A Perk of Going Veggie: Improve Your Mood

A recent study published in the Nutrition Journal reports that eschewing animal products in favor of plant-based foods helps improve mood in just a few weeks.  This short-term study incorporated thirty-nine omnivores.  Each participant was randomly assigned to a control group consuming meat, fish and poultry daily, a group consuming fish 3-4 times per week but avoiding meat and poultry or a vegetarian group avoiding meat, fish and poultry.  At the outset of the study and after two weeks of making assigned dietary transitions, participants were asked to complete a Food Frequency Questionnaire, the Profile of Mood States questionnaire and the Depression Anxiety and Stress scales.  By the conclusion of the study, mood scores remained constant for the omnivore and fish eating group but several mood scores for vegetarian participants improved significantly.1  These findings might be surprising given that people who eat fish regularly increase their intake of healthy eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) fatty acids, fats that are critical for optimal brain health.  This is what makes the study’s results so surprising.

Vegetables. Flickr: Bruce Guenter

Research evidence has frequently linked long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, to mood- a substance primarily found in fish and shellfish.  Conversely, meat and poultry are high in arachidonic acid (AA), a potentially neuroinflammatory long-chain omega-6 fatty acid.  Omnivores who consume large amounts of meat and poultry and low amounts of fish, with their elevated AA to EPA/DHA ratio, have been known to be at increased risk of depression.2 Omnivorous diets rich in fish and low in meat and poultry have been linked to a lower risk of depression.3 Vegetarian and vegan diets tend to be low in both long-chain omega-3 and long-chain omega-6 fatty acids, but prior to this study, there has been limited research examining the effects of a vegetarian diet on mental well-being. 

Potential confounding variables such as a prior history of mental disorder, alcohol or substance abuse, BMI, age, gender and exercise frequency were accounted for and a general health history was completed at baseline.  After two-weeks, the vegetarian group’s levels of EPA, DHA and AA dropped to negligible amounts while the fish eating group exhibited a 95-100 percent rise in dietary EPA/DHA.  This evidence is indicative that manipulation of fatty acid concentrations in each of the participants was successful.  In every individual on the vegetarian plan, stress and anxiety scores decreased after the two weeks, indicative that those who eliminate meat, fish and poultry may be better able to cope with mental stress than omnivores.  The results of this study support another cross-sectional study which found that vegetarians report significantly better moods than non-vegetarians.4

While warranting further investigation, the results may be due to increased antioxidant consumption on the vegetarian plan leading to a reduction in oxidative stress on the brain.5 These findings are fascinating and while we might not completely understand the mechanisms involved in why a vegetarian diet likely leads to enhanced mood, the results are certainly worth pondering.  I know I feel good as I finish off my huge salad or green smoothie!   

I know my father gets excellent results with those suffering with depression by combining his nutritarian diet with added EPA and morning light therapy.  He always uses nutrition and lifestyle medicine as the primary intervention, not drugs, which can lead to dependency, side effects and long-term health problems.  It is good to know that the scientific literature is slowly catching up to Dr. Fuhrman (my dad).   Who knows, maybe next year some other study will show that combining green vegetables, onions and mushrooms prevent cancer (Ha Ha)!

 

References:

1. Beezhold BL, Johnston CS. Restriction of meat, fish, and poultry in omnivores improves mood: A pilot randomized controlled trial. Nutr J. 2012 Feb 14;11:9.

2. Kiecolt-Glaser JK, Belury MA, Porter K, Beversdorf DQ, Lemeshow S, Glaser R: Depressive symptoms, omega-6:omega-3 fatty acids, and inflammation in older adults. Psychosom Med 2007, 69:217-224.

3. Colangelo LA, He K, Whooley MA, Daviglus ML, Liu K: Higher dietary intake of long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids is inversely associated with depressive symptoms in women. Nutrition 2009,25:1011-1019.

4. Beezhold BL, Johnston CS, Daigle DR: Vegetarian diets are associated with healthy mood states: a cross-sectional study in Seventh Day Adventist adults. Nutr J 2010, 9:26.

5. Szeto YT, Kwok TC, Benzie IF: Effects of a long-term vegetarian diet onbiomarkers of antioxidant status and cardiovascular disease risk. Nutrition 2004, 20:863-866

 

How Much Rainforest Do You Eat?

Although vegetarians and vegans all have the avoidance of meat eating in common, their reasons for eschewing animal products are diverse. After all, in addition to the health benefits from abstaining from meat, many are motivated by animal suffering and certainly there are compelling environmental reasons. Meat-free followers of Dr. Fuhrman obviously do it for health reasons or a combination of health reasons and other motivations. I respect my father for providing information on nutrition and nutrition alone, without animal welfare or environmental motivations, as that is not his field of expertise.

However, I think it would be wonderful, perhaps even a necessity, if everyone understood the powerful connection our own health has with the health of the planet and the animals we share it with. My last post discussed the relationship between meat production, global warming, and world hunger. I learned much of this information at a global warming conference conducted by the World Preservation Foundation based in London. Let’s all open our eyes to the possibility here that this information may be critical for all of us.Rainforest.  Flickr: Webbaliah

It is no secret that the rainforests of the Earth are a truly magical, natural wonder. It also happens to be a place that we are massively, rapidly, and irreversibly destroying. The rainforest is home to intricate ecosystems and more unique plants and animal species than anywhere else in the world.

Amazingly, two-thirds of all known plant and animal species are found in the rainforest while rainforests themselves cover just 2 percent of the Earth’s surface. Not only are rainforests home to countless plants and animals, but they are literally the “lungs of the Earth”. Rainforests are the single greatest terrestrial source of the oxygen in the air that we breathe. Keep this information in mind while reading the following statistics about how quickly we are destroying it to meet global demands for meat:

  1. We are currently facing one of the greatest mass extinctions ever to occur on Earth. Over 30 percent of the biodiversity on this planet has been lost since 1970. In the tropics, we’ve already lost over 60 percent of its biodiversity. A study conducted by the United Nations found that the rate of current plant and animal extinctions is over 1000 times the natural rate of extinction. This is by no means a natural phenomenon. The majority of these extinctions are due to abolition of the rainforest in order to grow soy and corn to feed livestock.
  2. Brazil is the largest beef industry in the world; the country produces roughly 7 million metric tons of beef every year from a total population of 165 million cattle.
  3. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 91 percent of the Amazon rainforest that has been destroyed since 1970 can be attributed to cattle raising, including the growing of feed crops
  4. Rampant deforestation for cattle-raising is becoming popular in Central America. Since 1960, more than 25 percent of the area’s rainforests have been cleared for pastures alone.
  5. The United States is the largest beef importer in the world, importing beef from Uruguay, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Brazil and most recently, Costa Rica. Many US livestock companies are reported to have purchased tracks of rainforest in Costa Rica for cattle-raising, which is sold back as beef to the United States.
  6. The Cerrado, or Brazilian Savannah, is home to 5% of global biodiversity, but is being rapidly converted into farmland used to produce soy to feed agricultural animals. 400 square kilometers of the Cerrado is cut down each year to meet beef demands in the UK alone.
  7. Overstocking and overgrazing leaves the land depleted of most nutrients, which accelerates desertification. Chopping down the irreplaceable and wonderfully gargantuan rainforest trees results in the abolition of our huge carbon dioxide conversion tank and the world’s primary oxygen supply.
  8. If global warming rates continue as they currently are, within a few decades the earth’s temperature will rise 3.5 degrees C. This will be enough to complete destroy the Amazon Rainforest and further accelerate the rate of global warming, the melting of the ice caps and the rise of sea level, obliterating costal human habitats.

For those of you who have commented, “I don’t believe in global warming.”
I wish you could have been there to see live satellite photos of thousands of square miles of the forest up in smoke, with huge clouds of black soot rising into the clouds. The amount of oxygen-producing forests that already have been decimated is clearly measurable and not a belief option. Why would one deny this exists, that humans contribute to it or that the ice masses are melting? It is not a myth that humans are destroying the natural habitats, and the species of plant life that are important for the health of our planet and that this, among other human activities, contributes to global warming.

I realize there are people who have an opposing view, but the increasing demands for meat-eating by formerly underdeveloped, highly populated nations, could dramatically increase the rate of destruction of the forest, over-utilize limited fresh water supplies, and dramatically add to pollution, in addition to increasing carbon dioxide and the gradual warming of the planet.

As I write this, I think of the movie Wall-E, in which the Earth became one big wasteland and the obese, lazy humans of the future have to move to a spaceship because planet Earth is no longer hospitable. I do not speak for my father, but as a young adult interested in the future of this world, clearly, saying no to meat-eating is a simple change that we can all make to protect the world’s precious natural resources. Maybe we’ll save a few human lives too in the process.

Heather Mills Inks Deal with Retailer for Her Vegan Foods

Dr. Fuhrman’s friend Heather Mills will now start selling her line of plant-based foods through U.K. retailer Redwood Wholefood Company. She said it’s a dream come true.

“We are delighted that the business has been acquired by someone with the dynamism and passion of Heather,” said Redwood director Keith Stott. “We’ve been approached by many large food manufacturers in the past but have never wanted to jeopardize the future of our employees — who we value so much – or our factory by selling the business to a large corporation. By selling to Heather we are protecting our loyal staff and also our base in Corby.”

Actually, Heather is on a tear lately. Last month, she opened an organic vegan cafe in the United Kingdom, called The Vbites Café. Heather is a huge advocate of a meat-free life.

Via Food Navigator.

Image credit: Access Hollywood

Vegetarians Have Less Risk of Blood Cancer than Meat Eaters

Good news veg-heads! A new study in the British Journal of Cancer, involving more than 61,000 people—meat eaters and vegetarians—revealed vegetarians and vegans had lower risk of certain types of blood cancer, such as leukemia, multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Vegetarians are 12 percent less likely to develop cancer than meat eaters and the advantage is particularly marked when it comes to cancers of the blood, British researchers said on Wednesday.

Past research has shown that eating lots of red or processed meat is linked to a higher rate of stomach cancer and the new study, involving more than 60,000 people, did confirm a lower risk of both stomach and bladder cancer.

But the most striking and surprising difference was in cancers of the blood -- such as leukemia, multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma -- where the risk of disease was 45 percent lower in vegetarians than in meat eaters.

Via Reuters.

 

Image credit: Got Jenna

Vegetarians Have Less Cancer Risk than Meat-Eaters -- UPDATE --

New findings in the British Journal of Cancer reveal of the 60,000 Britons studied those who were vegetarian—half of them—had a lower risk of developing cancer, compared to meat-eaters. The research followed participants for 12.2 years, with 3,350 incidences of cancer. The number of meat-ears who developed cancer was 2,204 and 829 among vegetarians—only 317 fish-eaters got cancer. Overall, vegetarians were 12% less likely to get cancer; Medical News Today reports.

But vegetarian and vegan diets most often aren’t ideal. Dr. Fuhrman points out many vegans and vegetarians are often deficient in things like omega-3’s, found in fish. Dr. Fuhrman’s DHA Purity can help. It’s derived from microalgae and supplies plenty of brain-building omega–3 fatty acids.

In related news, animal fat was shown to raise the risk of developing pancreatic cancer, while leafy green vegetables—such as kale and cabbage—help fight and protect against cancer.

UPDATE: Dr. Fuhrman had some additional thoughts: 

A vegan diet can be ideal if well designed as can be a diet with a small amount of animal products, such as one or two servings a week. A nutritarian diet is designed to reverse disease and promote longer life, and features:

  • Adequate depth and variety of nutrient-rich natural foods
  • Limited animal products, but adequate ALA/EPA/DHA
  • Adequate whole food plant fats and proteins from seeds, nuts and beans
  • High intake of green and cruciferous vegetables
  • Careful attention to supplements or lab tests to assure no deficiencies are present with genetic variation of absorption and variable needs

Image credit: Carly & Art

Trulie Gets Healthy, Looks Great!

Last week, we saw Martha and Stanley slim down and kick their heart disease and diabetes. The week before that, we learned how a healthy diet helped Irene reverse the progression of her non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Now check out Trulie. See how healthy living changed her life:

I later bought Eat to Live and the message that fruit and vegetables should occupy a predominant place was dead on. I adopted the ETL diet and the very specific recommendations for emphasizing high nutrient and low calorie foods. Slowly, but surely, the weight started to come off. What was amazing to me was how much food I was eating yet how I continued to lose weight.

My journey with eating a high nutrient diet has had its ups and down. I now know what true hunger is, to feel very satisfied with a meal, to not snack until the next meal, and, most surprising, I have greatly reduced my desire for the fatty desserts and other processed foods I loved so much. I would never have thought that I would look forward to a fruit and nut “ice cream” as much as the full fat dairy variety back during my food addicted-20s…continue reading.

Image credit: DrFuhrman.com

Lack of Vitamin D Makes You Demented!

A new study in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease claims low blood levels of vitamin D may heighten the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Scientists point out numerous studies have linked vitamin D deficiency with conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, depression and gum disease, and that all of these have been associated with increased risk of dementia. The cost of Alzheimer’s care in the U.S. tops $100 billion each year; via Nutra Ingredients.

Vitamin D deficiency is an epidemic, with c-sections, high blood pressure and heart attacks all linked to inadequate vitamin D. Vitamin D helps your body build strong bones and stave off osteoporosis and helps to prevent cancer, such as colon, breast and prostate cancer.

Many multivitamins do not contain sufficient vitamin D. That’s why Dr. Fuhrman’s Osteo-Sun is specifically designed to provide enough vitamin D, both in its vegan and non-vegan forms.

Image credit: South Park Studios

What Vegans May Be Missing...

Certainly a plant-based diet which minimizes animal products is the best approach for losing weight, preventing and reversing disease, and optimizing health. However, those following a vegetarian or vegan diet, and those not consuming fatty fish like salmon each week, should be aware of recent studies that suggest they may be deficient in a critical and essential nutrient, especially EPA & DHA, the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids.

Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is an omega-3 fat and is the precursor of the longer chain omega 3 fats eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA and to a lesser extent DHA can be made in the body from ALA. Primary sources of these fatty acids are certain fish and seafood.

As a result, vegetarian, and especially vegan, diets provide little EPA and DHA directly. A recent study reviewed the varying dietary fat intake across vegetarians, vegans, omnivores, and semi omnivores and its impact on essential omega-3 fatty acid availability in tissues. It concluded that vegetarians were left with reduced levels of omega-3 and recommended that they consume additional direct sources of EPA and DHA, regardless of age or gender, for physical, mental and neurological health benefits.1

In addition, ALA, EPA, and DHA are especially important for the prevention of certain cancers, particularly those of the breast and colon, and possibly of the uterus and the skin, and are likely to reduce the risk of postpartum depression, manic-depressive psychosis, dementias, Parkinson's, hypertension, toxemia, diabetes, and to a certain extent, age-related macular degeneration.2

Although vegetarian diets are generally lower in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol than are non-vegetarian diets and may appear to offer cardiovascular health benefits due to higher intakes of antioxidants and fiber, the lack of direct EPA or DHA dietary sources may cause an adverse effect.3,4

With all of this documented research, it is not surprising that when I draw blood for fatty acid analysis on many of my patients, I find that a large percentage of individuals who do not eat fish or seafood regularly do not have optimal levels of DHA, even those eating walnuts and flaxseeds on a regular basis. I often see patients eating otherwise excellent diets with itchy dry skin, seborrheac dermatitis and other signs of DHA deficiency.

Although, there are some vegans and vegetarians regularly consuming walnuts and flaxseeds (which supply adequate ALA) may produce enough DHA on their own and may not require supplementation. However, because this issue is so imperative to their health it should be confirmed with a blood test before assuming that the conversion level is adequate. In order to assure optimal production of DHA fat, without recommending that the consumption of fish or refined fish oils, I recommend taking a vegetable sourced DHA supplement. DHA alone can deliver the same benefits of fish oil, since the intake of DHA can cause a natural retro-conversion to EPA internally.

Laboratory cultivated DHA is made from microalgae and is a pure form of DHA without environmental contamination. It is grown in the laboratory, not collected in the wild. It has no mercury or other toxins, which is a concern even for non-vegans who are cautious about eating fish or seafood.

DHA has been shown to protect against dementia, depression, inflammatory diseases, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), allergies, and to offer significant benefits for overall cardiovascular health.

There are other problems with consuming fish oils. The main problem is that the fat turns rancid as it sits on store shelves. As a result, many people complain of burping, indigestion, a foul taste, and long lasting fish-breath. I have also observed that rancidity of this fish fat can place a stress on the liver. Patients of mine have had blood tests showing abnormal liver function when consuming fish oil in significant amounts and then have had these tests return to normal when the fish oils were stopped.

Fortunately, vegetable derived DHA, from microalgae, is an alternative. However, even algae derived DHA can become rancid if not cared for properly. We go through great lengths to deliver the purest and freshest DHA product available on the market today. My DHA Purity is manufactured under strict conditions to ensure purity. Every step of the way, from production to packaging, transportation and storage, this product is kept refrigerated and handled to ensure optimal freshness.

In conjunction with a high nutrient, plant-based diet, I advise all people take a daily DHA supplement from a clean source. Early in life, DHA is supplied via the placenta and from breast milk. While adequate DHA is particularly important for pregnant and nursing women and young children, it is beneficial for all ages!

1. Kornsteiner M, Singer I, Elmadfa I. Very low n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid status in Austrian vegetarians and vegans. Ann Nutr Metab. 2008; 52(1):37-47.

2. Bourre JM Dietary omega-3 fatty acids for women. Biomed Pharmacother. 2007; 61(2-3):105 12.

3. Davis BC; Kris-Etherton PM Achieving optimal essential fatty acid status in vegetarians: current knowledge and practical implications. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003; 78(3 Suppl):640S-646S

4. Lee HY; Woo J; Chen ZY; Leung SF; Peng XH Serum fatty acid, lipid profile and dietary intake of Hong Kong Chinese omnivores and vegetarians. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2000; 54(10):768-73.

Image credit: CB Photography

Leaders of the Vegan Movement Develop Parkinson's: Case Studies

Herbert Shelton (1895 - 1985), a naturopath and chiropractor and the influential founder of the American Natural Hygiene Society and Nature Cure movement in America and prolific health writer advocated a natural food vegetarian diet of mostly raw fruits, vegetables and nuts. I read all of his highly motivating books, newsletters and writings in my teens. He lived in Texas, was physically fit, grew lots of his own food and ate carefully and fasted periodically. Of course he did not get cancer, he did not get heart disease, but he died of Parkinson's disease and was so severely affected by the age of 78 that even walking was difficult. In 1973 when I met him he was already severely hunched over and had a difficult time walking and caring for himself. Though he lived many years with this significant disability, the quality of his later years was extremely poor.

Prominent Vegetarian and Health Advocate, this leader in the natural health movement and a personal friend to me also suffered from and eventually died from a fall related to his Parkinson's disease. During his young adult life he embarked on the path of healthy living and vegetarianism. A follower of Shelton's works, he operated a large health food store, one of the first to sell organic fruits and vegetables in America; he became a leader in the health food industry. Of course he was not at risk of cancer or heart disease with his excellent diet, but he developed Parkinson's which limited the quality of his later years.

When he was developing his Parkinsonian tremors, I ordered blood tests and was shocked to see his blood results showing almost a zero DHA level on his fatty acid test, in spite of adequate ALA consumption from nuts and seeds eaten daily. I had never seen a DHA level that low before. Since that time I have drawn DHA blood levels on other patients with Parkinson's and also found very low DHA levels.

Was it a coincidence, that these leaders in the natural food, vegetarian movement, who ate a very healthy vegan diet and no junk food would both develop Parkinson's? I thought to myself--could it be that deficiencies in DHA predispose one to Parkinson's? Do men have worse ability to convert short chain omega-3 into long chain DHA? Is that why Parkinson's affects more men than women? Is there evidence to suggest that DHA deficiencies lead to later life neurologic problems? Are there primate studies to show DHA deficiencies in monkeys leads to Parkinson's? The answer to all of these questions is a resounding, yes.

More than 1 million Americans suffer from Parkinson's Disease (PD), a neurodegenerative disease that is clinically characterized by resting tremor, muscular rigidity, gait problems and impaired ability to initiate movements. Recent scientific findings show diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids, in particular DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), have a protective effect on this type of neurodegenerative disease. Studies in animals clearly show that supplementation of DHA can alter brain DHA concentrations and thereby modify brain functions leading to reduced risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.1

A recent study examined mice which were exposed to two diets; one group was fed a diet with DHA and other omega-3 fatty acids; while the other group was given ordinary food, lacking DHA. After a period of time they were given a dose of a chemical that causes the same damage to the brain as Parkinson's disease. The mice on the DHA diet seemed to be immune to the effects of the chemical, whereas the mice that ate ordinary food developed symptoms of the disease.

According to the researchers, among the mice that had been given omega-3 supplementation - in particular DHA - omega-3 fatty acids replaced the omega-6 fatty acids in their brains. Due to the fact that concentrations of other omega-3s (LNA and EPA) had maintained levels in both groups of mice, the researchers suggested that the protective effect against Parkinson's indeed came from DHA.2

Another conclusion drawn from this finding is that a brain containing a lot of omega-6 fatty acids may create a fertile ground for developing Parkinson's disease. These fatty acids, are abundant in foods rich in either vegetable oil or animal fat, which we already know contribute negatively to our health.

Another study observed the effect of DHA on monkeys treated with MPTP, a drug that induces Parkinson's like symptoms, and the results suggested that DHA can reduce the severity of, or delay the development of these drug-induced symptoms and therefore can offer therapeutic benefits in the treatment of Parkinson's. 3

Overall, this research provides evidence that DHA deficiencies can leave us vulnerable to developing diseases like Parkinson's and Alheizmer's. If you are a nutritarian, flexitarain, vegan, or vegetarian and you are not taking DHA or confirming your levels are adequate with blood work you are being negligent, and potentially increasing your risk of such a disease in later life. All the good efforts on proper nutrition can be undone with one deficiency such as Vitamin D, B12, or DHA. I see this every week in my practice.

History repeats itself: Some authors, doctors and leaders of the vegan movement today are heavily biased towards the idea of not needing these supplements. They simply give inadequate nutritional advice and in spite of all the science they still pooh-pooh taking long-chain omega-3 DHA. They are risking the quality of their own lives and that of their followers.

Likewise, I have seen so many vegan-promoting doctors and authors negate the need for taking B12, as well as dismiss the need to take vitamin D, stating minimal sunshine is enough. They also deny the need for omega-3 supplementation. There is so much scientific literature available today pointing to the contrary, however, this irresponsible information keeps radiating from the podium of lecture halls.

It reminds me of all the statements in the past, that the need for B12 was exaggerated and that the small amount of bacteria on organic produce or in seaweed was sufficient.

TC Fry (1926 - 1996), another long-term Natural Hygienist, raw foodest, vegetarian-fruitarian, advocated you did not need supplements as food contained all that we need. He died of an atherosclerotic-related embolism at the age of 70. I saw his hospital record at his death and reviewed his blood work drawn immediately prior to his death. It was quite revealing. He had severe B12, deficiency, so long-standing that his B12 levels were almost undetectable and the lowest I have ever seen. It is kind of interesting reading internet interpretations of why he died, such as "did not practice what he preached," "cheated on his diet," "too much sex," "ozone treatments for his vascular disease". He died prematurely simply because long-standing B12 deficiency leads to extremely high homocysteine levels, which can cause intra-vascular inflammation and cardiovascular disease.

I have seen this over and over again in vegans not supplementing with B12. I even had a patient with extremely severe hyper-homocysteinemia and vascular disease who flew in to see me from Scandinavia. When I diagnosed the problem and discussed how to solve it, she still refused to take the B12 supplements, stating that Dr. Shelton and Dr. Vetrano said that nature provided us with all that we need in natural plant foods. She flew home angry that I disagreed. She died soon after.

Don't be fooled into thinking that by merely eating right you are doing all you can do to protect your health. People must be made aware that by neglecting to take the supplements that are essential to assuring nutritional excellence, they are putting themselves in harm's way. Specifically, not taking DHA, B12 and vitamin D can be potentially dangerous and even life threatening.

Dr. Fuhrman's DHA Purity is a pure, fresh, all vegan, concentrated liquid. This DHA is derived from algae grown under sanitary laboratory conditions.

1. Calon F ; Cole G Neuroprotective action of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids against neurodegenerative diseases: evidence from animal studies. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2007; 77(5-6):287-93

2. M. Bousquet, M. Saint-Pierre, C. Julien , N. Salem, Jr., F. Cicchetti and F. Calon Beneficial effects of dietary omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid on toxin-induced neuronal degeneration in an animal model of Parkinson's disease. The FASEB Journal. 2008;22:1213-1225.

3. Samadi P ; Grégoire L ; Rouillard C ; Bédard PJ ; Di Paolo T ; Lévesque D Docosahexaenoic acid reduces levodopa-induced dyskinesias in 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine monkeys. Ann Neurol. 2006; 59(2):282-8

Image credit: merwinglittle dear

Eating to Live on the Outside: Green Leaves Vegan

It’s Saturday, I’m probably off to Yoga by now, but if you’re up early with nothing to do, come take a trip with me! This week Eating to Live on the Outside is off to California, we’re dropping by Green Leaves Vegan in Los Angeles.

After flipping through the menu, I think it’s very doable. At a glance it easily passes the test, lots of veggies, like romaine lettuce, beets, mushrooms and eggplant, and hardly any hang ups. Okay, here’s a rough draft of things I might order:

Edamame

  • Young soybean pods; if they’re served with salt, like the often are, I’ll pass on the salt.

Intro Tofu

  • Grilled marinated tofu on skewers with side salad of romaine lettuce, carrot and cucumber served with peanut sauce; same deal with the sauce.

Dinner Salad

  • Romaine lettuce, shredded carrots, alfalfa sprouts and sliced tomatoes; looks good, but dressing on the side.

Cucumber Salad

  • Bell peppers, cucumber, red onion and house dressing; same thing with the dressing.

Tossed Salad

  • Romaine lettuce, Napa carrots, onion, garlic, beets, cucumber, shitake mushrooms, mung bean noodles, bean sprouts, tofu and seasonings; I’d probably ditch the noodles.

Protein Salad

  • Carrots, romaine lettuce, garbanzo beans, soy beans, avocado and tomato; hooray avocado!

Tofu Salad

  • Grilled tofu, romaine lettuce, tomato, cucumber and bell peppers; I dig it.

Special Salad

  • Romaine lettuce, carrots, cucumber, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, mushrooms, tomato and avocado; this one gets high marks, could be a winner.

Chief Salad

  • Tomato, romaine lettuce, carrots, shredded beets, alfalfa sprouts, celery, avocado, sliced cucumber topped with sunflower seeds; very cool!

Grilled Veggie Sandwich

  • Mushroom, grilled zucchini, onion, braised eggplant and bell peppers on a bun; the bread is iffy, but just focus on the vegetables.

Fresh Veggie Sandwich

  • Romaine lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, avocado, onion, bell, mushroom, cucumber, zucchini and tomato on a bun; same deal with the bun.

Lentil Loaf Dinner

  • Bell peppers, onion, lentil loaf and seasonings served with tahini sauce; not bad, I might give it a look.

Spicy Green Beans

  • Green beans, lime leaves and tofu with spices seasonings; sounds tasty.

You might want to play with some of the soups and curries, but as for me. I’m going with the Special Salad, Fresh Veggie Sandwich or the Chief Salad. Either way, Id be getting more than a mouthful of veggies. Mission accomplished!

If I ever make it to Los Angeles, I’ll have to pay Green Leaves a REAL visit, but in the meantime, its time for you to do some work! Look over Green Leaves Vegan’s menu and let me know what strikes your fancy. Keep me posted! Peace.

Image credit: Green Leaves Vegan