In part one of this article, we discussed how research is showing the healing effects of a healthy diet. A healthy diet, based on current research, involves eating plant-based foods, greatly reducing processed foods, and keeping animal proteins to a minimum. Despite their lack of training in nutrition, doctors are turning to food to cure disease instead of drugs.
Those of us that live in the Western World, are often unaware that there are entire cultures and societies where things we take for granted barely exist. There are places with almost no heart disease and no colon or breast cancer. Many of the autoimmune diseases we see are practically nonexistent in some cultures. Why is it that in the west we have become used to so many prevalent illnesses?
The anatomy of a heart attack
A heart attack, or myocardial infarction (MI), is permanent damage to the heart muscle. As the Cleveland Clinic describes, heart muscles need to receive a constant, good supply of blood to function properly. Your heart gets the blood it needs from the coronary arteries. Without adequate blood, the heart becomes starved of oxygen and the vital nutrients necessary to work properly. This can cause chest pain called angina. When one or more of the coronary arteries are completely blocked, a heart attack (injury to the heart muscle) may occur.
Coronary artery disease is the narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries caused by atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis (sometimes called “hardening” or “clogging” of the arteries) is the buildup of cholesterol and fatty deposits (called plaque) on the inner walls of the arteries that restricts blood flow to the heart.
Watch how food heals
Here is a picture of two different angiograms. An angiogram is a diagnostic test that uses x-rays to take pictures of blood vessels. The picture on the left (A) is a close-up view of a person’s left anterior descending coronary artery (that is in the heart muscle). The picture on the right (B) is the exact same artery after a couple years of plant-based eating. No medications and no stents!
What we see here on the left is that artery is mostly blocked. The amount of blood flow traveling from top to bottom is highly disrupted. But look at the same artery on the right after eating properly. Again, no medications and no angioplasty (stenting).
This is a patient in Dr. Esselstyn’s program at the Cleveland Clinic. There is also documentation of other patients who got enough of the blockage reversed within 3 WEEKS of changing their eating. Dr. Esselstyn and some others are primarily working with healthy eating—mostly plants–to reverse heart disease. Some doctors have been looking at these diets in terms of cancer preventions, and yes, as part of the curing process. Dr. T. Colin Campbell has been doing research in this area for decades. He is the author of the China Study which definitively shows the connection between diet and cancer.
You may remember a few weeks ago I wrote about many of the unexpected surprises I have seen in my work. Clients attained their goals and then had additional good outcomes in other areas of health. Every doctor working with whole-food, plant-based eating can tell you stories of patients who have seen skin conditions clear up, diabetes reverse, remissions in people with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, multiple sclerosis, and cancer tumors shrink. Even people without advanced chronic conditions speak of better energy, weight loss, decreased fatigue and better sleep. When you combine this way of eating together with basic exercise, you have something far more powerful and effective than any medication a doctor can give.
New programs and clinics
Things are changing rapidly however. Dr. Robert Ostfeld is a cardiologist at Montefiore Hospital in New York City. He has opened a division in the cardiology department called the Cardiac Wellness Program. They use plant-based nutrition to cure heart disease and avoid medications and stents. Dr. Esselstyn has his clinic at the Cleveland Clinic using and researching nutrition to halt and reverse heart disease. Dr. Dean Ornish has been collecting data and using randomized trials and studies to prove that plant-based eating really works. Clinics and hospitals worldwide are incorporating nutrition as medicine. Many doctors, and certainly pharmaceutical companies, may be displeased, but it is happening.
And what about the education of our physicians going forward? There was good news this past year on that front also. The Albert Einstein College of Medicine has put more nutrition into their curriculum. Others are sure to follow suit.
With all the problems of the current form of medicine, look at what we have to be optimistic about. For example, people suffering with neuropathy pain have suffered terribly. The medications used may dull the pain some but they don’t do anything to eliminate it. Guess what? When some of these people went on a strict whole-food, plant-based diet, they actually reversed their neuropathy. And while everyone might not reach total success, they are likely to improve their situation much more than with any drug.
This is the new medicine—and really the old medicine. You don’t have to be perfect to start seeing results. Every change brings more improvement. The more changes you make, the better your health will be. Just add a few more servings of vegetables and fruits. Also, if you eliminate most of the processed foods and some animal proteins you eat, you already have done wonders for your health and well-being.
We are still in the initial stages of understanding how far this can go, but we are surely on the way. Ask your doctor about this new and exciting area of medicine. For more information, look up all the names mentioned of doctors already practicing the new medicine—the kind that heals, cures and will “add hours to your days, days to your years, and years to your life.”