Plant Based Diets: The True Elixir of Life
Elixir, from an etymological perspective, can be tied back to the Arabic word “Al-Iksir”, which stood for ‘Miracle Substances’. Aligned with this etymological origin, elixirs have largely been associated with or believed to be panaceas, or one-stop shop remedies for any and all ailments. Elixir as a concept has permeated the annals of history and demonstrated levels of prevalence in many major cultures for millennia. It’s fabled form manifested in lore predominantly as the Elixir of Life, a concoction of sorts that provided Life Everlasting, immortality.
In Hindu texts, Amrita is often referred to as the drink of the Devas, or the Heavenly Divine, and was considered to be a nectar of Immortality. In European antiquity and alchemical history, the Magnum Opus, or the Great Work, was the search for the Philosopher’s Stone. The Stone was hypothesized to be an alchemical substance capable of turning base metals into Gold, and providing Life Everlasting.
In Ancient China, Qin Shi Huang, the Founder of the Qin Dynasty and the First Emperor of a unified China sent Daoist Alchemist Xu Fu on a quest in search of the Elixir of Life. On his second journey Eastward, he never returned. The Ancient Chinese however, continued their search. It was believed that the consumption of long-lasting, precious metals such as Jade or Gold would confer their traits of longevity to the person who consumed them. In their pursuit of life everlasting, the Chinese created Elixirs formulated from Mercury, Sulfur, and Arsenic. Their concoctions frequently proved to be poisonous, and even led to the death of Zhu Houcong, the Jiajing Emperor in the Ming Dynasty in the year 1567, from what is presumed to be an alchemical elixir overdose from a lethal serving of Mercury.
The parallels drawn between the search for the Elixir of Life in antiquity, and modern-day vitamin and mineral supplements are uncanny. Supplements are largely unregulated, and while the FDA is responsible for overseeing the Dietary Supplement marketplace, there is no safety testing or FDA approval required before a supplement goes live on the market. The lax regulation structure in the supplement marketplace allows for variation in information and more importantly misinformation, and varying levels of quality in vitamin and mineral supplement composition. Recent studies have found that elevated intake levels of synthetic vitamins and minerals can even be toxic – a 2015 study posted in The New England Journal of Medicine suggests that adverse effects of supplements are responsible for approximately 23,000 ER visits every year. Additionally, on the reverse end of the spectrum, synthetic vitamins and minerals demonstrate far lower levels of bioavailability than that of natural nutrients found in real foods, fruits, and vegetables, and are oftentimes poorly absorbed into the human body. The simple fact being, supplements and multivitamins are no replacement for a balanced diet. Supplements, just like the fabled and long sought-after Elixirs of Life of antiquity, are marketed as healthful products that frequently provide little true health benefits, or in the worst case have negative impacts with severity levels ranging from discomfort to ER visits.
Enter healthful Plant-Based Diets. Recent studies published by the Journal of the American Heart Association have demonstrated a causality between adhering to a healthful plant-based diet, and a 16% lower risk of Cardiovascular disease, 32% lower risk of death from a cardiovascular disease and even 25% lower risk of All-Cause mortality. 25% lower risk of death when adhering to a healthful plant-based diet! A recent study published by the Harvard School of Public Health and supported by the NIH states that healthful plant-based diets can lower the risk of Type 2 Diabetes by up to 23% as well. Healthy plant-based foods have been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and blood pressure, reduce weight gain, and alleviate systemic inflammation, all of which are contributing factors in diabetes risk. It would seem that the true Elixir of Life is and always has been Plant-Based foods.
Managing a Plant-Based diet can be difficult however, and ensuring you are holistic in your approach when sourcing foods for proper complete nutrition is a process that takes time and education. When adjusting to a plant-based diet it becomes easy to miss on key nutrients such as B12 which is most frequently found in Animal Products. Unlocking the true potential of a plant-based diet and taking full advantage of the nutritional benefits and its impact on your long-term health requires a bit of structure and effort to ensure your meal plan provides sufficient density of the full spectrum of micro and macro nutrients.
The good news is: ilixer has already done all of the calculations for you. Our meticulously curated ingredient list provides true, complete nutrition. ilixer’s nutritional composition provides the optimal ratio of micro and macro nutrients, with all of your essential vitamins and minerals, complete proteins, complex carbs, fats and fibers, and is the only Powdered Food or Meal Replacement that provides 100% of its nutrition from actual foods, fruits, and vegetables. We never add anything artificial. Ever. No artificial flavoring, sweeteners, or synthetic vitamins. If Plant-Based diets are the true Elixir of Life, ilixer’s optimal balance of micro and macro nutrients is the ideal medium for consumption. Just shake it up.