More and more plant-based professional athletes are being held up as examples of the power of diets free of meat and dairy. It’s not just because they’re often celebrities and influencers, but also because their lifestyle completely destroys the myth that meat equals muscle or that milk “does a body good.” Their livelihoods depend entirely on bodies in peak physical condition, able to perform at the highest competitive levels and rebound quickly from fatigue and injury. So the idea that they would even consider experimenting with a diet that goes against “common knowledge” would normally be considered foolhardy. But the science is unambiguous, and now more and more pro athletes like the Charlotte Hornets’ Bismack Biyombo are rewriting the tired old marketing-driven nutritional narratives. Read his story on the LIVEKINDLY site at the link below, and don’t miss their embedded nine-minute video profiling other vegan athletes, too.
People have been eating more red grapes (and drinking more red wine) ever since scientists identified and promoted the health benefits of one of their components, resveretrol (RSV). And before long, RSV supplements popped up like cabernet corks all over the market (there are now over 100), apparently because it’s more convenient to pop a pill in one’s mouth than a grape. Anyway, some scientists in Tokyo figured they would see if there were other “novel active components in functional foods” that might also be identified for their beneficial properties. A recent ScienceDaily article reported on their results, and the big winner appears to be a phytocompound cousin of RSV, called pterostilbene (PSB), which is plentiful in blueberries and does a very good job of reducing inflammation.
This is great news, of course, especially for folks with serious inflammatory conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). But we always find it interesting to see what different people do with great news. In this case, the author of the article glowed “that PSB is an extremely promising anti-inflammatory agent to fight IBD” and that “it is easily absorbed by the body, making it an ideal drug candidate!” Now we have nothing against drugs—or supplements, for that matter—that provide cures or relief from disease. But what we need now, before the drug store shelves are overrun with PSB supplements, is a study to determine how effectively inflammation can be reduced by just eating the blueberries themselves. Or does that study already exist? When we have some time, we might watch some of the 18 videos Dr. Michael Greger recorded that contain references to blueberries and inflammation (not to mention heart disease, diabetes, brain health, and mood). In the meantime, we’ll keep having blueberries at breakfast and red grapes at lunch, just to be safe.
Why is it that one of the best harbingers of that cozy autumn feeling is winter squash? Go figure. Anyway, thanks to Kat Smith at LIVEKINDLY, we now have eleven great reasons to take those gourds from the front porch or the dining room display into the kitchen. Each variety (like the Red Kuri squash pictured here) has its own mix of health benefits, which are described in the article along with its unique identifying characteristics and flavor, and even tips on how to prepare and roast it*. Let’s eat!
*Avoiding oils? Try substituting water, vegetable broth, or aquafaba.
For many, rap music is an acquired taste. How appropriate, then, that one of the most successful rappers in the music business is such a beloved advocate for acquiring the taste and health benefits of a vegan diet. We’re talking about Common, of course, and we’re thrilled to hear about the new YouTube channel he launched recently, called Com+Well. Through interviews and interactions with practitioners of all forms of healthy living, he’s expanding the reach of the plant-based message in a gentle and genuine way to many who may have never heard it. Regardless of whether or not rap is your thing, don’t miss watching his introductory video to hear his personal story and to feel good about the future of healthy living for all of us.
Com+Well channel: https://www.youtube.com/Thinkcommon
A young woman is eating a standard diet, including meat. One day she realizes that she doesn’t like the way she’s been feeling and decides to try giving up animal products for a while to see if that makes a difference. She immediately feels a lot better physically and at the same time is learning more about animal rights issues, so she decides to make the change permanent. But in this case, it wasn’t the standard American diet she was giving up, it was the standard Nigerian diet. And Tomi Makanjuola wasn’t just satisfied with her own improvement, she’s showing the world that healthy, plant-based eating is not stereotypically limited to any culture. As a London-based chef and cookbook author, Tomi has a thriving catering and cooking class business, created and runs The Vegan Nigerian internet platform, and can boast 30K social media followers. Hers is also one of four stories featured in an Upfield-sponsored mini-documentary series, A Better Plant-Based Future, which we highly recommend for all four vegan profiles. And click the link below to read Tomi’s interview in Bustle. She’s inspired us (and made us hungry!), and we bet she will do the same for you, too!
Vegans and vegetarians should already know that they need to be aware of their B12 vitamin levels. But according to Tufts University research cited in a recent article at LiveKindly.co, B12 deficiency is affecting up to 40% of all Americans. The article is recommended reading as a good introduction to this essential vitamin, including how to get enough. For plant-based people a B12 supplement is nearly always necessary, preferably one in a spray or lozenge that is dissolved under the tongue. Also, note that Dr. Michael Greger has several excellent videos on B12 on his nutritionfacts.org website, including “How to Test for Functional Vitamin B12 Deficiency,” which warns why a blood test alone might not give you the full picture of your B12 needs, and what to do about it.
Yes, there is a societal stigma about veganism, and faunalytics.org has the supporting data. That doesn’t mean, of course, that going plant-based dooms us to a life of ostracism and loneliness; there are lots of ways we can follow our health and ethical values while maintaining existing relationships and participating in cultural traditions. Not to mention the joy of connecting with a large and growing community of plant-based people with whom we’re bound to share many values and interests. Still, it’s helpful to know the extent of the stigma, so we can best prepare ourselves and know how to advocate for better understanding. And faunalytics.org has summarized a wide range of research on this phenomenon. In addition to their concise and readable summary, they’ve provided links to the specific studies, which examine vegan stigma from the unique standpoints of people from different races, body weights, sexual identities, and more.
Full article: https://faunalytics.org/veganism-stigma-and-you/
Got climate anxiety? And it’s getting worse? You’re not alone. And according to the experts, as described in this article by Kells McPhillips on wellandgood.com, that can actually be a good thing. It’s spurring more people to act, for one thing, and goodness knows we need that. And it also means that we’re developing a more emotional connection to the planet. Given how difficult it has proven to get people to accept the logical, scientific evidence for climate change, a strong, world-wide emotional groundswell would be more than welcome. But we don’t need to suffer from this anxiety, if there’s something we can do to make us feel that we’re part of the solution. And eating plant-based is just about the perfect step each of us can take, because the benefits to the planet from our avoiding animal products in our lives is huge. Plus, the physical health benefits are just as dramatic. Read the full article for the full story, including links to the research.
We just heard about this new TV series, and we can’t wait to check it out. Two of today’s biggest rock stars travel the world to hang out, rock, and share plant-based meals with the likes of Kevin Smith, Moby, and the crew of the Sea Shepherd. It’s called Highway to Health, and you can put this trip on your GPS later this year.
It’s well known that switching to a plant-based diet significantly reduces cholesterol levels and the risks of many chronic diseases. And now there’s evidence that the elimination of blood-based iron in this switch may also lengthen lifespans. A research study published in Nature Communications and summarized by ScienceAlert looked at data from over one million people and controlled for many other factors to pinpoint excess iron as a likely cause of decreased longevity. “We speculate that our findings on iron metabolism might also start to explain why very high levels of iron-rich red meat in the diet has been linked to age-related conditions such as heart disease.”
The author of The China Study, and one of the most influential experts on plant-based nutrition has provided his thoughts on one very important way we can all fight Covid-19. In an article dated 25June2020 on his Center for Nutrition Studies website, Dr T. Colin Campbell drew on his many years of field and laboratory research, which showed that people eating a plant-based diet have more antibodies than those eating animal products: “Switching to a whole-food, plant-based diet should lessen the severity of disease symptoms while simultaneously increasing COVID-19 antibodies, a win-win effect.”