Mercury, Fish and EFA’s? Another Vegan Benefit

Essential fatty acids are an important part of a well balanced diet, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. What is surprising is that many people don’t know fat is essential to maintaining normal weight as well as many other health benefits. Our country has fallen in love with “low fat”… and in part, it’s making many people fat. If your body senses a lack of fat intake, it starts storing it… and surprise, surprise, you stay fat!

Fish is routinely recommended by many as a great source of EFA’s although there’s one small problem.

“…nearly all fish and shellfish contain traces of mercury.”
FDA / EPA What You Need to Know About Mercury in Fish and Shellfish

“Children under age 5, nursing mothers and women who are pregnant or trying to conceive should avoid fish with the highest mercury levels — tile fish, swordfish, king mackerel and shark. They should also limit their fish intake to no more than 12 ounces a week of fish and shellfish that contain low levels of mercury, foods such as shrimp, salmon, pollock, canned light tuna and catfish.

Albacore tuna is higher in mercury than canned light tuna, so consumption of albacore tuna should be limited to nor more than six ounces a week, the experts write.

Eating a variety of fish may reduce the potential negative effects of environmental pollutants. Try to avoid farm-raised fish, which tend to have more fat and calories and slightly less protein than wild fish. Farm-fed fish may also contain higher levels of contaminants due to toxins in their feed, according to the experts.”
HealthDay

Why is mercury bad? Well, for many reasons, and the report above, directly from the FDA plays down the effects on everyone except for young children, and pregnant and nursing women. Unfortunately it’s a little more serious than that:

“Canadian scientists studying the toxic effects of mercury have made a major breakthrough, showing for the first time how the metal that gave rise to the expression ‘mad as a hatter’ actually debilitates and destroys parts of nerve cells.

The finding, announced yesterday, is likely to raise further controversy over exposure to mercury in dental fillings and food, and provide new clues to the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

Three scientists at the University of Calgary exposed the brain cells of snails to small amounts of mercury and found the damage caused by the silvery-grey metal was similar to that seen in brains of humans suffering from Alzheimer’s.

The protein in snail brain cells is identical to that in the nerves of human and other higher animals.

One of the co-authors of the paper, Dr. Fritz Lorscheider of the university’s faculty of medicine, said the research highlights the need to reduce public exposure to mercury. The experiments used mercury levels that are typically found in people who have a large number of amalgam fillings.

“What it really means is that we . . . need to be far more concerned about sources of mercury exposure,’ Dr. Lorscheider said.

A paper outlining the findings is being published as the cover story in the April issue of the British journal NeuroReport.

Almost everyone in North America is exposed to trace amounts of mercury. Fillings emit mercury vapour when people chew. Mercury concentrations have been rising in many seafoods, as fish absorb metal dispersed by coal-burning power plants and mining.

Until now, scientists have known that mercury is a potent nerve poison, causing tremors, loss of memory, insomnia, depression and personality changes, but they did not understand how.”
Scientists unlock mystery of mercury’s harmful effects

I don’t know about you, but would you knowingly eat a poison that could cause tremors, loss of memory, depression and countless other effects. Would you feed it to your children? Especially if you had options? Since you can get EFA’s from many other sources, why risk your health and the health of your children? Is it worth it?

To me, another reason for the vegan diet… for your health and your life.

Peace.

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Do I Have to Eat 100% Raw?

Posted on September 20th, 2006 in Uncategorized by Vegan Raw Diet Advocate Comments Off on Do I Have to Eat 100% Raw?

Do I have to eat 100% raw?

It’s a question I hear often and there is much debate on the subject.

Personally, it’s the right decision for me. Here’s the consideration. You see, my experience was when I was eating a mostly raw diet, I would eat a little cooked food and notice that I would then have cravings for more cooked food. But when I eat only raw, living foods, my cravings went away, energy increased, all pains were eliminated, clarity was profound, eyesight improved, slept better…. all major benefits in my experience. If I mistakenly eat cooked food, not only can I immediately taste the difference, I also don’t feel my best. I’ve noted others with similar experiences after eating only raw foods.

Here’s a great example… a quote from Gideon Graff, a raw foodist and co-owner of a raw foods center in Georgia:

“The biggest challenge was committing 100% to raw foods. Until you make that commitment, you allow yourself to eat this, eat that, and for people like me–a binge eater–every time I allowed myself to eat some cooked food, it always led to more cooked food and it was very hard to keep raw. Once you’ve cleaned up a little bit, you feel the damage of eating cooked food much more than you did before. It makes you feel bad. So, committing to 100 percent as really a good experience. “

You can experience great benefits from adding more raw and living foods into your diet, at any level.. and you’ll get the most benefits by eating only raw foods. There is no comparison between some and 100%. Listen to your body, it will tell you when you’re ready and only you can feel the difference. I challenge you to make the commitment.

For me, committing to 100% raw foods was a blessing and made it easier to experience the benefits of natural and abundant health.

All the best in your journey!

Mark

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Nature’s Remedy, Back to Basics: Sleep

Posted on September 17th, 2006 in Uncategorized by Vegan Raw Diet Advocate Comments Off on Nature’s Remedy, Back to Basics: Sleep

Something most Americans overlook in today’s increasingly active and busy world is one of the simplest and most effective ways to avoid getting sick and dis-ease…

Sleep.

Our bodies are designed to heal themselves of anything, given the right environment and opportunity. Popular wisdom tells us to take this or that… although it normally only masks the symptoms and doesn’t ‘heal’. Only your body can heal itself of anything if you let it – nothing else. And that’s the key… letting it.

If you’re feeling under the weather or not yourself, the most effective and natural way to return to a state of good health is to take it easy! Rest, sleep… do nothing and let your body heal itself. Of course popular wisdom tells us that we need to get over that cold, flu or other illness fast (or even faster!) and get back to whatever you were doing (work, school, work :).

This idea of resting has been presented to me several times in the past few weeks and I’m certain it’s for a reason. We can easily get caught up with too much on our plates and not take the time to sleep properly and rest. Sleep deprivation and insomnia are at epidemic rates in the US and the decline in health and increase in obesity are equally staggering. A coincidence?

I believe it’s time to get back to basics, simplify our lives and take time to rest and get adequate sleep to allow us to live fully with health and happiness always.

What do you think?

To your best health!

Mark

www.VeganRawDiet.com

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Why Raw and Living Foods?

Posted on September 9th, 2006 in Uncategorized by Vegan Raw Diet Advocate Comments Off on Why Raw and Living Foods?

If you’re wondering why eating more raw and living foods is beneficial, view this insightful video from Brenda at Living Foods Institute and find out about cancer, doctors, prescription drugs and more. Select ‘click to play’ below. Enjoy!

Mark

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