CLOSING PANDORA'S BOX: How to Naturally Reverse Lifestyle Diseases

We humans tend to build a certain way of life for ourselves which dictates our daily routine, influences how we dress and interact, and showcases us to the world around us. Everyone of us follow a unique routine tailored to our individual needs, preferences and commitments, yet we all tend to follow a certain pattern on a whole. It is this lifestyle that not only defines our persona, but even creates a comfort-zone for us within which we thrive and work to our level best. It acts as a tether between us and our life itself, holding us steady in our chosen path of life and providing us a buoy to tide through life.

It is largely influenced by our geographical location and its inherent culture, society, education, age, occupation, outside influences, upbringing, and many such factors. It can either be naturalistic, rustic, urban, modern, ultra-modern, conventional, wild, or a blend of either of these. Yet it follows a set pattern and we tend to live and swear by it.

The strength and joy we find in our lifestyles is often left unappreciated even by us, and we only realize its void when some emergency disrupts its flow. Just think of the times when some unprecedented events in our life disrupts our lifestyle and sends us into a frenzy. We feel so lost within ourselves and struggle to find our rhythm again. We miss all the mundane routines and day-to-day activities, and how difficult it becomes for us to adapt to the changes and settle into a new lifestyle?

On the flip side however, when we become a slave to our lifestyles and when its focus shifts from prioritizing our health, progress and overall well being to simply following a blind pattern and on our whims and frivolities, it paves way to ailments and diseases that can be chronic, highly risky, and extremely offsetting. These are termed as Lifestyle diseases and are oftentimes non-communicable but tag along for life if left unchecked and untreated on their onset.

Their early symptoms too are however very subtle and often go unnoticed until it becomes a bigger problem. Lifestyle diseases usually take the form of

Heart-related diseases like cardiac arrest, seizure, Arrhythmias, Cardiomyopathy, Coronary artery disease, Heart valve disease, etc.

Stroke: Surprisingly stroke too is categorized under lifestyle diseases due to several other underlying ailments that may already be present in a person and pose as a risk factor and cause of stroke. To elaborate further, the different risk factors of stroke are: High blood pressure, Stress, Diabetes, High cholesterol, Smoking, and having heart rhythm disturbances especially atrial fibrillation.

Respiratory disorders like asthma, sinusitis, etc.


Thyroid imbalance

Diabetes (usually type 2)

Nutrition deficiencies like anemia, arthritis, gout, scurvy, anorexia, etc.

Mental health issues like depression, Alzheimer’s, certain dementia, phobias and addictions.


Dental health problems like cavities, plague, etc.

Digestive disorders like gastritis, colitis, etc.

Skin allergies

Even certain types of cancer like that of lungs, breast, colon, and prostate. Reports suggest that nearly 30% of different forms of cancer are a result of wrong lifestyle habits.

Of course they are other factors too that trigger these ailments like genetics, gender, and age, but our lifestyles too have a large say in the matter. Some of these names are scary and notorious for being life-threatening but many of them are treatable and can be reversed with proper care and Nutrition. Science, medicine and human knowledge has reached great pinnacles and fighting these diseases is easier now than ever before.

Experts claim that these diseases appear to increase in frequency as countries become more industrialized making its citizens more dependent on modern goods, services and technology. The over-exposure to pollution, devices and machineries, and modern equipments on one side with lesser interaction with nature and a sedentary lifestyle on the other side welcomes most of these diseases like hypertension, type 2 diabetes, obesity, dental problems, and mental health issues.

Treating these diseases can be expensive. It is also highly crucial to receive primary prevention and detection of early symptoms in order to either reverse them or even bring them under control. These lifestyle disease are expected to increase in numbers afflicting people, if we do not improve our lifestyle choices.

If we consider the bottom-line of the problem, most of the diseases are a result of lack of nutrition, poor eating habits, stress, substance abuse, addiction, succumbing to bad habits and peer pressure, lack of physical activity, or sometimes over-doing them, exposure to radiations and pollutants, etc.

According to a report titled Lifestyle Diseases: Consequences, Characteristics, Causes and Control published in Journal of Cardiology & Current Research in July 2017 “Cardiovascular diseases that include heart attacks and stroke account for 17.7 million deaths every year, making it the most lethal disease globally. Cancer kills around 8.8 million people each year, followed by respiratory diseases that claim around 3.9 million lives annually and diabetes that has an annual morbidity rate of 1.6 million. These four groups of diseases are the most common causes of death among all NCDs (Non- Communicable Diseases).

All these however can be easily overcome and reversed by certain lifestyle changes and dedication.

The same above-mentioned report also suggests that “Depending on the type of Cardio Vascular Disease, an appropriate treatment plan can help alleviate the problem/s. There are a number of treatments ranging from medication to surgeries that can help, however, prevention is always recommended over treatment. To prevent CVD, one must:

Stop smoking

Have a balanced diet with plenty of fibre.

Exercise regularly (>150 minutes of aerobic activity per week)

Maintain a healthy weight and body mass index (BMI; aim for a BMI below 25)

Cut down on alcohol (<14 alcohol units per week)

Follow medical treatment like Aspirin and anti-platelet therapy.


Like the golden proverb advices, prevention is always better than cure as it spares us and our family members from a lot of pain, discomfort, stress, problems related to the ailments, expenses and setbacks. But our human mind is a very fickle thing. Little triggers or distractions can upset our focus and cause roadblocks to a healthy lifestyle and wellness.

Add to it the daily stress and failures which can make us feel lost and at times like these health and nutrition will always be on the bottom of our list. It really takes hard-core dedication, focus and serious motivation to stick to a healthy lifestyle and diet regime. And trust me, its reward is truly multifold and precious.


Early detection and prevention is better, but it’s never too late to start afresh and reverse the harm done. Lifestyle diseases can be tackled with right guidance, dedicated mind, active effort and some lifestyle changes.

Until recently it was believed that these lifestyle diseases are a companion for life. But recent studies and exploration of alternate healing methods are busting this myth. Our human body is unique in its ability to heal itself. The natural process however is long and slow, and is oftentimes defeated as the disease-causing problem pile up faster than they can be resolved by our system. But with some external effort and aid with all the nutrients and diet our body needs these lifestyle diseases can be reversed and for good.

Yes! We have reached this pinnacle in healing science where it is possible to undo the harm done and restore our health to its former glory. Even in cases of end-stage cancer, heart attack, asthma, diabetes and thyroid imbalance where once hope was lost with their diagnosis, we now see cases where patients have had full recovery and lead a healthy and happy life.

So, what are some of the regimes that can help battle these lifestyle diseases?

The answer is, Interestingly, the diet which initially helps us maintain good health, and prevent these diseases is also similar to the diet which later comes to our rescue to reverse the ailments. Only, it needs to be more exclusively planned depending on the disease, and supported with proper research and friendly support. Here is where we will need the valuable assistance of a nutritionist or a professional health expert.

Renowned nutritionist Nikhil Chaudhary is one such expert who has helped patients with heart diseases, diabetes and even cancer reverse these diseases, find a new lease of life and re-establish a pattern to lead a disease-free life again.

In an interview with Your Story he states that “Genes and DNA only enable what the cells want and they are not dictators. Ultimately it is the internal environment of the body which signals the cells and that dictates the outcome.” He further added that, “Most diseases like diabetes, heart disease, cancers among others are not genetic and a lot of scientific evidence is coming out on this. These diseases happen because of an unhealthy diet and lifestyle.”

He recommends the use of organic and natural foods over processed forms such to “choose tomatoes over ketchup, wheat over Maida, sugarcane over sugar, fruits over juices, green mung over yellow polished mung, red rice over white rice and steel cut oats over rolled oats.”

Here are some tips experts have a general consensus on:

Having a Wholesome Diet.

One should consume more fresh fruits, green vegetables, and foods rich in fibre, vitamins, and micro-nutrients like, iron, zinc, pottasium, magnesium, calcium, etc. These are all strong in fighting diseases and creating a strong immune system.

Explore Healing properties of various foods.

Nature is abundant in not just valuable nutrient rich food but also has great gifts of healing properties hidden in them. For example,

Eating Garlic boiled in little milk early morning is known to clear heart blockages and reduce body fat.

Honey and lemon are a wonderful source of fighting toxins, excess fat, and viruses.

Including Apple cider vinegar and Olive oil in our diet is also proven to fight ailments like heart diseases, obesity and diabetes.

Including various nuts and seeds like sunflower seeds, chia seeds, almonds etc. is known to reduce blood pressure, boost mood and help fight mental issues.

Shallots and ginger are a powerhouse of nutrients and boosting immunity that help fight hypertension and heart related diseases.

Fenugreek seeds, Nigella, and basil seeds too are promoted by alternate sciences to fight several lifestyle diseases like respiratory disorders, digestive problems, mental issues, heart health, etc.

Avoid junk and processed food.

Replacing junk foods with healthy snacks has been recommended by doctors and nutrition experts since ever as it prevents a lot of toxins from entering our body and instead builds our strength and natural tolerance.

Drinking adequate amounts of water.

Experts and health enthusiasts alike swear on the benefits of drinking adequate water through the day. A dear friend of mine who was a cancer survivor herself was so dedicated to the miraculous results of healthy diet and adequate water intake that she would always insist on, encourage us and even give various tips and ideas to maintain our daily fluid quota while not making it seem a tedious routine.

Eliminating or limiting the consumption of oily foods

Oily and deep fried foods are a real treat and are a great comfort, but we need to keep them exactly as that- an occasional treat and a rare comfort source. Much of the nutrition is lost and the resultant trans fats introduced in our body act as nutrition- blockers that in return invite ailments.

Switching to whole-grain flour from refined flour.

This is focused on including as much fibre in our diet that flushes out toxins from our body, thus helping in the repair and regeneration of healthy cells. Experts however advice to use single whole-grain flour rather than multi-grain in order to help our body digest better and some nutrients present in one grain may get along with that of another and block its nutrients instead.

Lowering the portion size and eating at regular intervals (every 2 hours).

This is a golden advice all health experts give to patients over a range of ailments. This diet plan helps body maintain steady flow of nutrition, regain strength, and tackle the health issue in batches. Also, it is important that patients to not fight hunger pangs and eat healthy snacks whenever they feel hungry or starved.

Fasting is better than starving for long periods.

The difference between fasting and starving is the dedication and advance psychological planning that is involved in the former. Intermittent fasting supported with proper food planning can help body revive and repair like a miracle and is adviced by experts as long as our health condition allows for it.

Maintaining a Balance Between Physical Activity and Food Consumption

It is essential for every individual to strike the right balance here because unless we quit our sedentary lifestyle and include active workouts all efforts will turn futile. Our body needs sunlight to remain active, and it needs adequate physical activity to absorb the nutrients well and burn extra calories. An adult individual must undertake some form of physical activity for at least 30 minutes daily for about 5 days a week to keep the immune system active and functioning properly.

Monitoring the Body Weight

One can manage their weight by consuming a fat-free, low-calorie diet, cutting out on the sugar intake and eliminating processed foods, and incorporating some kind of workout in their daily routine.

Abstaining from Nicotine, Alcohol or Any Other Form of Drug

Around one-third of deaths caused due to heart diseases, and cancer can be prevented by avoiding alcohol and nicotine. Both of these substances cause considerable damage to the blood vessels that automatically doubles the risk of blood clotting and atherosclerosis.

Avoiding Consumption of Salt, Oil and Sugar in Excess

Our body only needs minimal amount of all of these for proper functioning, and as most of the lifestyle diseases are caused by over indulgence in these comfort-foods, it is well adviced to include fats, sugars and salts sparingly in our diet. This doesn’t mean making our meals bland. This means to use only as much as they are needed to impart taste, and avoid items like pickles, sauces, jams, chips, desserts and sweetened dairy, etc. where the concentration of salt, sugar and oils is usually high.

Avoid artificial sweeteners too.

There was a time when artificial sweeteners were a go-to option for health-conscious and diabetic patients as they seemed to cut out calorie intake and sugar consumption, but several studies and subsequent research has proven that natural substitutes are always better and artificial sweeteners have adverse effect on our health too.


Dr. Dean Ornish, MD, founder and president of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute, USA, reveals in his book The Spectrum “Our studies show that with significant lifestyle changes, blood flow to the heart and its ability to pump normally improve in less than a month, and the frequency of chest pains fell by 90% in that time. Within a year on our program, even severely blocked arteries in the heart became less blocked, and there was even more reversal after 5 years.”

To reverse heart disease, he says, means becoming a vegetarian. You’ll fill your plate with fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, soy products, nonfat dairy, and egg whites, and you’ll avoid fats, refined sugar, and processed carbs. If you need to reverse a life-threatening illness, you’re well-advised to live as much as you can on the healthiest end of the spectrum.”

Therefore, we can always get back on track no matter how far we have been lost. Our health is in our hands. It’s is never too late and never too hard to re-strike the right balance and reverse these ailments that threaten to cut short our own life or even cause roadblocks to live to our fullest.

by Asma Ferdoes