The many advantages of a vegan diet are stacking up quickly! Not only do we not harm animals, we reduce our carbon footprint, contribute to a more sustainable future, put forth positive karma and reap health benefits with the hope of living a long, healthy and happy life!
Eating a well-planned plant-based diet is proving to have the upper hand for the prevention of many diseases, but the benefits are worth noting when it comes to cancer prevention. There are many steps that vegans can take to maximize the benefits of their diet and reduce the risk of succumbing to the 2nd leading cause of death.
Top 10 Anticancer Diet Tips for Vegans:
Eat mostly whole plant foods. Opt for local organic foods whenever possible.
Include at least 9 servings of vegetables and fruits daily, emphasizing all the colours of the rainbow and plenty of dark leafy greens.
Aim for at least 35 grams of fiber each day from a variety of plant foods.
Minimize processed foods, especially those containing refined carbohydrates.
Eliminate products containing trans-fatty acids.
Rely on whole foods such as nuts, seeds and avocados for most fat intake, ensuring sufficient essential fatty acids.
Eat raw foods daily. Sprout foods more often.
If cooking, stick mainly to wet cooking methods, such as steaming and stewing (I'll elaborate on the pros and cons of raw vs. cooked vegetables in a later post).
Flavour foods with immune-boosting herbs and spices,, such as tumeric, ginger, garlic, basil, oregano, rosemary and coriander.
Make pure, clean water the beverage of choice. Other healthful beverages include fresh vegetable juices and antioxidant-rich teas such as green tea.
Top 7 Lifestyle Tips for Vegans:
Be as lean as possible within the normal range of body weight.
Ensure physical activity is a part of your every day life.
Aim for an activity level equivalent to a 30 minute brisk walk every day.
Limit consumption of energy-dense foods. Avoid sugary drinks and limit fruit juices.
Limit alcoholic drinks (all in moderation!) and eliminate tobacco. Together they act to synergistically increase cancer risk.
Limit consumption of salt.
Be mindful of dietary supplements and aim to achieve your nutritional needs through diet alone.
The trick to all this is to simply live and eat mindfully. The old say 'we are what we eat' is a saying for a reason. Here's to not only living, but thriving!
References in the post from: Becoming Vegan, author Brenda Davis, RD and Vesanto Melina, MS, RD