I am sure that we can all agree that chronic disease is something we all wish would disappear. Well, good news, it can! Extraordinary claims do need extraordinary evidence, so here are a few arguments for a way of living that can prevent and protect you against chronic disease. I specifically focus on heart disease because it is completely treatable. Heart disease is diet-related–caused by diets high in animal products which are very high in cholesterol, saturated fat, and refined oils. All plant foods are free of cholesterol and generally much lower in saturated fat, so it is no surprise that a plant-based diet is the cure to most chronic diseases and our world’s number one killer- heart disease. 

As cholesterol builds up inside the walls of arteries, our blood flow to the body is impeded. When there is not enough blood flow in the body, this sets people up for heart disease (Esselstyn, 2016). Now that we know what heightens the risk of heart attacks, we should be taking steps to prevent them. Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, a cardiologist, and former Olympian, has been able to make patients who were suffering from clogged arteries “heart-attack proof” by putting them on healthy plant-based diets and lowering their cholesterol levels down to below 150. He stresses the idea that animal foods and processed foods cause damage to the endothelium (which is the inner cells of your arteries).

According to Dr. Michael Greger, a physician and author of the book How not to die, the diet that achieves optimal health is one that minimizes the intake of meat, eggs, dairy, and processed foods and maximizes the consumption of fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds, mushrooms, and herbs and spices (Gregor, 2015). We are misled to believe that we are poorly designed creatures prone to chronic disease and illness and in need of doctor prescribed medication to heal us. This fallacy fools many people into thinking it is normal amongst our society to be sick. Unfortunately, this ideology keeps many people from going outside the box of medications as they believe this is their only option to heal themselves. People are diagnosed with illnesses that are treatable but are either not told the secret to cure themselves, don’t follow through with their diet due to a lack of self-discipline or are ignorant to the benefits of a plant-based diet.

Another fallacy in society is that people don’t know the impact that the right foods can have on our bodies. We don’t always need medications to help heal our problems. Plant-based foods have endless health benefits to them, so if we are eating enough of them daily, there is no doubt that we will achieve greater health. Here are a few examples…

Anyone who is involved in sports might be interested to know that beets can help to increase athletic performance by reducing blood pressure and increasing blood flow. Dark green leafy vegetables along with beets also contain a natural chemical called nitrates. Our body then converts these nitrates into nitric oxides which is the strongest vasodilator in the body. This helps your arteries dilate when needed during exercise. (Nordquvist, 2017).
Mushrooms help inhibit the growth of cancer cells, regulates blood pressure, and improves our immune response to infection. (Nordquvist, 2017).
Legumes are high in fibre which helps to regulate blood cholesterol levels, improve glucose sensitivity, insulin levels for diabetes, maintains bone strength and heart health. (Nordquvist, 2017).

Although we have made some headway throughout the years, the majority of people are still uneducated with our new age health studies. It is still a common misconception that meat is our only substantial source of protein and that drinking milk will help you grow big and strong. In reality, these are the very foods that lead us to develop these major health issues.

There are five regions of the world where people already eat a plant-based diet. These are called blue zones—which are geographical regions in the world where people live much longer than others. Epidemiological evidence has proven that Loma Linda California (which is one of the existing blue zones) has the lowest rates of disease in the world (Buettner, 2008). Not only is illness significantly lessened, but people living in this region also live as much as a decade longer than the rest of us due to their whole-foods plant-based diet.  So, if health, and years added to your life sound good to you, perhaps it is time to give this diet a try!

For more Information

Gregor, M. (2016) How Not to Die. New York, New York: Flatiron Books.

Nordqvist, O. (2017, September 1). The health benefits of popular foods. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/269143.php

Nutritionfacts.org. How Not to Die, an instant New York Times Best Seller. Retrieved from https://nutritionfacts.org/book/

Esselstyn, C. (2016) Plant-Based Nutrition. Retrieved from http://www.dresselstyn.com/site/plant-based-nutrition/