Articel by Neal Barnard, MD. In our research center in Washington, DC, we are continually surprised at the power of foods for health. A woman named Nancy joined one of our studies to see if she could lose weight and improve her diabetes. We guided her through some diet changes, and yes, she did lose a great deal of weight and her diabetes improved dramatically. But that was not all. One day, she realized that the arthritis pain that had bothered her for years had vanished too. Suddenly, she could open vacuum-packed jars with ease, she no longer winced when shaking hands, and she was able to throw her pain medicines away. A single change in eating habits had accomplished all these things in short order.
“Alzheimer’s disease isn’t a natural part of aging,” notes lead author Neal Barnard, M.D., president of the nonprofit Physicians Committee and an adjunct professor of medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine. “By staying active and moving plant-based foods to the center of our plates, we have a fair shot at rewriting our genetic code for this heart-wrenching , and costly, disease.” Alzheimer’s Disease International predicts Alzheimer’s rates will triple worldwide by 2050. The Alzheimer’s Association predicts long-term care costs start at $41,000 per year.
Current research has confirmed what traditional herbal healers have known for centuries: certain plants and plant-derived components can play valuable roles in critical healing processes, such as reducing inflammation, treating and preventing degenerative diseases, and even thwarting cancer. As a bonus, these plant-derived compounds are inexpensive, readily available, nontoxic, and devoid of the rampant and dangerous side effects that abound with the majority of pharmaceuticals.