Sunday, May 1, 2011

Creating a Healthy Digestive System

Most people have a general idea that a vegetarian diet is more healthy for them in many ways, but few realize how important it is to create a healthy environment in the bowels and stomach.

Our digestive system is designed to process vegetable matter, more than foods containing animal products. Our system needs the kind of dietary fiber contained in vegetables, legumes, nuts and fruits to function properly.

When the digestive system does not function effectively as it should do, we incur a host of digestion problems such as constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis (inflammation of the colon, the usual symptoms are diarrhea). These diseases are less evident in people following vegetarian eating habits than in others who persist with a meat-eating lifestyle.

A vegetarian diet is naturally low in saturated fat, high in fiber, vitamins and antioxidants, that help to prevent cancer. Recent studies that included tens of thousands of men and women have shown that regular meat consumption increases colon cancer risk by roughly 300 percent. Meat-based diets have also been linked to other forms of cancer including breast, ovarian and prostate. When you consider the risks that come from a diet that includes meat and animal products, then compare the benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle, there is no doubt that the health benefits derived from vegetarian meals are life prolonging.

If you find it difficult to cut meat from your diet altogether, try making it the smallest part of the meal with greater portions of vegetables. In this way you will gradually reduce the amount of meat you crave and eventually will be able to totally eliminate it from your diet.

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