itself and we can help it do that by eating the proper nutrition. According to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, “People consuming a low-fat vegetarian diet tend to have higher levels of natural killer cells, which appear to make the immune system more effective in destroying tumors.”

A diet high in animal fat, especially the carcinogens found in cooked red meat, and the fat-soluble hormones found in milk from cows can be toxic to your system. According to Arthur Upton, former Director of The National Cancer Institute, “Both breast cancer and colon cancer have been generally associated with the level of consumption of animal fat.”

A diet high in fruits and vegetables is beneficial because of the phytochemicals found in produce, which aid the immune system in destroying tumors. Plant-based dieters tend to get the recommended amount of servings of produce while those following a typical Western diet do not.

Western countries have much higher rates of breast cancer than Asian countries such as Japan where the diet is much lower in animal fat. When Japanese women are raised on Western diets, their breast cancer risk dramatically increases.

“A Harvard Medical School study of more than 90,000 women revealed that the women who ate the most meat were nearly twice as likely to develop breast cancer as those who did not eat much meat,” says Sloan. “Personally, I don’t need another study to tell me that meat, eggs, and dairy products are unhealthy and vegan foods are wholesome and beneficial. I can feel the difference for myself.”

Following a vegan diet has many health benefits. “Since I switched to a vegan diet, my energy level has increased, my cholesterol level has decreased, and I feel healthier overall,” says Sloan. “But the best health benefit is the peace of mind I get from knowing that I’m much less likely to have a breast cancer relapse.”

Allison Biggar is a writer and filmmaker who believes in using the media to empower people to make a difference.

After losing both her parents to cancer at a young age, Allison became passionate about natural, organic health issues and learned that every disease is curable by natural methods.

Tofu Is Nutritional For Vegans

Tofu is commonly viewed as an exclusive vegan or vegetarian meat replacement. That is unfortunate since it can be used in so many different dishes and it is a healthy and highly-nutritional meat substitute.

Besides being a close replacement in taste, tofu is a smart nutritional choice when it comes to eliminating meat from your diet. When it comes to eating tofu, vegetarians and vegans alike know the dietary value of tofu dishes.

The fact that tofu is made from steamed and compressed soy beans and offers low-fat, low cholesterol and low calorie content once again means that it provides an important part of a vegetarians nutrition. Soy beans are noted for their protein content, which is something vegans commonly lack in their diet. Soy is known to be a heart healthy food with links to a decreased risk in cancer.

As well as being served as a meat alternative, tofu is frequently served in many spicy and ethnic dishes. A number of Eastern Indian meals have sizeable quantities of tofu cooked and spiced in a variety of ways.

Vegan Lifestyle

Expanded Palate
Vegans learn to enjoy a very wide range of vegetables which leads to an expanded palate. Recipes abound for cooking every vegetable imaginable. When veggies are just a side dish, it’s convenient to settle for a few of them to complement meat, such as potato salad, peas and carrots, or corn. Once veggies are the main dish, however, one starts to appreciate many more ingredients enriching the dining experience.

Global Impact
The vegan lifestyle is much more than food. It’s about the environment, climate, sustainable development, efficient allocation of food sources, and animal welfare. Many of the themes associated with going green are linked to veganism. When one chooses to be a vegan, one participates and supports these themes. The impact of eating vegan is so powerful, that if everyone did it constantly or even occasionally, many of these issues would resolve themselves.

Increased Mobility
Nutritionists, dietitians, and health scientists are confirming the health benefits of a plant-based diet over a meat-based one. Lower blood pressure, reduced risk of heart disease and cancer, and longer life spans are possible outcomes with a vegan diet. Fewer health problems mean that one is more active and mobile and can enjoy life more fully.

Larger Social Network
The vegan community is large and growing. Vegans enjoy sharing their experiences and finding companions who understand the reasons for their eating habits. Meeting and connecting with new people is one of the fun social aspects of being vegan.

New Knowledge
The vegan diet is focused on ingredients, health, and nutrition. To enjoy vegan food and stay healthy, one inevitably learns more about nutrition and the impact of ingredients on health. Over time, by paying attention to what it consumed and the value of each ingredient, one becomes familiar with vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients and with it comes new knowledge and power.

Vegan Omega 3

Some of the best vegan omega 3 sources are nuts, like walnuts and almonds, soy products, like tofu and other soy proteins (soybean oil, however, generally has the omega 6 aspects of the soybean in much more prevalence than the omega 3). Broccoli and several other oils, like flaxseed oil and olive oil will also be a good source of omega 3.

You can also get supplements that are completely vegan in order to get enough omega 3. These include flax supplements. You should make sure that you check the fine print on any supplement and know exactly what it is made out of before you assume that the product is vegan, however.

Most omega 3 supplements are unfortunately made out of fish oil, so if you are a vegan and cannot eat any animal products, you will have to be careful which supplements you take.

Vegan omega 3 sources include primarily ALA, which is the alpha-linoleic fatty acid. This fatty acid is essential for your health and can be made into EPA by the body. (EPA is another essential fatty acid that you can get primarily through eating eggs and fish). However, your body will not manufacture more DHA – which makes staying healthy on an all vegan diet more difficult.

Vegan Smoothies Diet

Vegan simple means there is no animal products included. No milk, cheese, or honey. Everything you need was growing on a plant somewhere and is now waiting for you to enjoy. Every day there is a new diet plan being marketed, a new “secret” weight loss formula selling books, or another diet guru on TV. The fads come and go like the weather. Many people are drawn in by these fad diets, promising weight loss results if you just buy all the things they are selling.

The vegan smoothie diet requires no guru, no secret formula, and no expensive meal replacements bars. All you need is a fridge full of fruits and vegetables, a good blender, and a desire to be your best. Rather than some new fad diet, this is the way humans were eating for millions of years. Our ancestors ran on fresh fruits and vegetables in their natural form, and how many overweight, sluggish cavemen do you think survived the harsh conditions?

For some, these fad diets may work at first. Water weight loss or burning of excess fat is common. Unfortunately, it all comes back once you stop the fad dieting. And with it health problems from ingesting unhealthy chemicals and mixes. Instead, a vegan smoothie diet gives your body exactly what it needs. Raw fruits and vegetables. Simple fill up your blender with a few fresh berries, a banana, and a handful of leafy greens. Then mix.

The green smoothie you create may not look good, but it tastes wonderful. The natural sugars found in the fresh fruit is better than the artificial sweeteners found in most foods. And veggie-phobes and take care, you will not taste the greens at all. There are many different ways to create a delicious vegan smoothie, but they all end up the same way: a healthy alternative to fad diets and weight loss lies. When you feed your body what it needs it will easily drop pounds, gain energy, and feel better.

And because this is not a diet, there is no worry about gaining every thing back later. You can continue to enjoy a vegan smoothie once a day, or more, for the rest of your life to continue getting your daily needs without taking away from your life.

Stay Away From Vegan Junk Food

If you are hoping to lose weight on the vegan diet, then eating too many of the above foods is a definite NO-NO. Store-bought packet foods are notoriously high in calories and fat, and are generally not waist-line friendly. Also, these foods are addictive and most people find that once they start eating one or two pieces, they cannot stop. This is because of the high sugar, salt and oil content that many of these foods contain, so STAY CLEAR if you want to lose weight on the vegan diet.

There are often terrible ingredients in store-bought junk food. For example: msg, excessive amounts of salt, sugar and fat, preservatives, flavorings, the list goes on. So eating lots of these foods will likely make your skin bad, your energy low, and you will find that you are addicted to them – whether you like it or not.

Eating these foods really defeat the whole purpose of why many people go on the vegan diet. Many folk become vegan for health benefits such as weight loss, lovely hair, skin and nails, and also in an endeavor to reverse or reduce the effects of serious health problems. Vegan junk food will put an end to all of this if eaten on a regular basis.

Opt for making your own healthy, easy vegan recipes instead. If you are not really into cooking, then look for some fast and easy vegan recipes to make and if possible, freeze a large batch of them. If you are into cooking – even better! You can have a blast making your own gourmet concoctions and hunting for delicious healthy vegan recipes to add to your collection.

It’s a very good habit to get into – making your own meals and snacks. And they needn’t be difficult. Set aside some time each week to make your own dips, brownies, muffins, health bars or dehydrated cookies, crackers and chips. Nothing could make you feel any better than eating clean, wholesome foods that you have prepared yourself!