Recommended sustainable food is wholesome, fresh, locally and peacefully grown food of plant origin. A well-functioning supply chain with crops and food is essential for the cycle of recommended sustainable food. In fact, food security is a fragile balance that is systematically ensured through prudent planning of safe food production and processing. Sustainable nutrition is defined as healthy and safe, but with greater complexity and dependence on several factors, including accessibility and availability, geographical location (local food) and agricultural practices.
Foods are wholesome when they are not deprived of their nutritional value during the production and processing process. Eating whole foods means eating mostly fresh fruits and vegetables, seeds, nuts, dried fruits, and drinking fruit and vegetable juices squeezed from fresh, high-quality fruits and vegetables. Foods that are heat-treated before consumption should also be wholesome (for example, steamed vegetables, vegetable soups and whole grains).
Properly planned wholesome vegan and vegetarian (in one word, vegan) diet is healthy, nutritionally appropriate and helps prevent and treat many diseases. It is suitable for individuals at all stages of life, including pregnancy and lactation, for infants, children and adolescents, and athletes. Only a poorly balanced and poor quality vegan diet could lead to a nutritional deficit.
The risk of nutritional deficits is certainly the consumption of highly processed or ultra-processed foods, which in their composition usually do not contain original unprocessed foods, but are made mostly from substances obtained from various foods (fats, oils, sugar…). , modified substances (hydrogenated fats, modified starch) or substances synthesized in the laboratory from various organic substrates and other organic sources (flavor enhancers, colorants (). Examples of vegan high-processed foods include soft drinks, sweet and savory pre-packaged snacks, ice cream, chocolate, biscuits, confectionery, bread and bakery products with additives, energy bars, bagged soups, margarines and spreads, breakfast cereals, ready meals and meals, substitutes. meal supplements and distilled spirits. Although many plant substitutes can make it easier for vegans and vegetarians to plan their diets, very little is known about the nutritional quality of these highly processed foods.
Eating nutritious plant-based foods has long-term beneficial effects on both an individual’s body composition and risk factors for disease. 40 to 50 percent of food is supposed to be eaten raw. By including fermented foods in the diet, beneficial bacteria are repopulated in the gut, increasing the level of biodiversity of the gut microbiota. A healthy gut is capable of producing antibiotics, antitumor, antiviral and fungicidal substances. Fermented vegetables are not a concept that is traditionally associated only with sauerkraut and sauerkraut, you can also ferment carrots, Swiss chard, peppers, beets, radishes, kohlrabi, onions, dandelions… Among whole fresh foods, sprouts are also worth mentioning. These are especially in the winter, along with nuts, root and naturally fermented vegetables, the basis of good digestion, well-being and consequently health.
The concept of sustainable development is based on four pillars, represented by economic, environmental and social development and ethics. Sustainable development should ensure human responsibility for animal and plant species and for one’s own social community and culture. Sustainability is not a fad, but a necessity. It is necessary to consider what are and will be (for example in fifty years) the consequences of the use of plant protection products, fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, animal excreta, the quality of soil and drinking water, the decline in biodiversity, the consequences for human health, how much more treatment will cost, how much more absences will be due to illness and what kind of jobs will be available at all. The global food system is on the verge of collapse, and Slovenia’s food security is catastrophic. Exercising self-sufficiency (especially with vegetables, cereals and fruit) and preserving the seeds of indigenous plant species is therefore of survival importance.
The digestive and immune systems are inextricably linked. The digestive tract, especially the small intestine, is the largest immune organ in the human body – as much as 85 percent of the immune system is in the area of the digestive tract. The intestinal microbiota is the largest symbiotic ecosystem in the human body and plays the most important role in maintaining homeostasis (stability of the body’s internal environment). It is made up of all the microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, eukaryotes and viruses) found in the gut. The intestinal microbiota plays an important role in digestion, and its effect on the brain and behavior has been proven. The axis of the microbiota / gut / brain indicates this effect. The influence of the immune system, endocrine glands and the autonomic nervous system (parasympathetic and sympathetic systems) is two-way; the gut microbiota bacteria have an effect on the brain and vice versa, the brain (hence our thoughts as well) has an effect on the gut.
When it comes to vegetarian and vegan diets, man is still most concerned about the body’s supply of protein. In the age of technology, we are taught to question the perfection of nature, which designed man in such a way that his survival is guaranteed even when he gets little protein from food. Namely, the circulation of proteins takes place in the human body; cells constantly produce and break down proteins. In this process, there are always some amino acids left, which the body reuses in the formation of proteins. Proteins are provided to the body by eating cereals, oilseeds (especially hemp), legumes, seeds and nuts… In a balanced diet, these whole foods supply the body with all the essential amino acids. Of particular interest among plant sources of protein are industrial hemp seeds, which contain between 20 and 30 percent protein, and white lupine seeds, which contain between 33 and 38 percent (with all the essential amino acids).
Eating the recommended sustainable food is associated with lower levels of oxidative stress and lower levels of inflammatory processes in the body. Oxidative stress and inflammation play a key role in aging and the development of chronic diseases, and therefore represent an important goal in the development of dietary strategies for disease prevention.
Proponents of the GMO industry argue that genetic engineering is no different from plant hybridization, which has been practiced for centuries. This is definitely not the case. We must respect the inviolability of taxonomic units. As genetic material can be exchanged between plant and animal species in the production of GMOs, this certainly severely affects the inviolability of taxonomic units. The transgenic organisms of plants produced in this way contain the heritage of animals. An individual who consciously chooses to consume only plant-based foods is actually prevented from eating genetically modified plants by his or her intention.
The environment that surrounds us is a huge chemical reactor. In a huge chemical reactor environment, everything goes into reaction. Everything is connected. The individual is inextricably linked to the environment. Because of our involvement in the web of life, it seems extremely important to realize how much we depend on constant interaction with living beings, how important our relationship with them is, and to choose food with free will that no animal has suffered or died. That is ethics. Only this. Otherwise, our mouths are full of excuses. Greed, fear, anger, competition and individualism are not ethical states. Among them, fear is particularly dangerous, as it triggers violence (the worst form of unethical behavior). All the symptoms of all diseases have a single source – fear.
Recently, there has been a widespread mass fear of coronavirus infection. The SARS-CoV (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) coronavirus, identified in 2003, is thought to be an animal virus, still of uncertain origin, possibly bats, that has spread to other animals (civet cats of the Viverridae family) and infected humans for the first time. in Guangdong Province in southern China in 2002. At that time, the SARS-CoV epidemic affected 26 countries, and in 2003 it caused more than 8,000 cases. Since then, a lower number of cases of infection have occurred, either due to laboratory accidents or through transmission from animals to humans. This was followed by the well-known epidemic of coronavirus SARS CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus type 2), which is a relative of the already known coronaviruses that cause SARS and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome). It is most likely a zoonosis. This means an infectious disease that is naturally transmitted from animals (vertebrates) to humans. The origin of this virus is bats, the natural hosts of many species of coronaviruses. The source of COVID-19 (Corona Virus Infectious Disease-19) is linked to the fish market in Wuhan. The infection quickly spread throughout China and soon gained pandemic proportions. Transmission of SARS CoV-2 coronavirus from animals to humans appears to be related to the consumption of meat from infected animals. Markets in China are known to be full of meat from exotic animals. The fear of coronaviruses that we as a society are experiencing on a global scale seems to remind us with a big slap of the collective fear that farm animals are experiencing at this very level and is imprinted as information on their corpses, which sooner or later land in stomachs of omnivorous individuals. Interestingly, coronaviruses cause respiratory distress (difficulty breathing), so characteristic of the state when we feel fear.
Our survival depends on learning the most important values: empathy, responsibility, self-control, humility and compassion. All of this content is ideally embodied by veganism, but today’s society seems reluctant to accept it. We need to be aware that by our actions we are constantly creating debts that we will have to pay; this is the focus of the problem. This is a fundamental principle of successful economic policy, trade and sound social order, which resists any test. Man is a creative creator of his own future and destiny. Evolution, or rather the transformation of man, is his vegan diet. Fresh, peaceful and locally grown whole foods of plant origin should be the food of choice; it is a recommended sustainable food. As man evolved in environments where food was relatively scarce, many adaptations of the body to the state of food scarcity developed. Regular fasting is therefore an important part of the recommended sustainable diet.
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