Vegan & Health

ristoranti-vegani-a-napoliIn the new digital era, we’re reading more and more articles about the importance of giving up meat and dairy, with the risk of confusion and misleading information.

A conservative diet comes from cultural heritage: grandma’s ravioli, mom’s lasagna… foods that come with a baggage of beautiful memories that are hard to substitute.

I’m not going to talk about the genocide we finance each time we eat prosciutto, which may not concern you. What I do want to deal with is families where a spouse, parent or relative is diagnosed with cancer. According to the figures published by the Italian Association of tumor registry (AIRTUM) one out of two men and one out of three women will come down with cancer in the course of their life.

Traditional treatment is not always the best way to regain health. Western medical sciences focus their studies on disease and less on health sciences. So what field of medicine should we turn to when we want to stay healthy?  Ask any doctor and they will most likely reply “Eat a bit of everything in moderation, be active, get at least eight hours of sleep a night, go on vacation in the summer…”. If that was all it takes, then the figures aforementioned wouldn’t be so high. The older we get the more we join the ranks of the clients of pharmaceutical companies, so should we thank drugs for longer lives? Is that what health is about?

Starting from this human defeat some enlightened doctors have felt the need to go in depth into the opposite argument.

Professor Doctor Colin Compbell, nutritionist and biochemist of Cornell University, as well as author of “The China Study”, he ran a research that lasted forty years which proves that casein (contained in dairy products) is the number one activating agent of cancer. Business in the animal protein market is a multimillionaire one including all the dairy industries. The latter, along with pharmaceutical industries, finance universities making important discoveries such as this be very hard to be spread and crippling the scientific community.

I know, I said I wouldn’t mention second-class victims, but the number of bodies that land on our tables is unreasonable: in Italy alone 90 animals a minute are slaughtered, that is 2,5 billion animals a year. So they die for us to eat and we get sick eating them, thus making this a first-class problem.

It’s a clear connection, an equation that sounds like karma: their death brings us to our death, and it’s not even free. Ironic, isn’t it?

So to my point: being vegan isn’t fashion, or religion, but rather worldwide necessity. It is trying to solve a huge problem that doesn’t pertain solely to myself, but to everybody. It makes no difference if the meat belonged to an animal that was raised free to graze.

What can we do to improve our lifestyle in the most practical, least traumatic way? Start by increasing the amount of fruit and vegetable you consume, favoring raw and organic ones. Invert the order of food: start your meals by eating a large portion of salad, then have cooked foods as a side dish, reducing the amount each time. Starting with raw vegetables kick-starts digestion and supplies fibers. Our bodies elaborate the first foods ingested better, absorbing minerals and enzymes.

by Leticia Melara Gonçalves


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