How does the food that we eat affect our overall well-being? The old adage “you are what you eat” doesn’t exist for nothing. The food we eat has the power to either nourish us, heal us, or hurt us.

At this year’s VegFest U.K., plant-based physician Dr. Milton Mills spoke on how the modern Western medical system focuses on stifling symptoms and curing disease, rather than preventing them. Like other physicians such as Dr. Michael Greger, Dr. Mills points to how a plant-based diet can be one of the best preventative measures we can take in reducing the risk of many chronic diseases.

Dr. Mills encouraged his audience to think about how lifestyle choices around diet may play a larger role in health than family history, which is often believed to be an inevitable “nail in the coffin” in terms of chronic health issues such as arthritis, diabetes, cancer, and more. However, according to Dr. Mills, it is the damage to one’s genetic makeup, or DNA, caused by poor dietary choices that can be transferred to children. So, how can we ensure that we’re eating healthy?

Not surprisingly, a diet rich in whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes, is considered the one of the healthiest ways that we can eat. Dr. Mills utilized a video called “Plant-Based Diets and Cellular Stress Defenses” by Dr. Greger to illustrate his point. Backed by peer-reviewed medical research, the video explains how phytonutrients, which are found in abundance in fruits and vegetables, increase defenses around a cell, which allows the cell to recover from DNA damage. This can help decrease one’s chance of cancer. Studies have also shown that eating more fruits and vegetables can increase one’s longevity.

Dr. Mills and Dr. Greger are not alone in their stance. Members of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) all stand behind the preventative nature of a whole foods, plant-based diet, which excludes meat, dairy, eggs, and highly processed foods.

If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of a whole foods, plant-based diet as well as grocery shopping tips and more, we recommend reading the following articles:

We also highly recommend downloading ourFood Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found onInstagram and Facebook. The app has more than 8,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to ten new recipes per day. Check it out!

Lead image source:  monticello/Shutterstock