Category Archives: health
By Luciano Venezia
The number of vegans in Britain has risen by more than 360 per cent over the past decade according to research by the Vegan Society. If you’re a vegan or thinking about making the switch, it’s important to note that following a plant-only diet can present a number of nutritional challenges. A vegan diet can make it more difficult to supply your body with the right amount of nutrients each day, for example. So it’s important to carefully plan your meals to ensure you consume a wide variety of highly nourishing foods. There are three crucial areas to be aware of on a day-to-day basis:
We get it. Tell someone to stop drinking milk and they’ll think you’re crazy, but there are good reasons to do so. For years, the dairy industry has done a great job of promoting its product. Campaigns such as Got Milk? have been pushed into homes globally, and their effect has been dramatic. Milk being good for you is almost as guaranteed as death and taxes in most people’s eyes. Unfortunately, the truth is a little different. Here we take a look at 8 reasons why you really should stop drinking milk if you haven’t already.
These days we are seeing more celebrities either adopting a vegan lifestyle, or adhering to it for a specific reason like weight loss. Beyoncé and Jay Z teamed up together with a vegan meal delivery service to encourage more people to eat healthier. Recently Gwyneth Paltrow demonstrated to the world that eating plant-based can be cheap and underwent a challenge to prove it. Now the big buzz is about Adam Richman following a vegan plant-based diet to lose weight. What?! Yes, it’s the popular Adam Richman of Man vs. Food who has been downing all those insanely large quantities of artery-clogging foods to win prizes and earn fame on restaurants walls. It appears he’ has had enough. (1)
Flaxseed eggs, sources of protein and cruelty-free makeup – veganism even made its way onto Newsnight last week. But what people tend to forget is, that behind all of this talk the movement is about animal rights. Go Vegan World, the world’s largest public awareness campaign around animal rights issues is already successfully bringing veganism to the mainstream. You may have seen Go Vegan World’s thought-provoking billboards and posters plastered across UK cities and along the M6.
Kids do not like it, but you sure know that broccoli is the healthiest vegetable out there. The list of its benefits is never-ending, but do you make any difference between the parts of it?
To be more precise, do you know which parts are edible, and how much do you actually know about its healing properties? What is more, do you know to prepare broccoli properly? Hopefully, this article will give you the answers to all of your questions.
It’s been tough to be a meat lover over the last year or so. It seems like every few months—or weeks—some health organization or high-profile group of scientists issues a report linking meat consumption to cancer or another scary malady. If you thought 2016 was going to be any different, more bad news: a massive new study has found that meat doesn’t just give you cancer—it raises mortality rates and your likelihood of dying from any number of diet-related ailments. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona reviewed six large-scale studies that tracked more than 1.5 million people for periods ranging from five-and-a-half to 28 years. Participants ranged from hardcore vegans to those who stuffed their face with meat every day. Their review, published under the title “Is Meat Killing Us?” in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, found that meat is, indeed, killing us.
“This data reinforces what we have known for so long—your diet has great potential to harm or heal,” said Brookshield Laurent of the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Though it may come as no surprise by this point, a diet that includes red meat—including beef, pork, lamb and game, or processed meats like hot dogs, sausage, and ham—raises the risks of developing cardiovascular disease or cancer, as well as of suffering from health problems like diabetes and increased blood pressure. Processed meats were found to be particularly harmful.
And if you thought just a little meat now and then isn’t so bad, the review found that the steepest rise in mortality occurred at the smallest increases of red-meat intake.
The study concluded that, despite some variability in the data, “the evidence is consistent that increased intake of red meat, especially processed red meat, is associated with increased all-cause mortality.”
Furthermore—as vegans will surely love to point out—the study found that in smaller studies, “a vegan diet has been shown to improve several parameters of health, including reversal of cardiovascular disease, decreased body mass index, decreased risk of diabetes, and decreased blood pressure.”
And the old hippies were right—sticking with a plants-only diet for the long run had the most benefits. People on a vegetarian diet for more than 17 years increased their life expectancy by 3.6 years, compared to short-term vegetarians who saw smaller benefits.
The outlook for meat and your health may be looking increasingly grim, but in the long run, what’s 3.6 years? Only you can decide—and only you can assess the worth of a cheeseburger in terms of your time on Earth.
When Venus Williams was diagnosed with Sjögren’s syndrome in 2011, her tennis career almost came to a grinding halt. After a rough season of injuries and match withdrawals, she announced that she was suffering from the fairly common autoimmune disease that causes dry eye and dry mouth, as well as crushing joint pain and fatigue. The condition severely hindered athletic performance, ultimately causing her to withdraw from the 2011 U.S. Open in the second round. But after taking time off, Williams was able to step back onto the court with newfound strength, thanks to proper treatment— and a drastic diet change. She began following a raw vegan diet, which typically involves eliminating all animal products and foods cooked above 118 degrees Fahrenheit.
In an interview with Health at an event for Silk soy milk, Williams spoke about the switch to a raw diet, her best nutrition tips, and how she keeps herself motivated to eat well.
Why did you begin a plant-based diet?
I started for health reasons. I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, and I wanted to maintain my performance on the court. Once I started I fell in love with the concept of fueling your body in the best way possible. Not only does it help me on the court, but I feel like I’m doing the right thing for me.
How did that affect your playing?
I literally couldn’t play tennis anymore, so it really changed my life. Because it was starting to take away what I loved, I had to make some changes, I had to change my life. Thankfully, I was able to find something that helped me get back to doing what I loved.
Do you have any specific ways that the new diet has made a difference in your game? Has it changed your game at all or has it just allowed you to continue to play?
It definitely changed my whole life. It changed the pace that I live at. It changed everything. There are definitely challenges, though, but it’s about how you face them and how you come on top so you can live in a way that is acceptable to you. So, it has been wonderful to still do what I love. And even though I still have issues, it doesn’t mean they’re going to stop me.
Do you have any tips for people who are looking to make a diet change? What’s right for them, what resources are available?
I always tell people that you have to enjoy what you’re eating. If you’re eating a plant-based diet or a mixture of one, make sure you’re eating something you like. Find a restaurant, recipes, or join a community—that way you can learn and enjoy your food. If you can’t enjoy your eating, I don’t know how fun life would be!
Do you have any favorite recipes that you like? Do you cook a lot for yourself?
I go in spurts, because sometimes I’m like, “I’ve got to cook!” and other times I’m like, “Who’s going to feed me?” So I have different levels. One of my favorite recipes is celery-root soup. I get celery root, tomato, and some Silk almond milk as a base to thicken it a little bit, and then maybe I’ll add pan-fried garlic on top, maybe some truffle oil—whatever I have at the time, I’ll throw it in. It makes for some interesting dishes!
Why is it important to you to eat well and what do you want young women to know about their bodies and fueling and eating well?
There’s something about when you’re eating healthy food, it makes you feel proud and it makes you feel like you’re doing the right thing. When you eat unhealthy, there’s a certain guilt about it…you just know it’s going to catch up. So, I love that feeling of when I’m eating healthy.
But, it doesn’t mean you have to be perfect because you do have to have a little fun. But when you’re doing the right things, and you’re eating plants, and you’re eating live foods, it helps you in your life. I think you feel more energized and you feel more positive.
What are your favorite cheat meals?
Well, honestly I have go-to things. I do love sweet things, so I’ve tried to find things that I love that are sweet but are still healthy. So, for me, sometimes it’ll be a juice or a sweet smoothie. There’s a smoothie that I have called ‘orange creamsicle’, so I’ll put in Silk milk, oranges, a little banana, vanilla flavoring, and sometimes a little coconut oil—it just depends, again, on what I have. The best thing about the orange creamsicle is that it tastes like you’re having an ice cream, so it makes me really happy but it’s still really healthy. There are different ways to ease your itch when you want junk food.
Do you have any tips for people who have trouble staying motivated to eat well?
Don’t let yourself get too hungry. Because when you’re too hungry you can’t think straight, and you make bad decisions and then suddenly you wake up and you think, “what have you done?!”
Also, set a goal for yourself. It can be something like 30 days without fried food. There’s something about having a goal and working towards it that makes you feel good. You can also get apps on your phone that help track for you, and just seeing those numbers makes you feel like, “Yeah, I’m doing it!”
And always have a replacement food that tastes good. So you like chips? Find a kale chip or bake your own chips that are healthy. Just find a replacement so you don’t feel like you’re missing out.
If you could give women one piece of advice on wellness, what would that be?
I would call it the 90/10, 80/20, or 70/30 rule—whatever works for you. Be good most of the time, and sometimes just don’t go to the gym, or have that bag of chips. But if you’re being healthy most of the time, then that helps to keep a balance so you can meet your goals, whatever those are.
“I think,” says David Haye, “that I’m now fitter than I’ve ever been. I punch harder than ever. I’m more determined. I’m faster…” David Haye, the former two time world champion heavyweight boxer, is making a comeback after more than three years away from the ring – completely powered by plants. In 2014 Haye sustained a serious shoulder injury which caused doctors to advise him to retire from boxing. But instead of retiring, Haye chose instead to have full reconstructive surgery on his shoulder, a procedure that required months of rehabilitation. He was bedridden for some period and researched training methods and wellbeing techniques that would give him the edge.
Haye tells the Telegraph:
“I knew how many athletes have had these sorts of injuries and just not come back. When people get injured it’s very easy to get sad, but that lets off these crappy stress hormones in your brain that don’t assist at all in your recovery. Whenever I felt negative I tricked my brain into finding the good things in that situation, using it as a chance to develop.”
The biggest lifestyle change Haye made was his diet, deciding towards the end of 2014 to entirely remove all animal products from his diet. He’s now keen to promote the vegan diet as not just a viable path for professional athletes, but the most effective diet too.
And you’ll be glad to know Haye isn’t just vegan for the health benefits. “I watched a TV documentary about how animals are farmed, killed and prepared for us to eat”, he explained.
“I saw all those cows and pigs and realised I couldn’t be a part of it any more. It was horrible. I did some research to make sure I could still obtain enough protein to fight and, once satisfied that I could, I stopped. I’ll never go back.”
“A lot of the meat that people eat has been genetically modified, or if it hasn’t then the food the animal’s been fed has been. That’s tough for a human being to process, so cutting it out made me feel immediately better and stronger than ever. Not only my weight, either – I used to get eczema but don’t any more; used to get dandruff, now I don’t. Everyone should try it for one or two days a week.” [Editors note: 7 days a week is better!]
Rather than whey protein powder an unwanted by-product from milk production – Haye prefers plant-based protein sources like split pea, quinoa and brown rice. To those questioning how a vegan could be so strong, he points to the animal kingdom.
“What’s the closest relative to a human?” he asks. “The ape. They’re 20 times stronger than man but they’re predominantly vegan. The only difference is they eat so much more than we do. We wouldn’t be able to process all those plants, but you can if you have vegan protein shakes.”
So how’s his boxing going now? In January, after 3 years of recovery, Haye returned to the ring at 16st 3lb 5oz (227lb) stronger and heavier than ever before and knocked out his opponent (Australian De Mori) with an overhand right in just 124 seconds. It was clear that the Hayemaker was back in business.
Haye’s next fight (marketed as “Haye Day 2“) will take place on 21st May 2016 at The O2 in London. Haye’s pursuit of reclaiming and unifying the heavyweight world titles is in progress. His opponent is Swiss fighter Arnold Gjergjaj, and the fight will be available to watch for free on the UK TV channel ‘Dave’.
All the best for the next fight David – we hope it goes well. Thank you for being a vocal advocate against animal cruelty, and demonstrating to people you don’t need meat or diary to be healthy or perform at the highest levels of sport.
Breakfast lovers, beware. A new study found eating processed meats like bacon and sausage could increase your risk for deadly pancreatic cancer. For every piece of sausage or two strips of bacon a person eats every day, there’s a 19 percent rise in risk for pancreatic cancer, the study found. “There is strong evidence that being overweight or obese increases the risk of pancreatic cancer and this study may be an early indication of another factor behind the disease,” Dr Rachel Thompson, deputy head of science at The World Cancer Research Fund, told BBC News.