Many people do not take the issue of health and nutrition seriously today. Studies indicate that people eat as much food as they want. It is agreeable that people no longer think of their health conditions and their surrounding environment. The situation today requires that we take care of our health and environment seriously than ever before. In the book “The Vegetarian Imperative”, Anand Saxena offers some of the best ideas to encourage people to start taking actions about their health. In the book, the author examines the question of vegetarianism in details. The author goes further to provide essential ideas towards a healthier life. This paper examines the ideas and concepts presented in the book by Anand Saxena.
The Vegetarian Imperative
To begin with, Anand Saxena is a biophysicist. She has a wide knowledge on issues affecting human beings today. The book examines how different means of food production today affects our environment (Saxena 19). The book also discusses the importance of a vegetarian diet towards a better health. It is notable that most of the ideas presented in the book are not new. However, such ideas are essential because they help individuals live a healthier life (Saxena 18). This makes the book meaningful to the reader.
The first message from the book is that a vegetarian diet is always the best (Saxena 39). The book examines the negative effects of animal products such as meat and eggs. The author examines how human beings treat animals today. The book explains how non-vegetarians continue to destroy the environment today. Although most of the animal products have specific health benefits, the author believes that “individuals can get the same benefits from a purely vegetarian diet (Saxena 64)”. The book encourages people to embrace the benefits of a vegetarian diet.
The author also explains how raising animals requires a lot of water compared to the production of crops. As more people continue to demand animal products such as meat and eggs, it becomes evident that the world continues to face a severe shortage of water and other resources. That being the case, individuals can embrace the benefits of a vegetarian diet in order to improve their health. The approach will conserve the environment and eventually improve people’s health conditions. In the book, Saxena defines a vegetarian diet as “one that does not contain animal products such as meat and sea foods (Saxena 87)”. The author goes further to offer some of the advantages of consuming plant-based diets over animal products.
The book explains how long-term consumption of a vegetarian diet will greatly reduce the risk of various diseases including obesity (Saxena 96). According to the author, animal products offer a higher energy content thus exposing more people to obesity. The book offers useful insights that guide individuals to embrace a vegetarian diet. This is the best approach to control weight. A vegetarian diet works effectively if the individual takes enough fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. The author of the text explains how animal products result in a higher body mass index (BMI). This explains why a vegetarian diet is necessary to those who want to maintain their weight and health.
The other issue presented in the book is that individuals should consume a variety of vegetables and fruits in their diet. Individuals can record the best health outcomes if they consume a wide variety of vegetables, whole grains, and fruits (Saxena 158). The book explains how different varieties will provide the individuals with carotenoids, fiber, antioxidants, and bioflavanoids. These compounds play a significant role towards improving a person’s health. A number of scientific studies indicate that vegetarian diets composed of various vegetables and fruits offer numerous advantages in comparison to diets containing animal products such as eggs and meat.
Vegetarian diets are also healthy and non-toxic. According to the American Dietetic Association (ADA), a balanced diet containing different plant products is suitable for children, infants, adolescents, and the elderly (Saxena 185). This is a clear indication that a vegetarian diet is suitable for human beings at all stages of growth and development. Such diets are also essential for athletes, lactating women, and disabled persons. That being the case, the book encourages people to plan their vegetarian diets appropriately. When this is done properly, the individuals will significantly prevent themselves from certain diseases. The important message here is that a vegetarian diet is healthy and can provide benefits to people at all ages.
The other outstanding information from this book is that a vegetarian diet should become a lifestyle (Saxena 168). Although such a diet will keep the weight of a person in check, vegetarianism should become a routine. The lifestyle will reduce instances of diseases and other conditions affecting many people today. Different studies show that a vegetarian diet will lower the risks of death (Saxena 187). As well, it minimizes chances of developing various heart complications and kidney diseases. Vegetarians will have reduced cholesterol level and lower instances of hypertension. The diet reduces instances of type II diabetes.
Vegetarians record lower rates of cancer and body mass index (BMI). Individuals who consume a purely vegetarian diet will significantly reduce risks of various chronic conditions. The author also explains the need to consume whole grains, avoid saturated fats, take vegetables, and soy products. It is also necessary to include “phytochemicals” and fiber in the diet (Saxena 209). As well, the author explains why individuals should take milk. Although milk is an animal product, the book indicates that cows produce the product after consuming hay, water, and grass. This fact makes it an important product that can have many benefits on a person’s health. The ideas in the book encourage individuals to embrace the benefits of a vegetarian diet. This is the best path towards a healthy society. It is evident from the book that our endless desire and appetite for animal-based products and foods plays a significant role towards the development of many chronic diseases today.
The author asserts that our consumption of animal foods is the leading cause of chronic conditions and diseases today. These diseases eventually results in early death. Saxena believes that human beings can consume vegetarian diets. Such diets can help prevent the onset of chronic conditions and diseases such as dementia, diabetes, hypertension, and cancer. A wholesome vegetarian meal should consist of vegetables, whole grains, fiber, fruits, soya, and milk. It is necessary that individuals use a vegetarian diet because of its outstanding health benefits. The approach will play a significant role towards conserving the environment and overcoming most of the diseases and chronic conditions affecting people today. In conclusion, I would recommend this book by Anand Saxena because it presents remarkable ideas towards a healthier life and sustainable environment.
Saxena, Anand. The Vegetarian Imperative. New York: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011. Print.