The Case For Vegetarianism
Many people in western society are under the misapprehension that they must consume meat in some form to maintain their health and well being, but the consumption of meat in western societies is a reflection of the prosperous nature of that society rather than a reflection of nutritional requirements. This fact is born out when you consider that traditional societies all over the world have long used a combination of legumes and grains to obtain their protein levels.
In Asia, soy products with rice have long been a staple of the diet, whereas in the Middle East it has been bulgur wheat and chickpeas or pita bread. In Latin America it has been rice or tortillas with beans, and in India it has been rice or chapaties with dal. These traditional diets maintained an appropriate balance between grains and legumes which enables the maximum assimilation of protein.
It has been argued that humans evolved to be vegetarian. Our small canine teeth lack the flesh-tearing capabilities of the typical carnivore. We also have flatter molars that are suitable for crushing food, and we have mobile jaws which enable us to grind food into pieces. We also have very long intestines which enable the more fibrous plant foods to break down and for their nutrients to be absorbed by the digestive system. The shorter intestines of carnivorous animals enable them to digest meat and eliminate the waste before it has a chance to produce toxins in the body. Some people consider that the longer intestinal tract of humans makes us more likely to suffer from the effects of toxins produced from animal products because the waste from these foods is not eliminated in a timely manner. Further, it has been suggested that higher rates of colon and rectal cancer in meat eaters as opposed to vegetarians is linked to this fact.
Studies have demonstrated that blood pressure levels and blood cholesterol levels in vegetarians are lower than in meat-eaters, resulting in a decreased risk of developing heart disease. Many vegetables and fruits are thought to possess cancer-inhibiting chemicals, and a low-fat diet which includes a consistent supply of these fresh foods may be indicative of lower rates of certain cancers.
There are a few different classifications of vegetarians. Vegans will not consume animal products of any kind, whereas lacto-vegetarians eat dairy products but not eggs. Ovo-lacto-vegetarians will eat dairy products and eggs as well.
Another compelling reason to become vegetarian in the early years of the twenty first century is the environmental imperative. The amount of energy and land required to produce meat products is far greater than that required for the production of non-meat products. For example, acre for acre, soy beans produce ten times the amount of protein that beef cattle do. You can take this a step further and consider a product like blue-green algae or spirulina, which is one of the most nutritious foods in the world. Acre for acre, blue-green algae produce twenty times as much protein as soy beans do! So you can see how far down the list in terms of efficiency and sustainability meat production is.
There are also ethical considerations to take into account in my humble opinion. I do not feel that it is right somehow to eat something that can look me in the eye. Personally, I cannot think of a good reason to be anything other than vegetarian, having been so myself for a quarter of a century. I have enjoyed consistently good health, and find that I compare more than favourably in comparison to my contemporaries in terms of good health and vitality.
4 Beverages That Aren’t So Great For Your Health
It is a necessary requirement for human beings to stay hydrated throughout the day. Just to make this requirement more enjoyable, different cultures have come up with different beverages throughout the time. Though there are some that helps in boosting health and well being of the human body, there are some that does more bad than good. Listed below are the 4 beverages that aren’t so great for your health.
Carbonated drinks or soft drinks top the list because of the many harmful effects that they can give to the body. One of the effects of soft drinks that the world is seeing is obesity. There are multiple studies that link the consumption of these beverages to childhood obesity. Although there is no solid scientific evidence to demonstrate such claims, soda is in fact packed with loads of calories and sugar.
Other effects of soft drinks to the body are tooth decay, caffeine dependence and bone weakening. Since sugar is among the main ingredients of these beverages, it is pointed out as one of the contributors for tooth decay. Let’s not forget that soda has a lot of acids in them, acids which are notorious in etching tooth enamel. The caffeine content in soda is well documented, and studies suggest that exposure to caffeine in the early years can lead to dependency as children grow old. As for bone weakening, there are conclusive evidences that soda consumption leads to bone loss.
Most energy drinks contain high levels of caffeine and taurine, which have been shown in some studies to effect heart function and blood pressure. While these energy drinks increase wakefulness and concentration, people with heart disease could have an adverse reaction.
Alcoholic beverages such as beer, causes many of the same issues as sugar like that of soda. But beer have been found out to cause damage the brain, nervous system, intestines, and can even cause infertility and impotence. Based on this, frequent and long term consumption of this beverage is probably more of a health risk than frequent sugar consumption.
Coffee is said to have healthy effect to those that drink it, promoting calmness and wakefulness. But it is the long term consumption of coffee that inhibits risks. One study showed that while caffeine increases blood pressure and heart rate, it also exaggerates those effects at the times when you are experiencing higher levels of stress during their day.
It is best to stay hydrated throughout the day, but it is important to understand the effects of the liquid that we take into the body. It is also important that you take in moderation these four beverages that aren’t so good for the health. The trick is to drink a lot of water, even if water is not that appealing to the taste buds, there are a lot of healthy effects that it can yield.