Adopting a Plant Based Diet

7.25pm GMT – 22.01.2017 : Nick Bean @schimmbo for Vegan Global News

There’s a common misconception that eating a plant-based diet is unnatural, that it’s the choice of hippies, activists and the socially marginalized. Instead, I suggest that it is beyond a doubt the most natural, healthy, and advisable thing you can possibly do to optimise your wellness and become bulletproof to disease.

We live in one of the most prosperous nations on Earth, and yet overall we’ve never been less healthy. One out of every three deaths is caused by heart disease. A close second is cancer, killing one out of every four. 50% of us are obese or overweight. And by 2030, 50% of us will be diabetic or pre-diabetic.

How did we get here?

Of course the answer is complex, but the biggest contributor is what we eat. Currently, 94% of the calories consumed are empty, lacking any true nourishment whatsoever, with only 6% of calories coming from fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and seeds.

Natural has become unnatural. Unnatural has become natural. We’re completely upside down when it comes to food and health. And it’s time for a change.

To right the ship, we must begin by confronting the reality that we’re actually addicted to foods that are killing us. Top of the list are processed foods; soda, snacks, desserts and other packaged items laden with preservatives, saturated fat, sugar, fructose corn syrup, sodium, and other unnatural chemicals. Of course, we all know these foods are bad for us and yet so many are powerless when it comes to giving them up.

Because many of these foods are specifically made to activate the pleasure centres in our brain, enslaving us to habitual poor dietary choices, the very essence of addiction. When combined with our national preference for excessive meat and dairy intake, blood cholesterol escalates, clogging our arteries. Our cells become cancerous and our immune systems spiral out of control in response, creating a state of chronic inflammation. This confluence of factors creates a persistent condition in which our bodies become disease incubators, sentencing us to an almost certain future of chronic illness.

The standard operating procedure for treating these common chronic conditions, everything from high cholesterol to erectile dysfunction, is to prescribe medications that treat symptoms rather than address the root cause of the issue. Counsel and guidance to improve diet and exercise have been supplanted by Statins, Viagra and countless other drugs designed to quell the symptoms of every conceivable malady.

Taken as a whole, hearth disease, obesity, cancer and diabetes account for approximately 75% of our current health care costs, to the tune of countless billions of pounds annually. This is simply not sustainable.

And yet the great irony is that so many chronic diseases (except certain cancers of course), in fact 90% of all Western disease, need never exist in the first place. It’s time to reverse the trend.

You might be surprised to learn that a plant-based diet is the only nutritional protocol known to man that has been shown to prevent, and in many cases, actually reverse, these four and many other chronic illnesses that unnecessarily plague us.

In the most simplistic terms, if we flipped our diet so that we began getting 94% of our calories from fresh, whole plant-based foods (rather than current levels of 6%), most of our diseases would simply vanish. And our health care crisis would essentially repair itself.

Going Vegan

Personally, I cannot emphasise enough how adopting a 100% plant based diet will change your life. But I also realize not everyone is ready to jump in with both feet on day one.

It’s not about deprivation. Instead, it’s about a willingness to release old ideas you’ve harboured your whole life about what a healthy diet entails. It’s about being open to the adventure of experimentation, exploring and rediscovering whole foods in their natural state. It’s about developing an enhanced connection to and relationship with your body, learning to pay greater attention to the nexus between the foods you eat and how you feel and function. And ultimately, it’s about developing a more acute intuition about what truly serves you, so you can reprogramme yourself to make better choices that are in your best long-term interest physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

As your diet changes your energy levels improve, your preferences will shift from empty calories to foods that actually nourish you. The more whole, plant-foods you incorporate into your routine, the more likely those unhealthy cravings will subside. And before you know it, that hankering for cheese might just vanish altogether.

Embracing a plant-based won’t just repair your health. It is the key that will unlock your heart and allowed you to discover, embrace and unleash a better and more authentic version of yourself on the world.

Nick Bean

Environmentalist, activist, writer and public speaker. Decided to "Go Vegan" at the age of four.

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