Health Features

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

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to combine different types of protein-rich plant foods to get a ‘complete’ protein, that type of thinking is considered outdated.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! 
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!
No other plant seems to divide opinions like soya. Whilst some consider it a healthy and amazingly versatile crop, others warn against adverse effects and avoid it at all costs. So why are there so many myths surrounding soya and where do they come from?
The dairy industry is up in arms about plant milks, first banning the use of the word ‘milk’ to describe a milky liquid that didn’t come from anyone’s mammary glands and now crying wolf over how many deficiencies we’ll possibly suffer if we ditch dairy. The truth is, there’s a long history of plant milks and other plant drinks having been made by people over millennia. There’s certainly nothing new or unusual about us consuming them.
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
It’s that tired old chestnut asked by those who think meat, fish, eggs and dairy are the only proper sources of protein. The glib answer is to ask where gorillas, elephants, horses and rhinos get theirs! Some human populations have been thriving on plant-based protein for thousands of years and if you eat enough calories in a varied, vegan diet, it is very difficult to go short. Deficiency is rare in Western societies and is usually the result of disease or ageing rather than diet.   
Soya foods may confer many health benefits, including protection against heart disease, diabetes, menopausal symptoms, osteoporosis, breast cancer and prostate cancer, they may even improve cognitive function. However, not all reports are favourable; some suggest that soya foods can alter sexual development and disrupt fertility. The result is confusion; this article reviews the latest research and sets the record straight.