Raw Food Diet – How It Reduces the Risks of Stroke Caused by the Typical American Diet

Raw Food Diet – How It Reduces the Risks of Stroke Caused by the Typical American Diet in Conventional and Traditional Chinese Medicine Perspectives

Besides cancer and heart diseases, stroke is the third leading cause of death. Approximate 1/4 of all stroke victims die as a direct result of the stroke or it’s complications. According the National Institutes of Health, more than two million Americans suffer long-term disabilities from stroke, costing our society billions of dollar each year.

I. Introduction

1. What is conventional medicine

Conventional medicine is also known as Western medicine. It is a system of medical approach in which medical doctor and other health professionals such as nurses, medical technician, specialists and therapists, etc. use medication, radiation, medical equipments or surgery to treat symptoms of disease and diseases. Most of the times, there is one treatment for the same symptoms for all individuals.

2. What is traditional Chinese medicine

Traditional Chinese medicine also known as TCM, derives from the philosophy of Taoist, in which it beliefs that life and activity of each human beings have an inter-relationship with the environment on all levels. Major theories include those of Yin-yang, the Five elements, the human body meridian channels, Zang Fu organ theory, etc. It treat every individual as one unique entity and there is no one treatment for all, even the same symptoms.

3. Definition of stroke in convention medicine perspective

Stroke is defined as a condition of circulation of blood in any part of the body is blocked, causing oxygen not to be delivered to the brain, resulting in some cells in the brain to die off and can not regenerated or a blood vessel in the brain ruptures, causing the cells in the brain to be deprived of oxygen in the blood, they die and never come back.

4. Definition of stroke in traditional Chinese medicine

Stroke is defined as a condition of out of whack of internal organs, leading to overwhelming of wind, fire, phlegm, and stasis. As those negative influences of wind evils arise, it upsets the healthy balance of the body. In ancient China, these types of disease were referred as “zhongfeng,” and in English they means “wind stroke.” According to Chinese medicine theory, Stroke not only causes the brain damage but affects the meridians and a number of organs of zang fu.

5. What is raw food diet

The raw food diet is defined as a type of diet of which at least 75% of the daily diet must be unprocessed and uncooked foods or foods can not be heating above 115 degree of Fahrenheit or 40 °C , including fresh fruit and vegetables and raw meats.

II. Types of stroke

A. In conventional medicine perspective

1. Hemorrhage

It is a condition of a artery bursts and bleeds into brain tissues, causing disruption of oxygen supply to cells in some parts of the brain. Because with no oxygen to nourish the cells, the cells die off.

2. Embolus

This is the condition caused by forming of a blood clot which develops due to damage of body tissues and migrates to the other part of the body then blocks the carotid arteries or arteries somewhere else in the body, leading to clots in the small vessels of the brain and disrupts the oxygen supply to certain region of brain causing cells in that region die off.

B. In traditional Chinese medicine perspective

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory divides stroke into two main types:

1. Flaccid type ( from an overall deficiency) is caused by collapse of yang

Yin can be in very excessive state with collapse of yang, causing the rise of extreme cold syndromes that stop the blood flow or allow only a little blood flow to the nervous system, due toheart blood stagnation, leading evil “wind” blocking the channels which are necessary to nourish the cells in the central system.

Depending to the degree of severity

a) In a mild case

Only channels are damaged, the stroke causes only localized paralysis the limbs and deviation of eye and mouth with no loss of consciousness and no coma.

b) In a severe case

In a severe case, large channels or meridians are damaged, the stroke causes generalized paralysis with loss of consciousness, coma and sometimes instant death.

2. Tense type is caused by collapse of yin

Depending to the degree of severity

a) In a mild case

only channels are damaged, the stroke causes only localized paralysis the limbs and deviation of eye and mouth with no loss of consciousness and no coma.

b) In severe case

In a severe case, large channels or meridians are damaged, the stroke causes generalized paralysis with loss of consciousness, coma and sometime instant death.

III. Causes of stroke

A. In conventional medicine perspective

Major causes of stoke include

1. Unhealthy diet

A diet high in saturated and trans fats causes bad cholesterol building up in the blood vessels in the brain, blocking oxygen deliver to the cells, thus increasing the risk of stroke. Also unhealthy diet causes high blood pressure making the heart work harder to pump blood to the body. High blood pressure also causes the blood vessels in your brain to harden and thin, that increases the risk of stroke.

2. Smoking

Smoking not only has a devastating effect on the health of the smoker but also to anyone that inhales its toxic fumes. Cigarettes contain high levels of cadmium that cause the blood to clot activity of cells in result of blocking blood flow and damaging the blood vessels in the brain.

3. Excessive drinking

Moderate drinking is good for your heart, but excessive drinking can raise levels of some fats in your blood causing cholesterol to build up in the arteries and blood vessels in the brain resulting in increase of the risk of stroke.

4. Diabetes

People with diabetes tend to develop heart disease or have strokes at an earlier age than other people. Diabetes with unhealthy diet causes high blood glucose levels that damage nerves and blood vessels, leading to complications such as heart disease and stroke, the leading causes of death among people with diabetes.

5. Obesity – a body mass index of 30 or higher

Study shows that even after adjusting for other stroke risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, smoking, cardiac diseases, moderate alcohol consumption, and physical activity; obesity is still associated with a greatest risk of stroke in men and women.

6. Use of birth control pills

Birth control pills contain estrogen and one of two other hormones, lynestrenol or norethisterone that increase the risk of blood clotting, which can lead to ischemic stroke especially in woman who smoke and who are older than 35.

B. In traditional Chinese medicine perspective

Major causes of stoke include

TCM realizes a stroke occurs and causes bodily damage are complicated and sometimes, it may take over 10 years before striking. There are 4 external and 6 internal factors have been identified

1. The 6 external factors

a) Hypo functioning

Hypo functioning is defined as a condition of that your internal system is no longer respond to the chain reaction function by each organ. It is may be caused by organs damage due to external or internal factors.

b) Over functioning

Over functioning is defined as a condition of which some of the organs in your body over respond to the chain reaction function by producing more essences than necessary. It is may be caused by medication taken or organs damage due to external or internal factors.

c) Improper diet

  • i) Dairy products – TCM also classifies dairy as damaging to the digestion because it creates dampness and phlegm. that interferes with the flow of energy through the body, leading to stagnation.
  • ii) Greasy or fried foods – Greasy or fried foods are excessive yang in nature. Overwhelming intake of those kinds of food not only cause fat to accumulated in the abdomen, but also contributes to the production of phlegm. If phlegm combined with liver heat and stagnation produce fire, leading to obstruction of qi flow in the chest.
  • iii) Refined sugar – Refined sugar is considered cold and dampness in TCM, overwhelming of refined sugar intake weakens the Spleen, slow digestion and depress the immune system.
  • iv) Alcohol – Prolong period of drinking alcohol damages the liver, leading to collapse of liver qi and blood that effect other organ in essence distribution.
  • v) Irregular eating habits
  • vi) Processed ingredient – Processed ingredient is defined as foods that something have been altered or removed. Adding them in our diet can increase the cold, constriction, decency and dampness, making qi flow sluggish and slowing down the stomach and spleen in food absorption.
  • vii) Cold foods and drinks – Cold foods and drinks cause the temperature in the body to drop and decrease the blood circulation. It may cause heart diseases if there is existence of high blood pressure as the heart has to work harder.

d) Emotional disturbance

Emotional disturbance decrease the heart and liver function in blood circulation and blood formation. Since liver is the primary organ responsible for smooth flow of qi for the entire body, emotional disturbance suppresses the qi flow gradually, over a prolong period of time it causes qi and blood stagnation, leading to abnormal blood flow, thus increasing the risk of stroke.

e) Aging

Aging is a natural and biological process, no one can stop it, bur we can delay it by paying attention to the food we eat and preventing any activity which may speed up the process. In TCM as we age

  • i) The Spleen and stomach no longer function normally in digesting and transporting the energy to our body, leading to nutrients deficiency in nourishing other organs.
  • ii) Kidney and liver – Deficiency of kidney and liver due to aging causes yin and yang imbalance that interferes with the function of blood formation and qi circulation, etc.
  • iii) Heart – Deficiency of heart yang causes heart fluid building up, leading spontaneous sweating. heart qi deficiency causes blood deficiency and weakness of yang qi, that disrupts the blood circulation.
  • iv) Etc. – As we age. our body works just like a old car, it will never work like when it is new, no matter how much money we spend to maintain it.
  • f) Excessive sexual activity – TCM believes that a healthy, moderate amount of sex supports a good flow of Qi and excessive sexual activity depletes the qi, blood and kidney jing (essence).
2.The 6 internal factors

a) Yin and qi deficiency

Yin is responsible for moistening and cooling bodily organs and functions. Typical American diet depletes the body yins and generates heat caused by a lack of the moistening and cooling functions that are necessary to maintain a healthy balance.

Qi flows around your body in a series of meridian pathways. deficiency of yin, leading to heat interferes with qi flow along the series of meridian channels to transport energy that not only causes blood deficiency, but also increases the risk of rebellion wind attacking the body organs and tissues.

b) Liver-fire and heart-fire

Prolong deficiency of qi can weaken the lung qi, causing heart Qi deficiency, leading to stagnation of Qi, thus increasing the risk of heart fire.

Liver fire is caused by over intake of coffee, alcohol, sugar, hormone accumulated in the blood due to intake of hormone injection products, prolong period of sadness. etc., leading to liver qi stagnation, resulting in liver fire.

c) Wind evils

If the wind often combines with heat, it causes”wind-heat”due to symptoms of heat excesses. as a result of heart, liver, or kidneys qi imbalances, causing inner-wind injury” such as fainting, weakness, nervous spasms, blurry vision, etc.

d) Stagnant qi flow

Energy can’t not move freely due to excessive heat, causing heart and liver fire that contributes major health problems.

e) Blood stasis

Blood staganation is normal accompanied with qi stagnation. as qi is necessary for blood circulation, stagnation of qi can not move the blood freely, leading to the over hard working heart, resulting in hypertension.

f) Accumulation of phlegm

Phlegm is caused by fire heating up the internal moister, obstructing the flow of Qi and disturbing the ascent and descent of qi of zang fu organs.

IV. Symptoms of Stroke

A. In conventional medicine

Here are some symptoms of strokes:

1. Sudden trouble in standing

Sudden trouble in standing is an early symptom of stroke as a result of circulation of blood that carries oxygen to suddenly deplete caused by narrowing of arteries and high blood pressure.

2. Dizziness and loss of balance

The brain coordinates information from the eyes, the inner ear, and the body’s sense to maintain balance. If the cells of that part of the brain get damaged in result of depleted oxygen will cause dizziness and loss of balance.

3. Sudden confusion

A sudden onset of confusion means that something is potentially going wrong with the brain. Almost all conditions that affect the brain are life-threatening. It might be caused by a tumor or low levels of oxygen in the cells of the cerebral cortex in your brain that affect your ability to think with your usual speed or clarity. It might also be caused by lowered blood sugar, as is the case of diabetes.

4. Having trouble speaking and understanding

Having trouble speaking and understanding occurs when the brain cells in the area of the broca, wernicke and angular ayrus in the left hemisphere area begin to die because they stop getting the oxygen and nutrients they need to function.

6. Sudden severe headaches

Headache is a condition of pain in the head, sometimes neck or upper back pain may also be interpreted as a headache. It ranks amongst the most common local pain complaints and may be frequent for many people but sudden severe headaches may be caused by an early symptom of heart disease as we mentioned in previous articles, by rupturing a brain vessel or depletion of oxygen in some parts of the brain.

7. Sudden trouble seeing

This may be an early indication of stroke when the oxygen in the blood supply to the part of the brain is suddenly interrupted or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts, spilling blood into cells that control the vision area of the cerebral cortex in the brain.

B. In traditional Chinese medicine

The syndrome is caused by factors mentioned above

a) Bleeding

Bleeding is caused by heat and dryness due to yin deficiency and liver heat that causes breaking off the small vessel in the body.

b) Headache Slight or none Severe

Headache in this case is caused by deficiency of liver blood and heart’s inability to move move blood freely, leading to obstruction of blood flow to the central nervous system.

c) Nausea/Vomiting

Due to stomach and Spleen’s inability to digest food caused by overwhelming of heat in the body.

d) Stiff neck

Stiff neck is caused by a slowdown in the circulation (stagnation) of blood and energy in the area due to qi and blood stagnation as we mentioned in the causes of stroke.

e) Loss of Mental Capacity Slight, short period of time

Due to inadequate blood flow to the central nervous system in a very short period of time due to wing heat slow attacking the cells in the nervous system.

e) Paralysis One part of the body

In this case, it is caused by mild case of stroke.

f) Leg cramp during restful position

It is caused by not enough blood or blood is blocked by up ward tendency of wind heat.

d) Constipation

Due to dry up of fluid in the body as a result of kidney yin and spleen qi deficiency.

e) Rapid pulse

The heart has to harder that creates a tension in the blood vessel due to blood deficiency and blood heat.

g) Etc.

V. Diagnosis

A. In conventional medicine perspective

If you have a above symptoms, you should talk to your doctor immediately. Here are some diagnosis

1. Computerized tomography

A special x-ray test called a CT scan of the brain to check for any bleeding or masses within the brain. It can be completed within a few minutes.

2. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

the use of magnetic waves rather than x-rays to image the brain, it produces a much more detailed image than those of CT and takes more than an hour to complete.

3. MRA (magnetic resonance angiogram)

It is used to view the blood vessels without using tubes or injections.

4. Diffusion weighted imaging (DWI)

It is used to detect the area of abnormality minutes after the blood flow to a part of the brain has ceased.

5. Computerized tomography with angiography

By injecting dye into a vein in the arm, it produces a image of the blood vessels in the brain that provides your doctor with information of aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations and any abnormalities of brain blood flow in that area.

6. Conventional angiogram:

A long catheter tube with injecting dye inserts into an artery (through the groin area), the conventional angriogram delivers some of the most detailed images of the blood vessel anatomy.

7. Carotid Doppler ultrasound

A carotid Doppler ultrasound method uses sound waves to screen for narrowing and decreased blood flow in the carotid artery.

8. Heart tests

A microphone device places on the chest or puts down the esophagus to view the heart chambers. It is similar to a regular electrocardiogram (EKG), but the electrode stickers remain on the chest for 24 hours or more for identifying a faulty heart rhythm.

9. Blood tests

A blood test is used to check for potential infection, anemia, kidney function, and electrolyte abnormalities

B. In traditional Chinese medicine

In TCM, stroke is caused by a series of problem, the diagnosis is always follow the below procedures

a) Asking

You life style will be recorded through a series of question.

b) Observing

Your physical appearance will be observed carefully, including your face, eye, tongue, etc.

c) Smelling

Your breath, you body.

d) Listening

Your tone, the choices of word, volume of your voice, the sound of your breath, etc.

e) Feeling

Your pulse is read, your temperature is taken.

By combining all the information from above, your TCM practitioner will determine what is the causes of your problem? and treat it accordingly by restoring the disharmonization in your body. Most people suspect with stroke will likely to diagnosis with kidney and spleen deficiency, leading to deficiencies of qi, blood, and yin resulting in overwhelming of wind, phlegm, fire, and stagnation, including liver yang excessive and rising, stagnation of qi or blood, phlegm combining with fire, liver wind, or wind attacking meridians.

VI. What is a typical American diet

Below is the top 10 food groups contributing to energy intake in U.S. Population according to National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey(NHANES).

NHANES 1999-2000

Rank Food Group % of total energyCumulative
% of total energy
1Sweets, desserts12.412.4
2Beef, pork 10.122.3
3Bread, rolls, crackers8.731.0
4Mixed dishes8.239.2
6Soft drinks7.153.6
8 Chicken, fish5.765.8
9Alcoholic beverages4.470.2
10Fruit, juice3.974.2

NHANES III (1988-94)

Rank Food Group % of total energyCumulative
% of total energy
1Sweets, desserts12.312.3
2Beef, pork 10.723.1
3Bread, rolls, crackers10.733.9
4Mixed dishes7.841.6
7Soft Drinks662.2
8Chicken, fish5.767.8
9Alcoholic beverages4.572.3
10Fats & Oils4.076.3

A. In conventional medicine perspective

1. Too many calories

We have eaten either calories or too much high calories’ foods that lead to overweight and promote all kinds of diseases including diabetes and heart diseases and stroke.

2. Too much unsaturated fat and trans fat

While unsaturated fat is considered so so as it inceases both LDL and HDL, trans fat increases bad cholesterol ( LDL) and decreases level of good cholesterol (HDL), leading to cholesterol and triglycerides accumulated in the arteries that block the blood transportation as well as increasing the plague build up on the arterial wall, thus elevating the risk of breaking off of the small vessel.

3. Sugar and Sweetener

Sugar and sweetener get into our blood stream quickly that increases the risk of fluctuation of insulin. Prolong period of eating them causes hormone imbalance and damages the the receptor sites and pancreas function in regulating the blood sugar.

4. Beverages and Alcohol

Beverage contains high amount of artificial sugar and ingredients that were proven to damage the pancreas in insulin regulation and interferes with our body in hormone secretion. Alcohol besides causing nervous tension and damaging the circulatory system, it may damage the liver, causing immune dysfunction and decreasing the liver in synthesis carbohydrate and fat and protein metabolism.

5. Low vegetables and fruits

Vegetables and fruits contains high amount of nutrients that are necessary for supporting our body daily activity. Deficiency causes wide range of health diseases.

6. Low essential nutrient

We eat too much junk foods that not only cause weigh gain, but also nutrient deficiency.

B. In Chinese medicine perspective

1. Too much Saturated at and trans fat

a) Oily and greasy food after entering the stomach, it divides into 2 parts, the food qi flows upward and absorbed by the Spleen and the pulp is digested by stomach and the essence also absorbed by the Spleen. Too much saturated and trans fat cause energy overflow and excess energy (yang) are deposited in the waist area, leading to weight gain and affect circulation of qi.

b) Saturated fat and trans fat are yang pathogen and hot in nature, prolong period intake of these kinds of food causes excessive yang in the body and digestive disorder, leading to a domino effects, causing disharmonization in the body ecosystem. It may cause stroke, depending where the evil wind strikes ?

2. Refined product, artificial ingredient and cold drinks

Refined product, artificial ingredient and cold drinks are yin pathogen and cold in nature. As the body is dried up due to excessive yang, cold foods cause heat building up in the body, leading to the development of wind, the deadly element for the stroke and other kinds of disease.

VII. How the typical American diet increases the risk of stroke

A. In conventional medicine perspective

As cholesterol and triglycerides building up in the bloodstream, obstructing the blood circulation, the hear has to work harder, causing high blood pressure if there is any disruption of blood caused blood to be blocked somewhere in the body or disruption of small vessel in the brain that obstructs the oxygen transportation to the brain cells and they die off, causing stroke.

B. In Chinese medicine perspective

Too much saturated fat, trans fat, beverages, alcohol, sugar and sweetener

In traditional Chinese medicine, Spleen is an organ in charge of the digestive function and energy absorption, too much fat and trans fat cause excess energy deposited in the waist area, leading to abnormal weight gain. Since fat and trans fat are considered are extreme yang pathogen and hot in nature, PROLONG PERIOD of EATING THEM will cause yin deficiency and dry heat.

They heat up the stomach after entering and dry up the moister that is necessary for food digestion, leading to heat accumulated in the stomach and intestines,causing thirst, abdominal fullness, distension and pain, constipation or hemorrhoids, etc. Excessive intake of hot food over prolong periods of time disturbs the balance of Spleen and stomach and affects conception and governing meridian in regulating the yin and yang energy in the body accordingly and subsequently the penetrating meridian. As the body no longer can adjust with the excessive yang combined with the damp cold (cold drinks, refined products and artificial ingredients) , it leads to development of wind, causing the stroke.

In some cases, stroke may be caused by an insufficiency of liver-yin due to the dryness of the blood as the heat move the wind upward that affects the meridians and obstructs orifices, leading to stagnation fof qi and blood, causing stroke.

In short, prolong period of time intake of hot and cool may dis-harmonize our body as our organs no long can adjust to excessive building up of yin and yang, that in turn obstructs the qi flow in the meridian and causes blood stagnation in the zang fu organs, depending what is diagnosed ? and what organ has been damage the most ?, it causes stroke, heart diseases or others.

VII. How raw food diet reduces the risk of heart diseases and stroke

A. In conventional medicine perspective

1. Nutrients and enzymes

Raw foods contain high levels of vitamins and minerals than cook foods, because heat causes the loss of nutrients and destroying enzymes.

2. Reducing cholesterol and triglycerides

raw foods contains high amount of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat that reduces the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides and increase the levels of good cholesterol (HLD), thereby reducing the risk of cholesterol building up in the blood stream.

3. Reducing blood pressure

As the blood vessels now clear up, our heart do no need to harder to pump blood, thereby decreasing the risk of high blood pressure and breaking off the small blood vein in the body.

4. Reduce cholesterol and triglycerides

raw foods contains high amount of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat that reduces the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides and increase the levels of good cholesterol (HDL), thereby reducing the risk of cholesterol building up in the blood stream.

5. Etc.

B. In traditional Chinese medicine

Since raw food is considered as yin pathogen and cool in nature. Although TCM has never recommended the uses of raw foods to treat people with yin deficiency or excessive yang present, introducing cool foods is always one of the treatment. As raw food continuously reduces the level of excessive yang due to typical American diet, it decreases the risk of development of wind, thus decreasing the risk of stroke. Believe it or not, one day raw food diet will bring the body back to harmonize (balance of yin and yang, it may take a long time). I believe that is the time you must forgo the intake of raw food and replace it by more balancing foods to prevent the excessive yin and yang deficiency symptoms.

VII. Final words

2 different ideologies, 2 different doctrines and 2 different approaches and ONE objective ( How to make us healthier.

I hope this information will help.

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