Raw Food Diet – How it Reduces the Risk of a Stroke Caused by the Typical American Diet

Raw food diet vegetables

By Kyle J Norton 

Kyle has been studying natural remedies for disease prevention for over 20 years and working as a financial consultant since 1990. Master degree in Mathematics and BA in world literature, teaching and tutoring math at colleges and universities before joining insurance industries. Part-time Health, Insurance and Entertainment Article Writer. Part-time Health, Insurance and Entertainment Article Writer.

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

I. Introduction

1. What is conventional medicine?
Conventional medicine is also known as Western medicine. It is a system of medical approaches in which medical doctors and other health professionals such as nurses, medical technicians, specialists and therapists, etc. use medication, radiation, medical equipment or surgery to treat symptoms of disease and diseases. Most of the time, there is one treatment for the same symptoms for all individuals.

2. What is traditional Chinese medicine?
Traditional Chinese medicine is also known as TCM. It is derived from the philosophy of Taoist. The theory believes that life and activity of each human being have an inter-relationship with the environment on all levels. Major components of the theory include those of Yin-yang, the five elements, the human body’s meridian channels, and the Zang Fu organ theory. It treats every individual as one unique entity and there is no one treatment for all, even with the same symptoms.

3. Definition of stroke in a conventional medicine perspective
Stroke is defined as a condition of circulation of blood in any part of the body being blocked, causing oxygen not being delivered to the brain, resulting in some cells in the brain to die off or a blood vessel in the brain to rupture, 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 an overwhelming of wind, fire, phlegm, and stasis. As those negative influences of wind evils arise, it upsets the balance of the body. In ancient China, these types of diseases were referred as “zhongfeng,” and in English it means “wind stroke.” According to Chinese medicine theory, stroke not only causes brain damage but affects the meridians and numbers of organs of zang fu.

5. What is a raw food diet?
Raw food diet is defined as a type of diet in which at least 75% of the daily diet must be unprocessed and uncooked foods or foods that cannot be heated above 115 degrees Fahrenheit or 40 °C , including fresh fruit and vegetables, and raw meats.

II. Types of stroke
A. In a conventional medicine perspective
1. Hemorrhage
It is a condition where the artery bursts and bleeds into brain tissues, causing a disruption of oxygen supply to cells in some parts of the brain. If there is no oxygen to nourish the cells, the cells die off.

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

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

Depending on the degree of severity:
a) In mild cases
Only channels are damaged, the stroke causes only localized paralysis in the limbs and the deviation of the eye and mouth with no loss of consciousness and no coma.
b) In severe cases
In severe cases, large channels or meridians are damaged. The stroke causes generalized paralysis with a loss of consciousness, coma, and sometimes instant death.

2. Tense type is caused by a collapse of yin
Depending on the degree of severity:
a) In mild cases, only channels are damaged. The stroke causes only localized paralysis of the limbs and deviation of the eye and mouth with no loss of consciousness and no coma.
b) In severe cases
In severe cases, large channels or meridians are damaged, the stroke causes generalized paralysis with loss of consciousness, coma, and sometimes instant death.

III. Causes of stroke
A. In a conventional medicine perspective
Major causes of stroke include:
1. Unhealthy diet
A diet high in saturated and trans-fats cause bad cholesterol building up in the blood vessels in the brain, blocking oxygen delivery 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, thus increasing 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 it’s toxic second-hand fumes. Cigarettes contain high levels of cadmium that cause the blood to clot activity of cells resulting in blocked 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 an 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 an 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 to 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 a traditional Chinese medicine perspective
TCM realizes a stroke occurs and causes bodily damage that are complicated and sometimes it may take over 10 years before striking. There are 6 external and internal factors that have been identified:

Major causes of stroke include:
1. The 6 external factors
a) Hypo functioning
Hypo functioning is defined as a condition in which your internal system is no longer responding to the chain reaction function by each organ. It may be caused by organs that are damaged due to external or internal factors.

b) Hyper 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 may be caused by medications or organs damaged 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. It interferes with the flow of energy throughout the body, leading to stagnation.

ii) Greasy or fried foods
Greasy or fried foods have excessive yang in nature. Overwhelming intake of these foods not only causes fat to accumulated in the abdomen, but it also contributes to the production of phlegm. If phlegm combines with liver heat and stagnation, it produces fire, leading to obstruction of the qi flow in the chest.

iii) Refined sugar
Refined sugar is considered cold and damp in TCM, overwhelming intake of refined sugar weakens the spleen, slows digestion, and depresses the immune system.

iv) Alcohol
Prolonged periods of drinking alcohol damages the liver, leading to a collapse of liver qi and blood that affects other organs in essence distribution.

v) Irregular eating habits

vi) Processed ingredients
Processed ingredients are defined as foods that has something 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 an existence of high blood pressure as the heart has to work harder.

d) Emotional disturbance
Emotional disturbance decreases the heart and liver function in blood circulation and blood formation. Since the liver is the primary organ responsible for the smooth flow of qi in the entire body, emotional disturbance suppresses the qi flow gradually. Over a prolonged 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, but 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 nutrient deficiency in nourishing other organs.

ii) Kidney and liver
Deficiency of the kidney and liver due to aging causes yin and yang imbalance that interferes with the function of blood formation and qi circulation.

iii) Heart
Deficiency of heart yang causes heart fluid to build up, leading to 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 an old car, it will never work like when it was 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. The typical American diet depletes the body’s yin 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 leads to heat and 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’s organs and tissues.

b) Liver-fire and heart-fire
Prolonged deficiency of qi can weaken the lung qi, causing heart qi deficiency that leads to stagnation of qi, thus increasing the risk of heart fire.
Liver fire is caused by an over-intake of coffee, alcohol, sugar, and hormones accumulated in the blood, leading to liver qi stagnation, resulting in a liver fire.

c) Wind evils
Wind often combines with heat, it causes “wind-heat” due to symptoms of excessive heat as a result of heart, liver, or kidney qi imbalances, leading to inner-wind injury such as fainting, weakness, nervous spasms, blurry vision, etc.

d) Stagnant qi flow
Energy cannot move freely due to excessive heat, causing heart and liver fire that contributes to major health problems.

e) Blood stasis
Blood stagnation is normally accompanied by qi stagnation as qi is necessary for blood circulation. Stagnation of qi cannot move the blood freely, leading to an overworked heart, resulting in hypertension.

f) Accumulation of phlegm
Phlegm is caused by fire heating up the internal moisture that obstructs the flow of qi and disturbs 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 be suddenly deplete caused by the 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 gets damaged as a result of depleted oxygen, it 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 which affects 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.

5. 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 the depletion of oxygen in some parts of the brain.

6. Sudden trouble seeing
This may be an early indication of stroke when the oxygen in the blood supplying 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
1. Bleeding
Bleeding is caused by heat and dryness due to yin deficiency and liver heat, resulting in breaking off of the small vessels in the body.

2. Slight or none severe Headache
Headache in this case is caused by the deficiency of liver blood and the heart’s inability to move blood freely, leading to an obstruction of blood flow to the central nervous system.

3. Nausea/Vomiting
This is due to the stomach and spleen’s inability to digest food caused by an overwhelming amount of heat in the body.

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

5. Slight loss of mental capacity for a short period of time
Caused by inadequate blood flow to the central nervous system in a very short period of time due to wind-heat slowly attacks the cells in the nervous system.

6. Paralysis on one part of the body
In this case, it is caused by a mild case of stroke.

7. Leg cramps during restful position
It is caused by not having enough blood or the blood is blocked by an upward tendency of wind-heat.

8. Constipation
Caused by the dry-up of fluids in the body as a result of kidney yin and spleen qi deficiency.

9. Rapid pulse
The heart has to work harder which creates tension in the blood vessel due to blood deficiency and blood heat.

10. Etc.

V. Diagnosis
A. In a conventional medicine perspective
If you have any of the 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 an image of the blood vessels in the brain which provides your doctor with information of aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations, and any abnormalities of the brain’s blood flow in that area.

6. Conventional angiogram:
A long catheter tube with injecting dyes is inserted 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 is placed on the chest or is put 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 problems. The diagnosis is always followed by the below procedures:
1. Asking
You life style will be recorded through a series of questions.

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

3. Smelling
Your breath, your body.

4. Listening
Your tone, the choices of words, the volume of your voice, the sound of your breath, etc.

5. 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 NHANES III (1988-94)
Rank, Food Group, % of total energy, Cumulative % of total energy, 

Rank, Food Group, % of total energy, Cumulative % of total energy

1  Sweets, desserts        12.3  12.3  1  Sweets, desserts        12.4  12.4

2  Beef, pork              10.1  22.3  2  Beef, pork              10.7  23.1

3  Bread, rolls, crackers  8.7  31.0  3   Bread, rolls, crackers  10.7  33.9

4  Mixed dishes            8.2  39.2  4   Mixed dishes            7.8   41.6

5  Dairy                   7.3  46.5  5   Vegetables              7.3   48.9

6  Soft drinks             7.1  53.6  6   Dairy                   7.2   56.2

7  Vegetables              6.5  60.1  7   Soft drinks             6.0   62.2

8  Chicken, fish           5.7  65.8  8   Chicken, fish           5.7   67.8

9  Alcoholic beverages     4.4  70.2  9   Alcoholic beverages     4.5   72.3

10 Fruit, juice            3.9  74.2  10  Fats & oils             4.0   76.3

A. In conventional medicine perspective
1. Too many calories
We have eaten either too much calories and 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 increases 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 bloodstream quickly that increases the risk of fluctuation of insulin. Prolong period of eating them causes hormone imbalance and damages the receptor sites and pancreas function in regulating the blood sugar.

4. Beverages and Alcohol
The beverage contains a high amount of artificial sugar and ingredients that were proven to damage the pancreas in insulin regulation and interfere with our body in hormone secretion. Alcohol besides causes nervous tension and damages the circulatory system, it also damages 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 contain a high amount of nutrients that are necessary for supporting our body’s daily activity. Deficiency causes a wide range of health diseases.

6. Low essential nutrient
We eat too much junk foods that not only cause weight 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 food material is digested by the stomach and the essence also is 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 the 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 effect, causing disharmonization in the body ecosystem. It may cause stroke, depending on where the evil wind strikes?

2. Refined product, artificial ingredient, and cold drinks
Refined products, 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 to build 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 heart has to work harder, causing high blood pressure if there is any disruption of blood that causes blood being blocked somewhere in the body, the disruption of a small vessel in the brain that obstructs the oxygen transportation to the brain cells, the cells die off.

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, leading to 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 that affects conception and governing meridian in regulating the yin and yang energy in the body and subsequently the penetrating meridian. As the body no longer can adjust with the combination of excessive yang and damp cold (cold drinks, refined products and artificial ingredients) , it leads to the 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 a stroke.
In short, prolong period of time intake of hot and cold foods may dis-harmonize our body as our organs no long can adjust to excessive building up of yin or 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 damaged 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 destroys enzymes.

2. Reducing cholesterol and triglycerides
Raw foods contain high amount of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat that reduces the level of bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides and increases the levels of good cholesterol (HDL), thereby reducing the risk of cholesterol building up in the bloodstream.

3. Reducing blood pressure
As the blood vessels now clear up, our heart does not 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 contain a high amount of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat that reduce the level of bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides and increase the level of good cholesterol (HDL), thereby reducing the risk of cholesterol building up in the bloodstream.
5. Etc.

B. In traditional Chinese medicine
Since raw food is considered as yin pathogen and cool in nature (TCM has never recommended the uses of raw foods to treat people with yin deficiency or excessive yang) introducing cool foods is indeed one of the treatments. As raw food continuously reduces the level of excessive yang due to the 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 them by more balancing diet.

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

For the series of heart diseases and stroke, please visit http://series8100-heartdiseases-stroke.blogspot.com/

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All articles By Kyle J. Norton Are For Information and Education Only, Please Consult With Your Doctor or Related Field Specialist Before Applying.

All rights reserved. Any reproducing of this article must have the author name and all the links intact.

“Let You Be With Your Health, Let Your Health Be With You” Kyle J. Norton

I have been studying natural remedies for disease prevention for over 20 years and working as a financial consultant since 1990. Master degree in Mathematics and BA in world literature, teaching and tutoring math at colleges and universities before joining insurance industries. Part-time Health, Insurance and Entertainment Article Writer.Part-time Health, Insurance and Entertainment Article Writer.

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