Friday, August 17, 2012

Are Vegans and Vegetarians Healthy - Sushil Kumar

Sushil Kumar the Wrestler

Ever since Buddha walked the land of South Asia around two and a half millenniums ago, vegetarianism has come to be an accepted part of human civilization particularly in South Asia. The Mighty Buddha proclaimed that all animals deserve human compassion and violence in all forms should be shunned. Since the production of milk from cows need not involve violence, South Asian vegetarians consume milk and milk products freely. However they avoid eggs, at least traditionally.

In other parts of the world there is a diet known as Vegan diet that involves avoiding all foods of animal origin including milk and eggs. The argument probably is that much commercial production of milk and eggs involves ill treatment of farm animals. It need not though, especially when cows are kept in every home as pets in small numbers and not in large diaries and if they are allowed to roam for grazing. The same goes for chicken if they are free range. In an older article this blogger described that it is a good idea  to include eggs (unfertilized ones) and milk in  human diet but rather if one was seriously concerned about minimizing violence to all life forms then instead some vegetables need to be avoided. A type of diet that includes milk and eggs but not meat and even some vegetables was proposed for the purpose and described as Lovegan food or Lovegan diet rather than a vegan or vegetarian one. An interested blogger will find the older post here through scrolling or searching in this blog.

Often there has been a suspicion that a vegetarian diet is not fully healthy. In fact a visible lack of strength and vitality may be noted especially amongst new western vegetarians. This author too noted that while in the west but here in India that has not been the case. Indians from long tradition know how to balance a vegetarian diet. This author has met both weak and strong vegetarians as well as non-vegetarians, although an increased vitality has been seen at times amongst egg eaters as compared to non egg eaters. However these are the author’s personal observation from a daily observation of life and not a result of rigorous research and therefore should not be regarded as the last word on the matter.

A recent event from the London Olympics though has reinforced this author’s perception that vegetarians can be just as healthy as or even healthier than non-vegetarians. The event concerns Sushil Kumar a wrestler. Born in 1983, he is an Indian World Champion wrestler who won the gold medal in the 66 kg freestyle competition at the FILA 2010 World Wrestling Championships, a silver medal in the Men's 66kg Freestyle Wrestling event at the 2012 London Olympics. He is a vegetarian. He also has a terrific sense of humor. When asked if he had bitten the ear of his opponent during the bout, he replied with a smile and a wink that he is a vegetarian.

Sushil Kumar one of the strongest men in the world today consumes a diet of lentils, fruits and salads, plenty of roti (flat round unleavened bread), butter, yoghurt and milk. There is another ingredient to his diet – almonds. In an older post, the most popular one of this blog – Edgar Cayce and the almond tree it is described how Edgar Cayce believed that consuming just  a few almonds (definitely less than ten a day) removed any deficiency that is caused by not eating meat. Other nuts from trees may also contribute in a similar manner in the view of this author. Nevertheless the conclusion is that vegetarianism is healthy and moreover it prevents many serious diseases that may occur with age and consumption of meat.

Not just the strongest, but the most disease free and longest lived humans on Earth are near vegetarians. They are from Ikaria. Read about their diet here:
http://someitemshave.blogspot.in/2013/01/vegetarian-food-for-good-health-ikaria.html


1 comment:

ashok said...

Somehow this post has made it to one of the six most popular posts of this blog indicating most visitors even though there are no comments - just silent readers I guess!