How is the vegetarian diet healthy?

June 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Health & Wellness, Preventive Medicine

Chinese soy milk soup with wonton.
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Drastic diets, which prohibit consumption of meat or any other product of animal nature, existed in various forms throughout human history, whether it was based on religious grounds, or, more recently, based on concepts of moral or environmental.

Presently many people opt for vegetarian diet convinced that make the ideal choice to keep their health. But is it true?

What are the effects of a vegetarian diet on the body?

Vegetarian diet has generally beneficial effects on the body. Firstly lower body digestion, also fibers are essential to detoxify the body, it diminishes the risk of conditions such as: high cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension, and colon cancer. Also, fruits and vegetables contain large amounts of antioxidants and helpful in fighting cancer, cardiovascular disease or premature aging. But must keep in mind that the human diet, especially belonging to the European area, is omnivorous and the digestive system, is suitable for such a system.

Therefore, if we really want to give up eating meat, would be preferable to adopt a lacto-ovo-vegetarians, who provide animal protein from eggs, milk and dairy derivatives. Excessive consumption of fiber from vegetables can not be completely metabolized by the body and can often cause irritation to the digestive system,

Also, it is advisable to reduce the consumption of refined sugars (in particular pastry, confectionery), replacing them with a moderate consumption of honey (linden, acacia), which brings vitamins and minerals. Excessive consumption of flour should be avoided.

Can we cover all the body’s nutritional needs through a vegetarian diet?

Vegetable protein content (peas, chickpeas, beans, green vegetables, fruit and vegetable oils, cereals, vegetables and dried fruits, bread, flour , pasta, rice, semolina) are more poor or do not contain all essential amino acids, particularly important for the functioning of the body.

Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to severe anemia and nervous system and circulatory diseases, in this case is indicated the consumption of cereals with added vitamins. Calcium Deficiency can be improved by consuming soy milk and tofu. Vitamin D deficiency (vitamin present in fish oil), especially in children, may lead to the appearance of rickets, with growth disorders and bone diseases.

Are food supplements recommended?

Administration of food supplements is recommended only in case of deficiencies. We can not replace the absence of natural vitamins and minerals adding products containing different supplements, often synthetic or in inadequate amounts. There is also competition regarding the absorption of some elements over others, for example, an excess of calcium inhibit the absorption of magnesium and iron.

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Broccoli helps to fight breast cancer

June 21, 2010 by  
Filed under Preventive Medicine

Studies show that broccoli may help in the pre...
Image via Wikipedia
Scientists have discovered a new benefit that offers broccoli consumption: can prevent and even treat breast cancer.
It seems that effect is given by the contents of sulforaphane, which attack cancer stem cells that contribute to tumor growth. Thus, consumption of broccoli may help women both in preventing and treating disease.
“Anti-cancer effects of sulforaphane were investigated, but this study shows that this substance stop the developing of the tumor,” said Prof. Duxin Sun, University of Michigan.
The study was conducted on mice with breast cancer who were injected with broccoli extract. Researchers have observed a significant reduction of cancer stem cells after treatment with sulforaphane. In mice, broccoli extract was able to stop tumor growth. Experts say that sulforaphane used in the study were in amounts greater than found in broccoli. They also do not recommend supplements of sulforaphane, considering that the survey was not conducted on humans.
Previous studies have suggested that an efficient broccoli consumption can prevent other cancers, such as gallbladder cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer.
Discovered in time, breast cancer is curable. The breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women. Like other cancers, breast cancer is completely curable if diagnosed and treated in early stages. For early detection of tumor requires a monthly autopalpare to the right breast and presentation to your doctor if any suspicions. Also, annual gynecological exam should include the correct clinical breast exams.
As with any type of cancer, symptoms typically appear when it’s too late, the tumor was in an advanced stage. These comprise: indolora palpable mass, pain, deformity, nipple discharge (especially unilateral), redness (erythema) and skin ulceration.
Broccoli consumption is recommended for …
Strong bones. This vegetable contains high amounts of calcium and vitamin C, important nutrients for bone health.
Healthy digestive system. According to a study, broccoli can eliminate Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), due to the content of sulforaphane.
Prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Scientists have discovered that a diet based on broccoli, tea, onions, apples (all rich in flavonoids), reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Strengthening the immune system. Not only is rich in vitamin C, but broccoli contains beta-carotene, zinc, selenium and other minerals that help immune defensive actions.
A healthy pregnancy. Broccoli contain folic acid, vitamin B, necessary for proper division of cells into DNA synthesis. With a deficiency of folic acid, nervous system cells of the fetus does not divide properly.
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