Advantages of Being a Vegetarian Vegetarians and Cancer
Advantages of Being a Vegetarian Vegetarians and Cancer you might have a general idea that eating a vegetarian diet is healthier for you. But do you really know how much less the incidence is of certain types of cancers among vegetarians? (“Kinesiology, Cancer and Vegetarians … – Beyond Neurology”)
Vegetarian diets—naturally low in saturated fat, high in fiber, and replete with cancer-protective phytochemicals—help to prevent cancer. Large studies in England and Germany have shown that vegetarians are about 40 percent less likely to develop cancer compared to meat-eaters.
In the U.S., studies of Seventh Day Adventists, who are lacto-ovo vegetarians, have shown significant reductions in cancer risk among those who avoided meat. Similarly, breast cancer rates are dramatically lower in nations, such as China, which follow plant-based diets. Interestingly, Japanese women who follow Western-style, meat-based diets are eight times more likely to develop breast cancer than women who follow a more traditional plant-based diet. Meat and dairy products contribute to many forms of cancer, including cancer of the colon, breast, ovaries, and prostate.
Harvard studies that included tens of thousands of people have shown that regular meat consumption increases colon cancer risk by roughly 300 percent. High-fat diets also encourage the body’s production of estrogens. Increased levels of this sex hormone have been linked to breast cancer. A recent report noted that the rate of breast cancer among premenopausal women who ate the most animal (but not vegetable) fat was one-third higher than that of women who ate the least animal fat.
A separate study from Cambridge University also linked diets high in saturated fat to breast cancer. One study linked dairy products to an increased risk of ovarian cancer. The process of breaking down the lactose (milk sugar) damages the ovaries. Daily meat consumption triples the risk of prostate enlargement. Regular milk consumption doubles the risk and failure to consume vegetables regularly nearly quadruples the risk. (“Restoring the Temple – Vegetarian Foods, Powerful for …”)
Vegetarians avoid animal fat linked to cancer and get abundant fiber, vitamins, and phytochemicals that help to prevent cancer. In addition, blood analysis of vegetarians reveals a higher level of “natural killer cells,” specialized white blood cells that attack cancer cells.
Bowels And Stomach Digestion
Many of the health benefits derived from a vegetarian diet have to do with creating a healthy environment in the bowels and stomach. “Our digestive systems, from prehistory on, were designed to metabolize vegetable matter, more than animal products.” (“Bowels and stomach digestion – thehealthsuccesssite.com”) Fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts provide the kind of dietary fiber our digestive systems need to function properly. The Western diet that is high in processed and refined flour and sugar, and in animal products that are laden with hormones and antibiotics, are anathema to our insides.
When the digestive system does not function and work as it is intended to, that leads to opportunistic diseases or changes in the DNA of cells in the stomach and colon. And there are more practical considerations as well. When we do not get enough of the fiber we need, we incur a host of digestion and elimination problems, such as constipation and hemorrhoids that are a result of straining. “These diseases and syndromes are much less evident in a vegetarian population than in a meat-eating population.” (“These diseases and syndromes are much less evident in a …”)
Other diseases of the bowel that occur less frequently in a vegetarian population include irritable bowel syndrome, and chronic ulcerative colitis, mostly likely due to the increased fiber content in a vegetarian diet. And of course, a diet that is higher in dietary fiber that comes from a vegetarian diet will decrease the likelihood or risk of colon cancer.
When you consider the risks that come with a diet that includes meat and animal products, and the benefits that come from a vegetarian diet, does the prospect of a steak or burger or bacon really sound that good to you? Doesn’t it at least make sense to reverse the portion sizes and proportions of meats to vegetables and side dishes? In other words, if you must continue to eat meat, then make meat your side dish, or just incidental to your meal, such as in a stir fry. Increasing the proportion of fruits and vegetables in your diet can only be good for you. (“Human Body: Bowels and stomach digestion”)
Best Wishes, Coyalita
Behavioral Health Rehabilitative Specialist
See Tomorrow: “Weight”
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