written by Sahana Arumani
After finishing Lessons 10 and 11 of the Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease course, it is clear that I have come to the end of the beginning. The last two lessons were focused on autoimmune disorders and Alzheimer’s disease. Both of these terrifying and unpredictable medical verdicts are shrouded in clouds of uncertainty. However, plant-based diets can play a role in easing the symptoms or even halting the progression of these diseases.
I now realize that the anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of a plant-based diet are integral to preventing a slew of life-threatening problems that only show their true colors long after they start brewing. For example, Alzheimer’s disease can start ravaging the brain up to 20 years before diagnosis, and coronary artery disease can start in late adolescence. And while predispositions for certain illnesses are a grave reality, our fates aren’t always set in stone. While diabetes may be embedded in my genetics, I don’t need to watch it surface. By participating in this course, I have realized that culture and plant-based diets are a powerful duo. Indian culture promotes the use of turmeric, ginger, pepper, curry leaves, and chiles, all of which supply the body antioxidants and inflammation-fighting warriors.
Plant-based diets do not have to be extremely stringent or unsatisfying. Indian food thrives on spices and tropical vegetables, the perfect elements for a comforting yet healthy diet. This course has reminded me that I do not have to stray off the beaten path to find fulfillment in my health and future.