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Plant-Based Diets - A Physician’s Guide May 10, 2017 08:43

ABSTRACT

Because of the ever-increasing body of evidence in support of the health advantages of plant-based nutrition, there is a need for guidance on implementing its practice.

This article provides physicians and other health care practitioners an overview of the myriad benefits of a plant-based diet as well as details on how best to achieve a well-balanced, nutrient-dense plan.

It also defines notable nutrient sources, describes how to get started, and offers suggestions on how health care practitioners can encourage their patients to achieve goals, adhere to the plan, and experience success. 

SUMMARY OF HEALTH BENEFITS

Plant-based nutrition has exploded in popularity, and many advantages have been well documented over the past several decades. Not only is there a broad expansion of the research database supporting the myriad benefits of plant-based diets, but also health care practitioners are seeing awe-inspiring results with their patients across multiple unique subspecialties. Plant-based diets have been associated with lowering overall and ischemic heart disease mortality supporting sustainable weight management reducing medication needs4-6; lowering the risk for most chronic diseases decreasing the incidence and severity of high-risk conditions, including obesity, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and hyperglycemia and even possibly reversing advanced coronary artery disease and type 2 diabetes.

The reason for these outcomes is twofold. First, there are inherent benefits to eating a wide variety of health-promoting plants. Second, there is additional benefit from crowding out—and thereby avoiding—the injurious constituents found in animal products.

Read the full report on our site here

 

Citation: Hever J. Plant-based diets: A physician’s guide.

The Permanente Journal/Perm J 2016 Summer;20(3):15-082


Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets May 10, 2017 08:17

Introduction

In the HBO documentary The Weight of the Nation, it was noted that if you “go with the flow” in the US, you will eventually become obese.

1. In 2011, Witters reported that in some areas of the country, the rate of obesity is 39% and is increasing at a rate of 5% per year.2 Risks of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease, along with their ensuing complications (eg, behavioral health and quality-of-life problems) often go hand-in-hand and are strongly linked to lifestyle, especially dietary choices.3 Of all the diets recommended over the last few decades to turn the tide of these chronic illnesses, the best but perhaps least common may be those that are plant based. Despite the strong body of evidence favoring plant-based diets, including studies showing a willingness of the general public to embrace them,4 many physicians are not stressing the importance of plant-based diets as a first-line treatment for chronic illnesses. This could be because of a lack of awareness of these diets or a lack of patient education resources.

2. Risks of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease, along with their ensuing complications (eg, behavioral health and quality-of-life problems) often go hand-in-hand and are strongly linked to lifestyle, especially dietary choices.

3. Of all the diets recommended over the last few decades to turn the tide of these chronic illnesses, the best but perhaps least common may be those that are plant based. Despite the strong body of evidence favoring plant-based diets, including studies showing a willingness of the general public to embrace them. 4 many physicians are not stressing the importance of

4. Many physicians are not stressing the importance of plant-based diets as a first-line treatment for chronic illnesses. This could be because of a lack of awareness of these diets or a lack of patient education resources.


Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach: Raw Vegan Eats September 26, 2016 06:52

Republished from Broward Palm Beach

Health News is a new feature series focusing on raw, vegan and alternative diets.

What does the word "diet" mean to you? Is it a temporary change in the way you eat, a way to shed a few pounds and slim down? Or it could be a lifestyle choice, like vegans, who choose not to eat animals or animal products. Maybe it's for health reasons, sticking to foods that are only grown with all-natural, organic methods.

But could you give up foods like fish, meat, fruit and cooked foods for life for another reason: what if you were suffering from a terminal illness or an incurable disease, and it was the only answer to healing your body? The idea of becoming a raw vegan might not seem so crazy, after all.

Most people don't think of a raw, vegan diet as healthy; it's just a way of eating that a few crazy-ass people ascribe to. But, at Hippocrates Health Institute located here in Palm Beach County, the idea isn't radical. It's the only way to live a healthy life, according to its directors Anna Maria and Brian Clement. 

Hippocrates health Institute

Many South Floridians aren't aware that West Palm Beach is home to the Hippocrates Health Institute, a non-profit health, and wellness facility that has ranked among the world's preeminent leaders in the field of natural and alternative health care and education for more than six decades. 

The institute's philosophy is based on the words of Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine himself, who nearly 2,500 years ago said: "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food."

Here, food really is the best way to achieve optimal health through nutrition. Founded in Boston, Massachusetts in 1956 by Ann Wigmore, a Lithuanian immigrant who cured herself of colon cancer using an alternative wheatgrass therapy based on lessons she learned from her grandmother. After successfully curing herself of the disease, Wigmore continued on to help others learn how to embrace a healthier natural lifestyle that would promote optimum wellness and enable their bodies to heal naturally.

Today, her center exists as Hippocrates Health Institute, a 50-acre tropical woodland retreat just west of the turnpike whose staff represents some of the world's leading practitioners of holistic and alternative healing. It's also where thousands of people from all over the world come annually to learn more about living a raw, vegan lifestyle.

Why? The fundamental component to the Hippocrates' way of life is based on food. Specifically, clean eating -- much cleaner than most people outside of the Hippocrates Health Institute walls consider "clean." 

Just how clean? At Hippocrates you'll find a way of eating that goes beyond vegetarian to encompass only organic, vegan, plant-based foods served in their purest form: raw, or cooked with temperatures under 115 to 118 degrees Fahrenheit. It also means no animal products, grains, fruits or sugars of any kind. This diet -- in addition to exercise, positive thinking, and non-invasive therapies -- is the basis for achieving natural healing and optimal health, according to its current directors.

Hippocrates health Institute

"We do not use animal-based foods including meats, fish, poultry, eggs or dairy. And when trying to fight disease, we offer our visitor's foods that have not been cooked above 118 degrees," Brian Clement told Clean Plate Charlie during a recent interview. "This is based on the idea that our bodies need all the enzymes available in the food we eat, and heating above that temperature destroys most of the plant's nutrients to be unrecognizable by the body. It also works to put as little digestive stress as possible on our organs, thus allowing our immune systems to heal the body naturally."

Considered poisonous or toxic, foods cooked and heated -- including vegetables, legumes, meat, and fish -- are strictly forbidden at Hippocrates. Another shocking omission: fruit.

"Although misinformation prevails about sugars, the body does not decipher the difference between processed sugar, honey, agave, maple syrup -- or even natural sugars from fruit," said Clement. "As a result, even fruit can contribute as a major source of disease and stress to the body's major systems."

So, what can you eat? Any fresh, organic, all-natural, enzyme-rich foods including vegetables, sprouts, seeds, nut and plant oils (as well as some fruits and lightly-cooked vegetables and grains a few times a week if you are healthy). These foods provide the body with the most nutrition without putting any strain on the digestive system, liver or kidneys, said Clement.

Hippocrates health Institute

A core component of the Hippocrates lifestyle is wheatgrass, which is considered nature's most "perfect" food. When consumed, wheatgrass provides exceptional nutritional value. Full of antioxidants and phytochemicals, it works to increase red blood cell count, restore alkalinity to the blood, detox the liver and neutralize toxins.

"With education comes empowerment," is one of the many sayings at Hippocrates. Those looking to implement a raw or vegan diet can learn more by participating in the Institute's signature Life Transformation Program, which provides the fundamentals of transitioning to a healthier diet and lifestyle.

A three-week program, it runs weekly every Sunday through Saturday year-round instructing people on ways to "transform" their health through diet and exercise by treating the mind, body, and spirit together. Today, Hippocrates supports more than 5,000 people a year through its Life Transformation Program, as well as those who attend its worldwide conferences and webinars. 

"To date, thousands of people with documented medically reported disease have adopted the Hippocrates lifestyle and have been able to reverse their illness," said Clement. "Among them are many who have endured so-called incurable disorders."

Over the next few weeks, Clean Plate Charlie will be exploring the many facets of this alternative dietary lifestyle with tips on how to grow your own sprouts, create a self-sustaining organic vegetable garden, make vegan dishes and incorporate a more holistic approach to eating -- even if you vow to never swear off meat, dairy, and cooked food.

 

To learn more about Hippocrates Health Institute, visit the website, or call 888-228-1755. You can also find them on FacebookTwitter or YouTube. For additional information on the Institute's LifeTransformation Program, go here, or call a program coordinator at 1-800-842-2125.


Finally Found It: Wheat Grass Juice for Colitis September 26, 2016 06:40

Republished from Huffington Post

If you walk into most health food stores, juice bars, or restaurants a loud grinding sound can be heard. Regular visitors will recognize this sound as wheat grass being macerated into a shot of bright green juice, usually an ounce or two. For this luxury of turning living grass blades into juice, one might pay $2-4/ounce. Fans of wheatgrass juice indicate that an ounce of wheatgrass juice has the equivalent nutritional value of eating or juicing 2 pounds of vegetables although this claim has been questioned (http://healthpsych.psy.vanderbilt.edu/WheatGrass.htm). Is there any support that demonstrates a benefit to the “cult” of wheat grass juicing for health?

The story goes that Ann Wigmore used wheat grass juice to help heal herself of cancer and went on to found the Hippocrates Health Institute (http://hippocratesinst.org/wheatgrass-2). I have visited there and people from around the world travel to that site to use a raw food diet with daily wheat grass juice to maintain or better their health. It is and impressive sight to see guests cut their own grass, juice it, and drink it all under 10 minutes from the roots being in the soil.

Hippocrates health Institute wheatgrass

Periodically I have searched for published medical evidence in peer-reviewed journals examining the potential health benefits of wheat grass juice and was dismayed not to find too much.

Of course, there is no wheatgrass lobby to fund such studies but the interest in wheat grass juice is quite large and well known. It appears that when you search the National Library of Medicine there are some studies to be found if you search wheat grass and not wheatgrass. I am humbled by my error.

I have just become aware of one such study published over a decade ago as “wheat grass,” examining its role in ulcerative colitis (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11989836). In this double-blind, placebo-controlled study (the best type of clinical research in humans), 23 patients with active ulcerative colitis (UC) received 100 cc of wheat grass juice or placebo daily for a month. For the 19 patients that completed the study and had complete information, wheat grass juice was associated with significant reductions in overall disease activity and severity of rectal bleeding. No serious side effects occurred.

Why might wheat grass juice be of benefit in inflammatory bowel disease like UC? Wheatgrass has been shown to have powerful antioxidant activity (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16521113) as well as strong anti-inflammatory properties in its abundant component apigenin (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17982104). In addition, the high content of chlorophyll, vitamins, and minerals may play a role. My suggestion is to stop in your local health food store, restaurant or juice bar and see how an ounce of wheat grass (or wheatgrass) settles in your stomach. It is an acquired taste that I now enjoy and am gratified has scientific support for its healing potential.


Mark Bittman: What's wrong with what we eat June 05, 2015 06:36

In this fiery and funny talk, New York Times food writer Mark Bittman weighs in on what's wrong with the way we eat now (too much meat, too few plants; too much fast food, too little home cooking), and why it's putting the entire planet at risk.

 

After watching this video see from our sponsor Permacharts their Raw Vegan Series of quick reference guide to continue your learning. You will love this informative quick reference series.

About Mark Bittman

Food writer
Mark Bittman is a bestselling cookbook author, journalist and television personality. His friendly, informal approach to home cooking has shown millions that fancy execution is no substitute for flavor and soul.

Rainbow Kale Salad with Miso Tahini Dressing May 25, 2015 13:49

Want to really impress your friends at your next potluck? This kale salad is not only beautiful to look at but also full of flavour, nutrients, and works really well when made in big batches. Don’t be afraid to get your hands right in there and give those kale leaves a nice long massage!

Rainbow Kale Salad with Miso Tahini Dressing
(Makes about 10 cups)

Ingredients:

For the dressing: (You will have leftovers – this makes about 500mL)

  • 300g soft tofu
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup + 1 tbsp miso
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup hemp seeds
  • juice of 1 large lemon

For the rest:

  • 5 cups kale, chopped, rough stems removed
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups shredded purple cabbage
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 3/4 cup sliced radishes
  • 1/3 cup pepitas
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds

Instructions:

  • Combine all ingredients for the dressing in a blender or food processor and whirl until completely smooth. Add a bit of extra lemon juice to thin if desired, then set aside.
  • Wash and chop the kale, removing the thick stems. In a large bowl, drizzle the apple cider vinegar over the kale and massage it for a few minutes with your hands, as if you were kneading dough.
  • Prepare the cabbage and carrot as directed above and add them to the kale. Pour about 1/4 cup of dressing into the bowl and continue massaging with your hands, further softening the kale.
  • Add all remaining ingredients to the bowl, along with a bit more dressing. Toss to coat, then serve.

 

Angela Simpson

Blogger and Personal Health Coach at Eat Spin Run Repeat