As anyone who reads my posts knows I am a strong advocate of a whole-food plant based diet (and indeed lifestyle). In my own body I have learnt that it can heal, and fundamentally my body is no different to any other human body. As part of that healing process I have researched and researched and have become totally amazed about the power of what a whole food plant based diet can help with health-wise.
But there are limits.
The first limit is personal motivation. This has to come from within. Inspiration for me came from watching the film Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead.
But I was not convinced until, in the depths of my deepest phase of arthritic pain and inflammation I drank just water for two days followed by cucumber & celery juice for a further two days. In that space of four days I was utterly convinced about the power of food. What convinced me? An almost complete lack of pain. And as soon as I started adding foods back - back came the pain. This personal experiment I have found repeated without exception in other people who also have/had arthritis and tried the same route.
That gave me motivation.
The second limit is support. I was advising one woman who lived with a husband and two teenage sons. The three menfolk loved their meat and I heard many stories of the woman being teased if not taunted in her attempts at every meal to eat what I consider a potential route to health. If you do not have support of the people around you then any recovery has an uphill challenge.
The Blue Zone research also focuses on the powers of social support for good health, though in that context it is talking also about the wider community around you.
The third strand is good regular cardio exercise. When you are in deep pain and immobility (as I was) then exercise is unthinkable. But using the power of plants I recovered to the point of being able to drive to a my local hot yoga studio (YogaVenue in Oxford, UK). Having gone once I ended up going back daily. The transformation in my body has been phenomenal. That's the description people at the studio use to describe the change in me.
After that some illnesses (and we are talking chronic illness rather than acute) do not respond well. Obviously if you have had an operation that has cut out a part of your body due to cancer then repair is impossible. But I was told by my doctor and so many others, "diet does not work" that I have got to the point ignoring such advice.
At the very least if you are ill then truly powerful healthy food can only do you good. Given such pre-condition then the human body has an amazing power of recovery. Just two days ago I spent 30 minutes on a train journey listening to a woman tell me her story. (I kept totally quiet about my background and story - honestly!) This woman had fought and continued to fight cancer successfully using diet for the last seven years. Her words, not mine.
Yes, plant power will help reduce obesity, and obesity is linked to so many chronic illnesses, including diabetes.
But there are limits. Sometimes specialist help is needed. Just going "vegan" would not have cured my arthritis. Nor would just going plant-based. Remember my body was polluted with a cocktail of powerful drugs over many years. So we have to address those challenges as well, never mind find a route to recovery (something I think of as akin to walking a tightrope.)
And there seem to be illnesses it seems no diet is going provide recovery from. Alzheimers seems to be one. There is research showing plant-power might be able to halt or at the very least slow down the progression in some patients, but no research showing reversion. nutritionfacts.org/2017/12/...