NutritionFacts.org

chronic diseases

A plant-based diet may be able to prevent and treat diabetes, heart disease, breast cancer, prostate cancer, obesity, and hypertension. Phytonutrient rich foods are the ones most often associated with chronic disease prevention, treatment, and cure, and a healthy eating index can be calculated based on phytonutrient intake. Phytonutrients, by definition, originate only in plants.

Foods high in antioxidants appear to help prevent many chronic oxidative stress diseases. Some of the best choices include: dried apple rings, goji berries, pomegranate seeds, Indian gooseberries, blackberries and green tea. The enzyme dismutase is thought to prevent the oxidation of our mitochondria and slow aging; a plant-based diet helps to boost this enzyme’s activity 300%.

A study of 15,000 vegetarians found that they had lower levels of several chronic diseases as compared to the general population. This included lower rates of the following: coronary artery disease, strokes, high blood pressure, diabetes, and diverticulosis. But unfortunately, the prevention of chronic disease through diet and nutrition is an area of medicine in which most doctors are not trained and subsequently lack sufficient knowledge to properly advise patients (see also here). Seven out of ten deaths of Americans each year are from chronic diseases, and it is known that diet is a major factor in these deaths. Yet, efforts to require nutrition education in medical schools have met with serious opposition (see here, here, here).

Multivitamins are often taken to prevent chronic diseases; unfortunately, they may actually increase the risk for breast cancer. Eggs and brains are the two most concentrated sources of cholesterol and should be avoided to prevent heart disease. And the hormones in dairy have also been associated with an increased cancer risk.

Topic summary contributed by Denise.
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Watch videos about chronic diseases

  • Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Purple Potatoes
    Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Purple Potatoes
    Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties of white compared to yellow and purple potatoes. Purple potatoes may also help lower high blood pressure.
  • Better Than Goji Berries
    Better Than Goji Berries
    There are some dried fruits even more antioxidant-packed than goji berries.
  • Dried Apples Versus Cholesterol
    Dried Apples Versus Cholesterol
    Which common dried fruit is the most antioxidant-packed: apple rings, dried apricots, dried cherries, dried mango, prunes, or raisins?
  • Best Berries
    Best Berries
    Compared to popular fruits such as apples, bananas, and mangoes, which of the hundreds of different berries tested have the most and least antioxidant power: blackberries, blueberries, cranberries,...
  • Say No to Drugs by Saying Yes to More Plants
    Say No to Drugs by Saying Yes to More Plants
    A study of 15,000 American vegetarians suggests their lower chronic disease rates translate into fewer surgeries (including hysterectomies) and medications (including aspirin, sleeping pills,...
  • Nutrition Bill Doctored in the California Senate
    Nutrition Bill Doctored in the California Senate
    California Senate Bill 380 to require nutrition education for physicians was passed, but not before it was gutted.
  • California Medical Association Tries to Kill Nutrition Bill
    California Medical Association Tries to Kill Nutrition Bill
    California State Senator Mark Wyland struggles between his conscience and his campaign contributor in deciding whether or not to vote for a bill that would require physicians to learn nutrition.
  • Medical Associations Oppose Bill to Mandate Nutrition Training
    Medical Associations Oppose Bill to Mandate Nutrition Training
    Physician trade groups such as the California Medical Association came out in opposition of a bill requiring doctors get 7 hours of nutrition training anytime before 2017.
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