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What on Earth is Pescovegetarianism, and How is it Changing Lives For the Better ?

The words vegetarian and vegan, are no doubt familiar to your ears. With the health craze that has seemingly swept the nation (and for good cause, as obesity is rapidly becoming a dangerous and deadly epidemic here in the U.S), we as consumers have becomes more aware of our own health, our habits and our overall lifestyle as it pertains to our very well-being. With this said, the amount of phrases, keywords, fad diets and everything in between that has fallen into the health and fitness trend over the last half decade may have left us inundated with a lot of random information that we truly do not comprehend.

In its simplest form, a vegetarians abstains from eating any form of meat or fish. Now, the variations on this diet and lifestyle are wide and vast, and one of the many synonymous words associated with the life choice is pescatarian. This refers to someone that abstains from eating all meat and animal flesh, just as a vegetarian, but does eat fish. Now, as of late, the two worlds have collided in a big way, and on the rise, for what seems to be the better of the health of the country as a whole, is pescovegetarianism.

A pescovegetarian, is a vegetarian who also consumes fish as well as other forms of crustacean and seafood, therefore, being slightly different from a pescatarian or of course, a vegetarian. The reason for the rise in the uptake of this pescovegetarian movement is because this form of semi-vegetarian diet helps to add seafood to an to the regular vegetarian diet to help better meet more of the nutrient needs for the body, and to keep you stronger and healthier in the process. All of this is still done through the same philosophies, beliefs and practices as veganism, only with more options, and a much healthier supply to the body and mind.

It has long been known that plant-based diets may help to significantly lower the risk of colorectal cancers, and the chances increase greatly if the diet is able to include a wider array of seafood and fish; this according to a recent United States study on the issue. Many forms of previous research have been able to conclusively find that vegetarians have a more reduced risk of developing certain cancers, as well as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. With doctors and scientists fully supporting the need for the population in the U.S alone to adopt a more plant based diet, pescovegetarianism is becoming the simplest way to get the country back into the healthy zone again.

"We were surprised to find that pescovegetarians actually have a significantly lower risk of colorectal cancers, especially when compared to people on other vegetarian based diets," said Dr. Michael Orlich, an assistant professor in medicine and public health at Loma Linda University in California, who has been leading studies on finding out the many benefits of a plant based diet for the human body.

During the studies, Orlich and his team were able to used everything from dietary questionnaires, and medical records, to cancer registries to examine the perceived connection between eating habits and the instance of cancer in a nationwide study sample of 77,659 participants. Many of the participants were Seventh-Day Adventists, which is a religion that has its beliefs rooted in a healthy lifestyle , which includes a stern abstinence from smoking and drinking, and eating healthy at every meal; meaning a large majority of their food is plant based, and never processed.

During the time of the study, after a follow up was made at roughly the eight year mark, within the same group of people, there were 380 reports of colon cancer and 110 cases of rectal cancer. When these numbers were then compared to regular meat eaters, the vegetarians were almost 25 percent less likely to have colorectal malignancies.

For study purposes, a pescovegetarian was defined as someone that ate fish at least once a month, and meat less than once a month, in order to cast a wider net for participants, and have a broader range of results. Within the pescovegetarian group, there was the biggest risk reduction, which was measured at close to 45 percent. For lacto-ovo vegetarians, which consisted of people that only consumed eggs and dairy while limiting fish and meat to less than once a month, the risk reduction was almost 20 percent. Vegans, who ate eggs, dairy, fish, and meat less than once a month, had a 16 percent risk reduction. Even limiting fish and meat to once a week had some benefit; semi-vegetarians had an 8 percent risk reduction.

The numbers speak volumes about just how plant based diets benefit the body, and add years to your life. However, with that said, getting consumers on board with buying or growing their own vegetables, eating less processed meals, and spending a little extra on their own health, is far easier said than done. The one big comforting takeaway from these study results, especially for us as consumers, is that a person doesn't necessarily need to be vegan, pescatarian or a pescovegetarian to be healthier in their lives. There no need to go out and cut eggs, dairy, and fish from your diet to get the needed nutrients or health benefits in terms of reducing the risk of cancer. Simply eating well, exercising and staying on top of your own habits and overall lifestyle is needed to be much safer than we are now as a population.

According to the National Cancer Institute, roughly 4.7 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with colon and rectum cancer at some point during their lifetime. If simply shunning the frozen, processed foods one or two nights a week, and replacing meals with fresh fruit, vegetables, and fish is the answer, why not make the change?

Studies like these show us just how simple it is to kick our own health up a notch, and to keep ourselves from becoming truly ill unnecessarily. The study offers more concrete evidence in support of a diet often recommended for cancer prevention by physicians all across the country every single day.

Foods like fish, and vegetables are high in omega-3 fatty acids, carotenoids, and other essential nutrients and vitamins, all of which have been shown to greatly reduce inflammation, and lower the risk of some types of cancer. Many fatty fish are also a rich source of vitamin D, which can help to protect against colon cancer and other malignancies within the body.

Making small changes in your diet can really help. There's no need to completely overhaul your life, but doing your part in cancer prevention, by eating a more plant-based diet doesn't seem all to odifficult, especially when you consider the dangerous and deadly alternative.

 

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Jim Makos

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