For generations, his family has understood the importance of plant-based, and healthful eating. Today, Dr. Esser shares his lifetime of knowledge with MamaSezz customers. He tackles topics like disease prevention, immunity boosting food, COVID-19, and the best way to ease into a diet change. Dr. Esser explains the best foods for health, and why they promote a balanced system and reverse disease.
Enjoy this short, 2 part interview with MamaSezz and Dr. Esser about immunity boosting food, and the best food for health:
Today we are speaking with Dr. Esser. He will introduce himself. But we're going to be talking about the power of plant based eating, and immunity boosting food. So Dr. Esser take it away.
So my name is Stefan Esser and I'm a fourth generation plant based physician. And I have the pleasure of being the grandson of Dr. William Esser, who founded the natural hygiene society, what's now the National Health Association. And also for 65 years ran a plant based fasting and detox facility in South Florida, where I grew up.
So over 30,000 patients came over the years to rediscover health through food. And through powerful healing modalities that each of us can incorporate into our lives. I went into medicine after such an amazing upbringing. I did my medical school, the University of South Florida in Tampa. Then I went to Harvard for residency, I went to Mayo Clinic for sports fellowships. And now I practice sports medicine and lifestyle medicine in Ponte Vedra, Jacksonville, Florida. Yeah.
Well, that is a really cool history, it's not every day, you get to talk to somebody who actually grew up with a plant based family and had an experience like that. So that's really, really exciting. Something that kind of drew us to you was, you have a really, really great attitude. You have a really great perspective about health and the power of personal choice. I'd love to hear you just elaborate on that a little bit.
Dr. Esser on the best food for health:
You know, too often, too many of us think that, you know, health falls out of the sky, or randomly the type Two Diabetes shows up or randomly, the weight shows up on our hips. The reality is, if we think that way, then there's no opportunity for us to change anything to actually achieve health.
But the truth of the science and immunity boosting food is the following:
For the majority of people, the majority of the time, for diseases of lifestyle, like obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, the things that really affect and kill the most Americans. Right? This is directly related to our fingers, feet, and our force. What we do with our daily decision making.
Now that gets really exciting. Because that means the power is back in what we do, in our choices, it means we're in control. And in a world that seems all too often out of control, it's wonderful to hear the message that is the truth. That is a science proven truth. That what you and I do matters radically. So yeah, it's an exciting, joyful message that I remind myself of every day. And I try to share with all the people that I have the chance to encounter and coach.
I agree, it's one of those things where, you know, it might seem a little daunting, at first to realize the power is in your hands. But like you said, it's very, very exciting to know that you can make a change.
You can make a difference, if you're willing, and you acknowledge that you have the ability to do so.
And it's very inspirational for a lot of people who feel, you know, like a diagnosis or, you know, their health has spiraled out of control. And they feel there's nothing that can be done. When in reality, you can take the power in your own hands.
So I really appreciate you putting that out there. And having that be your vibe to the world because it's changing lives. And something that's happening right now, there is rise in COVID cases. People are scared about that. They feel out of control in this situation. I would love for you to just elaborate on the best practices for building up your body to fight COVID
Dr. Esser on immunity boosting food:
Absolutely! With the rise of these cases and the media attention to it, all too many people are again, falling into a place of anxiety and panic. And that's not the place that we need to be. Good studies now show us that, for example, if you're eating a plant based programe, your risk of severe COVID drops by almost 80%. As compared if you're eating the standard American diet. And that's largely because of the behaviors and the choices that we make that influence our bodies.
You want to always remember that this is an upper respiratory viral illness. It thrives in a setting of contamination, inflammation, acidosis, hyper, you're a senior elevated blood sugars. All these things. They prompt your body to be compromised. The reality is your body as it's beautifully, wonderfully made, has the ability to be incredibly healthy in the setting of this. And that's the data shows.
I mean, think two and a half years ago, we saw that the people with the highest rates of severe COVID, as well as death, were all people with multiple comorbidities.
The number one comorbidity of course being obesity. And that's because obesity itself is a state of meta inflammation. A state where there's chronic inflammation being just produced.
Remember, adipose sites cells, the little fat cells, they are actually factories for cytokines, what are called adipokines. These are little tiny molecules that are inflammatory, and they circulate through the bloodstream. And they damage the tissues. And they compromise the immune system. We've known this for decades. People who are obese have higher rates of flu illness and sickness and severity and ICU admission, higher rates with H1N1 and with MERS and with SARS and all of these other random viral illnesses.
And it's the same thing with COVID.
That's good news, right? If people are eating their wonderful Mama Sezz meals on a regular basis and getting their exercise, that weight comes off beautifully. And sheds off and inflammation reduces. So the heart of success, right now as the cases are going up, it's not the time for panic. It's the time for action. That's what it's time for, to enhance your immunity. Because a lot of people have put on the COVID-15, right, or the COVID-25.
Dr. Esser Cont. on Immunity boosting food
Because they've been sitting in their home, stressed and anxious, so cortisol goes up. And then they need dopamine. Because they're dopamine depleted, they're feeling totally out of control. And they reach for food. Like substances of addiction, that give them quick dopamine spurts, all the salt, oil, sugar, fat, all the refined foods, etc.
That is not even true food.
It's artificially chemical cuisine, if you will. And so now they put on the excess weight. Which impairs their immunity further, and it's a downward spiral. And that's why in fact, if you're obese, you increase your risk by 500% of ICU admission and multiples, you increase the risk of death.
So a couple of quick tips.
Number one, get that plant based nutrition going.
So you're getting the water, the fiber the micronutrients, the vitamin C, the B vitamins, all these things that help the immune system be super healthy, and fight off infection.
Number two is get some gentle exercise.
Which exercise increases respiratory function, oxygenation of the lungs, it enhances overall immune system function, gets your neutrophils more able to fight off infection, your lymphocytes which are anti-viral, more involved, all the studies were there to prove this.
Number three is sleep.
You got to get those z's, when you're getting that sleep, you want 6 to 12 hours that you're waking, rested and ready to go. So first thing is excellent sleep hygiene, just google search that you'll see all these tips on when to go to bed, when no more caffeine, you know, reduce the time on the screens, all that stuff, but really get good patterns of sleep.
And I'd say number four is avoid toxins, right.
So whether that be smoking, or marijuana, nicotine, anything like that. And also excess amounts of alcohol, which impair immune system function, and any other toxins that you might be exposed to, the various color agents and artificial things. And again, that's why I love Mama Sezz because it doesn't have all that garbage in it. It's true healthy food for people to consume. And that's what we want more of in our bodies to help enhance the immune system.
And then if you're compromised a little bit, right, make sure that you're getting right, the appropriate supplementation where needed in order to maximize, vitality health. So really, this is the time to focus in on the foundation of your health so that your body can tolerate any upper respiratory viral illness without an excessive amount of inflammation, which leads that cytotoxic storm and all the other problems. And what I found in my practice is the people who abide by this, even when they get COVID, and get aggressive with their nutrition, etc, they do wonderfully well, because the body is very well equipped to deal and cope.
That's really good news. And those five tips are very doable. So that's really exciting to hear. I think it's something that everybody can try to apply to their life, even if it's one at a time until they get there fully. It can help bring the fear factor down a little bit, too. You mentioned COVID. In the beginning, you said that a plant based diet is helpful for disease prevention in general and reverse all. And how do we know that to be true?
Dr. Esser on best foods for health:
I'm facinated because I grew up in this land of miracles. My grandfather's Ranch, right, I saw it firsthand, anecdotally people getting well, you know, getting off their medicines, reversing disease, again and again. But I went to medical school, and gosh, we never even talked about this.
It's hard to believe.
So I was like, well, was this all just voodoo, was this make believe. But then when I began to look at the medical literature, now I encourage all your viewers right, pull up www.pubmed.com or www.scholar.google.com and just put in plant based nutrition and diabetes, plant based nutrition and obesity, plant based nutrition and heart disease, so on and so forth.
And you'll see up come all these studies, study after study after study, the early studies that looked at epidemiology where they just went around and they said, Okay, we got 10,000 People live in this community, let's look at their rates of disease.
These were the Seventh Day Adventist studies that were done in California, and others like them in Europe that showed that the more fruits and vegetables the lower your risk of type two diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, various hormonal cancers, like breast cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer.
All these were lower.
I then they said okay, well, now we're going to take it to the next level, we're going to do what are called actual interventional studies, you're going to take people, let's say type two diabetes and you're going to feed them a plant based programme or a standard diet, we're going to see their outcomes.
All these studies were done. And one after the next, after the next hundreds and hundreds of these studies have demonstrated that when you adopt a micronutrient dense fiber rich plant based programme, your risk of all of these diseases just dissipates. It is a beautiful thing.
So that truly these are diseases of the plate that for the majority of people need not exist which takes you back to the power of the plate.
So the personal choices your viewers are making, the food that they are consuming is truly medicine, right, if you will, at that physiologic level.
And so that's what's really cool to know, the data says it again and again and again. And that's why a great example is Kim Williams, the past president American College of Cardiology, his statement was the following. Here's the guy who's the president of the American Academy of cardiology, and he says, there are vegan cardiologists, and there are those who have not read the literature, right.
And so unfortunately, in medical school, we don't learn this stuff.
Even though it's all published in the medical journals. So I'd encourage all your viewers, like I said, go to scholar.google.com, read about this stuff.
You can go to www.plantbasedresearch.org, that's a great place. If you want to look at more of the science. A lot of the articles are located there. But the science is so robust, you know, Dean Ornish, his work showing the reversal of heart disease, Caldwell Esselstyn, his work, Pritikin over 100 studies in the peer reviewed literature showing the reversal of what type two diabetes and of heart disease, within as little as three weeks people getting off their blood pressure medicines off their diabetic medicines, with normal numbers, what a joyful message to, you know, to know that what you're doing is radical, powerful, treatments. Right. So cool.
It's such a beautiful thing. And it really does feel like a miracle to people when it happens. But like you said, it's based in science, you can look up the studies. It's really just science taking its course. And that's the really exciting part of it. And I'm sure you've seen a lot of these transformation stories yourself is there one that stands out to you, is kind of the most drawing or exciting?
Dr. Esser on the best food for health:
You know, the people that are the most excited are those who initially say, oh, it's not going to work for me, you know, there's no way this will work for me, but then they come in 100%. And, you know, I have a lot of people who do have a four week and a six week nutritional intervention programme that I counsel and coach people through, and it's just so much fun to see because every person I mean, they'll do a four week programme all sudden they're gastro esophageal reflux disease, their heartburn just disappears after a couple of days.
And then the swelling of their legs that was chronic just goes away within the first week or two and then their hand arthritis, the joint arthritis is improving, their psoriasis on their skin starts melting away, and their blood pressure drops, their diabetes numbers come down. It's just like, put up the duper, duper, duper. And they're just, I love it.
I had a patient not too long ago who did the programme, they're like, this is fun.
Like, this is fun, like, I'm getting healthy, like I'm being healthy, I haven't been healthy for so long, and to rediscover what that feels like, that is the real gift of it all. To wake up in the morning and to feel good in your skin. And I'd say to those of your viewers who aren't 100% with the programe is to say, give yourself the gift.
Give yourself a gift.
Because for too long, you may have thought that it's impossible to achieve again, that those days are gone and waking up fresh and bright and youthful. The reality is they're not whether you're in your 50s, 60s, 80s and beyond. I've had people in their late 80s, early 90s do my programs and do four weeks, six weeks in plant based nutrition that is really dense with micronutrients and their bodies respond beautifully.
So it's, you know, oh my gosh, I mean, just the number I mean, diabetic neuropathy is melting away and liver function tests resolving and you know, it's just nonstop because as you said, it almost seems miraculous but it's funny because if we had a car and the car was meant for unleaded fuel, and you put diesel in it every day and it was having all these knockings and all these problems and give leaks here and this seal burning out and then you give it unleaded, it started working normally, you wouldn't go oh, that's a miracle.
You would go, duh. You're giving it the right thing it's intended for it. And arguably, right we've got grinding molar teeth, weak stomach acid, long intestines, lack claws, no big canines, color vision, lack your case.
Everything about us pretty much says we're herbivores, right? We can get away with eating a little bit of the other stuff, but the reality is we're meant for plants.
So true. And you know, the notion that you've worked through all these people who are later in life that are able to reverse that. And you know, when people might think it's, Oh, it's too late for me now. I mean, co-founder, Meg Donahue’s mother Millie was in her late 80s, when she reversed her heart disease and she’s 91 right now and loving life. So yeah, it's so beautiful to see. So if somebody is interested in reclaiming their health, and they're just a little bit nervous, a little bit skeptical, but they want to make that first step, what would your advice be to them?
Dr. Esser on immunity boosting food:
I think the first step is to get healthy nutrients, into your house, into your home and into your mouth. And I think that's one of things I love about Mama Sezz, right is that you have great, excellent healthy food for people who are not accustomed to cooking and preparing it, etc, they're able to get into their homes and be able to eat healthy food. And that's at the heart of success.
You know, your pancreas doesn't care what you think, right? Your heart doesn't necessarily care that much or let's say your muscles, your joints don't care how you feel. They care about what you do. And so it's absolutely essential that we are making meaningful strides toward health. So everybody's different. I have some people, they hear the message, they go, I'm in 1,000%, I'm going to get the healthy food prepared in my home, I'm going to supplement with something like Mama Sezz, bah, bah, bah, I'm gonna learn how to cook, I'm gonna do all these things.
Other people say, well, I'm too busy, that's too challenging for me. And I know the limitation for me, is the food prep, okay, they're gonna get Mama Sezz, get it in their home and really fill up every day. You know, and other people say, well, I'm not ready yet, maybe a meal here and there, I'll transition a little. What I tell people always is, what are you waiting for? Life will never be perfect. Things will never be perfectly lined up and now's the right time to change your behavior. No, no, it's never going to be like that. Today's the one day that you have. It's the one gift, it's the one present that we all have.
Don't squander it with more ill health.
Because every decision you make is radical, powerful stuff. So yeah, so the first thing I just say is get the food and get it in your mouth, right in whatever amount you're willing to start. If that's one meal.
If that's one snack, that's one smoothie, start there, and then add one more, and then one more and a little more. And you know yourself, some of us are very kind of analytical, once we absorbed the information, the science, we're just done with all the old stuff, we're moving forward. And others are more emotional, right? So we're kind of waxing and waning back and forth a little. If you need assistance, I'd love to help you. Obviously, I've got my programs that I do online, you know, but really, it's the heart of the message is the power of the person, right in making the choices. I tell people, you want to be the architect of your own health.
So you know that your weakness is preparing the food getting your home?
Well, then Mama Sezz is perfect for you, that gets you this wonderful health excellent healthy food that's ready for you to be consuming.
So yeah, know yourself and then make decisions, make actions and then assess your success every two weeks or so. All right, am I moving in the positive direction? Am I seeing results? If not, then I need to make bigger and more significant changes.
Beautifully said and you know, that's why we started the company to help people that are struggling with those first steps and struggling with meal prep and time. So very beautifully said, Thank you so much for all of your positivity and for all of those really great tips and, you know, sometimes it's just the little bit of a reality check you need to just hear you know, like you can do it, you can take control and we really appreciate that message and thank you so much for speaking with us today.
Dr. Esser on immunity boosting food:
My pleasure. Thanks for everything you guys are doing out there.
We love that Dr. Esser is so possitive, and can give us a simple answer about the best food for health. These immunity boosting foods are so important in our diets, and MamaSezz gives you the tools to incopertate them.
Immunity boosting food and the best food for health:
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