Do you wonder if fruits and vegetables are really as good for you as I keep insisting they are? Do you doubt the power of nutritious, whole foods to make a real difference in your health? Then you need to watch this video of Dr. Terry Wahls and her miraculous recovery from multiple sclerosis (MS), an inflammatory disease that causes the body’s immune system to attack the protective sheath, known as myelin, covering the nerves.
As the myelin deteriorates, it becomes difficult for the spinal cord and brain to communicate with other areas of the body. The resulting damage is often irreversible, and it can cause debilitating changes in one’s body. These changes include difficulty walking, thinking and performing everyday tasks.
There is no cure for MS in conventional medicine, and that’s one reason I urge you to watch this short video. Once you see the life-saving results from replacing prepared, processed junk foods with fruits, vegetables, and pasture-fed meat, I think you’ll agree that food can be a powerful medicine.
The only caution I would add is in regard to Dr. Wahls’ suggestion to eat organ meats. I recommend organ meats to some of my patients, too. If someone has kidney failure, for instance, I may suggest they eat bone marrow and kidneys to help rebuild their own organs. However, the organs must be from grass-fed, organic livestock, which can be purchased online. Grass-fed meat does not contain hormones or antibiotics, unlike the factory-farmed meat sold in most supermarkets. It is also a source of those all-important good fats which are, again, something not found in grain-fed livestock.
As I have mentioned before, mitochondria are the tiny power stations that fuel everything that happens in the body. In addition, mitochondria control your cells’ growth and lifespan, while making it possible for them to communicate amongst themselves. So when mitochondria aren’t getting what they need, you feel sluggish. But fatigue is only the tip of the iceberg!
Medical experts now think that some of the most dreaded diseases, including cancer and heart disease, are linked to problems with mitochondria. And many of those problems come from one simple fact: As you age, your body produces less Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), a powerful antioxidant that performs a similar function as a spark plug, providing the “spark” that revs up the engines in your mitochondria.
It’s difficult to get sufficient amounts of CoQ10 from food, so supplements are your best option. That’s why I recommend CoQ10 supplements to anyone over age 40 or who is taking CoQ10-depleting statins for cholesterol management.
Statins inhibit production of cholesterol and CoQ10 in your body, so if your physician has you on statins, then you should be taking CoQ10 supplements, too. Be aware that some physicians stubbornly refuse to recognize the many benefits of CoQ10, but I recommend 100 mg daily for all of my middle-aged and older patients, even if they’re in excellent health, and 300 mg daily for those on statins or with heart disease.
Hundreds of studies have shown that CoQ10 is safe, effective, and virtually side effect free. But if you really want to keep your mitochondria in top form, I suggest taking Dr. Wahls’ advice to feed them well. If you’re thinking that eating 9 cups of greens, berries, and veggies high in sulphur every day is an impossible goal, I suggest working your way toward that by increasing the amount of these foods in your diet each day.
Below, you’ll find a short list of some ideas that can help you do that. As I tell my patients, the secret to getting sufficient greens, sulphur-rich veggies, and berries into your daily diet is to make them part of every meal. Over the course of a day, a half-cup here and a half-cup there really add up.
- Eat a daily, meal-sized salad with assorted veggies.
- Try berry-based desserts and smoothies using raw organic honey or the herbal sweetener stevia.
- Incorporate sautéed greens with lunch and dinner.
- Drink juiced greens, either purchased or homemade.
- Snack on kale “chips”.
- Add dried berries to cereal and salads, or eat them as a snack.
- Use greens as ingredients in other dishes, such as omelets, casseroles, and soups.
- Include onions and garlic in recipes when possible.
- Eat cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts daily.
If you know in your heart-of-hearts that adding more fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet just isn’t going to happen, then I strongly urge you to start taking a natural greens supplement to make certain you’re getting the nutrients your mitochondria need.
Obviously, food plays an enormous role in health, one that conventional doctors tend to ignore or claim is not important. But let’s not overlook the other half of Dr. Wahls’ message – exercise! Clearly, she did not sit around waiting to get well. Even though it was difficult for her at first, Dr. Wahl used exercise as one of the cornerstones of her recovery, increasing the distance she traveled on her bike as her health improved.
I’m well aware that many people will go to extreme lengths to avoid exercising. So let me remind you of the advantages. Exercise…
- Burns calories
- Thins the blood
- Improves mood
- Supports deep, restful sleep
- Reduces the risk of cancer and other ailments
- Counteracts the effects of aging
- Strengthens muscles, bones, and joints, reducing the risk of falls
- Provides cells throughout the body with much-needed oxygen
- Helps remove toxic substances and waste material from the body
- Strengthens the immune system, heart, and lungs
- Relieves stress
Those are all benefits that money can’t buy. Exercise can add years to your life – and I’m talking about quality years, not years spent sitting in doctors’ waiting rooms or taking pills that often make you feel worse than when you started.
So, even if you’ll never take an 18-mile-long bicycle ride, you can start an easy exercise program by simply walking a few blocks, then gradually increasing the distance you cover each day. (If you have an existing health concern, speak with your physician about exercising first.) Remember, you don’t need to join a gym or relive your boot camp days – just get moving.
Although high-tech medicine has given us incredible tools, we need to remember that the basics – whole foods, exercise, filtered water, and selected supplements – are the foundations of good health. Thinking that you can eat and drink whatever you please because science will figure out a way to fix you is a complete fantasy, and one that is not likely to occur anytime soon. Make positive changes to your diet and schedule exercise time daily, and you will be reaping the rewards for years to come.