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Start 2015 by feasting on this healthy ‘media noche’

/ 12:16 AM December 27, 2014
MEATLESS “embutido” made from mushroom whole-wheat vege meat, vegesmoked sausage, vegetables and whole-wheat vegan carrot cake with dairy-free butter sauce. Contributed photo

MEATLESS “embutido” made from mushroom whole-wheat vege meat, vegesmoked sausage, vegetables and whole-wheat vegan carrot cake with dairy-free butter sauce. Contributed photo

Five of the 10 leading causes of illness and death in the country—coronary heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes and atherosclerosis—have one thing in common: diet. Experts say that nutrients found in plants are one of our best natural allies to help prevent lifestyle diseases, particularly stroke.

Not only does a plant-based diet help prevent killer diseases, studies have shown that such a diet even makes the body stronger; sometimes, to Olympic proportions.

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Dean Ornish, MD, in his program “Reversing Heart Disease,” cited Olympic-class athletes such as champions Edwin Moses (track and field) and Dave Scott (triathlete) who were on plant-based diets.

The downward spiral when one consumes even a single meal high in fat and animal protein is hard to go unnoticed.

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“Even a single meal high in fat and cholesterol may cause the body to release a hormone, thromboxane, which causes the arteries to constrict and the blood to clot faster—one reason heart patients often get chest pains after eating a fatty meal,” Ornish said.

Scientists such as T. Colin Campbell, PhD, Jacob Gould Schurman professor emeritus of Cornell University’s nutrition biochemistry, have lamented, however, that society and commerce have long believed, and promoted, the myth that animal products (beef, pork, poultry, eggs, etc.) and dairy are the primary sources of energy and protein essential for strong bodies.

Campbell also pointed to the finding that casein, which makes up 87 percent of cow’s milk protein, promotes all stages of the cancer process.

So, before you sink your teeth into the next meaty morsel to bid goodbye to 2014 and welcome 2015, think first about how you can creatively enjoy food that would enable you to actually make it to the next year.

Healthy recipes include vegetarian kaldereta, a mix of tomato sauce, coconut milk and fried or baked tofu, as prepared by vegan lifestyle advocate Nona Andaya Castillo; tofu stroganoff, which consists of tofu, shiitake mushroom (dried or fresh) and dairy-free cream sauce-cashew nut with blended tofu.

There’s also plant-based smoked veggie meats sold at the Daily Veggies store in Quezon City; mock meats at Oscar Anne’s (Leveriza Street, near Adventist Hospital in Pasay City) and Daily Care Food Mart (a vegetarian store) at 1963 San Marcelino Street corner Quirino Avenue, Manila.

Try tofu sisig or shiitake mushrooms at Blissful Belly on Xavierville Avenue, Quezon City; Greens vegetarian restaurant (Tomas Morato, Quezon City) and Pipino vegan restaurant at Malingap Street, Quezon City; vegan burgers at Agico Restaurant (Araullo Street, San Juan); vegan teriyaki at Corner Tree Cafe; vegetarian Vietnamese pho and vegetarian shoyu ramen at Wabi Sabi Noodle House and Vegetarian Grocery; log on to www.happycow.net to find more options worldwide.

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TAGS: food, Health, Illness, Media Noche
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