Last night, we watched a movie called Barney's Version which, among many other things, touched on the issue of Alzheimer's (or dementia). (It also touched on the issue of painfully awful movie titles, in my opinion.) But, I have to admit: Movies like that (or, even being around people affected by this) cause me to seriously look at my own life and reflect upon how I might be doing in terms of preventing not just Alzheimer's, but all major diseases.
My grandmother had severe dementia, and we witnessed the full progression of this awful condition for many years. I felt awful for her and readily admit that it scared the hell out of me to know that a formerly sharp, witty human being could end up this way. If you've never been around it, trust me: You do not want this for yourself or anyone.
Here's the thing, though: ?I can't say for sure that living a 100% raw food or a high raw food diet will definitely protect everyone from every major disease. No one can make such a claim. But, let's look at things the other way...
There are those who believe that disease is merely a matter of chance, and that things like cancer and Alzheimer's will strike who they may. I don't subscribe to this view. ?I do believe that chance has something to do with the equation, but I'd rather state it this way: ?If you're not consciously acting in the best interest of your health then, sure, there is a chance that something awful won't ruin your golden years.
Sure, it'd be great to be one of those funny old people that everyone posts videos about -- like that 100-year-old English guy who eats crap, drinks a lot, and smokes daily. But, in reality, how many others who lived his lifestyle died prematurely? ?Do you actually believe that your genetics will ignore such a lifestyle and sustain you into your centarian years? As entertaining as videos like that are (and, hey, I like them, too), in a way they're also highly misleading in their promotion of cavalier attitudes toward health.
Honestly, I want better than just a small chance that I'll live healthfully for a full lifespan. I want to stack the aging deck in my favor. Maybe people who are vigilant about their health can in fact succumb to such chronic illnesses. But, what are the chances? ?I personally feel that the chances are significantly lower for those who consistently pursue optimal health in terms of diet and all other aspects of their being.
So, yeah, eating a nutritious, high raw diet, paying attention to natural health, and looking after ourselves in a holistic way are always going to be important to us.
[Note from Wendi: Next week, since Jim is seriously concerned about doing all he can to eliminate his chances of Alzheimer's, I'll focus on foods and herbs that are known to improve one's chances of a fit, healthy mind into the centarian years.]
Below, we have included the original comments from this blog post. Additional comments may be made via Facebook, below.
On January 26, 2012, wrote:
Well written. This is something I've wondered (and worried) about for a long time now. My grandfather routinely drank scalding hot coffee with real cream, eggs and bacon, etc., BUT, he could see clearly, had a great memory, and lived to be 99 years old. He had a vegetable garden, grape vines, black berries, and a small orchard. He feasted on fresh fruits and veggies much of the year. I always assumed that it was the fresh wholesome produce that he ate that kept him healthy.
As I cleaned out his gardening tools, though, I found a supply of herbicides and pesticides indicating that he must have used it at least occasionally, which made me wonder, what is different today than the way it was back then?
He said to me once, "I eat to live, I don't live to eat." He ate everything in moderation. Perhaps his bug and weed control was carefully moderated as well, meaning, less chance of harm to his body compared to the vast amounts of processed beyond recognition foods that many people fuel their body with today.