Vegan Notes

From “5 Myths About Protein” by Kate Rockwood in Prevention magazine October 2021

Myth #2: “You can’t get enough complete protein just from plants. Mythbuster: Experts used to think you had to pair certain plant proteins to get a complete protein–that is, one containing all nine of the essential amino acids your body can’t make on its own. Now we know that you don’t have to combine plant proteins perfectly within one meal as long as you eat from a variety of food groups during the day. In fact, a 2019 review found that vegetarians who ate enough protein-rich food got more than enough protein and amino acids. Beans, nuts, and seeds can satisfy your daily requirements just as well as animal products (a cup of cooked black beans has 16g, about 35% of your daily needs; a cup of edamame has 18g, compared with 29 g in a f-oz beef burger). Veggies contain less protein but do have some–especially broccoli, bean sprouts, green peas, and spinach” (65).

“What enables you to solve novel problems is a faculty called fluid intelligence…Fluid intelligence can be optimally preserved by consumption of specific omega-3 fats. These are not the well-known omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, EPA and DHA; all are derived from land-based food” (31).

Fats for Fluid Intelligence: 1) Blood levels of three omega-3 fatty acids correlate with fluid intelligence and the size of the left frontoparietal cortex; 2) Alpha-linolenic acid is found in many seeds and walnuts; 3) Stearidonic acid is found in walnuts and pumpkin seeds; 4) Eicosatrienoic acid is found in flaxseed oil.

“Nut seeds, and oils are the primary sources of the three omega fatty acids…nuts…seeds and their oils…flaxseed oil…in yellow mustard. Intake of these nutrients, studies show, may prevent or slow cognitive decline.”

“The nutrients directly enhance memory processes and indirectly affect them by maintaining the microstructure of the fornix. …the fornix is responsive to nutritional interventions.”

Feeding the Fornix: “Refinements in brain-imaging technology have enabled neuroscientists to discover that the microstructure of the fornix is a highly sensitive indicator of memory health.”

Fatty Acid Facts: Many omega-3s are found in plants. Most omega-6 fats in the diet come from vegetable oils. (32)

Excerpts from:

Marano, Hara Estroff.  “Not by Fish Alone.” Psychology Today June 2018: 31-32.

From the beginning of human civilization there has been beer. “Beer always begins from the same base–grain. Wheat, barley, rye. …add hops–the flowers of a climbing plant that impart a distinctive flavor to beer–along with spices, or anything their hearts desire” (35). “The addition of hops, dating to at least the ninth century, changed beer forever. As the female buds of the Humulus lupulus vine, hops resemble small green pine cones and add the bitter flavor and aroma we associate with beer, courtesy of constituent phytochemicals called humulones. Scientists find that humulones offer a buffet of health benefits. For starters, they are antimicrobial. Cherokee tribes long used hops to treat inflammation.

“Ongoing studies demonstrate that humulones prevent cognitive degeneration, reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Most recently, researchers reported that they improve cognitive function in people with metabolic syndrome. They also have sedative and anxiolytic effects. In Germany, extracts of hops are prescribed medicinally to combat stress and anxiety.”

“…beer contains an array of B vitamins, particularly B6 and B12, known to support brain health. Beer also harbors the minerals selenium, phosphorus, potassium, and calcium, and the malted grain yields silicon, thought essential for maintaining bone density” (36).

Excerpts from:

Blum, Alexander.  “Beer: Stirring Civilization.” Psychology Today June 2018: 35-36.

The Anti-Cancer Diet

Shift to a healthier diet to reverse GERD and reduced esophageal cancer risk. Focus your eating on:

High-fiber foods: A fiber-rich diet can reduce the risk of Barrett’s esophagus by up to 66 percent and esophageal adenocarcinoma by as much as 34 percent.

Fruits and vegetables: When people eat more fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors as part of their regular diet, their risk of Barrett’s is cut by as much as 73 percent, and their risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma is reduced by approximately 32 percent.

Leafy greens and legumes: Folate intake from dietary sources such as leafy greens and legumes has been shown to reduce the risk of Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer by up to 60 percent.

“Is Lab-Grown Meat Ready for Dinner?” by John Birdsall in The Future of Everything: A Look Ahead From the Wall Street Journal Nov/Dec. 2018 [excerpts]

“The process of growing meat in a bioreactor is known as cellular agriculture, and the results were once called ‘clean meat.’ But at a recent conference in Berkeley, Calif., a collective of cellular-agriculture startups decided to call the product category ‘cell-based meat’ instead.”

“Proponents of cellular agriculture see the technology as a sustainable way to satisfy humanity’s insatiable hunger for meat. The environmental toll of raising 70 billion animals a year for slaughter is severe, and consumption is steadily growing throughout the world. A sustainable facsimile of animal protein could be the answer. The start-up Impossible Foods has earned rave reviews for its vegan, plant-based burger that bleeds and tastes like meat. It seems like only a matter of time before bio-reactors produce something that looks and tastes pasture raised.

From “I Can’t Believe It’s Lab-Made Whiskey” by Hannah Goldfield

“There are obvious comparisons to be made between Endless West and startups like Impossible Foods, which uses a molecule derived from legumes to give its plant-based burger the look and taste of ground beef. ‘The core thesis of what we’re doing is very similar,’ Lee says. But Patrick Brown, the founder and CEO of Impossible Foods, set out to replicate ground beef because of the damage cattle farming inflicts on the environment. ‘The whole mission of this company is to make eating animals unnecessary,’ he told the Jornal in 2014. ‘I think very few people ask Impossible Foods, ‘Why are you doing this?’”

From “She’s Gonna Make it After All” by Sarah Cristobal on the topic of Taraji P. Henson: “Their life is a healthy one. Hayden runs his own gym, and she’s always cooking new vegan treats for her tribe. She made the jump to veganism after suffering massive stomach pains while filming The Best of Enemies this past summer. ‘It took a doctor in Macon, Ga., to say, If you don’t change what you’re doing, you’re going to get stomach cancer. I said, Say no more. So I switched everything up out of necessity. I want to live. Thank God, because I feel so much better.’”  –In Style Jan. 2019

Links to “How to Eat Your Hat” by Kirsi Goldynia for Supplemental Science section of Psychology Today Dec. 2018

As a vegan, you never have to be afraid to walk into a pizza joint. Take the meat and cheese off a pizza, top with your favorite vegetables and there you go…a goddamn pizza. If you REALLY get lucky the joint will have vegan cheese; then you’re in heaven. Just remember to always say to the waiter/waitress that you are vegan. You never know when the sauce might contain parmesan or the crust is baked with cheese.