How Vegetables Can Transform Your Health
Inspired by this TED blog post on the transformative power of vegetables, the following videos remind us of the truly powerful impact eating vegetables can have on our health.
Dr. Terry Wahls was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2000. Upon her diagnosis, she began treatment at the world renowned Cleveland Clinic. Unfortunately conventional treatments did little to slow the progress of her MS, and six years later she was confined to a tilt-recline wheelchair.
Dr. Wahls then began to submerge herself in medical research. She discovered that mitochondria, which manage the energy supply for all cells, do not function properly in patients with certain diseases. In fact, she found that in those with MS, their brains actually shrink due to the mitochondria malfunctioning. She set out to design a food plan to feed her brain and her mitochondria.
Dr. Wahls’ Food Plan – EAT DAILY:
- • 3 cups green leaves (kale, spinach, chard, romaine)
- • 3 cups sulfur-rich vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, onions, mushrooms)
- • 3 cups brightly colored, antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables (preferably 3 different colors)
- • Seaweed (for iodine)
- • Grass fed meat and organ meat
Dr. Wahls admits eating 9 cups of vegetables per day may seem daunting to some, but exerts that it is an investment in one of our greatest assets – our health. While this way of eating may also be harder on the wallet, Dr. Wahls reminds us that we will likely pay the price one way or another: either now for food that restores our health, or later for doctor visits, medication, and sick days.
So how has Dr. Wahls transformed her health with a diet predominated by vegetables? Within months, she was walking again, within a year she completed an 18-mile bicycle tour, and the following year she completed a trail ride in the Canadian Rockies. Her MS symptoms are completely gone.
William Li speaks about what he calls a “medical revolution” – the study of angiogenesis. Angiogenesis is the process our bodies use to grow blood vessels. The majority of the blood vessels we have in our bodies (about 60,000 miles worth!) are there from birth. A healthy body produces more blood vessels only during pregnancy and wound healing. The body also has the ability to “prune back” vessels when we have too much. This “pruning back” is a very important process that has been shown to be severely impeded during certain illnesses (cancer, Alzheimer’s, obesity). In fact, Li says that angiogenesis, or vessel growth, is a hallmark of many cancers. Anti-angiogenic drugs have been shown to slow down or stop cancer growth in animals and humans.
Li then thought, what if we apply this principle earlier in the game? Studying the biology of angiogenesis, Li developed a list of foods to “starve” cancer. Li’s anti-angiogenic foods: green tea, berries, citrus fruit, apples, pineapple, cherries, red grapes, red wine, bok choy, kale, soy beans, ginseng, maitake mushrooms, turmeric, tomatoes, nutmeg, artichokes, lavender, pumpkin, sea cucumber, tuna, parsley, garlic, olive oil, and dark chocolate – and the list goes on! Through research, Li also found that these foods seems to have a synergistic effect – meaning the more anti-angiogenic vegetables we eat together, the stronger their power is.
How can vegetables transform YOUR health?