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9 Histories of the Plant Based Diet

Western doctors and scientists have known and written about the benefits of consuming predominantly plants for over one hundred years. Some of this research includes the following:



“Man is What He Eats” ~ Lucretius (60 BC)

The evidence of the health benefits of eating predominantly plants is not new.


Practitioners of Chinese medicine have known for five thousand years about the benefits of plants, as documented in Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen. Hippocrates and the Greeks documented in the Hippocratic Collection that our food should be our medicine and our medicine our food. Meanwhile, Western doctors and scientists have known and written about the benefits of consuming predominantly plants for over one hundred years. Some of this research includes the following:


· In 1905, Dr. John Kellogg, the inventor of cereal, published The Living Temple, in which he described at great length the benefits of a plant-based diet including grains, legumes, nuts, fruits, and vegetables, and the diseases that originate in the animal-based foods, including milk, cheese, and meat. Contrary to what we believe about the invention of cereal, Dr. Kellogg produced his grain cereal for patients at his sanitarium and believed in eating no sugar or milk on cereal. He produced a milk-like product made from coconuts, almonds, and other nuts to serve on his cereal, similar to the almond milk that we have today. His brother, a salesman, took his cereal and produced it, against Dr. Kellogg’s wishes, with sugar on the flakes so they would sell more product.


· In the 1920s, Dr. Max Gerson supported that animal-based diets cause cancer and promoted therapy that included a plant-based diet. He published “A Cancer Therapy: Results of 50 Cases.” His therapy and wellness center, the Gerson Institute, is still in operation today.

· In 1922, Arnold Ehret published the Mucusless Diet Healing System, which supported the idea that disease is caused by the buildup of mucus and toxins related to animal products in our diet and advocated for a plant-based diet.


· In 1929, the study that Cyril Donnison performed in Kenya, “Blood Pressure in the African Native,” and later described in his book, Civilization and Disease, confirmed that plant-based cultures do not have high blood pressure or heart disease. These diseases are associated with “advanced” civilization and toxins that are present within our civilization and not found in a tribal environment.


· In 1937, the study by Dr. William Morse, “Blood Pressure Amongst Aboriginal Ethnic Groups of Szechwan Province, West China,” concluded that blood pressure is related to diet.


· In 1975, Dr. Makoto Suzuki, the principal investigator, began the Okinawa Centenarian Study, which linked nine hundred centenarians’ health and longevity to a 95 percent plant-based diet.


· In 1996, Dr. Dean Ornish, in his book Program for Reversing Heart Disease and study in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that heart disease can be reversed and prevented through a plant-based diet.


· In 2006, Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell, in their book The China Study concluded that animal protein in the diet of greater than 5 percent feeds cancer growth. Plant protein as 95 percent or more of the diet reverses the growth of cancer.

· In 2015, the World Health Organization, citing over eight hundred studies, concluded that processed meat is categorized as a Group 1 Carcinogenic, which means that processed meat causes cancer. Red meat is categorized as a Group 2a Carcinogenic, which means that red meat is linked to cancer. In other words, we should be eating plants, not processed or red meat.


This list just represents a few of the studies and books that have been published over the last hundred years that put forward over and over again that our diet is our biggest health problem and promote the benefits of eating predominantly plants. With all of this evidence in favor of a plant-based diet, why are we not listening?

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