Dr. Ellsworth Wareham, a retired surgeon and WWII Veteran, attributes his health and longevity to a vegan diet.
While the world may be somewhat slow at catching on to the food-and-lifestyle related factors that contribute to degeneration, one retired surgeon and WWII survivor ‘gets it’, attributing his vigor and vibrant lifespan predominantly to what he eats: a vegan diet. 100-year-old Dr. Ellsworth Wareham happily eats his vegetables, still does all of his own yard work, and continues to climb up and down the stairs in his two-story home.
Few his age can boast such remarkable health, and it’s just one of the reasons the doctor is so well-known. Wareham, of Loma Linda, California, was actually one of the earliest doctors to practice open heart surgery in the United States. His passion for becoming a surgeon was inspired at a young age when his Navy captain died due to the practicing surgeons’ negligence. Understanding how important a concern non-qualified doctors are to the world, Wareham decided from the point on he would become a surgeon.
His knowledge and respect for a healthy heart no doubt inspired his dietary change. Ellsworth told Fox News that he adopted a vegan diet mid-life after reading research that showed animal protein raises cholesterol. He credits his great health – and clearness of mind, the thing he’s most grateful for today – in large part to that decision.
His faith as a 7th Day Adventist also supported his resolve to live a cleaner, plant-based lifestyle. Living in Loma Linda – an area in California with one of the highest concentrations of 7th Day Adventist believers – a large community in support of clean living exists. In this town, smoking is banned and alcohol is scarcely sold.
The vibrant doctor keeps to a rigorous schedule, now that he is retired from mentoring and assisting residents at the University of Loma Linda. He kept that position until 95 years of age, over twenty years after retiring from the surgical unit at age 74.
Every night Wareham achieves 8-9 hours of sleep and wakes promptly at 5 A.M the next morning. He begins his day with whole wheat cereal and almond milk for breakfast, exercises, and spends time with his family.
100 and thriving, he continues to refrain from consuming animal products, quoting a study out of the Cleveland Clinic that found heart disease could be stopped by adopting a low-fat, vegan diet. “If your cholesterol is under 150, your chances of getting a heart attack are very low.” Wareham stated, “My cholesterol is 117. I wouldn’t even bother getting an electrocardiogram (EKG) if I had chest pain. One-third of people in the U.S. will die of coronary heart disease. If you can prevent it, it’s worthwhile.”
Dr. Wareham enjoys every aspect of retirement – even if he feels like there is not enough free time. “I will read quite a bit, and I do my own landscaping pretty much. I trim my bushes and mow my lawn, and I get my physical exercise that way,” he said. “There would be people that wouldn’t cut a blade of grass because they don’t enjoy it, but I enjoy trimming my grass.”
Filled with vigor and plenty of energy, Ellsworth doesn’t use a cane and has always chosen to use the stairs whenever possible. A study was released out of Stanford over 25 years ago that suggested a 46 percent decreased incidence of death by heart disease by climbing a flight of stairs 20 times per week. Wareham still has a clipping of that study posted to his fridge in his home.
An honored veteran and respected surgeon, Wareham is admired by friends, families, and colleagues all over the world. His diet and lifestyle can definitely be attributed to his longevity, but perhaps so can his lifetime of pleasure derived from following his passions.