When you choose plants, you equip your body with what it needs to protect you from disease.

If strong and healthy is our collective goal, we need to focus on what we can learn from those most impacted by this pandemic. Those who seemed to have statistically suffered the most severe outcomes (hospitalization and death) were those whose health was already compromised by obesity, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption,  diabetes, and heart disease. That is a wake-up call for us. If then 60% of all global deaths are due to these conditions in general – with poor diet considered a major contributory factor in each of them – then why aren’t we talking more about that?

Research has shown that people who eat a diet high in animal protein (including red meat, poultry, fish, dairy, and eggs) have an increased risk of cancer.  People who simply avoid meat experience half the risk of colon cancer, and one-third the risk of prostate cancer.

Instead of treating disease after the diagnosis, the problem oriented approach, we should be teaching people how to prevent it, creating a wellness health system.  We must shift to teaching about a plant-based diet to avoid many of the conditions listed above.  That is what the managed health care giant Kaiser Permanente has been doing, encouraging the adoption of a plant based diet as the new normal for their patients and employees.  The Harvard Healthy Eating Pyramid supports plant based diets as the healthiest option, as does Dr Kim Williams, former President of the American Cardiology Association.  Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, and plant based food can reverse that. John Hopkins experts says dairy is one of the most consistent dietary predictors for prostate cancer.  Fish are full of mercury, microplastics, saturated fat, and cholesterol.

During this pandemic doctors and scientists have studied who is at the greatest risk of dying from COVID19 (and SARS, MERS, and Avian Flu). They found that one of the most common fatal complications is something called a “cytokine storm.”  This is when your immune system launches such an aggressive attack on the virus that it causes the body to sustain innocent bystander damage from the resulting excess inflammation.  Cytokine storm damages lungs, kidneys and even heart muscle.  Plants help not only to actively quell inflammation (versus meat, which fuels it), but they also help regulate your immune system.  That means a balanced immune system will give your body the right tools at the right moment, rather than overwhelm the body with a dysregulated and out-of-whack response.

Now, more than ever, we need to focus on building our immune systems, so we are well.  The healthier a nation we are, the better our Country will run.  If we choose wellness, the strain on taxpayers and our government health crisis dissipates.  The COVID19 pandemic has exposed serious problems with  our “world-class” healthcare system.  At present it is unable to efficiently address widespread illness.  Insurance companies and for-profit corporations like hospital systems and big pharma have been making billions in profits, and yet we are left with a very crippled, and broadly ineffective disease-centric care system that doesn’t support health and wellness. This needs to change

We must ask ourselves some hard questions: why are we afraid that we may die from SARsCoV2 virus, but not from the death that may comes from poor food choices? The number of deaths from cancers and cardiovascular disease are staggering.  During this pandemic everyone says, with such sincerity, that they are quarantining and wearing masks to protect the vulnerable, and yet this promise seems forgotten when the evening steak or burger or coke or milkshake are plunked down on the table.

How can we make people care about themselves and others, and do this all the time so disasters and disease are minimized?

Xo

Alicia

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash


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