Plant-based diet helps prevent more than 60 percent of chronic disease deaths
by John Phillip
(NaturalNews) Chronic illnesses including cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity account for nearly 65 percent of all deaths annually, according to the World Health Organization. Over the course of modern human history, forward thinking scientists have known that a diet largely consisting of plants, fruits, nuts and seeds promote optimal health, and when coupled with a healthy lifestyle, can prevent, and in many cases treat a wide variety of chronic diseases that kill millions every year.
Prior studies over the past two decades have provided solid evidence to show that taking the majority of calories from plant-based foods dramatically lowers the incidence of disease. Diets high in hydrogenated fats and sugars, low in fiber, high in refined and processed grains and low in plant foods are increasingly being consumed by children and adults in western cultures. This dramatic shift toward consumption of fast and convenience foods over the past half century is a direct and indisputable cause of chronic illness.
Adding to the insurmountable evidence is a research body published in the magazine, Food Technology that explains how recent discoveries in nutritional genomics explain how plant-based diets are effective at warding off disease. Senior editor, Toni Tarver explains how people living in societies that eat healthy, plant-based diets rarely fall victim to heart disease, diabetes, cancer and dementia, the leading causes of death for the vast majority of aging adults.
Processed and refined foods promote disease while a plant-based diet supports health
The author provides evidence to explain how bioactive compounds in plant foods play a role in controlling genetic and other biological factors that lead to chronic disease. Inflammation is increasingly found to be the root cause of most chronic diseases, and antioxidants from natural foods eaten raw or minimally cooked counter free radicals that fan the flames of inflammation and damage cellular form and function while altering DNA integrity as well.
Plant compounds help control a gene linked to cardiovascular disease and plaque buildup in arteries and change genetic expression while altering the function of critical cellular components responsible for forming and sustaining tumors. Dr. William Li, President and Medical Director of the Angiogenesis Foundation in Cambridge, MA concludes “Prevention is always better than a cure… foods that may help prevent cancer and other chronic diseases include artichokes, black pepper, cinnamon, garlic, lentils, olives, pumpkin, rosemary, thyme, watercress, and more.”
There should be no doubt that natural compounds found in a plant-based diet provide optimal protection against specific chronic illnesses. For example, some studies have concluded that lycopene from tomatoes appears to lower the risk of prostate, lung, and bladder cancers while other studies have shown that foods rich in anthocyanins, such as blueberries and strawberries, significantly reduce death from cardiovascular disease. A natural diet of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and no more than 10 percent of calories from organic meats are the key to prevent chronic disease and early mortality.
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