There are many studies showing how a vegan diet can reverse heart disease but the medical profession still needs persuading. A recent case study published in Case Reports in Cardiology provides an excellent example of the power of diet change.
Nuts and Seeds
A walnut extract successfully fights cancer cells
Walnuts have many benefits including being a good source of essential omega-3 fats, protein, several vitamins and minerals. They also contain a wealth of other compounds beneficial to heath, such as polyphenols. And now science is showing us how amazing walnuts are in fighting cancer.
Nurses from across the US were recruited to try veganism and the results are astonishing
Nineteen nurses participated in a nutrition educational program by following a plant-based diet for 21 days. The aim was to improve their knowledge of plant-based nutrition and experience its benefits. They were encouraged to eat fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, pulses and nuts and seeds; cut out meat, seafood,dairy products and eggs and limit highly refined foods, such as white flour, oils and sugar.
Carbs – love them or hate them, we all need them. Despite a wealth of low-carb fad diets there’s no good reason for avoiding carbohydrates. The key is in choosing the right ones.
Our cells - every single cell in your body – run on carbs. Your body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose and other molecules and it’s glucose that is used as cell fuel. But that’s not an invitation to feast on sugary snacks!
As more and more plant milks are popping up, you may be wondering about their health benefits and how they compare to cow's milk. Veronika Powell explores the milky landscape
Firstly, let's have a proper look at what any milk actually is - a very watery liquid, around 90 per cent is always water. Therefore, any amount of nutrients it contains is more or less diluted and any health effects depend on how much of it you drink.
New study shows how a healthy vegan diet can cut your risk of type 2 diabetes in half
This was the first study to distinguish not just between animal and plant-based diets but also between healthy and unhealthy plant-based diets. Healthy foods included wholegrains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, pulses, vegetable oils, tea and coffee; whilst unhealthy foods included animal products, fruit juices, sweetened beverages, refined grains (white bread, cornflakes etc.), potatoes, sweets and desserts.
A large analysis of hundreds of studies set out to look at the health effects of many food groups and has confirmed that plant foods are more protective than animal foods against chronic diseases that are related to diet.
According to the study, fruit and vegetables are extremely protective, showing the ability to significantly reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and obesity. The only negative effect – a higher risk of digestive cancers – possibly stems from increased consumption of pickled vegetables.
- Subtitle:Panacea for good health of just the best of a bad bunch?
Coconut oil is everywhere these days; used as a butter substitute, in baking, smoothies and in beauty treatments for moisturising skin and hair and improving oral health via oil pulling (a folk remedy where oil is swished around the mouth).
One of the main complications that comes with heart disease is impaired blood vessel function. That means blood vessels are stiffening over time (and don’t regulate blood flow and therefore blood pressure as well as they should), can be (partially) blocked with plaques and in general the quality of the blood vessel walls has been compromised.
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of metabolic risk factors associated with premature death, an increased risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. The main symptoms are abdominal obesity, raised fat levels in the blood, higher blood pressure and higher than normal blood sugar levels. Between 20 and 30 per cent of the adult population worldwide are estimated to have metabolic syndrome. Nut consumption has been shown to improve blood fat levels and reduce the risk of heart disease but because nuts are high fat, they are perceived as fattening.
Many studies have found that vegetarians have lower blood pressure than the population at large but the latest one decided to look at a geographically diverse population containing vegans, lacto-ovo vegetarians and omnivores. The research team concluded that vegetarians, especially vegans, do have lower blood pressure and suffer less often from hypertension than meat-eaters. Vegans were also less likely to take hypertension drugs than vegetarians and meat-eaters.
A long-term study of over 120,000 people whose eating habits and health were followed for up to 28 years revealed that red meat consumption increases overall mortality as well as the risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer. The study also focused on the intake of other food groups and investigated the effects of substituting red meat for protein-rich foods like nuts, pulses, poultry, fish, wholegrains and dairy products. Both processed and unprocessed red meats were associated with an increased risk of total, CVD and cancer mortality.
To assess the long-term effects of low-carbohydrate diets, a large study of nearly 130,000 people lasting for over 20 years was conducted and the results were recently published in Annals of Internal Medicine. The research revealed that a low-carbohydrate diet based on animal sources (where protein and fat are the main nutrients) was associated with increased all-cause mortality in both men and women, and more specifically with cardiovascular and cancer mortality.
Walnuts can help improve the balance of fats in the blood according to new research in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. In this study, 87 people with normal to moderately high cholesterol levels supplemented their diet with walnuts (12 per cent of total daily energy intake, around 17 walnut halves per day) everyday for six months. The beneficial effect was most significant in participants with high cholesterol levels.
Eating a handful of walnuts everyday could help control type 2 diabetes according to new research from Australia. Fifty overweight adults with diabetes (who treated their condition without insulin) were given a low-fat diet with or without 30g (nine halves) of walnuts a day for a year. After just three months, the walnut group showed significant improvements in insulin levels. Eating low-fat is good but this study shows that including key foods that deliver the right type of fat – in these case walnuts – is also important.
A traditional Mediterranean diet with a daily serving of mixed nuts may help manage a range of risk factors linked to heart disease. A Spanish study of over 1,000 older adults found that a Mediterranean diet enriched with 30 grams a day of nuts (three of each of the following: almonds, Brazils, cashews, walnuts and pistachios) could help control abdominal fat, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and high blood sugar. Nuts are a good source of fibre, arginine (an essential amino acid), potassium, calcium and magnesium.