Did you know that the original diet was a plant based diet? It was the diet our Creator gave to Adam and Eve at the dawn of this earth in the Garden of Eden.-->
And God said, 'See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.... And you shall eat the herb of the field.'
Genesis 1:29 and Genesis 3: 18.
We need to eat in order to live, so food is very important. The food we eat makes up the building materials for growth and repair of our bodies. It also supplies the energy that our bodies need to function properly.
The best way to get the nutrients that your body needs is from natural foods. Foods that are close to their natural state (the way nature prepared them) are nutritionally balanced.
Some people think that the way nature prepares food is not good enough. They believe that food needs to be "improved." So, they go about trying to make food "better" by genetically modifying, processing, and refining it.
Processing the food depletes the nutrients that are naturally present in whole food. Instead of the natural nutrients, you get lots of extra calories and harmful chemical additives.
When food is refined, it is stripped of most of its beneficial fiber and essential nutrients.
The manufacturers may add in a few vitamins here and there, but the end result is not nearly as healthy as the original product. The life giving properties in the food are destroyed. That is not good for your body or your health. Learn more about processed and refined foods here.
If your body does not get the proper whole food nutrition it needs, it simply cannot be healthy.
There is definitely a connection between the quality of food that you eat and the quality of life that you will live. What you put into your body is what you will get out in your level of health and vitality.
If your answer is yes, then good whole food nutrition is absolutely essential. If you want to be healthy, then you need to have the right food in the right amounts that your body requires.
"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food".
As you move towards a more natural way of eating, your physical health will improve.
The plant based diet is high in fiber and it is full of nutrients. It is low in fat and protein. Current research shows that a diet that is too high in protein can actually be bad for your health.
In case you are wondering, yes, it is possible to meet your daily protein requirements on a completely plant-based diet. My friend Cathleen from vegan-nutritionista.com has written an informative article on plant-based protein. It debunks some common pretty common myths and misconceptions about the whole issue.
Here are some other great things about a plant based diet: It leads to optimum health and energy. And, it's not linked to any major disease. In fact, it can help to lower your risk factors for some of the major diseases plaguing the people in more affluent nations.
Women on a plant based diet tend to have stronger bones and fewer fractures. They lose less bone as they age.
According to an editorial in the Journal of American Medical Association, a plant based diet can prevent up to 90 percent of strokes and approximately 97 percent of heart attacks. Those are some pretty amazing findings.
The typical diet in North America is often referred to as the Standard American Diet (SAD).
The SAD diet is a diet consisting of chemically engineered foods that are processed, refined, and concentrated. It is high in salt, sugar, fat, protein, and calories, and low in fiber and essential nutrients.
The SAD diet is linked to multiple diseases. Research studies show that populations who are on the SAD diet die from more heart disease, diabetes, strokes, and cancer of the colon, breast, lungs, and prostate than other groups of people. These lifestyle-related illnesses cause the greatest amount of deaths in North America!
Things weren't always that way. Before 1900, the typical North American diet consisted of foods grown in local gardens and nearby farms.
These foods were supplemented by a few staples from the local general store. Families ate freshly cooked food and baked their own bread. Meat came from barnyard animals and range-fed cattle.
After World War I, cardiovascular disease became more common. More and more families could afford to eat meat more often. At the same time, the food industry was beginning to produce more highly processed foods on a larger scale.
Fast forward to the present and you will see that meat is even more readily available. Cattle and poultry are now grown in feedlots. They are fed antibiotics, growth enhancers, and genetically modified crops. They are not even allowed to run free!
The end result is meat that contains more fat and contaminants than ever before. This is taking its toll on the health of industrialized nations around the world where obesity, heart disease, and diabetes are epidemic.
Also making matters worse is the fact that modern life has become very busy. Most people no longer have the time to make their own meals from scratch. Fast foods have become a necessity and an accepted norm in most families.
Everything comes with a price. The price we are paying for these unhealthy convenience foods is damage to our health and to our environment. It is worth our time and money to study how we can make returning to a natural whole foods diet a reality.
In many countries and nations around the world, meals are very simple and there is very little access to rich foods. Heart attacks, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease are rare amongst the people of those nations. Here are just a couple of examples:
The Hunzas live high up in the Himalayan Mountains. They are mostly vegetarians and eat a sparing diet of mainly grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, milk, and cheese. They eat meat on very rare occasions and only in small amounts.
The Hunzas eat only two meals each day! And, all of the food they eat is natural and organic with no chemicals added.
As a result of this diet, the Hunzas are healthy, full of energy, and active well into advanced age. It is common for members of this community to live beyond 100 years of age!
The China Study is a study that looks at variations in diet across different regions in China.
You can read the detailed findings of this research study in a book entitled The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health by T. Colin Campbell.
I highly recommend this book.
In a nutshell, the research shows that people with diets the highest in whole foods and plant based foods are the healthiest. They have fewer cases of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other illnesses.
On the other hand, people who eat the most animal-based foods are more likely to suffer from the most chronic diseases. These are results none of us should ignore.
In study after study, eating meat and animal fat has been linked with a high incidence of heart disease, diabetes, strokes, cancer, and other chronic diseases. These diseases are responsible for the deaths of millions of people each year.
The impact of a meat-based diet on our environment is larger than most people realize. You may be surprised to find out that animal based agriculture causes more pollution than all other human and industrial activities combined.
As more and more land is cleared in order to raise animals for food, irreparable damage is done to forests and other wildlife habitats. Often the land is overgrazed and over-cultivated. This causes massive erosion and the loss of tons of valuable topsoil. In South America, rainforests are being destroyed so that cattle can have more room to graze.
In order to get just one pound of edible meat from a cow, you need to feed it ten pounds of grain and soybeans.
The amount of land that is needed to produce the meat to feed just one person on a meat-based diet can produce enough food to feed at least twenty vegetarians. Clearly, meat production is not an efficient process!
The land that is now being used to raise animals for food could be put to better use. It could be put to use to produce enough food to feed the hungry people in the world.
In an ideal world, our choices of food would have very little impact on the environment. After all, we are to be stewards of the earth, not destroyers of the earth (see Genesis 1: 28). We should eat to live and be healthy. And in doing so, we should also consider the health and well being of others in our world.
A plant based diet is much more ecologically sound than a meat-based diet. Less land is required to grow food to meet the needs of people on a vegetarian diet. This frees up a lot of land to feed those who are less fortunate.
The plant based diet is more economical. It costs far less to eat vegetarian meals than it does meat-based meals.
The vegetarian diet is animal friendly, and will help to preserve our planet. If more people shifted towards a plant based diet, it would greatly ease the environmental impact of the meat industry.
A common myth about plant-based diets is that you will not get enough protein. The truth is that plant-based foods contain plenty of good quality protein.
All soy bean products are complete proteins. You can mix legumes with grains to make up a complete protein.
You can also get protein from nuts, seeds, and vegetables. If you eat a variety of plant based foods, you should have no problem getting enough protein, iron, and calcium.
If you are on a pure vegetarian or plant based diet where you eat no animal products whatsoever, consult your natural health care practitioner about supplementing your diet with vitamin B12.
Some commercial food products such as soy beverages, soy sauces, cereals, and other products may be fortified with vitamin B12. Read labels.
1. Start your own garden. Grow as much of your own produce as the climate in your country will allow. In winter you could have an indoor herb garden and grow your own spouts for some added nutrition. If you grow your own food, you will have more control over what you are eating.
Try to learn techniques that will allow you to grow healthy plants without using dangerous pesticides and fungicides. If you know how to make your soil healthier, you will have healthier plants. After all, healthy soil makes healthy plants. If you eat healthy plants, you will be a healthier person.
2. Buy organic produce when you can afford it. If you cannot afford to buy organic produce, do the best you can with conventional produce. Pick out fruits and vegetables that look healthy. Buy a fruit and vegetable wash and wash all your produce to help remove some of the pesticides and chemicals.
Some people are able to switch to a plant based diet cold turkey. But if you are like most people out there, you will probably need to make the change more gradually. Here are some tips to help you in your transition:
Stop eating red meat first. Then stop eating poultry, fish, and finally dairy products.
Begin to add more vegetarian meals to your diet on a regular basis. For example, you could make every Monday a vegetarian day. Gradually you could increase the number of vegetarian days until you are completely on a plant based diet.Need a little help to get started with a plant based diet? Click here for some delicious and healthy recipes.
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