The secrets to staying—not dying—young
In 1900, people got 70 percent of their dietary protein from plant foods. Today, humans get 70 percent of their protein from animal products—and look where that has taken their bodies to now. The number of patients with heart disease, stroke and various forms of inflammation and other degenerative and lifestyle diseases shot up.
According to the Complete Health Improvement Program (formerly known as the Coronary Health Improvement Project, a lifestyle enrichment program designed to reduce risk factors for disease through the adoption of better health habits and appropriate lifestyle modifications), the sombering health statistics runs counter to nature.
According to Dr. Eileen Ludington and Hans Deihl, the incidence of cardiovascular diseases began creeping up in America after World War 1, becoming rampant after World War II, when people could afford diets rich in animal products and when the food industry began producing highly processed foods crammed with calories and empty of nutrition.
Former health secretary Dr. Jaime Galvez Tan, in “How to be Healthy at Any Age: 12 Steps to Achieve It,” stressed the avoidance of animal meat, especially processed meat; animal milk and milk products like butter and shell fishes—tahong, talaba, tulya, alimango, alimasag, shrimps, prawns and lobsters.
Galvez Tan, in his studies, included his interviews with hundreds of traditional healers as well as reference materials from peer-reviewed science journals to be able to come up with his recommendations. He also cited several dimensions of health, wellness and well-being.
How to be healthy
He said: “To be truly healthy, a person must have balance in the spiritual, emotional, physical, social, mental and environmental aspects of his/her life. This means overall wellness in our soul, heart, body, hands, mind and feet. As a nation, we are healthy if we have balance in the cultural, economic, political, social, security and environmental aspects of our nations’ well-being.”
Galvez-Tan also shared his “Right Attitude Towards Living.”
“The mind is a very powerful organ. People under stress tend to get headaches, body pains, lower back pain, asthma attacks and other such illnesses more often. A positive attitude in life (‘I can do this!’) and healthy coping mechanisms (e.g., prayer and meditation, exercise, regular social interaction with positive and encouraging people) can help keep a person from illness whenever s/he faces stressful life situations. In short, think healthy, be healthy.”
An evidence-based diet for health and wellness is also important, he said. He lamented that our diet today is filled with empty calories, carcinogens (cancer-causing chemicals), high sugar, high in bad cholesterol and fat instead of plant-based diet rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts, complex carbohydrates, beans and lentils.
Must eat every day
Galvez-Tan’s “must eat every day” are:
Vegetables eaten raw or as salad or pickled
Fruits, all kinds eaten fresh or taken as fresh juice
Nuts—peanuts, cashew, coconut, pili
Complex carbohydrates—brown rice, brown sugar (muscovado, molasses), whole wheat bread, whole corn, kamote, cassava, gabi, ube
“Fresh vegetables and fruits are full of antioxidants that fight all the carcinogens we encounter every day. These are also high in fiber, which can help prevent chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. There is also some evidence that high-fiber diets decrease chances of cancer.”
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