In honor of American Heart and Cancer Prevention month. I thought it would be good to take a look at how plants can help us lower our risks for heart disease and certain cancers.
Author: Jason Rapp
Improving Your Heart Health
Let’s start with heart health. Typically, in many houses, we are taught to follow certain eating habits. These are habits that we usually carry throughout our lives. We then make changes later in life. Usually, the changes we make are to combat things like obesity, high cholesterol, saturated fats, and heart issues such as heart disease and hypertension. There may be multiple. Factors that contribute to this such as diet, family history, or environment. The one thing we can control out of this list is diet. For example, there have been studies that have pointed to a chemical called Trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO). This chemical is produced when red meat, eggs, and dairy products are consumed. This can increase the chances of heart attack and stroke significantly. Another issue that can arise from the consumption of the above items is Plaque. This is typically made up of fats, calcium, and cholesterol. Plaque can clog arteries which can decrease blood flow in your heart.
Now there are ways to reduce this, one method a lot of people use is statins. These medications will help reduce heart issues. However, there is no telling how long you might need to take this medication. Also, there is the chance that these will not reverse. Which would increase the amount of time medications are taken. You would also need to change your diet to some degree. There is an easier way to help control all of this, and it is eating more plants. Now I am not going to say eating plants is going to cure everything. However, it can help reduce and, in some cases, reverse these issues.
Another study showed that patients that followed a strict plant-based diet showed a majority of patients said they saw a reduction in symptoms. 22 percent of patients after testing showed a reversal in heart disease. Some of the foods that are noted to help with heart health are apples, blueberries, Bananas, and broccoli. There are many more foods that can also help. These are just a couple.
Reducing Your Risk Of Cancer
Now on to another concern that can affect any of us: cancer. This can also be attributed to the same things as heart disease. Diet, family history, and environment. A higher risk of prostate cancer can be attributed to the consumption of fats and dairy from animal products. Also, age plays a factor, as it currently affects men over the age of 40.
Granted, we cannot control age. However, we can control our fat intake. A higher risk of colorectal cancer can be attributed to a higher intake of fats and lower fiber intake. Another factor is red and processed meats. Additionally, age as well typically in people over 50. There are multiple other types of cancer, too many to mention. One thing that is common in some cancers, such as above. Were due to high fat intake and lower fiber.
Controllable ways to reduce your chances of being affected by cancer. Other than seeing your doctor on an annual basis to check for the above. Eat plants, eating whole plant-based foods can reduce your risk significantly.
If you’re not sure where to start, hopefully, this list will give you some ideas.
If you are looking for calcium, look no further. Plant-based milk such as almond, oat, and soy milk typically off more calcium than cow’s milk. Beans, legumes, and tofu are some other options. Lastly, some greens can also help, such as broccoli.
Iron deficient? Eat nuts, grains, legumes, and tofu, or put them into a bowl and kick your iron intake into high gear.
Where do you get your protein? This is a question many vegans get. Well, here is an answer. Lentils, chickpeas, almonds, and tofu are just a few.
Bettering Your Overall Health
There is no guaranteed method to completely eradicate cancer and heart disease. However, by following a plant-based vegan lifestyle and seeing your doctor for regular checkups can significantly reduce your chances of getting either. If you are not vegan and looking to get started or are already vegan and are looking for recipes, places to eat, events to go to, or just want to see some videos like Peeled the vegan cooking competition. Check out the Vkind app. There Is a plethora of information available, and the frequent updates to the content keep it from being stale.