I have just read this book and it has really made me stop and think about the food I eat.
In How Not to Die, Dr Michael Gregor examines the top causes of premature death for heart disease , cancers, diabetes and more – and explains how nutritional and lifestyle interventions can sometimes trump prescription pills and other pharmaceutical and surgical approaches, freeing us to enjoy better health.
It’s a very BIG book with a HUGE reference section. Every month I’m going to try and pick out the key points for each section and I highly recommend reading the book for yourself. Prevention is better than cure. I am not advising anyone to follow the suggestions in the book, i’m just passing on the information.
CHAPTER 2 – HOW NOT TO DIE FROM LUNG DISEASES
- Lung cancer – tobacco is by far the most common cause but a healthy diet may mitigate the DNA-damaging effects of tobacco smoke, as well as perhaps help prevent lung cancer from spreading. Note: the benefits of quitting are immediate. Within 20 minutes your heart rate and blood pressure drop; within a few weeks your blood circulation and lung function improve; within a few months your sweeper cells that help clean the lungs regrow; within a year of quitting your smoking related risk of coronary heart disease becomes half that of current smokers.
Brocolli, cabbage and cauliflower (cruciferous veg) may help prevent further damage.
Kale might help control cholesterol levels with its anti-oxidant properties. Smoking erases the antioxidant-boosting effects.
Turmeric has a ‘carcinogen blocking effect’
Second hand smoke also causes cancer: from passive smoking and also from fumes from frying. When meat is grilled, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are also produced, one of the probable carcinogens in cigarette smoke. Best to cook meat outdoors on a barbeque!
- COPD – is an umbrella term used to describe progressive lung diseases including emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and refractory (non-reversible) asthma. This disease is characterized by increasing breathlessness.
There is no cure for the permanent lung scarring that COPD causes but a diet rich in fruit and vegetables may help slow the progression of the disease and improve lung function for its 13 million sufferers. Again smoking is the biggest cause but other factors can contribute such as prolonged exposure to air pollution.
Cured meat may increase the risk of COPD.
A diet with more whole plant foods may help both prevent and arrest the progression of this leading killer.
ROSEFIT NOTE: Exercise itself cannot reverse COPD, but it can change the way you feel, breathe, and function. With COPD, the less you do, the less you’re able to do. Weak muscles need more oxygen, so you can become short of breath just shopping or cooking. Exercise changes that. When your muscles are stronger, daily activities are easier.
- Asthma is a common long-term inflammatory disease of the airways of the lungs. It is characterized by variable and recurring symptoms, reversible airflow obstruction, and bronchospasm. Symptoms include episodes of wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath.
Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases amongst children yet it may be largely preventable with a healthier diet. Research suggests a few extra daily servings of fruit and vegetables can reduce both the number of cases of childhood asthma and the number of asthma attacks among people with the disease.
Foods of animal origin have been associated with increased asthma risk.