Start FREE Course: How would you like to lower your risk of coronary artery disease by 20%, your risk of lung cancer by 21%, your risk of myocardial infarction by 38%, double the power of your disease-fighting cells, lose fat, and gain energy? The catch, according to a Nurses’ Health study, a Health Professional’s Health study, and a German Cancer Research Center study, is eating nine to ten servings of plant source foods daily.
Though the benefits are enormous, only 1 in 11 people report eating the minimum recommended “5 A Day” servings of fruits and vegetables.
A diet rich in plant source foods will be naturally high in vitamins, minerals, roughage, and phytonutrients, and low in calories, fat, and hormones. It is agreed among health and nutrition experts that adding more plant source foods to your diet can decrease your risk for obesity, hypertension, stroke, cancer, diabetes, blindness, arthritis, osteoporosis, asthma, and a host of other debilitating diseases.
According to a five-year study of over 47,000 men, those who ate the most cooked tomato products had the lowest incidences of prostate cancer. Another five-year study of Dutch men found that those who ate the most fruits and veggies were half as likely to die from heart attacks as those who ate the least. A study of over 1000 women, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, reported that women who ate at least 10 grams of vegetable fiber daily lowered their risk of ovarian cancer by almost 40%.
Harvard researchers have concluded from a study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association that people who ate the most dark green, leafy vegetables were 43% less likely to develop age-related macular degeneration which accounts for up to one-third of American cases of blindness. More research at Harvard involving over 800 people revealed that an increase of three servings per day of fruits and veggies was associated with a decrease of 20% in stroke risk. According to Victor Parachin’s book, 365 Reasons to be a Vegetarian, the average bone loss for female meat-eaters at age 65 is 35% as compared to only 18% for female vegetarians of the same age.
John Potter MD,PhD, head of the Cancer Prevention Research Program at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, claims that eating more vegetables is second only to quitting smoking in its importance as a protective measure.
If the health benefits of eating more plant source foods are not reason enough to make you sit up and take notice, there are others. Fiber-filled, nutrient dense plant foods can be more filling and satisfying, thereby naturally controlling obesity.
As suggested by Eric Tyson’s book, Personal Finance for Dummies, a vegetarian diet can be a way to save money. Rice, beans, potatoes, carrots and apples are a thriftier buy than meats and highly processed foods, and they afford the advantages of simpler, cleaner cooking.
The North American Vegetarian Society calculates that it takes 16 pounds of grain to produce just one pound of meat. Depending on climate, terrain, and other production factors, 16 pounds of grain require much less time and space to grow than 16 pounds of meat. A diet constituted of more plant source foods can contribute to world hunger relief as well as natural resource conservation.
And don’t forget that, in America, over 14 million animals, daily, are brutally butchered at the end of a short, miserable life as a ‘product’ on a factory farm. By eating more plant source foods, you can do your part to decrease animal suffering.
Just a few, easy changes in your diet can equate to substantial benefits for your health and overall well-being, for the environment and for animals and mankind. With only 1 in 11 people eating the recommended amounts of plant source foods, chances are that you stand to benefit from this course.
(graphic courtesy of J’s Magic Galleries)