Health and Vegetarism

by Geoffrey Gagnon

 

We can compare the human body to a car and food as the gas needed for it to work. On this line, we could say that vegetarian meals are clean energy, affordable and efficient. Being vegetarian, it’s like driving an electric car rather than powered by gas. It’s using solar energy rather than coal.

Recharge voiture électrique Nature Zen

There are endless reasons to become vegetarian, but the following examples, from the sport’s community, should help convince those who are worried about losing their strength or health by changing their lifestyle.

 

Sportif coureur sur ligne départ Nature Zen

VEGETARIAN ATHLETES

Even though vegetarian athletes are rare (at least for now), they confirm the benefits of vegetarianism even in the highest spheres of sport’s competition.

 

For example, the legendary quarter-back Joe Namath, one of the most popular player in the football league, had a bright career all while being a vegetarian. Another great example is Bill Pearl, a vegetarian bodybuilder who won his last Mr. Universe title at the age of 41. Tennis player Martina Navratilova, who won 18 Grand Slam titles as double player (still a record to this day), was a vegetarian for the last decade of her career. She is currently an activist for the animal rights.

Sport Joueuse de tennis Nature Zen

Furthermore, the greatest basketball player in history, Robert Parish, who played next to Larry Bird and inducted at the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in 2003 was a vegetarian. He is, to this day, the player that won the most games in the history of the NBA. The same goes for the triathlete Dave Scoot, called The Man, who holds the record for winning the bigger number of Ironman competition, a test of endurance of more than 225 km! He won each of his titles as a vegan and still is to this day.

Finally, famous runnier and gold medalist Carl Lewis, prepared for his best year of competition by adopting a vegan diet back in 1991.

 

It is possible to be an athlete all while being vegetarian. You must simply provide your body with good quality proteins every day to maintain healthy muscles and an optimal overall health.

 

PHYSICAL STRENGTH

Oftentimes, people associate strength and physical fitness to eating meat by citing the animal kingdom.

 

However, despite forgetting about it, not all animals are carnivorous. As a matter of fact, many animals are herbivorous, all while having considerable strength. 

 

Éléphant et éléphanteau Nature Zen

Horses, for instance, are herbivorous animals who have helped humanity for millenniums. Donkeys, mules, cows, camels, lamas, giraffes, rhinos, elephants… They are all herbivorous animals who possess an extraordinary physical strength.

Even back to the Jurassic period, herbivorous animals existed, like the brontosaurus, a 30 tons giant, 21 meters long and 8 meters high who ate only plants.

 

HERBIVOROUS AND CARNIVOROUS ANIMALS

It’s interesting to see how herbivorous have much more endurance than carnivorous animals. Which is why tigers, lions and cheetahs often miss their hunt or attack the weakest of the pack. As a matter of fact, the lioness who hunts the antelopes often runs out of steam and must sleep 10 to 15 hours a day to digest, compared to the gazelle who can jump around great distances without ever stopping. This is a fundamental example of the different lifestyles between herbivorous and carnivorous.

 

 

Impala bondit court Nature Zen

 

COMPARATIVE ANATOMY

Many people wonder whether the human body is as well-adjusted to a vegetarian diet as herbivorous. To answer this question, we can cite the researches conducted by Dr. Milton R. Mills, which indicates that we have more biological and anatomical similarities with herbivorous than we do with carnivorous or omnivorous animals.

As an example, human’s teeth are more similar to herbivorous, as they crush and chew food, rather than tearing a piece of meat apart and swallowing it straight like carnivorous. The majority of our teeth are flat and our face muscles are more developed compared to carnivorous animals, who must be able to open their mouth wide open to carry their prey.

Dentition bouche 3D Nature Zen

As for digestion, the stomach’s pH in both carnivorous and omnivorous animals is five times higher than ours and herbivorous and they don’t chew their food before swallowing. Moreover, carnivorous animals have claws as oppose to hoofs and nails.

 

Fruits en prescription médicale Nature Zen

HEALING THROUGH HEALTHY FOOD

With regards to health, more and more studies show that meat, eaten in high quantity, may be harmful for us.

Consequently, doctors may limit or refrain patients with heart conditions from consuming meat. Certain nutrition specialists often cure their patients through a simple change of diet.

The work of Dr. John McDougall, for instance, states that many illnesses (such as hypertension, obesity and Type 2 diabetes) may be cured through with a vegetarian diet.

 

PLANT BASED PROTEINS

We often hear about fears related to proteins. Many people wonder if they will lack proteins by switching to a vegetarian diet. What must be understood is that proteins originate from both animals and plants. The latter being preferred by vegetarians.

Variétés de noix Nature Zen

Plant based proteins can be easily found in nuts, seeds, legumes and beans, soy and cereals (such as rice, quinoa, etc.). All these protein sources are excellent and may be added to our meals which will provide our body with all the necessary nutriments. 

Moreover, plant based proteins do not have all the disadvantages of meat (bad cholesterol, toxins) and many people ignore that an excess in protein may lead to health issues. It is believed that one of the benefits of vegetarianism (when well balanced) is that it provides an adequate amount of proteins, never excessive.

 

We believe that vegetarianism is a great progress in the health field and healthy lifestyle movement and we hope it will be adopted by a great amount of people. A bit like modern cars, who now include hybrid technologies, we think that a plant based diet is the future of humanity.

 

«Nothing will benefit health or increase chances of survival on earth as the evolution to a vegetarian diet. »

– Albert Einstein

Lever de soleil sur un champ de blé Nature Zen

 

An impressive number of diseases (such as high blood pressure, obesity, Type 2 diabetes) can be improved by opting for a vegetarian diet…

 

RÉFÉRENCES

¹ Voir par exemple:

The Year of the Tiger, Michael Nichols et Geoffrey C. Ward, National Geographic, p. 32

fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lion#Alimentation_et_chasse

fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guépard#Alimentation

² The Comparative Anatomy of Eating, Milton R. Mills, M.D. – www.vegsource.com

³ The McDougall Program – www.drmcdougall.com