Dementia is a scary disease, so we all want to do everything we can to avoid it. One recent study showed that vegetarians have a 38% lower risk of dementia. We already knew that part of the reason was that vegetarians have, on average, a much lower prevalence of risk factors such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol and lower levels of markers for inflammation such a C-reactive protein, but now new research shows there’s an additional reason.
Investigators found that individuals with the highest blood levels of lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-cryptoxanthin were less likely to have dementia, even decades later than their peers with lower levels of these phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are nutrients found in plant foods besides vitamins, minerals and fiber, that nourish our bodies and are the focus of a lot of medical research.
A vegetarian diet can help reduce your risk of breast cancer and that’s very important. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, except for skin cancers. Currently, the average risk of a woman in the United States developing breast cancer sometime in her life is about 13%. This means there is a 1 in 8 chance she will develop breast cancer.
The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and American Cancer Society (ACS) cancer prevention guidelines recommend maintaining a healthy weight, undertaking at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week, limiting alcohol consumption, and eating a plant-based diet.
Do your joints hurt? Maybe you have osteoarthritis? The good news is that a plant-based diet may be able to help.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting millions of people worldwide. It occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of your bones wears down over time. Although osteoarthritis can damage any joint, the disorder most commonly affects joints in your hands, knees, hips and spine. Osteoarthritis has often been referred to as a “wear and tear” disease. But besides the breakdown of cartilage, osteoarthritis affects the entire joint. It causes changes in the bone and deterioration of the connective tissues that hold the joint together and attach muscle to bone. It also causes inflammation of the joint lining.
Grapes have always been associated with health, and with good reason. They are packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients. One of their renowned phytonutrients, resveratrol, is said to increase the expression of three genes related to longevity. Even though they’re sweet, grapes are also good for diabetics, since they promote a better blood sugar balance and increased insulin sensitivity. And of course the skin is packed with fiber, which helps to promote good bowel health.
At this time of year, the local grapes are particularly fresh and delicious, so it’s a great time to enjoy them. Their unique texture and sweetness makes them a perfect addition to salads and desserts, but also a handy snack throughout the day. Just wash them and put them in a bowl in the fridge to keep them fresh and ready for whenever a hunger pang strikes.
Good news for those with this hard-to-treat disease. It turns out that a vegetarian diet is especially effective at both preventing and treating Crohn’s Disease.
Crohn’s disease affects as many as 780,000 Americans. It’s a chronic inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract that usually affects the small and/or large intestine. The intestine becomes inflamed, sometimes resulting in dangerous blockages. It usually begins early in life. People with this disease experience periods of remission only to be followed by relapse. No-one knows what causes the disease, and currently there is no cure. Read more
Many people worry about getting cancer, but they don’t realize how much difference their food choices can make in whether they get cancer or not. When it comes to cancer, your diet can make all the difference.
The connection between the food we eat and cancer is anything but new. Scientists have long noticed the association with eating meat and cancer. For instance, Scientific American stated all the way back in January 1892 that “cancer is most frequent among those branches of the human race where carnivorous habits prevail.”
Studies have shown again and again that those following a plant-based diet have a lower risk of several kinds of cancer such as stomach, colon, prostate and pancreatic. Even smokers (and of course smoking is not recommended) can cut their risk of lung cancer by half if they eat a plant-food rich diet. Now, in the 21st century, scientists are discovering many of the ways plant foods help protect us from getting cancer. Read more
With Valentine’s Day almost here and Women’s Heart Health Day this month, many women are wondering how they can have their Valentine’s Day Chocolate and promote heart health at the same time. Well we have some good news for you, if you are willing to choose just the right chocolate!
Medical science has gone beyond folklore to investigate whether there are indeed health benefits to chocolate. Chocolate contains a group of phytonutrients called Flavanols. Phytonutrients are natural substances that are not vitamins or minerals but still have very valuable health-promoting properties. These flavanols, especially one called epicatechin, have been found to have several cardiovascular, health-enhancing effects. Read more
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so it’s a good time to remind women and the men who love them that a plant-based diet is the best diet for both avoiding and battling the disease.
Breast cancer is a very complicated disease but here are just a few of the ways that a veg diet helps. Cancer, including breast cancer, can be caused by toxic chemicals found in the environment, called carcinogens, that greatly concentrate in animal tissue and then get transferred to us when we eat animal-derived foods. Also, other carcinogens called heterocyclic amines, or HCA’s for short, form when meat is cooked. By consuming a plant based diet you can avoid almost all of these dangerous carcinogens. Read more
Here’s a bit of news on a large and complicated topic. Eat your veggies to help prevent breast cancer!
Phytonutrients are powerful when it comes to preventing a variety of diseases, including cancer. Phytonutrients are substances found only in plant foods. They are neither vitamins nor minerals, but are nevertheless vital for good health. A recent study found that those women with the highest intakes of phytonutrients called carotenoids had a reduced risk of estrogen-positive breast cancer by as much as a third, and a reduced risk of estrogen-negative breast cancer by almost half.
In another study, post-menopausal women with breast cancer who doubled their intake of plant foods, reduced their risk of recurrence of the cancer after treatment by almost 50%. Carotenoids are found abundantly in red, yellow and deeply colored fruits and vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach and kale.
Not surprisingly, those following a vegan diet have the highest plant food intakes of all. A recent study found that women following a vegan diet had a 34% lower risk of breast cancer, as well as a significantly reduced risk of other female cancers, such ovarian cancer.
Breast cancer is a complicated disease involving other lifestyle factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption and several others. However, diet is also a major factor. Scientific research has shown again and again that you can give yourself the best chance of avoiding this disease by consuming generous amounts of health-promoting plant foods.