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Dr. Debra Shapiro (vegan): Champion of Women’s Health, Part 3 of 3



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According to the World Health Organization, the number one cause of death for women and men globally is cardiovascular disease. “Heart disease is a huge problem. But it is preventable with a healthy enough plant-based diet and other lifestyle changes. And it's so prevalent now. And so known now that it can be done, that a past president of the American College of Cardiology, Kim Williams, actually said, famously said, that there are two types of cardiologists: vegans and those who haven't read the literature.”

What parents feed to children during their early years is critical to their wellness in future years. “And they can see already in the blood vessels, some thickening of the blood vessels, it starts in the womb. By age 10, we're already seeing in children fatty streaks. By age 10!”

Dr. Shapiro says there are four pillars that support a healthy lifestyle for women: a plant-based diet, sleep, exercise, and having connections with others. “Exercise is super important, and it's important also to release endorphins. And another way that you get feel-good hormones, and hormones that improve your mood is actually to eat a plant-based diet because it changes the microbiome, the microbiota, the types of bacteria that are in your gut, and most of your serotonin, another very important hormone in your dopamine, is made in your gut by these bacteria, and you will have much more of them if you eat a plant-based diet. Sleep is a very important time for your brain to rejuvenate. This is the time you could almost imagine that little garbage trucks go through your brain and pull out all the little tangles and the little plaque, and they get rid of them.”

“And lastly, we need connections. We notice this so much now with the current pandemic, too. People are really suffering from being isolated. You can use the phone. You can have Zoom; we have Zoom meetings with our families. You need to connect with other people; you need to eat healthy food, and you need to get out in nature. That would be my prescription for getting through this pandemic. And that's what I do every day.”

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