A silver lining of this terrible COVID-19 pandemic is that more people are aware and even more are interested in adopting an anti-inflammatory way of eating, so as to not only boost their resistance, or to build back better immunity, but to also increase their odds of dodging more serious afflictions, such as cancer! We are embarking on an exciting health trend of personalized medicine and personalized nutrition which is growing in credibility, exponentially, and will without a doubt have a positive impact on one’s own “health metrics” and that of our family and community.
To get started on a disease-prevention path, I recommend two books:
The End of Illness by David.B Agus, M.D., a highly renowned medical doctor who treats advanced cancers and is the founding director of the Ellison Institute of Transformative Medicine, where innovative lab research and advanced data collection work synergistically to advance the personalized medical treatment of cancer.
In his book, Dr. Agus doesn’t just stop at the educational side of the medical and technical equation, he delves into the human side, which strives to quell the fear that a diagnosis such as cancer instills. He offers encouragement that one day, maybe sooner than we would imagine, cancer may be a manageable condition rather than a death sentence. He goes into detail explaining the role of underlying chronic inflammation as a biomarker for disease, and its long-term impact on a person’s risk profile. In very simple terms, he offers simple steps that we can take to reduce our risk of a diagnosis.
It is rare to find a Western doctor who is supportive of what integrative practitioners have been recommending for decades: a move away from the Standard American Diet to a higher antioxidant, nutrient- dense Mediterranean approach to eating, as a way to prevent disease.
We can all benefit greatly from his knowledge, expertise and words of hope supported by leading science and technology. Dr. Agus’s message of prevention over cure and encouragement to take command of your personal health destiny is empowering!
As a private health chef or “food as medicine” chef I am particularly thrilled when Dr.Agus offers the reader hope by stating, “Imagine a day when you can know how to tweak your diet in ways attuned to your personal enterotype (gut microbiota) allowing you to effortlessly and permanently lose weight, gain sustainable energy successfully, manage and treat chronic illness, or even end an intestinal disorder that has been the bane of your existence for as long as you remember.” Why? Because I have seen the results in my own work.
Eat to Beat Diseaseby William Li, M.D., Internal Medicine Specialist and Research Scientist, and founder of the Angiogenesis Foundation, on a mission to prevent, treat, and reverse disease by boosting the body’s natural defenses with better food choices otherwise known as “food as medicine” or personalized nutrition.
As a private health chef, I spend half of my time at my desk studying peer-reviewed medical citations, trending diets, the food supply, and longevity cultures. The other half of my time is spent foraging the local farmer’s markets and in the kitchen, where the culinary creativity and production take place. Since I would rather spend more time in front of the stove, I welcome any help that I am able to obtain as far as science-backed reliable ingredient information, since this reduces my desk time and allows the creative side to expand. This is why I chose to reviewEat to Beat Disease.
In his book, Dr. Li explains the way to systematically shore up your health via five defense systems:
- Angiogenesis: the formation of blood vessels and its effect on circulation as the first line of defense against many diseases.
- Regeneration: renewal of healthy stem cells and maintaining homeostasis for optimal aging.
- Microbiome: our bacterial line of defense or inner ecosystem and how it relies on a biodiverse intake of plant compounds that can increase good bacteria and reduce bad bacteria.
- DNA Protection: the inner ability of our genetic blueprint to repair itself when activated by diet and lifestyle actions.
- Immunity: Dr. Li advocates for specific foods and their phytochemicals that are able to strongly influence our immune defenses.
Dr. Li has written a valuable resource book for anyone interested in setting up their own disease-preventive health kitchen by establishing a 200-plus ingredient list in addition to a number of recipes to use as a guideline for personalized nutrition and menu planning.