Some folks are convinced their health problems are a normal part of aging. Others believe that making a dietary change might be beneficial for some, but it’s too late to benefit them personally because their weight or health issues are too severe.
Both of these perspectives are false.
It is never too late to benefit from a whole food, plant-based diet, regardless of a person’s age, the severity of illness, and the length of time the person has been sick. The extent of those benefits may vary greatly based on several factors, but no one ever gets worse by consuming the best nutrition needed for healing. Most diseases associated with the western diet start in childhood, so naturally, the earlier we begin the better the health outcomes will be, but it’s never too late to improve your quality of life at any age.
I love the story about Dr. Benjamin Spock, the famed pediatrician mentioned earlier in this chapter. In the fall of 1991, when Dr. Spock was in his eighties, his recurrent lung problems, chronic neuropathy, and worsening health issues led him to the doctors at Boston’s New England Medical Center. He was advised to go home, install an elevator, and basically wait for the inevitable. The price of installing an elevator didn’t set well with him, so at his wife’s prompting, he decided to change his diet from meat and cheese to plant-based fare.
Within days, he saw improvement with his sleep habits. Within three weeks, his strength and energy were back, and at six weeks, he had lost fifty pounds of fluid and felt great. Shortly thereafter, he returned to the New England Medical Center, not as a patient, but as an invited speaker. Needless to say, his doctors were stunned to see his dramatic improvement. He stayed mentally fit and lived with a sense of purpose, dying just shy of his ninety-fifth birthday.[i]
So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. (Galatians 6:9, MSG)
I’m here if you need help getting started – it’s never too late to benefit!
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[i] Dr. Neal Barnard, Power Foods for the Brain (New York, Grand Central Life & Style, 2013), 82–84