South beach diet: everything you need to know

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The South Beach diet focuses on choosing healthy carbohydrates and fats so you can drop excess weight while lowering your risk of developing heart disease.

The plan unfolds in three phases, and average weight loss runs between 8 to 13 pounds during the initial two weeks. There’s no need to count calories or tally up carbohydrate and fat grams. Three meals and two snacks each day make hunger an unlikely issue.

Cardiologist Dr. Arthur Agatston designed the diet with help from dietitian Marie Almon in the 1990s to improve patients’ poor results using low-fat diets. Originally developed for heart disease patients, the plan later gained general popularity as an effective weight-loss diet. (1)

The restrictive introductory phase of the South Beach diet is set up to stabilize blood sugar levels as it jump-starts weight loss. (2)

Initial success can help with ongoing motivation to follow the South Beach diet plan, and more food choices are allowed in the second phase. Weight loss after phase one usually levels off at a pound or two a week for most dieters. (3)

For those who want to drop ten pounds or less, starting with the second, more liberal phase can be a viable option.

Getting Started

Some people may find the list of prohibited foods difficult to stomach, but succeeding with the South Beach diet depends on your ability to follow the plan.

There are plenty of approved foods to choose from:

  • Lean meats and fish, all you want in every phase of the plan; this includes fish, shellfish, chicken, turkey
  • Low-carb vegetables and salads in generous portions, up to 4 ½ cups daily
  • Eggs, beans, soy products and legumes
  • Low-fat dairy products, a maximum of 2 cups a day
  • Healthy fats, up to two tablespoons daily, including extra-virgin olive oil, avocados and nuts

You won’t be eating or drinking anything listed below during the first phase:

  • Fruit or fruit juice
  • Starchy foods like rice, potatoes or pasta
  • Whole grains, including bread, crackers and brown rice
  • Sugar and all foods made with sugar and other sweeteners
  • Alcoholic beverages

Phase 2 starts at the beginning of week 3 and is less restrictive. Continue eating lean meats and fish, as well as low-carb vegetables in abundant quantities.

Begin the process of reintroducing good carbs like whole grains and fruits. You can enjoy a glass of red or white wine with dinner if you like, as well as a low-carb, high protein dessert.

While snacks are required in the first phase, they’re optional once you pass the two-week mark. Gradually reintroduce carbohydrates as you keep an eye on the scale. For example, you might add in a single piece of fruit the first day, and a slice of whole-grain bread the next.

If you stop losing weight, back off on the carbs. Experiment with which kind of foods support slow and steady weight loss for you, as well as what amounts you can tolerate.

Since everyone’s a little different, some people might continue to lose weight while adding carbs from fruit sources and stall out when they add grains. For others, it could be the opposite.

Low-carb, high-protein desserts like ricotta cheesecake can be added as long as they don’t hamper your progress. Recipes can be found on the website, along with advice about how to limit yourself to three bites when you can’t resist ordering a rich dessert when eating out with friends. (4)

Once you’ve dropped the weight you need to lose, you enter the maintenance phase; Dr. Agatston recommends following phase 3 guidelines for the rest of your life.

  • Don’t think of any food as off-limits; continue to use good judgement with choices and portion control as you apply the new habits you’ve instilled
  • Keep fruit servings to 3 daily
  • Eat up to 4 servings of starchy foods each day if you like
  • Focus on quality fat sources with the day’s total around two tablespoons

Since the South Beach diet allows unlimited quantities of lean, quality protein, following the plan could round up your grocery bill. Branded food is available, but not required for success.

You may also find yourself spending more time in the kitchen, but dining out can be workable with careful planning. It helps if your favorite restaurant is amenable to substitutions.

Dr. Agatston says you’ll lose weight following the South Beach diet whether or not you combine it with exercise, but he recommends including moderate cardio workouts like brisk walking as part of your health plan. (5)

Trials and Studies

In a randomized trial conducted in 2004, results were compared between subjects following the South Beach diet and a control group following a standard, low-fat diet. The South Beach group dropped twice as much weight over 12 weeks. During a second study done the following year, similar results were reported, and cholesterol measurements of the South Beach diet group also decreased. (6)

While the South Beach diet is primarily focused on weight loss and long-term maintenance, other health benefits can be achieved with the reduction of abdominal fat. (7)

Lower carbohydrate plans, like the South Beach diet and the Atkins diet, have proven effective for burning off both abdominal and intermuscular fat. Positive effects on fat distribution, as well as insulin sensitivity, have been noted with adults classified as high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. (8)

With any diet plan encouraging unlimited consumption of lean protein foods, it’s important to make sure adequate fiber is included in daily food intake. The USDA recommends 38 grams per day for men and 25 for women. (9)

Since fruits are allowed only in moderate quantities on the South Beach diet, focus on low-carb vegetables like lettuce, broccoli, green beans, and cauliflower to keep dietary fiber at healthy levels. If you need to rely on a laxative for regularity, you’re not eating enough fiber. (10)

Summary: The South Beach diet is effective for fast weight loss up-front, and moderate for keeping weight off long-term (11)

Engine 2 diet: vegan with a twist

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The Engine 2 diet is a vegan diet with an unexpected twist: no vegetable oils allowed.

A firefighter and athlete with a strong health background, Rip Esselstyn wrote the bestselling book, The Engine 2 Diet: The Texas Firefighter’s 28-Day Save-Your-Life Plan That Lowers Cholesterol and Burns Away the Pounds.

The book covers everything you need to know for nourishing yourself on a vegan diet to prevent and reverse heart disease.

Esselstyn’s great-grandfather, George Crile, was a co-founder of the Cleveland Clinic; his father, Caldwell Esselstyn, served at the well-known medical facility as chief of surgery, conducting extensive research on how plant-strong diets affect heart health. (1)

While other heart-healthy diet plans limit fats, especially saturated fats from animal sources, the Engine 2 diet takes the approach a step further. According to Esselstyn, the best way to incorporate vegetable fats in the diet is through consuming them in their whole and natural form.

Consuming excess amounts of omega-6 fatty acids found in vegetable oils has been shown to increase the risk of developing autoimmune diseases, cancer and heart disease. (2)

As for fats in animal foods, Esselstyn believes they promote the formation of plaque that clogs arteries, which translates to bad news for heart health.

Plant Power

Esselstyn is a former professional athlete and a go-for-it kind of guy, so the Engine 2 diet plan also includes suggestions for improving fitness. He recommends weighing yourself and getting a cholesterol test before you start the program so you can track progress.

Besides cutting out animal products and vegetable oils, the diet calls for ditching all processed foods.

There’s a choice up front in how you want to tackle necessary changes for embracing the Engine 2 diet: a complete lifestyle overhaul, or the more gradual “fire cadet” approach.

Also known as the 28-day challenge, the cadet method may be more appealing to some, especially if they’ve been eating in a fairly mainstream style.

Vegans, vegetarians and others with powerful motivation to make a big leap and reap benefits as soon as possible prefer taking a hard left turn; if you find this appealing, get started by emptying the refrigerator, freezer and pantry of all animal products, processed foods and anything with more than 2.5 grams of fat per hundred calories.

Restock with vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, and whole grains.

The 28-day challenge allows the option of wading in a week at a time. During the prep week, you’ll reorient your ideas about which foods are your friends, and which aren’t.

Toss or give away anything that doesn’t fit Engine 2 diet guidelines. Support and information are available on Esselstyn’s website, where you can also watch videos designed to coach you through each phase. (3)

The 28-day challenge goes like this:

  • Week 1 – eliminate all processed foods and dairy products
  • Week 2 – get rid of animal products like eggs, fish and meat
  • Week 3 – cut out any added oils from your diet
  • Week 4 – stay with it and settle in to the program

That’s it. If you’re handy in the kitchen, you may do well with adapting your own favorite meals to the plan. Esselstyn’s book, The Engine 2 Diet, has plenty of recipes and menus, and more are available in his follow-up offering, My Beef with Meat: The Healthiest Argument for Eating a Plant-Strong Diet.

You can eat all the plant foods you want and you’ll still lose weight while your cholesterol levels drop. Esselstyn says the key to weight loss and heart health is eliminating processed foods and oils.

Benefits

Esselstyn is in good company with his enthusiasm for plant-strong diets, though most don’t go to the extreme he proposes. For example, the Flexitarian diet recommends including limited amounts animal protein once or twice a week and focusing on plant foods the rest of the time.

The potential benefits in using a plant-based diet for reducing cholesterol levels are still being explored. Stanford conducted a comparison of two diets for lowering lipid levels over a 4-week period.

One was a standard low-fat diet, and the other was a low-fat diet with greater quantities of nutrient-dense plant foods like fruits and vegetables. The group eating extra plant foods experienced more dramatic drops in total cholesterol. (4)

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine states health issues like heart disease, obesity, cancer and type 2 diabetes may be more competently managed or even prevented through adopting a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. (5)

The National Institutes of Health reported in 2012 that the greater levels of fiber intake common for subjects following plant-based diets is likely a contributing factor to healthier triglyceride measurements, as well as lower blood pressure and total cholesterol levels. (6)

Surveys confirm that meat-eaters typically run heavier than vegetarians and spend more money on medical expenses; those who include meat in their diets also develop chronic illnesses at higher rates than those who don’t. (7)

Since animal products provide our bodies with vitamin B-12, vegans should supplement to make certain this need is met. When the body lacks vitamin B-12, red bloods cells may grow enlarged and cause various malfunctions including muscle weakness or neurological disorders like dementia. (8, 9)

Getting other necessary vitamins, minerals like zinc and iron, and essential fatty acids found in fish oils, along with sufficient protein you need for vital health, shouldn’t be a concern in Western populations where a wide variety of foods are available. (10)

Only about a third of the world’s population lives on a meat-based diet, and the rest rely primarily on plant foods for nourishment. Since plant-based diets draw less heavily on water and land resources, anyone making this shift for health reasons can also help improve ecological balance through adopting a more sustainable diet. (11)

While the number of Americans who consider themselves true vegetarians is still small at about 5% (12), the trend toward plant-strong diets continues to grow.

The Engine 2 diet has attracted a large following, and if you’re game to give up the oils, it might be what the doctor ordered. Like Esselstyn, you’ll be in good company with others who are enjoying the all-you-can-eat buffet of plant-based foods, packing around less body fat, and protecting their tickers from artery-clogging animal fat.

Dukan diet review: everything you need to know

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The Dukan diet takes the power of protein for weight loss to the extreme with an initial phase of protein-only menus.

French physician Pierre Dukan developed the diet to help patients lose weight fast and redesign eating habits to stabilize weight permanently.

Allowed foods in the introductory Attack phase include meat, fish, poultry, non-fat dairy, eggs, vegetable protein like seitan and tofu, pork, and game meats. You also eat oat bran, and beverages are limited to water and non-caloric drinks like diet soda.

The time period for Attack phase varies depending on how much weight you need to drop. For 20 to 40 pounds, it’s typically about five days, and you can eat all you want.

Without carbohydrates to supply fuel, the body burns stored fat through the process of ketosis. According to a report by the National Institutes of Health, a ketogenic diet may protect against neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. (1)

Next comes the Cruise phase: continue eating mostly protein, with certain vegetables allowed on certain days. Expect to drop 2 to 4 pounds weekly.

The Dukan diet has stringent rules, and success depends on a dieter’s ability to follow guidelines to the letter.

If you do well with following rules, you’ve got a good chance at making the Dukan diet work for you.

The time you spend in each phase of the diet is calculated according to your age and how much weight you want to lose, as well as how much yo-yo dieting you’ve done in the past. Dr. Dukan says you should run the plan past your doctor before you begin.

Here are the loose guidelines for how long to stay in the Attack phase: a day or two if you want to go down ten pounds; between 3 and 5 days for 20 pounds; up to ten days for more than 20 pounds. (2)

An online survey of 1500 respondents in 2010 reflected an average loss of nearly 16 pounds in the first two phases. (3)

Four phases of the Dukan diet:

  • Attack – only protein foods are allowed. This strategy puts your body into a state of ketosis; ketones are flushed through urine, so drinking 6 – 8 glasses of water daily is vital. You flush out water as your body begins to burn fat. Take 1.5 tablespoons of oat bran daily to provide a few carbs. Walking is the recommended exercise.
  • Cruise – expect to spend about 3 days for every pound you want to drop. Add non-starchy vegetables on alternating days, or customize the alternation pattern to suit your lifestyle and weight goals. Go back and forth (a day of pure protein, then a day of protein and vegetables, or 2 and 2, 3 and 3, etc.); for those with more weight to lose, choose a pattern up to 5 and 5. Walk 30 minutes daily to maximize weight loss. Increase oat bran to 2 tablespoons a day.
  • Consolidation – stay in this phase 5 days for every pound dropped in the first two phases to protect against rebound weight gain. Divide the time into two equal parts. During the first part, add a piece of fruit, two slices of whole grain bread and 1.5 ounces of hard cheese daily; once a week, eat a single serving of starchy vegetables, and splurge on a celebratory meal that includes an appetizer, an entrée, a glass of wine, and dessert. During the second half of this phase, bump up fruit and starchy vegetables to two servings, and have two celebratory meals. Keep taking 2 tablespoons of oat bran.
  • Stabilization – there are no forbidden foods in this phase, so it’s up to you to regulate yourself according to the new habits you’ve acquired. The three requirements: eat 3 tablespoons of oat bran daily; take the stairs whenever you can; one day each week eat only protein, just like in the Attack phase.

Risks

While the plan includes a source of fiber (oat bran) even when you’re only eating protein foods, this approach is a far cry from the most-repeated diet advice today: eat abundant quantities of fruits and vegetables.

Studies show high fiber intake can help protect against developing cardiovascular disease. (4) For those with large amounts of weight to lose, the Dukan diet could keep them in low-fiber intake phases for substantial lengths of time.

The National Institutes of Health recently conducted a 14-year study with 50,000 Japanese men and women. Those who consumed more fiber had a decreased risk of cardiovascular disorders. (5)

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine issued a statement that eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can help prevent and manage chronic health conditions like obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. (6)

Focusing on protein is likely to improve insulin response, so that’s good news for anyone with blood sugar problems. Keeping the carbohydrate content of meals low (or almost non-existent, as in the Attack phase) results in stable blood glucose levels. (7)

Besides weight loss, which cuts the risk of developing many chronic diseases, decreasing the amount of carbohydrates in the diet can reduce cholesterol levels and blood triglycerides. (8)

While cholesterol levels have been shown to drop when subjects consumed 20% of calories in soy products as their main protein source (9), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) continues to advise limiting saturated fats such as those found in animal foods like meat as the best way to control cholesterol. (10)

In a recent update for physicians, the USDA advises that recommending plant-based diets to patients should be considered a beneficial dietary strategy that can promote weight loss, drop cholesterol levels and reduce blood pressure (11), all of which are risk factors for developing heart disease.

While the Dukan diet is clear that following the rules, even in the Stabilization phase, is necessary for long-term success, fast weight loss often ends with weight gain up the road. Studies confirm that taking off weight slowly and steadily is more likely to result in keeping if off. (12)

Summary: If you’re determined to drop weight quickly and can shrink your nutrient choices while focusing mainly on protein, the Dukan diet is worth considering.

Vegeterian diet review

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Vegetarian diets come in a few different flavors, but none of them include meat, poultry, or fish.

Lacto-ovo-vegetarians, usually referred to as simply “vegetarians,” use dairy products and eggs. Vegans don’t eat anything with animal origins.

Gallup polls conducted in 2012 show 5% of Americans consider themselves vegetarians, down from 6% about a decade ago. (1, 2)

Some vegetarians make the choice primarily for health reasons, preferring to spare their bodies the challenge of digesting flesh food. Others may be motivated by moral and spiritual considerations, holding the belief that it’s wrong to kill and eat animals. Ecological and sustainability concerns can also be part of the equation for those who choose a vegetarian diet.

Benefits

The National Institutes of Health reports that a study conducted at Loma Linda University tracked more than 70,000 people over the age of 25 for six years. Almost half the participants in the study were non-vegetarians. These subjects lived similar lifestyles in other aspects; for example, many of them abstained from drinking alcohol or coffee and didn’t smoke cigarettes.

Data collected included mortality rates for various types of vegetarians, as well as for those who included meat in their diets. More than 2500 deaths occurred during the trial; the vegetarians were 12% less likely to die of any cause than those who ate meat. (3)

Other studies have concluded that the rates vegetarians die from heart disease run about 20% lower than meat eaters; for those who include fish but not meat, the rate of heart disease deaths dropped by another 14%, settling at 34%. (4)

Vegetarians tend to have lower cholesterol readings and lower body mass index (BMI) levels. (5) The risk of developing coronary heart disease drops when these measurements are lower.

Other health risks vegetarians reduce by forgoing flesh foods include hypertension (high blood pressure), cancer, dementia, renal (kidney) disease, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis and heart disease. (6)

Risks

Most people who adopt a vegetarian diet eat eggs and dairy, which solves the issue of getting enough vitamin B-12. Since this essential vitamin is only present in animal foods, true vegans need a supplement to fulfill the body’s need for B-12.

When the body lacks vitamin B-12, red blood cells can become enlarged and malfunction; other problems arising from this shortage include muscle weakness, dementia and incontinence. (7)

Taking an informed approach to meal planning can address most concerns about including the variety of nutrients important for vital health. An update published by the National Institutes for Health encourages physicians to consider plant-based diets as a strategy to reduce the incidence of chronic disease in their patients; authors note that vegetarians who choose whole foods rather than processed foods are likely to experience positive long-term health outcomes. (8)

Meat-eaters usually wonder how vegetarians get enough protein, but Harvard Health Publication refers to research showing Western vegetarians acquire adequate protein through consumption of foods like nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains. Lacto-ovo vegetarians who eat eggs and dairy products easily meet recommended protein requirements by including these foods. (9)

Vegetarians in Western countries tend to get about the same amount of iron as meat eaters, although the length of time a person has followed a vegetarian diet can have some effect on measurements. (10) While both zinc and iron deficiencies have been noted in vegetarians living in impoverished countries (11), Americans adopting a vegetarian lifestyle aren’t likely to have issue with fulfilling these requirements.

With all the recent attention on low carbohydrate diets, anyone considering the vegetarian lifestyle will want to consider this aspect of food choices.

Many vegetables are low-carb options, including tomatoes, members of the cruciferous group (like broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, etc.), onions, bell peppers, green beans and cauliflower. All leafy greens are low in carbs, and most varieties of squash are also acceptable on a low-carb diet; winter squash are the exception. Hubbard and acorn are examples of starchy varieties of squash.

Fruits can be a little trickier, since higher sugar content rules out certain choices. Compare carbohydrate levels against your personal preferences; choose from fruits like strawberries, blueberries, and grapefruit. Other fruits with less than 15 grams of carbohydrate per serving are peaches, blackberries, cantaloupe and watermelon. (12)

Nuts and seeds are great choices that are low in carbohydrate and high in protein and fat. It’s best to eat a wide variety of foods from this category, and if some of these are unfamiliar to you, get adventurous and find out what you like: pumpkin seeds, walnuts, chia seeds, macadamia nuts, almonds, and hazelnuts will all provide dense, high-quality nutrition.

Some people do well with soy products and can include soy milk, tofu, tempeh and other foods made from soybeans in their diets. Adding edamame (the seed of the soybean plant) as a snack, or pouring soy milk over cold cereal could even help drop cholesterol levels. (13)

Chick peas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a low-carb legume. Choose healthy fats like coconut oil, avocado oil, and olive oil. When it comes to sweets, dark chocolate, which will be low in sugar despite its generous fat content, will be satisfying and still fit into a low-carb eating plan.

Recap

A thoughtfully planned vegetarian diet can satisfy your nutritional requirements at the same time as it allows you to respect the environment, as well as animal rights. It’s important to find the balance between your personal preferences and your body’s need for macro- and micro-nutrients.

The wide variety of choices available on a vegetarian diet make it easy to follow for those who have made the decision to forgo meats and other flesh foods. Including eggs and dairy products usually makes a vegetarian diet more palatable and versatile.

Studies of children raised on vegetarian diets indicate nutritional needs can be met for healthy growth, and when good eating habits are instilled at a young age, better habits in adulthood are likely to develop. (14)

If you’ve been considering a vegetarian diet, you’ll have to look hard to find drawbacks when it comes to building long-term good health.

Vitapulse by Princeton Nutrients

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Vitapulse by Princeton Nutrients

The Vitapulse supplement from Princeton Nutrients’ Dr. Bereliani is a rich antioxidant formula known to help improve the cardiovascular function, balance cholesterol levels, and improve overall heart health.

Let’s review the Vitapulse vitamin blend and find out if it is truly the cardiac killer.

Ingredients

The main ingredients include powerful and well-documented antioxidants such as CoQ10, PQQ, and NAC (spelled out below).

  • PQQ Na2 (Pyrroloquinoline Quinone)
  • NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine)
  • CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10)

Let’s take a deeper look into what makes these individual ingredients such a powerful bunch to combat the world’s deadliest killer, heart disease.

N-acetyl cysteine

NAC or N-acetyl cysteine is a type of amino acid and antioxidant that helps eliminate free radicals. There are plenty of health benefits to look into, depending on the dosing. NAC helps alleviate side effects from cancer treatment, lowers cholesterol levels, benefits patients with heart disease and Lou Gehrig’s disease, and helps treat ear infections, bronchitis, and other conditions. In addition, NAC also helps increase energy levels, boosts immunity, and can be used to prevent certain allergic reactions. According to some healthcare professionals, N-acetyl cysteine also benefits patients with stomach ulcer, chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, influenza, acute liver failure, and acetaminophen toxicity.

The daily dose for patients with asthma and bronchitis is 200 mg twice a day. Adults can take up to 600 mg (capsules or tablets). There are different food sources of N-acetyl cysteine as well, for example, chicken, garlic, eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, and others. Lunch and fish meets also contain N-acetyl cysteine.

 PQQ

PQQ, another key ingredient, is called a nutritional superstar and offers plenty of health benefits such as improved immunity and reproductive function, improved cognition and memory, and many others. PQQ is a powerful antioxidant and a type of vitamin-like compound found in foods such as tofu, papaya, kiwi fruit, green peppers, parsley, and others. It is involved in a number of cellular functions such as survival, differentiation, and cellular growth. PQQ is a powerful nutrient that aids the mitochondrial function, promotes healthy cell generation, and protects the cells from oxidative stress and damage.

CoQ10

CoQ10 is also a key ingredient included in Vitapulse and a substance that our bodies produce naturally. It is used to treat many conditions, including chronic fatigue, macular degeneration in old age, high blood pressure, and others. The main sources include beef liver and other organ meats, oil fish, fatty fish, seeds and nuts, and fruits and vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, and strawberries. CoQ10 helps patients with heart problems, Parkinson’s disease, and diabetes who tend to have lower levels. Levels are also low in patients with macular dystrophy, AIDS and HIV, heart problems, diabetes, certain genetic disorders, cancer, and others. CoQ10 supplements in the form of manmade idebenone can help increase levels. Some studies also suggest that CoQ10 supplements can be used to reduce the risk of heart failure and lower high blood pressure. Other promising and potential uses include the treatment of side effects associated with chemotherapy, high cholesterol levels, chronic fatigue, asthma, chest pain, and eye disease. Finally, some preliminary studies have shown that antioxidants such as CoQ10 can help in several ways:

  • Prevent migraines
  • Patients with asthma report relief
  • Improve sperm motility
  • Aid the immune function in persons with AIDS and HIV

The list of added benefits also includes improved memory ability and learning, improved fertility, and less oxidative stress. CoQ10 can help boost metabolism and improve mitochondrial density, thus giving you more energy. There is contradicting evidence on the use of coenzyme Q10 in the treatment of Huntington’s disease, hepatitis C, diabetes, and muscle performance. In general, antioxidants such as CoQ10 prevent and reduce damage caused by free radicals and help neutralize free radicals. According to some researchers, antioxidants also prevent the formation of blood clots, enhance cell energy production, and have a positive effect on patients with heart problems.

The good news is that there are few side effects such as lower blood sugar levels in diabetic patients and stomach upset. Some users also report side effects such as liver problems, fever, low blood pressure, rashes, and headache.  Other users report improved energy levels and balanced cholesterol levels. There are no studies on the side effects of Vitapulse, however.

In general antioxidants help minimize stress and offer plenty of benefits such as improved mitochondrial health, better protection against cellular damage, balance cholesterol levels, and many others. Antioxidants help reduce inflammation and maintain your heart healthy.

Click Here To See More Information On VitaPulse

Additional Benefits

The manufacturer claims that there are added health benefits such as:

  • Reduces soreness and muscle ache
  • Eases stiffness and joint pain
  • Improves cellular energy
  • Helps mitochondrial regrowth
  • Reduces heart inflammation
  • Protects cells against damage
  • Reduces anxiety and improves sleep
  • Etc

Complaints and Criticisms

Some nutrition experts note that this product requires the same level of research as the ingredients included in it. One problem is the fact that the formula does not list clinical research information of any sort. Another issue that experts comment on is that NAC dosage is relatively low to offer real health benefits. Also, do not give supplements that contain CoQ10 to children under the age of 18 unless prescribed by your GP or healthcare provider. There is also controversy regarding the role of PQQ as vitamin. The main reason is that the majority of studies have been conducted on animals. There are some preliminary studies conducted on humans which show promising results.

All these make it difficult to assess whether Vitapulse by Princeton Nutrients actually works – make sure you click the link to further your due diligence. More research is required to prove whether the formula offers real health benefits. Keep in mind that this product is relatively new, and what you can do is consult your healthcare provider first. This goes for any medication or supplement, especially if you have known medical condition. If you want to give it a try, this product can be purchased via Princeton Nutrients’ official website.

Another option is to buy the three ingredients separately. There are many brands offered by different manufacturers and retailers. The main convenience that Princeton Nutrients offers is a single pill which makes it easy to use and carry around, especially if you are a frequent traveler.

Click Here To See More Information On VitaPulse

Patriot Power Greens by Patriot Health Alliance

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Patriot Power Greens by Patriot Health Alliance

Patriot Power Greens is a newly formulated green juice drink and superfood supplement that is comprised of a combination of 38 organic vegetables and fruits, 10 powerful probiotic strains and 6 natural digestive enzymes.

The coined secret green drink powder is said to be jam packed and loaded with the full spectrum of essential minerals, vitamins, and other key nutrients.  Offered by Patriot Health Alliance’s Dr. Lane Sebring, M.D., Patriot Power Greens leverages the combination of digestive enzymes, probiotics and whole foods that are doctor approved and formulated.

Let’s review the new Patriot Power Greens supplement and see if this is a trustworthy company, product and formula.

Health Benefits

There are so many food supplements, superfoods, and power drinks out there marketed with the term miracle. The good news is that some actually offer plenty of health benefits in the long term. How about Patriot Power Greens? Each scoop supposedly contains enzymes, healthy probiotics, organic vegetables and fruits, sea vegetables, and greens.

The green drink contains sea vegetables such as Wakame seaweeds, Nori, and organic Spirulina as well as fruits and vegetables such as tomato, strawberry, blueberry, green cabbage, parsley, spinach, broccoli, apple, and many others. Patriot Power Greens only contains ingredients that are certified and labeled organic.

The formula is packed with a balanced blend of berries, land fruits and vegetables, and seaweeds, with a special emphasis on berries. The reason is that berries are loaded with essential nutrients and antioxidants. What is more, Patriot Health Alliance claims that the key ingredients in their green drink fight inflammation, help lower cholesterol levels, and are good for your digestive system.

Inflammation often results in health issues such as cloudy memory, discomfort, fatigue, pain, and knee, hip, back, and joint ache. The manufacturer claims that enzymes and other nutrients contained in Patriot Power Greens offer added benefits.

The formula can help alleviate pain when golfing, gardening, and exercising. You will be able to move and exercise with less stiffness and pain and enjoy better quality of life. In fact, the green formula is packed with powerful ingredients such as protease, amylase, cellulase, amyloglucosidase, acid protease, and others. Digestive enzymes also help alleviate muscle stiffness, joint discomfort, and pain.

Digestive enzymes deserve a special mention in that they are involved in a number of processes such as protein synthesis work, photosynthesis, respiration inside cells, and others. What is more, digestive enzymes offer many health benefits, keep your gut healthy, and help the body process fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.

Any Known Side Effects?

Patriot Power Greens is free of harmful ingredients and GMO and is doctor-approved. The formula also contains rare superfoods such as organic chicory inulin which is known for its powerful antioxidant properties. This supefood is packed with healthy soluble fiber and helps cleanse your liver and blood. Wheatgrass juice, one the other hand, is a key ingredient that is missing according to nutrition experts.

In any case, the ingredients contained in Patriot Power Greens make it a healthy, comprehensive blend and a potent formula. Rich texture and good taste are added benefits.  Keep in mind that balanced nutrition is the key to good health. Supplements help cleanse toxins, fight disease, and contribute to good health. You may want to contact your healthcare provider for advice, especially if you are on prescription medications.

Ingredients contained in spirulina and other seaweeds offer additional benefits such as better concentration and memory. You will be able to better recall key events, important dates, faces, and names. What is more, essential ingredients in spirulina help stay alert and focused while driving or working.

How It Works

According to Patriot Health Alliance, inflammation is a silent killer that contributes to poor health with age. Inflammation is said to be the main cause of chronic and serious conditions such as stroke and heart attack, autoimmune disorders, etc.

The goal is to begin the healing process by fighting pathogens, removing irritants, and eliminating other harmful stimuli. Note that inflammation is not the same as infection – infection is usually caused by fungi, viruses, and bacteria while inflammation is the body’s natural response to infection. Experts at Patriot Health Alliance clam that the ingredients in Patriot Power Greens help reduce chronic inflammation by neutralizing excess acid.

Vegetables packed with powerful antioxidants help reduce inflammation by neutralizing free radicals. Vegetables such as kale, for example, contain zeaxanthin, lutein, and other powerful ingredients that help eliminate free radicals, making it a valuable supplement. Vegetables and fruits such as apples, cucumbers, and tomatoes also fight and reduce inflammation. This is also true for other veggies and fruits that are alkaline-rich. Other vegetables also contain key ingredients, including carrots, broccoli, and beet juice.

In addition to fighting inflammation and chronic disease, they contain essential nutrients that improve energy levels and result in better looking skin.

Basically, the green formula is marketed as a healthy supplement that contains probiotics, phytochemicals, and other nutrients which boost immunity and help improve overall health and quality of life. This is the easy way to consume more fruits and vegetables and avoid products that are high in carbohydrates, sugar, and unhealthy fats. Eating more fruits and vegetables helps balance blood sugar levels and fight poor digestion.

Allergies and Ingredients

The good news is that this green formula contains no allergens, including shellfish, fish, eggs, nuts, wheat, dairy, soy, or gluten. With no genetically-modified ingredients, artificial sweeteners, and added sugar, retailers market a healthy formula for diabetics. The formula is naturally sweetened and contains acai, apple, and goji juice. All in all, Patriot Power Greens contains 7 digestive enzymes, 10 strains of probiotics, and fruits and vegetables from countries such as Argentina, Japan, Brazil, and the U.S. Of course, customers are offered a 100 percent money back guarantee and are entitled to receive a full refund.

Reviews and Complaints

Complaints are mainly related to refund policy issues and poor customer support. Slow response times have been reported a major problem. Some customers report no noticeable advantage and no effect whatsoever. Customers also complain that Patriot Health Alliance tries to sell customers other side products. You may want to contact your GP or healthcare provider and discuss your options first. Ask them what they think of Patriot Power Greens and then weigh your options.

Abs After 40 Fitness Review – Quality Exercise & Nutrition Program?

By | Workouts | No Comments

What Is Abs After 40?

Abs After 40 is a 3-month workout program from Six Pack Shortcuts’ Mark Mcilyar that helps men over 40 years of age to boost energy levels and gain muscle the right way. This extensive exercise training program and nutrition plan was designed by male model and fitness guru “The Ripped Grandpa” in an attempt to offer a new approach to building up a healthy looking lean body and 6 pack abdominal muscles.

Let’s review Abs After 40 and see if you should get involved with the fastest growing fitness product in 2016.

Pro’s & Con’s Of The Health Benefits

Here at TribalConnections, we are all about building a tribe full of connection and meaning. As we continue to branch out into different forms of tribal and communal platforms that build connections (whether it be health and fitness, diet and eating or business and pleasure/leisure), we felt the most notable and cited workout exercise of the year was worth a simple overview of what it does and whether or not it is right for you.

While the name Abs After 40 certainly indicates this caters to the population who are 40 years of age or older, and has a direct link to catering to men only – we felt as if that was misleading in that anyone willing to follow a set of proven guidelines and advice could make it work for them. Let’s discuss the potential pros and cons of the benefits to your health this workout program might have in store for you.

There are plenty of benefits for you to look into, burn off fat, and get into top shape in a healthy way. Overweight is a serious problem and health risk that often results in gallstones, reproductive problems, abnormal blood fats, high blood pressure, etc. Other health risks associated with obesity and overweight also include serious conditions such as cancer, obesity hypoventilation syndrome, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and stroke.

Overweight persons are also at higher risk of developing coronary heart disease. All these are serious and chronic conditions, and exercise can help. The program offers many benefits to those who want to lose stubborn belly fat and live healthier. The end result, however, depends on the type of workout and activity level that best suits you. Men after 40, for example, benefit from multi-muscle activation and exercise with free weights. The reason is that multi-muscle activation is a great way to activate and balance your male hormones.

The Basics

This particular workout program is marketed as specifically designed for men over 40 to gain a lean core. To this, there is just one thing to do – fix male hormones, and especially testosterone, to get back in good shape. The best part is that the program only includes exercises that last up to 35 minutes. It is based on three key components and mainly – proper diet, exercise with free weights, and hormone rejuvenation plan, included in three phases.

The first phase is called weight loss jumpstart and helps men lose body fat. The second part or phase two is called male hormone optimization and aims to boost your testosterone levels. The final or third phase is called full-auto fat burning mode to reveal the 6 pack abs. During this phase, the training program helps build definition and muscle and balance hormone levels. The workout is combined with a healthy diet for best results. Increased energy levels and fat loss are added benefits.

The first component of the program is the so called 3-Phase Abs After 40 System, which is basically the core of the program.

You will learn more about the types of exercises to be performed. The second component focuses on your diet and is called the Nutritional System. Here you will learn more about the types of foods that result in poor testosterone production and the foods that improve testosterone levels.

The program also offers healthy recipes and a meal plan to follow for your convenience. The best part is that the meals require few basic ingredients and are easy and quick to prepare. Some foods are best to be avoided, and these include processed foods. The nutrition plan is easy to follow even if you have a busy work schedule.

Just remember to cut calories gradually because rapid weight loss often results in quick weight gain. Avoid low-fat foods and diets as well because healthy fat helps build optimal testosterone levels. In fact, healthy fat in foods is the key to producing higher testosterone levels.

The list of foods that contain healthy fat is quite long and includes products such as fish, whole eggs, avocados, extra virgin olive oil, chia seeds, nuts, and many others. You will find a list of healthy meals in the plan, which contain high-fat foods and other essential nutrients.

Optimal Testosterone Levels and Benefits for Men after 40

There are plenty of benefits to explore, among which: strong bones, healthy libido, healthy heart and reduced risk of heart disease, increased muscle mass, and improved confidence and self-esteem. Low testosterone levels, on the other hand, often result in problems and health issues such as increased risk of osteoporosis, low libido, overweight and excess fat tissue in your belly area, fatigue and depression, and increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Optimal testosterone levels help men get back in shape and enjoy hobbies, recreation, sports, and life in general. The key is to avoid workout programs that result in hormone disruption and combine healthy exercise with the right type of diet.

Workouts to Gain Muscle and Exercises to Avoid

There are some types of exercise to avoid in order to build optimal testosterone levels, including cycling, treadmill, aerobic exercise, and the elliptical machine. In general, it is a good idea to avoid cardio because cardio results in misbalance and damage to your fat burning hormones. Avoid bodybuilding as well because it will simply give you the balloon look. Plus, you will look bloated most of the time.

The key to getting into good shape is choosing the right exercise to keep your hormones working to your benefit. This is easy to achieve with compound training. Avoid isolation exercises and resistance techniques and opt for compound training instead. Compound training involves more than 1 muscle group (usually 2 or 3) to build muscle and burn fat at the same time. Here the more muscles and muscle groups you activate simultaneously, the more fat you burn and lose which is your ultimate goal.

Compound exercises also boost your hormone levels to prevent weight gain and keep you in shape. And the good news is that it is up to you to choose the types of compound exercises that work best for you. There are plenty of them online too.

Added Benefits

One of the key benefits for customers is that the plan is offered in digital format. You are free to download the eBook, offered with easy to follow video workouts and handy advice.

If you haven’t felt healthy for a long time – you can give it a try. Just consult your doctor, especially if you have any known medical condition and/or are on medication.

Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth

By | Natural Alternatives | No Comments

It does not take long to do a quick search online about the magical powers of Diatomaceous Earth.

From humans to pets and animals, to gardens and bed bugs to heavy metal detox and cleansing, food grade D.E. is causing quite the stir as a natural alternative to a wide range of day to day nuances.

Diatomaceous Earth isn’t a really known substance, but gaining traction at the moment. It’s especially getting popular for people who care about their health a lot.

Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth vs Regular?

It’s an extremely popular supplement. Food Grade diatomaceous earth is otherwise known as silica. Majority of diatomaceous earth (DE) contains silica. There are many committed followers to the use of DE. There are all sorts of claims that are being thrown around such as the ability to prevent diseases that limit cognition and prevent/counter skin related problems. It’s considered the one size fit all solution for many users.

Let’s explain DE in detail so you can understand the ins and outs of this substance.

DE consists of fossilized algae that have lived thousands and thousands of years ago. These algae once inhabited the Earth in ancient times. After, the algae has died – their shells are slowly converted into what is known DE. Yes, DE consists of fossilized organisms.

One of DE’s unique properties is the ability to be very permeable. Because, of this property it is used in many industries. You can find DE in toothpaste, explosives, in certain spices, and even coffee creamers. You can see how DE can be used in a variety of ways.

DE consists of three ingredients: silica, alumina and iron oxide. The last two substances are a minority compared to 90%+ silica within DE. There are also claims that DE contains other minerals as well such as: sodium, magnesium, boron and so much more.

What’s interesting is that these claims can be true. Since, DE consists of fossilized algae (fossil shell flour) – the composition of the substance will depend on where it is found. DE has been found all over the world. Due to different geological structures of these places, the composition of the DE will be different. DE has been found in Germany, Czech Republic, United States, and the United Kingdom. (1)

When doing research on DE, it’s important to note that because of the high concentration of silica; you are asking whether silica can provide any benefit for you.

There is an answer to that. Many scientific studies has been conducted on silica. What’s also interesting to note is the various nicknames that the silica goes through. The wide range of names include: diatomite, amorphous silica, and kieselgur.

Possible Diatomaceous Earth Side Effects?

Should you breathe diatomaceous earth or eat it?

As you conduct more research on DE, you’ll eventually slam yourself into something alarming. The government advises you to not take DE within its purest state. The reason being is that inhaling a substance that contains 100% silica, will eventually damage your lungs. You’ll end up developing a variety of problems for your lungs. When DE is goes under the process of crystallization, the DE turns into a substance that can be dangerous to your health.

The CDC has many informational resources that show the dangers of crystallized DE. (2) It is a major concern for people who work in mines and come in daily contact with the substance. Luckily, this isn’t a concern for you if you are not working in a mine that is in direct contact with the substance. If you are a miner then it is highly recommended to wear equipment that reduces your exposure to crystallized DE.

When purchasing DE, you’ll most likely find out that it is considered safe by the government. You will not face any adverse reactions to the DE, since it isn’t crystallized. There are scientific studies that go back 90 years, proving that DE isn’t a harmful substance when consuming DE. (3)

This substance poses little risk to the human body. That risk has been effectively proven away. Now, that you understand what DE is – a discussion can be made on why people use it at all. And, if there’s any scientific merit to it as well.

There are a variety of claims that believers believe DE can do for them. There are too many to count and most of them have no scientific merit behind them. It’s all anecdotal evidence. These are some of the claims:

  • Gets you higher energy
  • Removes and cleans toxins from your body
  • Helps you to lose weight
  • Keeps your hair clean and healthy
  • Can be used to evade drug detection tests.
  • Can be used as a pain killer
  • Solution to baldness
  • Slows down aging
  • Counters the effect of pollutions to the lung
  • Treats diabetes
  • Raise metabolic activity
  • And the list goes on…..

Many of these claims are highly unrealistic and have no scientific evidence behind them. You should not rely on these claims, as they have not been conducted on a scientific. People’s self-experience can be highly biased and clouded. Thus, one cannot get accurate data from these group of people. Most of these outlandish claims can be explained through the placebo effect. (Your brain believes in a result or effect and thus actually creates the result/effect.)

What can DE actually do for you?

Despite, there not being any scientific evidence for many of the health benefits for DE – that doesn’t mean there is none. There’s growing research indicating that the use of silica can improve bone health. This is especially relevant to the use of the elderly, who are a common group that face issues with bone health. Research has indicated that not having silica within your body can produce adverse health effects. And, that includes your bones. This research has proven that silica plays a role in improving bone health. (4)

Scientific research has also indicated that DE can reduce your cholesterol levels. Subjects who had high traces of cholesterol were given DE, and the result was that people the amount of cholesterol went down. (5)

Conclusion

Diatomaceous Earth isn’t bad for you, if it isn’t crystallized. Most of the DE you will encounter is safe. There are only two benefits to DE that has been confirmed by science – lowering cholesterol and improving bone health. Everything else is hype.

REFERENCES

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diatomaceous_earth
  2. http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/81-123/pdfs/0552.pdf
  3. http://www.inchem.org/documents/jecfa/jecmono/v46aje60.htm
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17435951
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9533930

Are Cocoa Flavanols (Chocolate Extract) Good For You?

By | Extracts | No Comments

Chocolate’s good for you – Hoorah!

There’s a lot of misinformation out there about the consumption of cocoa (found in chocolate.) It’s bad for you and yet it’s good for you. Which one is the truth?

Here’s some basic truth. Coca contains a substance called flavonoids. Flavonoids has antioxidants (responsible for slowing aging and making you look younger) and even reduces inflammation.

The consumption of chocolate has a deep history. Historians are now unearthing how the ancient people have eaten chocolate to treat all sorts of remedies. There are references of chocolate throughout many civilizations. It has been used to treat cancer, fever, heart disease, libido and so many other problems that people faced during that time.

Perhaps, these ancient civilizations knew something that we didn’t. As more scientific research is being done on coca we have probably found the answer.

The reason why chocolate is good for you is because of the flavonoids. The coca inside chocolate has lots and lots of flavonoids. No other substance has as much flavonoids that cocoa has.

There’s more evidence over the years showing the numerous benefits that flavonoids provide to the human body. It’s interesting to see the evidence catching up to what ancient people believed long ago.

Cocoa Flavanols (Flavonoids)

Food substances that contain flavonoids are coca, tea, and berries. Here’s an interesting bit of info: the reason why plants and fruit have a wide variety of colors is because of the flavonoids.

People who study food label flavonoids to be something called phytonutrients. This means that chemicals that are found naturally within plants. This is in contrast to artificial chemicals that are created by man. There are all sorts of phytonutrients like resveratrol or quercetin.

Phytonutrients assist plants with their survival. They are most effective when fighting off bacteria and viruses. This piece of information is relevant because what if the properties of phytonutrients can also be of help to humans? Can we also absorb the benefits phytonutrients have on plants for our bodies?

The answer isn’t definitive yet. Research is being currently done on this topic as there’s a lot of interest if humans can integrate phytonutrients into their bodies.

The reason why there’s such intensive interest is primarily because of its abilities to fight off bacteria, the rich presence of antioxidants, and anti-inflammation properties.

There are thousands of phytonutrients out there for scientists to study. We’ll see the answers to these burning questions within a few years.

Cocoa has two flavonoids called catechin and epicatechin. These cocoa flavanols found within the dark chocolate have a variety of benefits that can be applicable to the human body. That being its ability to reduce the possibility of heart disease, reduce the risk of cancer, and improve the cognitive abilities of the brain. (1) (2)

Do flavonoids help with blood pressure?

The flavonoids that are present in chocolate have been proven to reduce high blood pressure. (3) This explains why diabetics commonly carry around chocolate bars. It’s ironic because it’s commonly used to raise blood pressure not lower it.

Do flavanols help with your heart?

The combination of benefits that cocoa flavonoids produce lead to a combined result of improving the health of your benefit. The fact that the flavonoids minimizes inflammation, has antioxidants, relaxes your muscles, and improves blood health all work together to help your heart.

Lot of research is being done on how these flavonoids can assist with reducing and treating heart disease. It’s only natural since the leading cause of death in the world is because of heart disease.

Do cocoa flavanols help with your brain?

Yes. The increased blood flow that is created by flavonoids also increase blood flow to your brain as well. The brain benefits from flavonoids because more blood flow can actually improve memory and learning.

The reasoning used by scientists is that flavonoids can clear up contaminants within the oxygen supply of the body. The brain consumes a huge amount of calories (approximately 30-40% of the oxygen that you consume.) The flavonoids purify the oxygen and your brain benefits as a result. (6)

A scientific study was conducted that confirmed the conclusion that was made in the above paragraph. However, this only applies to old people. It’s relevant for old people as the elderly have more issues with their cognitive performance then compared to the young.

You can make the same conclusion that by through the consumption of cocoa, people will experience increased cognition as a result. When people drank cocoa their cognitive performance increased dramatically. (7)

The study is a small sample size so there’s caution to be expressed here. It’s a good indicator that is what flavonoids can do for the human brain. Approximately, 60 elderly people were given cups of cocoa to drink each day. They were also instructed to not consume any chocolate as that could skew the study significantly.

The metrics that were used in this study is how fast blood flow went to the brain and how the subjects responded to cognitive tasks such as puzzles and memory recall games.

The results of the experiment showed that the ones who drank the cocoa did better on the brain tests then compared to the sample that did not. Scientists know with reasonable certainty that it was because of the flavonoids since that was the only factor that did increase blood flow to the brain.

The results of this study shows a lot of promise for treating the elderly that are afflicted with dementia, Alzheimer’s and other illnesses that affect the brain in a drastic way.

Conclusion

Don’t be guilty of eating chocolate. The flavonoids that are present in cocoa offer a wide variety of health benefits for humans. The more bitter the cocoa is the more juicy flavonoids that it has.

Research has definitely confirmed that the consumption of cocoa flavanols can assist with your heart as that’s where all the money is going in terms of funding for the research.

Lot of research will be done in the future to show if there are even more health benefits then we know as of now. Take advantage of the health benefits and grab some expensive chocolate that has lots of cocoa. Sorry Hershey won’t cut it.

REFERENCES

1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11790962

2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15678717

3. http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/chocolate/evidence/HRB-20058898

4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3820048/

5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3820048/

6. https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200307/flavonoids-antioxidants-help-the-mind

7. http://www.neurology.org/content/early/2013/08/07/WNL.0b013e3182a351aa.abstract

Veganism – What’s The History Say About Humans Going Vegan?

By | Diets | No Comments

Diets are to die for right? The great debate seems never ending when it comes to optimal food and caloric intake.

Today, we would like to challenge and create a unique perspective on the world of veganism and dieting. By connecting a few key elements and mixing the right recipes, you will find the best “diet” (which is really a way of living) suitable to you and your needs, no matter how specific or generalized.

We have begun to analyze each major diet that is in the mainstream and retro-throwbacks from the past (picture Mediterranean and Paleo), we believe through connection and communication will we form the right tribal communities who all help one another live in the best conditions, dis-ease free.

But for now, the topic of the day is veganism foods, recipes, and resources:

Veganism Diet

Veganism is a diet and lifestyle that eliminates the use and consumption of animal products. Unlike other diets, veganism is really more of a lifestyle because the use of animal products in daily life – such as in clothing is forbidden.

Veganism sounds extreme to many and it is one of the most polarizing modern lifestyles. Since American children are largely brought up eating meat and drinking milk, the switch to veganism can be very drastic and difficult to deal with. Still, there are a few benefits to veganism and it deserves a second thought if you’ve quickly written it off.

History of Veganism

The term “vegan” was coined in 1944, although the idea behind veganism dates back centuries. There are several historical documents from India and the eastern Mediterranean according to a piece in Time Magazine written by Claire Suddath.

Veganism’s less extreme cousin vegetarianism does appear more often than veganism. Followers of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism, all promoted vegetarianism although the movement never gained much movement for a variety of reasons.

Today, veganism has a somewhat negative social stigma associated to the name, likely due to the “hipster” and “vegan extremists” which tend to annoy the general public. If you can look past this though, veganism does have its’ own merits, much like many other popular diets.

The Ethical Side to Veganism

Interest in veganism often develops from an ethical side. Various groups like PETA actively share propaganda, information, and content about the mistreatment of animals at America’s factory farms, and although PETA is no saint, their propaganda seems to create an emotional response from the general public.

This is the greatest debate between vegans and the rest of the public. Most people agree that animals are not treated ethically at large farms, but most people disagree whether animals deserve to be treated ethically.

Besides animal treatment, many vegans also look at the environmental impact of large factory farms. Large farms create a staggering amount of greenhouses gases and waste material, and these farms may have a small impact on global climate change.

Some reports claim that these farms are a driving force behind virtually every category of environmental damage, although these claims have gone unsubstantiated. Still, its’ clear that these farms do have a major environmental impact – especially in the local area.

The Health Benefits of Veganism

In reality, the best reason to consider veganism is its’ apparent health benefits. In the documentary “Forks Over Knives”, patients taking medicine for diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, are asked to start a plant-based diet for eight weeks and to wean themselves off of their medicine completely. In most cases, patients saw a significant improvement in their condition.

Although people think that the only way to get several nutrients like protein and calcium is through meat and dairy products, this is actually not true. Even worse, American rates as one of the highest consumers of milk, yet it also has the highest bone-breaking osteoporosis victims.

The China Cornell Oxford Project

According to a 20-year long project known as the “China Cornell Oxford Project”, the diets of over 16,000 Chinese families were observed. Researchers found that families that consumed more high quality, plant-based foods had a significantly lower risk for cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

The study found that various other diseases like autoimmune disorders and brain diseases were also linked to the consumption of meat products.

Final Thoughts

It’s clear that consuming a plant-based diet is far superior to consuming a meat-based diet. Although veganism is given a bad reputation, there are some real benefits to following the vegan lifestyle. Although it may be difficult to follow at first, the benefits will far exceed the obstacles to switching to a vegan lifestyle.