Category Archives: Plant-based diet
by Michael Ravensthorpe
(NaturalNews) Vegetarians and vegans are often presented with a familiar question: “How do you get enough protein?” The question is understandable, since today’s nutritionists place a disproportionate amount of emphasis on meat as a protein source. In reality though, many plants contain protein quantities by mass that match or even exceed that of beef, poultry and fish. The best of them are listed below.
The best vegetarian protein sources
Spirulina and chlorella – Natural health researchers often consider these green algae to be the ultimate “superfoods,” and for good reason: Aside from containing unsurpassed levels of chlorophyll and iron, spirulina and chlorella also contain 12 times more digestible protein than beef. Indeed, spirulina and chlorella are comprised of between 45-75 percent pure plant protein by mass. Consequently, spirulina and chlorella tablets and powders remain the protein source of choice for vegetarian and vegan body-builders seeking to improve muscle mass.
Sun-dried tomatoes – Second to spirulina and chlorella in the protein department are sun-dried tomatoes, which are tomatoes that have undergone an intensive moisture-removal process. Sun-dried tomatoes are extraordinarily rich in potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin K and a host of other nutrients. What really makes them stand out, however, is their whopping 11-16 percent protein content by mass – making them the most protein-rich fruits.
Beans – All beans are high in protein, though some are higher than others. Studies have shown that soybeans contain the largest amounts of protein (between 9 and 13 percent), followed closely by winged beans (9-12 percent). Lima, kidney, pinto, white and garbanzo beans are also good sources.
Buckwheat – Buckwheat is a gluten-free seed with a low glycemic index and more protein per 100 grams than corn, rice, millet or wheat. Furthermore, it possesses a unique amino acid profile; since buckwheat is high in arginine and lysine, it has the power to increase the protein value of cereal grains and beans consumed that same day.
Quinoa – Like buckwheat, quinoa is a gluten-free, low GI seed that contains almost as much protein as the best beans and legumes (often as high as 14 percent). It is also a good source of dietary fiber, phosphorous, iron and magnesium and makes a great substitute to rice or couscous.
Spinach – While spinach is famously high in iron, it also contains generous quantities of protein – sometimes up to 13 percent, although this figure varies wildly based on leaf quality. Spinach is extremely versatile (it can be added to pasta, salads, soups, casseroles and even pizzas), so there are many ways to disguise its unattractive taste.
Peas – Peas contains eight percent protein, making them one of the best common vegetable sources after spinach. Peas are also a good source of vitamin A and iron and are easy to incorporate into many meals.
Sweetcorn – Corn on the cob is high in protein and calories, making it a good food to eat before exercising. Just make sure you buy organic corn, especially in the United States.
Brussels sprouts – Sprouts are rich in protein and vitamin C and are a good weight loss food due to their low calorie and fat levels.
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by John Phillip
(NaturalNews) Chronic illnesses including cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity account for nearly 65 percent of all deaths annually, according to the World Health Organization. Over the course of modern human history, forward thinking scientists have known that a diet largely consisting of plants, fruits, nuts and seeds promote optimal health, and when coupled with a healthy lifestyle, can prevent, and in many cases treat a wide variety of chronic diseases that kill millions every year.
Prior studies over the past two decades have provided solid evidence to show that taking the majority of calories from plant-based foods dramatically lowers the incidence of disease. Diets high in hydrogenated fats and sugars, low in fiber, high in refined and processed grains and low in plant foods are increasingly being consumed by children and adults in western cultures. This dramatic shift toward consumption of fast and convenience foods over the past half century is a direct and indisputable cause of chronic illness.
Adding to the insurmountable evidence is a research body published in the magazine, Food Technology that explains how recent discoveries in nutritional genomics explain how plant-based diets are effective at warding off disease. Senior editor, Toni Tarver explains how people living in societies that eat healthy, plant-based diets rarely fall victim to heart disease, diabetes, cancer and dementia, the leading causes of death for the vast majority of aging adults.
Processed and refined foods promote disease while a plant-based diet supports health
The author provides evidence to explain how bioactive compounds in plant foods play a role in controlling genetic and other biological factors that lead to chronic disease. Inflammation is increasingly found to be the root cause of most chronic diseases, and antioxidants from natural foods eaten raw or minimally cooked counter free radicals that fan the flames of inflammation and damage cellular form and function while altering DNA integrity as well.
Plant compounds help control a gene linked to cardiovascular disease and plaque buildup in arteries and change genetic expression while altering the function of critical cellular components responsible for forming and sustaining tumors. Dr. William Li, President and Medical Director of the Angiogenesis Foundation in Cambridge, MA concludes “Prevention is always better than a cure… foods that may help prevent cancer and other chronic diseases include artichokes, black pepper, cinnamon, garlic, lentils, olives, pumpkin, rosemary, thyme, watercress, and more.”
There should be no doubt that natural compounds found in a plant-based diet provide optimal protection against specific chronic illnesses. For example, some studies have concluded that lycopene from tomatoes appears to lower the risk of prostate, lung, and bladder cancers while other studies have shown that foods rich in anthocyanins, such as blueberries and strawberries, significantly reduce death from cardiovascular disease. A natural diet of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and no more than 10 percent of calories from organic meats are the key to prevent chronic disease and early mortality.
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