The definition of the word health is unclear to most of us, perhaps that is why we prefer the word wellness. The latter conjures an understandable state of being, i.e. feeling well. We could define health as “an absence of disease”, but that does not deal with the potential for long term conditions that may be building up within us without detection. That detection may require discomfort, pain, or if lucky, a routine checkup.
One of the most promising areas of research and investigation that may yield great results in prevention is the Angiogenesis Foundation’s work in cancer research. I first came across this information from a presentation on TED by Dr. William Li, one of the founders. His findings suggest that we all seem to carry tumor-type cells in our 50’s and beyond.. but why is it that some people get cancer while others don’t? Instead of thinking that this is a random event, they hypothesized that food and nutritional habits may play a large part, and if proven this idea could greatly help in the prevention of this disease.
Angiogenesis is explained in layman’s terms as the growth of unwanted blood vessels that feed cancer. Inhibiting that process should act as a prevention method. This approach is promising as it goes back to us and our choices in lifestyle.
Food has been so commoditized that it is no longer seen as a means of sustaining life, but just a mechanism to ensure we do not go hungry. In certain circles it is an annoyance … How many times have you heard “let’s grab a bite” ……. Selecting one’s ingredients, planning your dishes, preparing, cooking, then enjoying takes time, effort, knowledge and most of all interest in the matter.
In today’s global culture we have abdicated so many traditional functions and specialized to the nth degree, so that preparing food has become alien to many… we keep wondering why we are getting fatter and sicker… But not to worry! A new pill is in clinical trials and will manage problem X… read manage, not cure ………
Back to the Angiogenesis Foundation, they are one of the bright lights of this new world where wellness and health have something to do with the way we live. Baby boomers with their unlimited ambition are discovering that we cannot stop aging as it is a natural process; what grows must die.
This series that I am starting is about us boomers: our illusions, or better yet delusions, about longevity and wellness. The topics we will tackle in future blogs are: Healthspan versus lifespan, choices in lifestyle, and how do we eat “right” and exercise to live the remainders of our lives healthy… the devil is in the details, which no one bothered to break down for the stressed out, overworked, and disillusioned average boomer.
I will share all the research I have had the opportunity to uncover, and I will definitely try to synthesize it. My aim is to drill through the fog…. Aren’t you tired of reading the morning paper’s health section telling you one isolated ingredient or element is good or bad for you?? (coffee, omega 3/6/9, polyphenols, resveratrol, etc.)…..
It is high time that a coherent message be heard; integrated information without dogma (and trust me there is plenty of that – low fat, high carb, paleo, high fat, low carb, high protein, etc……) people whom have abandoned religions and are now inventing their own in matters of food and nutrition.
Historical ancestral practices and science will guide our way to a better understanding of that while we live longer, we are not disease free, and have to manage many conditions that may become very uncomfortable and painful in the long run.
Next Post: Ancestral lifestyle – ancient Greece and Rome.