Tag Archives: plant-based diet

Reduce your risk of stomach cancer

Medical studies show that a vegetarian diet reduces the risk of stomach cancer while meat increases it.

Cancer is often most easily treated when detected early, but some cancers aren’t easy to catch early. One of them is stomach cancer.  Stomach cancer, also called gastric cancer, begins when cells in the stomach start to grow out of control. By the time it’s detected it has usually spread to other parts of the body. Treatment is most often ineffective or of limited benefit in these cases.

So when it comes to stomach cancer, prevention is even more critical. What can be done to reduce the risk? It turns out a vegetarian diet can reduce the risk of stomach cancer. For instance, one study showed that vegetarians have a 63% reduced risk of getting stomach cancer. Another study showed that vegetarians had 56% reduction in the risk of dying from stomach cancer.

Results from several studies suggested that a diet rich in vitamin C was particularly protective. Sources of vitamin C include fresh produce, such as green and yellow vegetables and fruit. Several studies have also reported the protective role of allium vegetables, such as onions and garlic, in preventing gastric cancer.

There’s another advantage vegetarians have when it comes to stomach cancer. Most cases of stomach have a bacteria, H.Pylori, as one of the causative factors. However, a vegetarian diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help prevent or suppress infection with H. Pylori.

While a vegetarian diet reduces the risk of getting stomach cancer, processed meat such hot dogs and bacon increase the risk, as does red meat such as steaks and hamburgers. The choice for prevention is clear. Put a healthy vegetarian diet to work to reduce the risk of stomach cancer.

Parkinson’s Disease – the important role of the food we eat

Parkinson’s Disease is second only to Alzheimer’s as the most common human neurodegenerative disorder in the United States. Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disease of the nervous system that affects physical movements and over the years causes a progressive disability that can be slowed or even temporarily improved but not halted. So far no therapy has been proven to stop its progression.

Not surprisingly, diet is a major risk factor. The western, meat-centered diet, especially from meat fat, dairy and eggs, increases the risk of getting Parkinson’s, while plant fats do not increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease. In fact, consuming plant foods decreases the risk of getting Parkinson’s disease. There are two main processes where plant foods can help.

Inflammation is one part of the disease process. A plant-based diet is known to reduce the level of inflammation which may also affect the progression of Parkinson’s disease. One way plant-based diets do this is due to the amount of fiber consumed, which only comes from plant foods. Fiber helps the so-called good bacteria in our guts thrive. The good bacteria produce a substance called butyrate which is known to help reduce inflammation. Parkinson’s disease patients have, on average, lower levels of butyrate, and there have been some intriguing studies that show a connection between the bacteria in the intestine and Parkinson’s disease.

Another part of the disease process is due to oxidative stress. There are substances in the body, including the brain, known as reactive oxygen species, or ROS for short, that cause what’s known as oxidative stress, which has been shown to be a major part of the disease process. However, plant foods are rich in antioxidants that counter and prevent oxidative stress, thus having a beneficial effect.

For those who already have symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, a plant-based diet can make it easier to take anti-Parkinson’s disease medication and make them more easily absorbed. In a case study, one patient was able to make a large reduction in the dose of his medication and a large improvement in his symptoms as well, by following a plant-based diet.

While more research needs to be done, the plant-based diet has a role to play in the prevention and treatment of Parkinson’s disease. We recently wrote a review article for the medical community on the research that is already available on this topic, and we’re delighted that it is being published in the Open Access Journal of Neurology and Neurosurgery. See professional level article.

Veg Diet doesn’t protect against Covid 19

A recent article from a study in India found an association between nonvegetarian diets and an increased risk of getting the virus that causes the current pandemic. Unfortunately, this study lacks the specificity to draw any reliable conclusions. It also only showed a relative effect that is not even in the same galaxy as immunity from the virus!

However, some people are falsely claiming that this study shows that vegetarian and vegan diets confer protection from the virus. Don’t fall for this false notion.  R.V. Asokan, secretary general of the Indian Medical Association, told AFP that there is “absolutely no truth” in the claim.

It is vitally important to understand that a plant-based diet is NOT a substitute for the vaccine for Covid-19. While we have written and spoken on the many different health benefits of a plant-based diet, protection from getting the Covid-19 disease is not one of them!

The vaccines that are approved for use in the United States have proven safety and effectiveness with minimal side effects, and while nothing in medicine is 100%, the degree of protection is very high. To protect yourself and your friends and family, we recommend that all adults get the Covid-19 vaccine as soon as possible, even if you’ve already had the disease.

The only exception is where specific individuals have been advised by their doctor not to do so, such as those who are immunocompromised. Even if you think that you’re unlikely to get sick yourself, please consider the possibility that you could transmit the virus to others who are more vulnerable and unable to get the vaccine because of their health status. By having a high percentage of the population vaccinated, we help reduce the amount of virus circulating and thus the number of people getting sick. The sooner this happens, the sooner we can all get our lives back to normal.

After a heart attack

What do you do after a heart attack? Cardiac rehabilitation is the recommended treatment, and the good news is that following a plant-based diet during rehab leads to a better outcome.

OK, so what is cardiac rehab? Cardiac rehabilitation is a medically supervised program designed with the goal of halting or reversing the progression of cardiovascular disease and improving outcomes. It can be an essential component of care for patients with coronary artery disease. Several studies have shown that participation in CR after a heart attack, getting a stent, or coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, significantly reduces the disease, risk of dying, and hospital readmission rates in a cost‐effective manner.

Core components include: (1) patient assessment, (2) nutritional counseling, (3) weight management, (4) blood pressure management, (5) cholesterol management, (6) diabetes management, (7) tobacco cessation, (8) stress management, (9) physical activity counseling, and (10) exercise training.

So how does a veg diet help? Studies show that people treated with a plant-based diet showed significantly better improvements in weight management, blood pressure management, cholesterol management and diabetes management than those on a standard American diet. They also reduced their emotional stress and experienced better quality of life. Depression can commonly follow a heart attack. 80% of people who followed a plant-based diet as part of their rehab showed a reduction in their depression.

In this age of tight budgets, it’s important to know that one study showed that for every dollar spent on rehab with a plant-based diet, $5.55 in medical expenses were saved.

We’ve written before on how a plant-based diet can effectively treat obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. It gets even better. While you’re improving your cardiovascular health, a plant-based diet can also reduce your risk of other diseases such as prostate and colon cancer.

Following a plant-based diet as part of a cardiac rehabilitation program is a wise strategy which will improve outcomes, lower the risk of recurrence, and lower the costs of treatment.

This article is for informational purposes only. Any changes or treatments must be made with your physician. Show our professional level article on preventing and treating heart disease with a plant-based diet to your physician.

Osteoarthritis – A plant-based diet can help

Osteoarthritic hip joint

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.

Vegetarians have a lower risk of osteoarthritis. One study showed that even light meat consumption once a week increased the risk of osteoarthritis by 31% in women and 19% in men, compared to vegetarians.

People already diagnosed with arthritis can take steps to improve their diet quality as a possible route to reduce arthritis symptoms and maintain a healthy body weight. In one study, a whole food plant-based diet was associated with a significant reduction in pain compared to an ordinary omnivorous diet, with statistically significant pain reduction seen as early as two weeks after initiation of dietary modification.

The plant-based diet is thought to help in many ways. It helps maintain a healthy weight and lowers the level of inflammation. Plant foods also contain phytonutrients that help reduce the symptoms of arthritis. Phytonutrients are substances, only found in plants, that while not vitamins, minerals or fiber, nevertheless can have a powerful benefit when it comes to health. Certain foods such as green peppers, cabbage, spinach, papaya and kiwi fruit have higher levels of phytonutrients that may help arthritis, while blueberries and strawberries have may also be of special value.

Giving up animal products, such as meat, fish, dairy and eggs, and replacing them with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, may be just what you need to feel limber again!

Kelly Osbourne Loses weight on Plant-based diet

Kelly Osbourne is a British actress, singer and model, who is the daughter of Ozzy Osbourne (70s heavy metal rock star).  She has appeared in the reality TV show “The Osbournes”, had various acting and judging roles in TV shows, and won 3rd place in Dancing with the Stars.

She struggled with her weight after recovering from a drug addiction, saying: “I replaced the drugs with food and just got fatter and fatter. I’m an emotional eater. When I get upset, my diet goes out the window.”

While she lost 30lb after appearing on Dancing with the Stars in 2009, it wasn’t until she went plant-based in 2012 that she lost the majority of her weight. She credits her plant-based diet with enabling her to lose 84lbs and maintain a healthy weight since then.

Speaking about her new lifestyle, she said, “Once I learned how to work out right and eat right, it’s one of those things that you just have to commit to a life change rather than being on a diet.”  Keep up the good work, Kelly!

Run fast on plant foods

The American sprinter, Elijah Hall, says: “Changing my diet was the best decision I could have made.” The athlete made this decision to ditch meat and dairy from his diet a few months ago because “he’s on a mission” to win. Hall adds, “the effects that it’s having on my body is amazing. Becoming a plant-based athlete has opened many doors to my health and my training.”

Hall holds records in the indoor 200 meters and was training for the Tokyo Olympics that were scheduled to take place this month, but was postponed a year due to the pandemic. Last year, Hall said he took the entire summer off to train, “Took the summer off to get it right… Let’s get to it !!” When it comes to track and field, a plant food diet means getting it right!

Ninja Warrior – Plant-based diet changed his life

Professional bodybuilder and Australian Ninja Warrior competitor Jacob Hohua has praised a plant-based diet for ‘changing his life’ – after he ditched animal products three and a half years ago.” According to the Ninja, “Becoming plant-based has definitely changed my life. I feel like I have more energy; I feel more in tune with myself and I just feel overall happier.”

This Ninja can really pack it away. “I can eat anywhere from five to seven thousand calories a day. [I eat] lots of fruit, lots of veggies, beans, lentils, quinoa, rice, and pasta.” The 25-year-old strongman, whose nickname is the plant-based gorilla, is this year’s heaviest contestant- weighing 240 pounds.