Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I did a little study today and found a great new webstie: http://www.vegan-nutritionista.com/.
I'll post some snippets if found useful/interesting..

Many people often become vegan as a way to lose weight, but quickly learn of the other benefits of veganism.

Not only does a low fat vegan diet help prevent and reverse heart disease, prevent cancers, help regulate hormone imblances, and help with a variety of other diseases, but it also helps people besides you.
I've heard of many people having success by simply dedicating themselves to one month of no animal products. What seems to happen is that the first few days are probably going to be treacherous, where you might feel tempted to stop everything. Then it gets a little easier, and by the middle weeks you are starting to notice differences in your bodies. By the end of the month, you might never go back. It's much easier to committ to four weeks than to tell yourself you will never eat ___ again.
The vegan food pyramid is very similar to the more familiar food pyramid with meat and dairy. The basis for a nutritious vegan diet is whole grains. Throw out those ideas about carbs being the devil!! It's just not true. We need carbohydrates for energy, and we need good solid whole grains in our diets. Make sure you eat a lot of them-- 6-11 servings/day. We enjoy oats in the morning, whole wheat bread, sprouted grains bread with all kinds of grains, cereal that uses many whole grains, quinoa, millet, bulgur, barley, and fresh popped corn. That satisfies the grain section of the vegan food pyramid.
There are all kinds of fortified milk substitutes that are equally tasty-- almond milk, rice milk that is sweeter, cashew milk, hemp milk, hazelnut milk, etc. Try them all and see what you like best. They are great in cereals, baking recipes, and as added ingredients in other vegan recipes. You will want to eat 2-4 servings of them to satisfy the vegan food pyramid's suggestions.

If everyone only ate vegetables and grains, would there be enough to eat?
If everyone was a vegetarian, we would actually have more food to feed hungry people across the world. Most of the grain we produce is fed to animals, and if we stopped doing that, no one would be starving. The cattle population across the world eats enough calories to feed 8.7 billion people.
Additionally, a great deal of the Earth is cleared to make room for animal farms. The natural ecosystem and makes it harder for certain plants to grow and thrive. If we stopped clearing land for animal grazing, there would be more land for crops to feed humans.

If we all stop eating animals, they will overrun the Earth. Isn't it better to eat them than let them just die and go to waste?
It is true that if we stopped eating all animals today, there would be billions of farm animals who would "go to waste." But there's no way that would ever happen. The likely scenario is that we would gradually decrease the amount of meat we eat, and factory farmers would gradually decrease the number of animals they bred for food.
Eventually there would be no more farm animals than any other species on Earth and the ecosystem would return to a natural balance. There are numerous reports that show the measurable difference it would make if theinhabitants of Earth would eat a vegetarian diet.

Animals kill other animals for food, so why shouldn’t we?
Animals kill to survive, and humans simply don't need to do so because we have modern resources that allow us to avoid animal products and stillsurvive.
If we were to imagine ourselves back in the wild, without any of the modern world, we wouldn't be part of the same food chain with chickens and cows. It's more likely we would be eating vegetables, fruits, grains, and the occasional small animal like squirrels and other rodents.
Besides, if we are going to ask this question, shouldn't we then make ourselves use the same methods for killing animals as other animals? That would mean we would need to hide behind bushes and hunt the animals, slaughter them ourselves, and process them. Our food system has nothing to do with nature's original purpose.

Aren't humans natural carnivores?
Human bodies are very different from the bodies of carnivores. Carnivores have short digestive tracts, sharp claws, and curved fangs; humans have long digestive tracts for vegetable matter, flat thin nails made for protection from dings, and flat teeth for grinding at plant protein. Even human canine teeth are far flatter than those on carnivores.


Açaí berries come from the Amazon and have recently gained a lot of popularity. They have tons of antioxidants, monounsaturated fats that help lower cholesterol and improve digestion, and are a complete protein because they have all the amino acids. Açaí is also a great anti-inflammatory agent. The best form that you can get in the United States is the frozen pulp of the berry as the whole berry cannot travel from Brazil.

Alfalfa (and other) Sprouts
Sprouts have tons of protein and vitamin C and are high in enzymes, which make them very easy to digest. Alfalfa sprouts are a top provider of D-glucaric acid, which fights cancer. They also have tons of saponins, which lower cholesterol levels by cleansing the system of cholesterol. Also, the chlorophyll in alfalfa works with the good bacteria in your digestive system and aids in reduction of gas. Never a bad thing for a vegan!

Avocados have the most folate, potassium, vitamin E, and magnesium of any fruit. They are full of fiber and monounsaturated fat, which lowers cholesterol, and is healthful for your heart.

Barley has both soluble fiber that helps digest fats, lowers cholesterol, and carbohydrates, and insoluble fiber that improves digestion and reduces the risk of colon cancer. It has tons of vitamin E, antioxidants, and niacin (which protects your heart.)

Four Beans
Beans and Lentils
Beans and lentils have tons of fiber, potassium, and protein and some omega-6 fatty acids. They help prevent diabetes, reduce blood pressure and the risk of stroke, and they also protect the heart against disease. They are also anti-inflammatory agents and can prevent birth defects, as well as reduce obesity.

Carton of Blueberries
Blueberries (called Bilberries in Europe)
Blueberries are high in potassium, vitamin C, antioxidants, and phytoflavinoids, and have been found to lower your risk for heart disease and cancer. They are also found to reduce inflammation, which dramatically aids in disease prevention. Choose the darkest blueberries you can find, as they have the most antioxidants.

Broccoli is full of vitamins A and C, folate, and sulforaphane, which fights the production of cancer cells. It has also been found to reduce the risk of cataracts and birth defects, boost the immune system, build bones, and reduce the risk of cataracts.
Buckwheat seeds
Buckwheat is a great super food that acts like a grain, so it's easy to use in your diet. It is very high in vitamins and minerals, has great monounsaturated fats, has soluble and insoluble fiber, and flavonoids that promote heart health. It is high in antioxidants which help increase blood circulation and decrease blood pressure.

Dark Chocolate
Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate has many antioxidants and flavonoids, which helps improve blood flow and lower blood pressure. You should try to find brands with 60%+ cocoa, and make sure to look out for some with milk fat.

Cranberries are full of antioxidants from anthocyanin. They have a strong concentration of tannins which promote urinary tract health by attaching to bacteria in the bladder and preventing the bacteria from sticking to the walls, which is how infections form. They might be able to prevent other infections as well, such as tooth decay, salmonella, and staff infections. They are also being tested for their ability to reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Flax seeds
Flax seeds
Flax seeds are super foods that are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which lowers your risk for heart disease, reduces arthritis, and reduces memory loss and risk for Alzheimer's. Flax seeds are also high in monounsaturated fat, which lowers cholesterol levels.

Garlic lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, and reduces risk of blood clots, cancers, Alzheimer's, and atherosclerosis. It also helps to fight infections and detoxifies the body.

Oats are well known for their ability to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, but they also reduce the risk of type II diabetes, lowering blood sugar levels, and reducing blood cholesterol levels. They are high in fiber and protein, as well as many phytonutrients.

Oranges are full of vitamin C, which protects against colds and damage from free radicals. It also has flavonoids that lower high blood pressure and cholesterol, preventing strokes and heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and eye problems.

Pomegranates are super foods that are full of antioxidants, and have been found to reduce bad cholesterol levels, increase blood flow, and might protect against cancer.

Pumpkin is high in fiber and has tons of vitamins and minerals that fight diseases such as beta-carotene and alpha-carotene. Those carotenoids are what give pumpkin their color, and they protect the plant from sun damage, just like they do for our skin. They decrease the risk of many cancers, heart disease, and eye diseases.

Raspberries are a top antioxidant, are full of fiber, vitamin C, and have ellagic acid, which is found to fight cancer cell development.

Soy is high in polyunsaturated fat, which lowers cholesterol, and helps make your heart healthy. A study found that a diet full of soy, oats, barley, almonds, and plant margarine lowers cholesterol as much as the leading cholesterol medicine in the marketplace. Excess soy can trigger breast cancer, so if you have it in your family history, do not eat too much soy. Also, look for whole soy products, like tofu, tempeh, and edamame.

Spinach is a serious super food- it has several carotenoids, antioxidants, vitamin K, and B vitamins. It's know to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, several cancers, and eye problems like macular degeneration and cataracts.

Sweet Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes have more beta carotene than any other vegetable, and have tons of vitamin E and other vitamins, and are full of phytochemicals. They have been found to boost the immune system and fight cancer cells.

Green Tea
Black, green, and white tea helps reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Black and green teas are antioxidants, and green has a special antioxidant called ECGC. ECGC has been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer, and it's been found that Japanese people who drink tea have lower cholesterol levels than those who do not.
Tea has also been found to prevent osteoporosis. One thing to know is that tea loses some of its antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties when it is bottled or decaffeinated. It's better to brew your own so you can control the added sugar, and so the healthful properties remain intact.

Tomatoes (fresh, canned, and paste)
They have a large amount of lycopene, which is the carotenoid that makes tomatoes red. It is an antioxidant and protects the body from damage, like many cancers and heart disease, among others. Lycopene also raises the skin's sun protection factor. The interesting thing is that there tends to be a higher concentration of lycopene in cooked tomatoes, and the body is better able to absorb the vitamins once cooked, and even more so if cooked with a little oil.

Single walnut
Walnuts protect against coronary heart disease, diabetes, and cancer by lowering LDL cholesterol levels. They are high in protein and unsaturated fat, and actually help to lower cholesterol with their plant sterols. They are high in calories, so you only really need about a handful of them anywhere from 2-5 times per week.

Watercress has a good amount of vitamins A and C, and has isothiocyanates, which fights lung and esophageal cancer.

Wheat germ
Wheat germ has great protein, fiber, folate, and vitamin E, and is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. It helps reduce cholesterol levels with its phytosterols.

Eating super foods will make you feel healthier overall. Again, you might not be able to eat ALL of these every day, or even every week. The easiest thing to do is start adding a few super foods at a time, get comfortable with them, and then add other super foods. Remember, it takes about three weeks to make a habit, so start now, and within a month your diet will be significantly healthier.

Eat whole plant foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans.
Don't bother counting calories, but eat as much of those foods as you like until you are satisfied.
Avoid eating processed or"junk" vegan food. Learn to cook at least enough to have good variety in your meals, and learn to order food out that complies with these rules. Additionally, control your stress levels and exercise regularly.

People are sometimes resistant to this vegan weight loss diet concept simply because they have been taught differently. They are positive that they need to control their caloric intake and that if they eat until they are full they will overindulge. They don't want to learn to cook because they don't have time. They think it's too hard to eat a healthy vegan diet, so they give up before they ever try.

Skinny Bitch is one of the funniest books I've ever read, and one of the best vegan books on the market. Some people are insulted by the direct language and curse words, but I found it laugh-out-loud hilarious.
The authors purposely turn the cards on the reader and challenge us to use our brains when making decisions about food. Some of the information is common sense, but it's the kind that people still don't practice.
They include some extremely disturbing stories from slaughterhouse workers that you might never get out of your head. It's an easy, fun read, and one I recommend to anyone looking to learn more about veganism and how to treat their bodies right.
The authors recently came out with a recipe book called, Skinny Bitch in the Kitch, and have a new version of the original, but for men called, Skinny Bastard. My boyfriend once asked me if the things in Skinny Bitch applied to men, and I just told him yes, so we will see if this becomes a best vegan book for men.

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