According to Dr. Karrer (a Nobel Prize laureate in the 1930s), our body cells theoretically would not age. However, human beings could not lead a long life because the by-products of our body’s metabolism are not expelled totally. It is therefore important to choose properly the food we consume.
Living in the modern society, men have become more susceptible to illnesses associated with a civilized lifestyle. This has resulted in an increase in the number of allergies and strange diseases. The only way to counter this is to follow the old teaching that “prevention is better than cure”. Hence, one should consume more vegetables and less meaty foodstuff.
Vegetables & Meat: A Comparison
Studies have shown that fresh vegetables and fruits contain the enzymes, vitamins and minerals most needed by the human body. Enzymes, which aid digestion and benefit the body’s metabolism, can only withstand heat of 50-60°C. If you heat your food to above 60°C, the enzymes will be destroyed. As such, meat products do not contain enzymes as they have to be cooked before consumption.
Apart from that, meat contains substances such as antibiotics and artificial hormones which may cause cancer. If you consume too much meaty foodstuff, the excess protein and fat will easily give rise to diabetes, cardio-vascular and kidney diseases.
In the absence of enzymes, the protein in the meat products that we consume will not be able to disintegrate. Consequently, the stomach’s burden is increased as the disintegration of such protein depended heavily on the hydrochloric acid in gastric juice.
Furthermore, the structure of the human body originally favours a vegetarian diet. Like the typical herbivore, human beings possess a set of molars and intestines that are over six-feet in length. If your diet consists of mainly meaty foodstuff, your intestines will absorb the toxins contained in the meat. Over a prolonged period of time, the toxins accumulated in the intestines will make one vulnerable to chronic disease, gout and heart trouble.
Once the internal organs like stomach and intestines become over-burdened, it is easy for a person to fall sick. Children, in particular, will be constantly plagued by common illnesses such as flu, cold, nose and skin allergies.
The Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet
The consumption of vegetarian food will undoubtedly benefit our body and mind. A vegetarian diet comprising fresh fruits, vegetables, cereals, grains and nuts provides the best source of nourishment. In addition, it helps to get rid of the toxins in our body, improve blood circulation and restore the functions of our organs.
Vegetarians suggest that those who are interested in adopting a vegetarian diet should choose vegetables that are grown naturally. This is because the cell walls of these vegetables are much tougher. As such, they are more crunchy and sweet. Besides, vegetables with holes gnawed by worms indicate that no pesticide has been used, so you do not have to worry about possible chemical side-effects. On the other hand, if you notice wax-like substance on the leaves of vegetables, it means that they have been sprayed with pesticides. These vegetables may have a nice appearance but the pesticides are difficult to remove thoroughly.
The most nutritious way to consume vegetables is to eat them raw, e.g. as salad. In this manner, the enzymes in the vegetables are preserved. Since each type of food has its own enzymes, the time needed for digestion varies. Thus, one should always consume food that are easily digestible first — i.e. raw foods before cooked ones; fresh vegetables and fruits followed by grains and cereals with beans, peas and nuts reserved for the last.
The following is some advice from vegetarians on food combinations:
• Foods that are too sweet (e.g. melons) and too sour (e.g. lemons) should not be consumed together as they will make you feel bloated.
• The attributes of the foods we consume daily can be classified as yang (e.g. cooked foods, beans, peas and nuts), yin (e.g. raw foods, processed foods) and neutral (e.g. grains and cereals). It is essential to maintain a good balance between all types of food.
• The different colours of various foods help to nourish different internal organs. For instance, foods that are red enhance the functioning of the heart; those that are black benefit the kidney; green ones are good for the liver; white ones are beneficial to the lungs; while yellow-coloured foods improve the spleen’s function.
• It is advisable to consume more leafy vegetables during the day. At night, it is better to consume root-type vegetables.
• Avoid the use of artificial flavourings such as monosodium glutamate. Instead, try to use natural seasonings for your foods.
Inevitably, a healthy eating habit leads to a healthy lifestyle. With so much in favour of a vegetarian diet, perhaps it is time for you to cut down on the consumption of meat products too.