About six months ago, trying to solve a number of serious health problems including Crohn’s disease and asthma, I became a vegan. I cut out all meat, dairy, and processed foods. I also began reading extensively about nutrition. Two books I highly recommend are Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman and The China Study by T. Colin Campbell.

In a nutshell, this is what I learned:

All fruits and vegetables are good for our general health, but some are so powerful in strengthening our bodies against disease that we should make sure that we eat them regularly. Here is a partial list of these superfoods:

Cruciferous vegetables (kale, broccoli, Swiss chard, bok choy, cabbage, cauliflower, turnip greens, mustard greens, rapini, etc.)
Berries (blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, elderberries, pomegranates, etc.)
Onions, garlic, leeks
Legumes (beans, peas, tofu, green beans, soymilk, etc.)
Nuts and seeds (walnuts, cashews, almonds, sesame, sunflower, linseed, flax seed, etc.)

Also, it’s important to eat across the color spectrum. Ask yourself each day whether you’ve eaten something that is red, something green, something blue, yellow, purple, black, orange.

In the last six months, I’ve lost 35 pounds, the symptoms of my Crohn’s which I’ve had for over 30 years have disappeared, my asthma has cleared up, and I’ve started running again.

Filed under: Michael Simms, Prose

Michael Simms Headshot

Michael Simms is the founder of Autumn House Press and its editor-in-chief from 1998-2016. Currently he is the editor of Vox Populi, an online magazine of poetry, politics and nature. His most recent collections of poems are American Ash and Nightjar, both published by Ragged Sky Press. He lives in Pittsburgh. Find more at: