Eating for Health with Your Eyes
Oregon’s Silver Falls State Park is a study in green. The forest is thick and welcoming. The sound of water shouts at the park’s ten waterfalls and sings along the steams connecting them. You can smell and feel the freshness in the air, and it’s not because of any canned scent. An amazing hiking trail, with breath-taking scenery at every step, loops around the waterfalls.
Can you feel better simply looking at plants? Thousand of studies show that plant-based nutrition is the healthiest way to eat. But what about just spending time in green spaces, which are open, undeveloped stretches of land with tress and other vegetation? Silver Falls State Park is an excellent example of a green space.
Researchers have found that merely being out in nature, even without exercising, boosts energy and can add years to your life. Being in nature counters stress and may reduce anger, frustration, and aggression. Time outdoors can be transformative.
In other words, nature is the antidote to many of the ills we suffer, both physical and mental. What a low-cost, awesome way to boost health, reduce medical costs, and increase the quality of life. No pretty pictures on television or in the movies can substitute for the
Yet the remnants of the great forests that once blanketed much of the United States are still being destroyed. While the trees in Silver Falls are protected, ugly patches of clear cuts checker the land stretching around it in almost every direction. Protecting the forest is protecting the future for ourselves and our children.
Diet is inseparable from this task. Forests around the world are destroyed to open land for grazing “grass fed beef” or to grow feed for farmed animals. Eating a whole foods, plant-based diet is the best way to save the trees. This eating choice is effective because it drastically reduces the economic incentive to destroy forests. Deforestation is a leading cause of greenhouse gas build-up because trees store so much carbon in their tissues. So a plant-based diet slows climate change as well.
Making your voice heard is critical. You can join campaigns against clear cutting and organizations that protect our last remaining undeveloped land. While it’s true that wood is a renewable resource,
mature forests take hundreds or even thousands of years to reach ecological perfection. The complexity of such a landscape is unrivaled for scenic magnificence.
You’ll feel so energetic from an animal-free diet that you will have no trouble getting into the green world to hike, kayak, bike, or whatever else you enjoy. You will be eating health through your eyes as you gaze at unbroken stretches of pure beauty.
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Blog posting by Janice Stanger, Ph.D. Janice authored The Perfect Formula Diet, the smart person’s nutrition book built on sustainable food choices. Enjoy six kinds of whole foods for permanent, hunger-free weight loss and health.