The natural healing force within each of us is the greatest force in getting well. ~ Hippocrates
Today, I wanted to briefly discuss how diet can positively impact health. It should serve as a fitting conclusion to a series over the past few months on this Manufacturing Peace of Mind™ blog where we’ve covered a broad range of health-related topics from fat and the keto diet to heart disease and the search for unbiased healthcare advice.
Dr. William Li, a world-renowned physician and scientist, is best known for leading the Angiogenesis Foundation. Angiogenesis is the process the body uses to grow new blood vessels and this foundation is helping to develop therapeutics and devices to cure disease.
Li believes there are five health defense systems hardwired in our body to protect us from disease and that each of these systems is influenced by diet.
Following is a summary of the five defense systems and some foods that support them from his book Eat to Beat Disease:
- Angiogenesis is the process by which blood vessels are formed. Foods like soy, green tea, red wine, and beer (hallelujah!) all influence the angiogenesis defense system.
- Regeneration is the process by which stem cells distributed throughout our bone marrow, lungs, liver, and almost all of our organs help our bodies to regenerate every day. Foods like dark chocolate, black tea, and beer (!!) all help us to regenerate. Some foods (e.g., purple potatoes) can even kill deadly stem cells that spark cancer growth.
- Microbiome are the trillions of bacteria that aid in digestion, control our immune system, influence angiogenesis, and produce hormones that influence brain functions. By eating foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, and sourdough bread we give our microbiome a big boost.
- DNA isn’t just our genetic makeup but also a repair system that protects us against damage caused by a variety of factors such as stress, chemicals, and radiation. By eating certain types of nuts, fish, and fruits we can reinforce our DNA protection.
- Our immune system defends our health in ways that we’re only just beginning to understand. Foods like walnuts, blackberries, and pomegranates have been shown to help our immune system to combat disease and illness.
To help all of your defense systems, Li suggests eating food from each category every day. To simplify things, he provides a worksheet at the back of his book (see Appendix A) that includes foods in each category. Since some of the foods overlap categories (e.g., beer) it’s not as hard as you might think.
To get you excited about the possibility that we can support our health defense systems check out Li’s TED talk at the bottom of this page. Titled Can We Eat to Starve Cancer, the talk has had nearly 5 million views as of the writing of this article. Hope you like it.
On that note, having finished some dark chocolate, I think it’s time for me to pour myself a beer and call it a day.
In good health…xian
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