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Saturday, July 25, 2009

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The Health Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet

The American Dietetic Association and the Dietitians of Canada have found a properly-planned vegetarian diet to satisfy the nutritional needs for all stages of life, and large-scale studies have shown vegetarianism to significantly lower risks of cancer, ischaemic heart disease, and other fatal diseases. Necessary nutrients, proteins, and amino acids for the body's sustenance can be found in vegetables, grains, nuts, soymilk, eggs and dairy.

A large body of scientific literature suggests that the consumption of a diet of whole grains, legumes, vegetables, nuts, and fruits, with the avoidance of meat and high-fat animal products, along with a regular exercise program is consistently associated with lower blood cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, less obesity and consequently less heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and mortality. In African-Americans, the frequent consumption of nuts, fruits and green salads was associated with 35-44 percent lower risk of overall mortality.

A major report published by the World Cancer Research Fund in 1997 recommended we lower our risk of cancer by choosing predominantly plant-based diets rich in a variety of vegetables and fruits, legumes and minimally processed starchy staple foods, and to limit the intake of grilled, cured and smoked meats and fish. These methods of preparing meat produce polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and heterocyclic amines which are carcinogenic.
About three dozen plant foods have been identified as possessing cancer-protective properties. These include cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower), umbelliferous vegetables and herbs (carrots, celery, cilantro, caraway, dill, parsley), other fruits and vegetables (citrus, tomatoes, cucumber, grapes, cantaloupe, berries), beans (soybeans), whole grains (brown rice, oats, whole wheat), flaxseed, many nuts, and various seasoning herbs (garlic, scallions, onions, chives, ginger, turmeric, rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage, and basil).

These foods and herbs contain of host of cancer-protective phytochemicals such as carotenoids, flavonoids, isothiocyanates, isoflavones, ellagic acid, glucarates, curcurmins, liminoids, lignans, phenolic acids, phthalides, saponins, phytosterols, sulfide compounds, terpenoids, and tocotrienols. These beneficial compounds alter metabolic pathways and hormonal actions that are associated with the development of cancer, stimulate the immune system, and have antioxidant activity.

A recent survey of 47,000 Italians found that persons in the highest tertile of vegetable consumption had a 21 and 11% reduced risk of myocardial infarction and angina, respectively, compared with those in the lowest tertile of vegetable consumption.

A British study found that daily consumption of fresh fruit was associated with a 24 percent reduction in mortality from heart disease and a 32 percent reduction in death from cerebrovascular disease, compared with less frequent fruit consumption. Daily consumption of raw salad was associated with a 26 percent reduction in mortality from heart disease.

But vegetarian diet may have negative impact on our health. See our next post about this.


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2 Responses to "The Health Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet"
FootBalls said :
July 26, 2009 at 12:50 AM
It is happy to see your posting. Yes really informative article, oh yes I suggest you to check my blog on www.weight-loss-blogs.blogspot.com , I hope the article on my blog will be usefull for you… and we can share each other. thank you… ;-)
stageoflife said :
July 26, 2009 at 2:21 AM
I came across this article. My Google alert service directed me to it because you used a "stage of life" phrase in your piece. Normally I move on if the article doesn't pertain to my business but I actually took a moment to read your story and wanted to let you know that I enjoyed it. Nice piece!

Have a wonderful summer!

Eric
CEO/Founder
StageofLife.com

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