Health Features

Viva! Health unravels the most recent scientific research and makes it easy to understand. Here we update you on the latest findings...

A surprising number of people still think you need to combine different types of protein-rich plant foods to get a ‘complete’ protein. Allegations that vegans are therefore missing out are seriously outdated – but what does the science say? 
Scientists are convinced we have little more than 10 years to get climate change under control! The government have been advised to aim for zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. But what can you do as an individual? What if there was one simple change you could make that would be more effective then never flying, buying an electric car and switching to a green energy supplier. Well, there is!  
Vegans don't need to combine different types of protein-rich plant foods to get a ‘complete’ protein, that type of thinking is considered outdated. A varied vegan diet provides plenty of healthy plant protein, the type we need! 
Whether you’ve just taken up jogging or are a seasoned athlete, your body needs the same set of nutrients as everyone else’s to keep fit – the only difference is in the quantity.
Whether you’re fighting a cold, flu or just feel run down, there are some foods that can not only boost your health but make you feel better too. 
With the growing popularity of veganism, more and more parents are raising their children vegan and many have to constantly defend their decision to do so.
‘I can’t afford to be vegan!’ It’s one of the arguments you hear far too often. I can see why people say it when they’re new to veganism because it’s so easy to be tempted by all the fancy products in attractive packaging with clever slogans that make you feel like you ‘need’ those foods. The truth is, you don’t! Veganism is for everyone and a vegan diet can be as cheap as, well, chips. But the trick is to make your diet not only cheap but healthy, too. Thrive and not just survive!
Pulses are the edible seeds of plants in the legume family and always grow in pods. Beans, lentils peas and chickpeas are a staple in diets all over the world – for example Indian dal, traditional Chinese and Japanese foods using mung, adzuki and soya (edamame) beans, Mexican bean chilli and burritos, Spanish fried beans, African rice and bean dishes, British mushy peas and a myriad of European lentil and pea recipes.  Apart from being very nutritious and super sustainable, pulses also have some splendid effects on our health. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations declared 2016 as the International Year of Pulses in order to increase public awareness of their nutritional benefits and to highlight how sustainable their production is.
How friendly is your gut flora – the billions of bacteria that inhabit your intestines? This is your intestinal microbiome and it helps you absorb and digest nutrients, synthesises vitamins, boosts your immune system, helps regulate metabolism and combats disease in ways that we are only just beginning to understand. Gut health has a huge influence on your overall health and when unfriendly bacteria move in, trouble soon follows.
Why are there less vegan men than women? Are outdated gender stereotypes holding men back? It’s time to debunk the myths – from the daft to the downright dangerous – and reveal why going vegan is a good choice for men – as well as everyone else.

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