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Understanding Vegetarianism


Like the Sun, Moon, and Earth, there are three kinds of vegetarians in existence: ovo-lacto, a vegetarian that eats vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, seeds and nuts, as well as eggs and dairy products. Lacto, a vegetarian that eats everything the "ovo-lacto" does, except eggs. Finally, we have vegans, a vegetarian that eats what the rest of the others eat, except for any kind of animal products, period. Each group of vegetarian is unique, but branches from the same tree of life.

Why would anyone want to be a vegetarian? Well there are many reasons as there are stars in the heavens. Some reasons are for health purposes, religious/spiritual, environmental, and the love and protection of animals. Other reasons may be for very personal ones. No matter the reason, we all meet at the same intersection on the road of health.

What Can Vegetarianism Do For Me?

Science has proven time and again that vegetarians are among the healthiest people on the planet. They live longer and are less prone to chronic diseases. Eating a low fat vegetarian diet can also help in losing excess weight. Obesity can lead to adult onset diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and cancer. Eating a vegetarian type diet can reverse heart disease and other health complaints such as arthritis. In addition, the vegetarian diet can lower blood pressure. Because potassium is plentiful in fruits and vegetables, the vegetarian diet lowers blood pressure by helping the kidneys abolish sodium and modify blood pressure-regulating enzymes.

A vegetarian diet decreases the thickness of blood. As a result, it flows more easily through blood vessels. This in turn means the heart works less to push the blood. Further more, a vegetarian diet benefits you by using millions of kidney cells to filter and purify your blood. A meat diet over works the kidneys and slowly kills off the kidney cells called nephrons. Animal protein, when broken down in the body, produces waste products that strain the filtering power of the kidneys. If you've lost any kind of kidney function, due to infection, diabetes or even high blood pressure, your increased chances of nephrons damaging your kidneys are high. Plant based proteins on the other hand, do not damage or harm your kidneys in anyway.

Nutritional Vegetarians

As a new vegetarian, no doubt you'll be wondering if you'll be getting the right nutrition and certainly enough of it. Yes and yes, there's no reason why you would be under nourished being a vegetarian. Fruits and vegetables provide crucial nutrients such as vitamins C and E, beta carotene and lycopene. Such nutrients are referred to as antioxidants and their function is to help fight diseases by neutralizing substances called free radicals. Antioxidants contain disease fighting properties that protect cells from damage.

Religious & Spiritual Paths

Many religions practice some form of vegetarianism. In the East, you have the Hindus and Buddhists. In the West, you have Christians like the Seventh Day Adventist. Many Eastern and Western Mystics also follow the vegetarian path. Through meditation and other spiritual practices, they have gained a greater awareness of how they should be eating and treating their bodies. Even Jewish Mystics follow the vegetarian lifestyle.

For The Love of Planet & Animals

Among other reasons for becoming a vegetarian are environmental and animal rights issues. Raising animals for food causes topsoil loss, erosion and isn't a light matter. This sort of farming (livestock agriculture) is rapidly deteriorating the world's crop lands. It takes 25 gallons of water to produce a pound of wheat, compared to 390 gallons of water to produce a pound of beef. Livestock produce massive amounts of excrement, which has been shown to pollute soil, water, and air. Animals such as chickens, pigs and cows are forced to live in In-Humane conditions which cultivate disease and emotional, physical, and mental pain, as well as discomfort. The methods used to kill these creatures for the sake of feeding the masses are usually pretty violent and heart breaking. Scientist has proven that animals have feelings too and they surely feel pain.

Eat Right -- Live Well

That's right, many people just want to eat healthy and feel better in there lives. It truly feels good to be a vegetarian in everyway. You can't go wrong with better health, helping the planet and its creatures. You also share a common bond with some of the world's most famous people: Pythagoras, Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Gandhi, and Charles Darwin. There are plenty of other famous people such as actors and actresses of our time, that are vegetarians and proud of it.

A New Beginning

Vegetarianism isn't just something that you do or way of eating, but also a state of being that illuminates your mind, spirit, emotion and body in a way of existing, that allows you to experience life in a very rewarding and positive way. To be a vegetarian, is to see the hidden harmony in a world of disguised chaos. I can assure you, we're unique individuals.

Gabriel Foster is the editor for http://www.gabrielfoster.com, the online magazine for both vegetarians and natural health enthusiasts.


MORE RESOURCES:

USDA.gov (press release) (blog)

National Nutrition Month: Raising a Healthier Generation through Diet, Education
USDA.gov (press release) (blog)
Our nutrition assistance programs, such as the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, provide children with the nutritious food they need to lead healthy lifestyles for the long term. To make this happen, it's imperative we teach our ...
Schools celebrate child nutrition with push for breakfastWECT-TV6
Grants to Aid New School Lunch, Breakfast StandardsWisconsin Ag Connection
Groups Launch "Let's Do Breakfast Oregon" for SchoolsPublic News Service

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Pulse

Distorting Nutrition Facts to Generate Buzz
Huffington Post
In mid-February, the government released a scientific report that will shape its 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Think of it as America's basic nutrition policy. Most people who read the report would have viewed it as a snore; not much has changed.
Full Circle on What's Best to EatNew York Times

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The News Journal

March is nutrition month, and start of annual challenge
The News Journal
What we choose to eat on a regular basis has an impact on our energy level, our weight, our immune system and our risk of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Each March and throughout the year, the Academy of Nutrition and ...
A Green Monster's Guide to Plant-Based NutritionOne Green Planet
Recipe and photo challenge for National Nutrition MonthRochester Democrat and Chronicle (blog)
HEALTHY LIVING: Is all nutrition advice good for you?Newbritainherald
Grist -Good4Utah -KUSI
all 34 news articles »


cleveland.com

Pump up the nutrition during Lent with sweet potatoes, fresh ricotta or ...
cleveland.com
Jamie Simpson, a young chef from the Culinary Vegetable Institute in Milan, sister to the nutritional education program called Veggie U, gave us this recipe for Chili-Lime Glazed Sweet Potatoes with Ricotta Cheese this summer. But it's just as ...



Military Times

New site gives MRE nutrition facts
Military Times
What about the nutrition value of an entire Pork Sausage Patty, Maple, meal? This information is readily available on the packaging of combat rations. But a new online database lets troops get that information before they get into the field. The Combat ...



Journal Times

Quinn on Nutrition: Multiple choices from 2015 Dietary Guidelines
Journal Times
Every five years, this esteemed group of nutrition professionals convenes to review the findings from current nutrition research. Based on the evidence at hand, these advisors makes recommendations out of which will become the 2015 Dietary Guidelines ...
Nutrition Panel Cracks Down on SugarKOLO
Local nutrition experts praise, question proposed new US dietary guidelinesWorcester Telegram
Nutrition panel tells allHudson Reporter
HSPH News
all 88 news articles »


NOLA.com

LSU nutrition center groundbreaking delayed
NOLA.com
LSU will delay the groundbreaking for the athletic department's $12 million Tiger Nutrition Center in wake of the anticipated deep cuts in education, the school said in a statement issued through the sports information office. LSU athletic director Joe ...
Construction of $12M LSU nutrition center delayed because of proposed budget ...The Advocate
LSU delays groundbreaking on Tiger Athletic Nutrition CenterLSU The Reveille
LSU Delays Construction on Athletic Nutrition CenterLSUSports.net

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Ohio's Country Journal and Ohio Ag Net

March: A month of food, nutrition and agriculture
Ohio's Country Journal and Ohio Ag Net
March holds a special place in my heart. It celebrates everything I am passionate about — food, nutrition and agriculture. National Nutrition Month and National Agriculture Day combine to celebrate all that we know in the world of eating. National ...

and more »


Palm Beach Post (blog)

Palm Beach Outlets to host “Nutrition Walk”
Palm Beach Post (blog)
As part of National Nutrition Month, Palm Beach Outlets will host a free “nutrition walk” at 10 a.m. on March 14. Shoppers looking for deals on the day after Christmas work their way through the Palm Beach Outlets in West Palm Beach on December 26, 2014.



School lunches part of nutrition conference discussion
KXAN.com
WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC) — Parents, what your child eats at school will be part of a discussion Tuesday in Washington. Nutritionists from around the country are meeting for their annual conference on school nutrition. They are calling for a change in ...


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