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Vegan Health Home Page

Vegan Health Home Page

Want Milk? Is Cow’s Milk Meant For Human Consumption? (Part 1) Milk is central to our development; it is universally accepted and understood that a mother’s milk is unequivocally what nature has planned for the growth of babies across all species. Not only does it provide essential nourishment, but by drinking it, a baby also shares its mothers immune system and gets the right balance of fats, proteins, vitamins, hormones, and enzymes for development. After a human mother has finished nursing her baby, something odd happens — a cow takes over! This makes us the only mammal on earth that is never really ever weaned. In fact, most people believe that their health will be jeopardized if they don’t consume dairy products. Humans weren’t designed with an odd gene flaw requiring us to drink the milk of other animals to grow, because every species has endemic traits that only apply to their specific type. Cow’s milk contains most of the same components as human breast milk, however, these components are not in the same amounts.

Want Milk? The Bacterial Cocktail (Part 2) As we pointed out in the previous installment of this series, drinking cow’s milk is not only unnecessary, but it is also getting increasingly unsafe due to farming practices. There is no good reason why fully grown men and women need to consume milk, let alone milk from another species. This habit is only prevalent in the human race and goes beyond logic! In addition, evidence shows that nearly all cows (unless raised by you or a farm you know well) are full of toxins such as pesticides, antibiotics and hormones. Further, cow’s milk is allowed to have a legal amount of blood and pus cells in it. The Dairy Industry has developed a somatic (pus) cell count process, which means, the higher the cells, the higher quantity of pus in milk. While pasteurization (heating/boiling) reduces the number of viable microorganisms, it does not negate the effects of toxins produced by mastitis pathogens. You may like the taste and feel healthy and fine consuming dairy products.

Want Milk? The Calcium Myth (Part 3) In our first two articles in this series, we tackled the question of whether humans need to consume milk and the health dangers of consuming milk. Now finally, we tackle the biggest misconception when it comes to dairy — CALCIUM! One of the most famous nutrients of all, which helps us develop strong bones, teeth and muscles. If humans stop drinking cows milk, where would we get our calcium from? But what about carnivorous animals? The only reason why people still believe that cow’s milk is the best, and perhaps even the sole source of calcium for human beings is because of the promotional efforts carried out by the dairy industry. Some researchers have also found that countries with the highest dairy consumption also have high rates of osteoporosis. Of course, humans do need a good supply of calcium in our diet, but cows milk is by no means the best source. We don’t need to consume milk produced by another species. Image Source: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3

Bittersweet — Secrets of Sugar Over the years, several studies have highlighted the various dangers of excessive sugar consumption, ranging from tooth decay and cardiovascular disease to obesity. While this should provide enough reasons to make everyone mindful of their sugar consumption habits; there exists other hidden dangers in sugar that should factor into the sugar choices of vegans, vegetarians and omnivores alike. Refined Cane Sugar and Bone Char Refined sugar; one of the most common ingredients in processed food sold in the United States comes from two main sources; namely, beet sugar and cane sugar. Vegans rightfully cringe at the thought of consuming refined white cane sugars, as bone char is, simply, ground up cow bones! Even if you’re not vegan, you have reason to be concerned about refined sugars and bone char. Animal-Free Alternative In addition to 100% Pure Beet sugar, ‘Raw’ sugar is typically safe for vegans. The Bottom Line Image Source: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3

7 Tips for Transitioning to a Healthier Diet Everywhere you turn these days you’ll find information about the benefits of eating healthy. We all know that eating less sugar and more fruits and vegetables will make us feel energized, healthier, and happier. But, beginning to make changes to your eating habits acan be daunting—especially if you’re not sure where to begin. Here are a few tips on how to incorporate healthier foods into your diet and be patient with yourself along the way. 1. Making any change in your life, especially related to food, is a process. 2. One of the reasons that many people give up on new goals is because they try to make too big of a change too quickly. 3. One of the best things that you can do for your health is to learn to make meals from scratch in your own kitchen. If you’re already kitchen-savvy, bump it up a notch. 4. If you find yourself relying on the same dinners every week or starting to lose momentum for making healthier changes, it’s time to get inspired! 5. 6. 7.

More Food Doesn’t Necessarily Mean More Nutrition As you’ve undoubtedly noticed, the desire to eat is an authoritative one. A basic primal instinct, appetite is among the most powerful human desires. It has served us exceptionally well for many thousands of years. As soon as the body begins running low on nutrients to fuel movement or rebuild body tissue, it sends a chemical signal from the brain to induce appetite, resulting in the consumption of food and an influx of nutrients (or so that’s the plan). Using white bread as an example, a whole loaf could be consumed, and while the stomach would be filled physically with the volume of the bread, the chemical hunger signals from the brain would continue. Lack of nutrients causes hunger and fuels disease We are living in a very strange time, a time in which people who are overweight or obese can be (and most likely are) malnourished. It all starts with the earth Food is really little more than a median for soil-based nutrients. Arable land is scarce. The solution

School Food Diaries: The Perils of Cupcake Friday The learning curve for a new elementary school parent is high. The anxiety for a health-conscious, plant-based parent is higher. Schedules, rules, and school supply lists have become the focus of my consciousness, and worries over snack time, lunch time, and school food have plagued me. Laken, my son who turns 5 in December, started kindergarten last week and, thankfully, the transition has been a smooth one. Now that the route and routine have been figured out, my calendar is filled with upcoming PTA meetings, and my name is on the list for potential class parent volunteers. Luckily, kindergarten kids eat homemade lunches in their classrooms at their desks, so I don’t have to worry about the lunch line until next year. Looking over the monthly meetings, numerous fundraisers, and field trips, I noticed that one Friday every month is labeled “Cupcake Friday.” My plant-based parent’s heart shuddered. Then, salvation appeared in the form of a reply email. War is over – if you want it.

Chicken More of an Arsenic Risk than Apple Juice Dr. Oz was right to be concerned about arsenic contamination in our food supply. According to scientists from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and the Environmental Protection Organization, “Arsenic is a human carcinogen, and is also associated with increased risks of several noncancer endpoints, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, neuropathy, and neurocognitive deficits in children.” Last week released independent lab reports finding as much as 36 ppb of arsenic in apple juice. Based on FDA retesting of apple juice samples, compared to the amount of arsenic found in a Perdue chicken breast , for example, arsenic exposure from chicken may only be 15 times as great, but preliminary findings suggest the majority of the arsenic found in chicken is the highly toxic inorganic form. The arsenic in apple juice is thought to come from arsenic-containing pesticides still in use in countries such as China, but how did arsenic get into the chicken?

A Vegan Diet is Unhealthy? Says Who? Anyone who is vegetarian or vegan has heard ridiculous claims from someone who is typically unhealthy. The diabetic, overweight uncle telling you how unhealthy it is to be vegan, the chain smoking neighbor that had a friend who had a daughter that got really sick not eating meat, and so on and on and on it seems. I’ve said it before that if you wouldn’t take investment advice from a homeless man why take health advice from the unhealthy? What happens though when the advice comes from someone sporting a six pack (the ab kind) and energy to go all day? Let’s go back to the analogy of money. So what about taking advice from the rich? We can look at the first guy as someone like George Burns. The next guy was a good hard working guy. The third guy I know (who is a real person) was a snake. In this scenario I liken him to the fit, athletic friend. Athletes are a little better guarded against heart attack and cancer but it happens, often. Image Source: Saturo Kikuchi (via Flickr)

Protein-Packed Meals for Older Vegans Age-related changes are a fact of life, but a healthy lifestyle can delay their onset or slow their progression. One way in which both diet and exercise may have a big impact is in protecting muscle tissue. is a reduction in muscle mass and strength that occurs with aging. Although it begins as early as the mid-40s, sarcopenia accelerates as people get older, and chronic muscle loss may affect nearly a third of those over the age of 60. A number of studies show that the best way to prevent sarcopenia is through resistance training like weight lifting. But getting adequate protein is important, too. To make sure your diet is packed with muscle-protective protein, choose at least four servings per day of protein-rich foods like cooked dried beans, tempeh, firm tofu , seitan, edamame, soynuts, veggie meats, peanut butter , and pistachios. ▪ 1 cup oatmeal with ½ cup soymilk ▪ 1 slice whole grain bread with 2 tablespoons peanut butter 21 grams ▪ ½ cup fresh fruit 22 grams ▪ 1 cup steamed spinach

Fat Soluble Vitamins: Do They Stand Between Vegans and Health? Among the issues that are frequently raised regarding the “safety” of vegan diets is one that focuses on fat-soluble vitamins. Some of the concerns are based on legitimate questions about active forms of these vitamins and their absorption from plant foods, and others aren’t. Regardless of those questions, though, plant foods can and do provide enough of the fat soluble vitamins A, D and K. (Vitamin E, which is also fat-soluble, is not involved in the controversy since it’s found in a very wide variety of foods.) Vitamin A: It’s true that the preformed active type of this vitamin is found only in animal foods. You can meet your vitamin A requirement for the day by drinking just one-quarter cup of carrot juice or eating a cup of kale or spinach. As a result, vitamin A is a nutrient that deserves some attention in vegan diets. Vitamin D: This vitamin occurs naturally in only a few foods—fatty fish, eggs from chickens who were fed vitamin D, and mushrooms treated with ultraviolet light.

Your Plant-Based Food Guide to Natural Immunity (Part 1) Most people often dread the cold, wet winter season not only because of the natural disasters it sometimes brings in tow but also due to the disaster that it can wreak on their health. But fear not; your health need not be as bleak as the weather. Nature may cause the problem, but you must realize that it also has the solutions. An acidic, disease-prone body that is more aggravated by cold weather can only be restored to health through alkaline-forming fruits and vegetables — mother nature’s gifts to help strengthen and heal our frail and sickly bodies. Alkalizing fruits and vegetables increase your resistance to disease and accelerate the body’s healing processes. The low-down on plant-based sources of vitamins and minerals Forget about getting your nutrients from synthetic vitamins. Vitamin A boosts the body’s ability in fighting infections, protecting you from colds, sore throat, and viral infections. Riboflavin (B2) is an antioxidant and immune-boosting vitamin.

Your Plant-Based Food Guide to Natural Immunity (Part 2) In Part 1 of this series, we touched upon alkaline-forming fruits and vegetables and plant-based sources of key vitamins and minerals that can help you build immunity. While there is no denying that vitamins and minerals play a key role in disease prevention, here are some additional tips to help you achieve immunity during the cold season (or year long!): Green superfoods are some of the most complete and balanced, nutritionally-rich food you can find that are packed with vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids and phytonutrients. Coconut oil has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties. Avoid refined sweets such as white sugar, soda, candy, chocolate bars, ice cream, cakes, pastries, canned, sweetened fruits, sugar-loaded cereals, cookies, and canned or bottled juices. Deep-fried foods are no help either. Fresh, uncooked fruits and vegetables are always your immune system’s best bet. Garlic is one famous bulb due to its antiviral, antibiotic, and anti-fungal compounds.