“Eat your greens.” We’ve all heard it before – from colorful posters on the walls of clinics and hospitals, doctors, our mothers since we were a child, to nutritionists and in most recent years, from health-sciences departments of renowned universities and medical research centres. And we’ll definitely keep hearing it again. Why is that so?
Ancient Ayurvedic proverb: “When food and diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When food and diet is right, medicine is of no need.” Indeed, the healthiest and most nutritious food on earth comes from a bean, a fruit, a grain, a leaf, a nut, a seed, a sprout, a vegetable or a weed.
The wondrous beauty of ‘foods as natural medicine’ is that our self-aware choices to heal, protect and repair our physical bodies, can begin as simple and as soon as our next meal. If we are not feeding our mortal physical bodies to good health, diligent practice of yoga for all of its holistic body-mind-spirit wellness to rebalance & restore either our lives’ mental capacity or spiritual well-being, would be quite meaningless.
Numerous people today and the future tomorrow will suffer from one of the top modern-day killer diseases of civilisation (cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke) from high or over consumption of animal flesh and dead bodyparts. Hence the ancient Chinese saying: “禍從口出,病從口入. Through our mouths, trouble comes out; through our mouths, sickness enters.”
Most people don’t know these facts:
– From birth to death, our human body naturally makes all the cholesterol it needs.
– Plants contain ZERO cholesterol.
– Cholesterol is found only in foods of animal origin such as meat, butter, crustaceans, (bovine) milk and eggs.
– We humans are the only animal species on planet earth to suffer with high blood cholesterol. Even skinny people can have high blood cholesterol.
Saturated animal fat is the biggest major controllable factor that raises our blood cholesterol, particularly our high LDLs. Eating plant foods like fruits, legumes, lentils, mushrooms, nuts, seeds, vegetables and whole grains actually lower our cholesterol and heart disease risks. Soluble fiber is easily one of nature’s most powerful tools for decreasing ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol. Beans and whole grains are specifically rich in soluble fibre alongside oats, barley and fruits high in pectin including apples, citrus fruits, grapes and strawberries.
Some estimated 380 million people around the world are living with diabetes – a chronic and progressive insulin-resistance disorder, with its associated risks of myocardial infarction, stroke, microvascular events and mortality with hyperglycemia. According to the International Diabetes Federation, this number is expected to soar and likely double in around 2030. Unknown to most people, Type 2 diabetes is easily preventable. Recent research and many real-life case studies have show that eating fresh/ raw plant foods not only benefits diabetics tremendously but it can also reverse Type 2 diabetes for good.
If untreated, high blood pressure (hypertension) increases heart disease and stroke risks. It can also cause kidneys damage and increase risk of blindness and dementia but it usually has no symptoms even when it’s severely elevated. That’s why hypertension is commonly referred to as a deadly modern-day ‘silent killer.’ About 1 in 3 adults in developed countries suffers from high blood pressure, meaning they’re at higher risk for both heart disease and stroke – two top leading causes of death in the UK, the US and Singapore.
Hypertension kills slowly by increasing the rate at which arterial plaque builds up, which also hastens the hardening of clogged arteries – a major cause of atherosclerosis that leads to heart attacks and strokes. Animal flesh and animal bodyparts are high in cholesterol and saturated fats that clog up our blood vessels and pores. Plant foods can do the exact opposite of such damage: they clean up our clogged arteries & veins and keep them clear.
Foods which prevent plaque build-up & formation in our arteries include Almonds, Avocado, Black Wood Fungus Mushroom, Broccoli, Chia Seeds, Cinnamon, Celery, Coconut Oil, Cranberry, Flaxseeds, Green Tea, Oranges, Pecans, Pomegranate, Spirulina, Tumeric, Walnuts, Watermelon and whole wheat grains such as Barley, Brown Rice, Oatmeal and Quinoa.
Perhaps the most overlooked reason why (eating) plant foods are both so beneficial and important. Who in the world enjoys being constipated for days or even weeks?!
There’s insoluble fibre or soluble fibre available in all plant foods. A wonderful fact: virtually all fibre-c
ontaining plant foods contain both! Though not formally defined or proposed as a macronutrient, fibre keeps our delicate digestion system healthy and prevents constipation. Dietary fiber is found only in plant foods (animal food has ZERO fibre) and as nature perfectly intended. Eating high-fibre foods lower our cholesterol levels as well.
Get your essential daily fibre from an abundance of naturally colourful & flavourful fibre-rich fruits and veggies.
Who doesn’t want clear glowing skin? Many vitamins, pigments, phytochemicals and minerals in fruits, herbs and vegetables contribute to clear healthy skin. Antioxidants found in colourful plant foods play important roles in cellular function and are usually associated with ageing including vascular, inflammatory damage and cancer.
The lycopene in tomatoes (a powerful antioxidant) for example, protect our skin from sun damage while vitamin C in citrus fruits, sweet
potatoes and chilies which smoothes wrinkles by stimulating our skin’s natural production of collagen. It’s common knowl
edge that vitamin E (one of nature’s most potent antioxidants) have effective & proven anti-inflammatory, skin/ wound-healing, skin-protective and skin-tissue repairing properties to help reduce & prevent cellular damage and premature ageing from environmental pollutants, free radicals and frequent sun exposure.
Vitamin E also has excellent moisturising properties to prevent trans-epidermal water-loss by the skin; increasing the natural moisture content of our skin. In the human body, vitamin E has common affinity with skin-health for it helps delay progression of many degenerative neurological diseases and for healthy skin, but it also plays an important role in the proper functioning of many of our body’s organs. Our human bodies can’t produce vitamin E so ensure we get enough of this valuable and essential nutrient from our daily food options – available only in plant-foods.
Low(er) Cancer Risks
There’s just no beating around the bush for this fact: animal-foods have been directly linked to various cancers especially colorectal and breast cancer, especially processed meat. Much medical evidence has already clearly documented the connection between cancer with regular consumption of meat and dairy.
Most plant-foods are alkaline on the pH level scale while all flesh-foods and dairy are highly acidic, high in health-detrimental cholesterol & saturated fats.
If you have a sweet tooth, instead of reaching out for your bubble tea, donuts, canned drinks and fried junk-snacks, replace your cravings with fresh fruits and (unsalted) roasted nuts! They are among the healthiest choice of snacks anytime.
Let the abundance of ‘living’ plant-foods rebalance and restore our physical well-being. Plan your diet with the inclusions of plants and fruits today!