In many countries the first wave of public shock and panic from the corona virus has calmed down for a bit and life slowly starts to get back to normal. Now we can look more calmly into the situation and make well thought-out plans for the future.
Throughout the last three months we have observed that people with a compromised immune system have suffered heavily from the symptoms of the corona virus. People in the risk group were mostly elderly people, but there were also some people struck who have underlying illnesses like heart disease, cancer, diabetes or obesity. All of these illnesses are associated with a compromised immune system.
In the last decades more research has shown how lifestyle changes can increase or lower one’s chances to develop these illnesses and researchers have often called them ‘lifestyle diseases’. They have shown that consumption of animal products, dairy, sugar, refined carbohydrates and highly processed foods (among other lifestyle factors) have been associated with higher rates of developing cancer, heart disease and diabetes. On the other hand, consumption of a whole foods plant-based diet has been associated with a reduced chance of developing the same conditions.
This leads to the simple conclusion that following a healthy plant-based life style has not only the potential of lowering one’s risk of developing a lifestyle disease, but that it might also lower the risk of the developing the heavier symptoms of the corona virus.
Hence, the next steps for us to take as a society would be to make a steady and firm transition into a plant-based life style. This will not only help to keep our immune system strong, but will also reduce our risk of developing illnesses like cancer, diabetes, heart diseases and obesity which cause many more deaths per year than corona.
Another advantage of a plant-based life style in regard to the corona virus is the overall reduction of animal food consumption. As most of the pandemic viruses have originated in the animal industry, boycotting products that are coming from these industries will reduce the chances of them occurring again.
Once our consumption habits have changed drastically, the industry will also follow. As far as scientists and doctors are concerned, more in-depth research, study and education should be conducted on how diet and lifestyle changes can affect the prevention of various sicknesses. And governments on their side should stop subsidizing animal products industries and processed food industries but rather financially support organic farming industries so that high quality fruits, grains and vegetables can become affordable and available for everyone.
But it is mainly our responsibility as individuals to educate ourselves around the topics of health and lifestyle and to make active steps into implementing these changes in our own lives. Alongside our own journey into a plant-based lifestyle, we can inspire, inform and encourage our families, friends and communities to follow the same path. To quote someone else’s words: “take care of yourself and the others!”.
Happy to hear your non-violent comments and questions.
All my claims and proposals are based on opinions of scientific researchers and specialists. If you have doubts I am happy to share some of my sources with you.
People in my surroundings have expressed worry at me expressing my disregard of how governments around the world are dealing with the crisis, because of the harsh criticism that I got from readers.
On my side, I am dedicating my life and my professional career to help people become more healthy and happy and I intend to continue to do so by cooking, teaching and writing.
Moreover, I am happy that there is a healthy discussion around a subject. This is one of the joys of living in a democracy, the ability to express your opinion freely. It does worry me though that many public figures, doctors and scientists who share the same views as me, have been scared to express themselves freely and been frightened by threats and brutal backlash.
The last time I asked, they told me that we were living in a democracy, and in a democracy there is freedom of speech and opinion which I am happy to realize.
Portrait Photo: Willem Timmer for Gooisch magazine
Radish photo: Vera Bos for ENERGY cookbook