One certainty in life is that we will all die at one or another stage. Good health allows us to fully enjoy the time we do have in this life. It is about being as functional as possible throughout our entire lives and avoiding disabling, painful and lengthy battles with disease.
Food CAN change our lives. Many chronic illnesses can be prevented, even reversed, by eating the right foods. We need to better understand the power of good food, and use this power for our own health, that of our families and communities around us.
Let’s dig a little deeper – and understand a bit more about HOW GOOD DIET is THE MOST POWERFUL TOOL AND WEAPON we have against disease and sickness.
During the mid-1980s through to the 2000s, a major twenty-year epidemiological research study (China-Cornell-Oxford Project) was carried out in China (65 counties and 6500 participants), investigating mortality rates from cancer and other chronic diseases.
The evidence from more than 8000 statistically significant associations were documented between lifestyle, diet, and disease variables. The evidence was overwhelming in support of a plant-based diet as a foundation for a healthy lifestyle and improved mortality rate.
In short, it was concluded that countries with high consumption of animal-based foods were more likely to have had higher death rates from “Western” diseases while the opposite was true for counties that ate more plant-based foods. (1,2)
Other prominent researchers such as Dr Dean Ornish and Dr Elizabeth Blackburn carried out some ground-breaking research in 2009, where they found that three months of whole-food, plant-based nutrition and other healthy changes can boost the production of the enzyme telomerase (anti-ageing enzyme found in human cells), and as such combat cancer and age-related diseases.
A subsequent five-year follow-up study showed that those in the healthy living group had boosted levels of telomeres (higher than when they started out on the study) compared with the control group (the group who did not change their lifestyles), suggesting that a healthy lifestyle can actually reverse cellular ageing to a large degree.
Over the past two decades, there has been further research substantiating most of the findings in this research. Some of the findings:
Look out for our next article where we share a step-by-step guide to Plant-Based eating.