Most of us know by now that diet plays a big role in our overall health and ability to ward off disease and illness.
What’s surprising many health professionals is just how much of an influence diet and lifestyle can have on our ability to reverse the damage we have already done and prevent any further harm to our health.
After conducting research over a 10-year period, doctors found that a whole-food, plant-based diet could drastically improve your health and reverse cellular aging in your body.
Their research and discovery was so groundbreaking it won them a ‘Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine’ and changed the course of nutrition and diets around the world.
When looking at the rate of disease and health issues, they discovered the majority of deaths in the Western World are actually preventable.
Big health issues and killers such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes can often be avoided by sticking to a sensible and balanced diet and lifestyle.
Many people assume these kinds of diseases are built into your genes or inherited through family blood lines; in other words they think they are unavoidable.
The truth is though, say the researchers, for most of the leading causes of death, your genes only account for 10-20 per cent of the risk.
Doctors found that by sticking to four simple diet and lifestyle goals, patients could drastically decrease their chances of developing chronic diseases.
The four recommended goals are: not smoking, not being obese, getting half an hour of exercise every day, and eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and whole grains and low in meat.
Failing to stick to these four goals accounts for three quarter of your risk of chronic disease – a figure that surprised many in the medical world when it was first discovered.
If you stick to these goals and achieve them you may be able to wipe out more than 90 per cent of your risk of developing diabetes, more than 80 per cent of your risk of having a heart attack, cut by half your risk of having a stroke, and reduce your overall cancer risk by more than a third.
To help people achieve these goals and encourage a healthy society, doctors developed a list of foods and activities, which they say should be included in everyone’s diet and daily life for optimal health.
Dr. Michael Greger, an internationally-recognized lecturer and physician, wrote a book based on this research and recommended goals, urging people to consume a range of veggies and fruits as well as beans, berries and spices.
According to Dr Greger you should aim to build the majority of your daily food intake from items on the list; you can add meat and fish to your meals too, but it is recommended you limit your portion sizes and stick to one serving per day.
Take a look at the list below and tell us: do these new revelations inspire you to change your diet and lifestyle?
1. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, spring greens, radishes, turnip tops, watercress. One serving a day: A serving is half a cup chopped or quarter of a cup of broccoli or brussels sprouts.
2. Greens including spring greens, kale, young salad greens, sorrel, spinach, swiss chard. Two servings a day: a serving is one cup raw or half a cup cooked.
3. Other vegetables: asparagus, beets, bell peppers, carrots, corn, courgettes, garlic, mushrooms, okra, onions, pumpkin, snap peas, squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes. Two servings a day: a serving is one cup raw leafy vegetables; half a cup raw or cooked non-leafy vegetables; half a cup vegetable juice; a quarter of a cup dried mushrooms.
4. Beans: black beans, cannellini beans, black-eyed peas, butter beans, soyabeans, baked beans, chickpeas, edamame, peas, kidney beans, lentils, miso, pinto beans, split peas, tofu, hummus). Three servings a day: That’s a quarter of a cup of hummus or bean dip; half a cup of cooked beans, split peas, lentils or tofu; or a full cup of fresh peas or sprouted lentils.
5. Berries — any small edible fruit, including grapes, raisins, blackberries, cherries, raspberries and strawberries. One serving a day: a serving is half a cup of fresh or frozen, or a quarter of a cup of dried.
6. Other fruits such as apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, cantaloupe melon, clementines, dates, figs, grapefruit, honeydew melon, kiwi, lemons, limes, lychees, mangos, nectarines, oranges, papaya, passion fruit, peaches, pears, pineapple, plums, pomegranates, prunes, tangerines, watermelon. Three servings a day: One serving is a cup of cut-up fruit, or one medium fruit, or a quarter of a cup of dried fruit a day.
7. Flaxseeds: one tablespoon a day.
8. Nuts: a quarter of a cup a day, or two tablespoons of peanut, almond or other nut butter.
9. Spices — every day you should have a quarter teaspoon of turmeric in addition to any other spices you enjoy.
10. Whole grains (rice, buckwheat, quinoa, cereal, pasta, bread). Three servings a day: That’s half a cup of cooked rice or pasta; one cup of cereal; a slice of bread; half a bagel.
11. Exercise — ideally 90 minutes a day of moderate activity such as walking.
12. Water: five large (12oz/340ml) glasses a day.
Do you eat most of the foods on this list? Would you change your diet if it could improve you health and lower your risk of disease?