Chapter 1 (an excerpt)
Enzymes and Your Health— Misconceptions and Vital Truths
Forty years have passed since I became a gastrointestinal endoscopy specialist. In that time, I have worked closely with my patients to discover how to lead a healthy life. As a physician, I strongly believe that no matter how hard a doctor tries, he or she cannot maintain a patient’s health over time just by doing checkups and treating diseases. Long-term health is the result of healthy attitudes and habits. Improving one’s daily lifestyle is fundamentally more important than counting on the efficacy of surgery or medication.
The Enzyme Factor Diet and Lifestyle introduced in this book is able to report clinical results of a 0% cancer recurrence rate .
I will say that again: None of my patients have had to face cancer again. Why? Because my cancer patients take their health condition seriously, place their full faith in supporting their body’s healing, and practice my dietary health lifestyle daily. This is the healthy lifestyle I will teach you in this book, a simple set of new habits that will enable you to enjoy vital good health into very old age.
Armed with the knowledge in these pages, it will be up to you to choose sickness or health. In the past, people thought that illnesses could and should be cured solely by doctors and medication. Patients were passive, and simply took the doctor’s instructions and the medication prescribed for them. However, we are now living in an era when all of us must take responsibility for our own health.
All of us hope we will never get sick—or, if we do, we have a strong desire to get better quickly. You may think this is impossible, but I assure you it is not. I propose in this book a way of life that will allow you to live out your natural life span without ever getting sick again.
Of course, in order to do this, it might be necessary to completely change the dietary habits and lifestyle you have pursued until now. Do not let the demands of this lifestyle cause you to consider forgoing my suggestions. Read on with an open mind. I firmly believe that by the time you finish reading this book, you will be inspired to make changes.
When people become sick, we often see them grieve over why they became sick. Being sick is not a test or punishment imposed by God. In most cases it is not preordained by genetics. Rather, almost all illness is the result of each person’s habits that have accumulated over time.
You Can Become a Healthy 100-Year-Old
Do you consider yourself to be a healthy person? Not many people can answer this question with an unqualified “yes.” Not many, I expect, because not being sick is not equivalent to being healthy. In Eastern medicine, there is a term “dormant illness.” This term represents a condition in which a person is not yet sick and yet not completely healthy. In other words, it is a condition in which a person is but one step away from getting sick. Many Americans at present are actually in that condition.
Even people who consider themselves healthy are often troubled by such problems as chronic constipation or diarrhea, insomnia, and stiff necks and shoulders. These symptoms are SOS signals that your body is sending out. And if you make light of them by saying “this is normal for me” or “I’m usually like this,” you run the risk of having the condition progress into a serious illness.
The average life expectancy in the United States rose dramatically, from 47 years in 1900 to almost 78 by 2006. Since it is in humankind’s common interest for everyone to live longer, one could say this is a very positive trend.
However, the figures for average life expectancy should not make us complacent, because these numbers do not accurately reflect people’s true health. For example, a 100-year-old person leading a healthy life and a 100-year-old who is sick and bedridden both count the same in life expectancy averages. Both are exactly the same age, but they do not have the same quality of life. If you are not healthy, you cannot make good use of the closing part of your long life. Very few people would want to live a long life if they were bedridden and suffering. Only when they are healthy do most people really want to live long lives.
Try to recall the appearance of an elderly relative or someone close to you. Looking at that person’s health condition, would you be satisfied being in that same state when you reach their age? Unfortunately, most people would answer “no.”
As one becomes older, even a healthy person’s body will deteriorate. However, being sick and having your body experience a natural decline are two totally different things. My mother, who has followed this dietary lifestyle for many years, is healthy and active at age 96.
What causes elderly people to become sick?
The difference between a healthy centenarian and one who is bedridden is not a difference of age. It is a difference in eating and living habits that accumulate over that century. In short, whether a person is healthy or not depends on what that person eats and how that person lives day to day. What determines a person’s state of health is the daily accumulation of things such as food, water, exercise, sleep, work, and stress.
If that is the case, then the question is what kind of lifestyle should we lead in order to live a long and healthy life?
Today’s health and fitness industries have a huge market, with health products overflowing store counters. Many people buy health food supplements because labels tell them that a single remedy will address their health problems if they just drink or swallow that supplement each day. On top of that, when TV or magazine advertisements tell you that “xx product is good for your body,” that product will often be sold out the next day. This means, in short, that most people do not really understand what is truly good for their bodies and are thus easily manipulated by the media.
Widely Promoted Misconceptions about Food
Is there something you pay special attention to when trying to maintain your health? Are you conscientious about exercising regularly, eating properly and taking supplements and herbal medicine? My intention is not to criticize your current dietary habits and lifestyle, but I highly recommend that at least once a day, you check your own health condition and contemplate whether your habits and lifestyle are truly effective in maintaining your health. The reason I say this is that many products that are generally deemed “good for you” actually contain things that can damage your body.
Common Myths about Food
• Eat yogurt every day to improve digestion.
• Drink milk every day to avoid becoming calcium deficient.
• Get your daily vitamin through supplements rather than fruit, since fruit has a lot of carbohydrates and calories.
• Refrain from eating carbohydrates such as rice and bread in order to avoid gaining weight.
• Try to maintain a high protein diet.
• Get fluids from drinking Japanese green tea, which is rich in antioxidants.
• Boil tap water before drinking it to remove any chlorine remnants.
In fact, I have yet to meet a person who eats yogurt on a daily basis and still has good intestinal health. Many Americans have been drinking milk daily and eating dairy products since they were children, but many of these same people suffer from osteoporosis, which is supposed to be prevented by the calcium in milk. As a Japanese-American doctor, I treat patients in Tokyo during several months each year. I see that Japanese people who drink tea rich in antioxidants on a regular basis have very poor stomach characteristics as well. Tea instructors, for example, who drink large quantities of green tea as part of their work, often have what is known as atrophic gastritis, a precursor to stomach cancer.
Remember what over 300,000 clinical observations have told me: A person with poor gastrointestinal function is never healthy.
In light of this, why are things that damage your stomach and intestines widely considered to be good for your health? It is largely because people tend to look at only one aspect, or one effect, of that particular food or drink, rather than at the whole picture.
Take green tea as an example. There is no doubt that green tea, which contains many antioxidants, can kill bacteria and have positive antioxidation effects. As a result, there is a widespread belief that drinking a lot of Japanese green tea will prolong your life and may help prevent cancer. However, I have long had my doubts about this “antioxidant myth.” Indeed, my own clinical data disprove this common belief. Through examining patients I have discovered that people who drink a lot of green tea have stomach problems.
It is true that antioxidants found in the tea are a type of polyphenol, which prevents or neutralizes the damaging effect of free radicals. However, when several of those antioxidants come together, they become something called tannin.
Tannin causes certain plants and fruits to have an astringent flavor. The “bitterness” of bitter persimmons, for example, is caused by tannin. Tannin is easily oxidized, so, depending on how much it is exposed to hot water or air, it can easily turn into tannic acid. Moreover, Tannic acid functions to coagulate proteins. My theory is that tea containing tannic acid has a negative effect on the gastric mucosa — the mucus membranes lining the stomach — causing the person to have stomach problems, such as ulcers. Read more