80-Year-Old Annette Larkins has been a vegetarian for 54 years, but over the last 30 years, she has perfected her raw vegan diet. She’s made her rounds on talk shows and other media showing how young-looking and active she is at her age. The food she eats is unprocessed and uncooked. Her dishes include vegetarian nut loaf, zucchini chips, and savory okra crisps. Annette says it’s never too late to reap the benefits of a vegan lifestyle.
“If you eat something in it’s natural raw state, as opposed to processing it and cooking it, I think it stands to reason that you’ll get more nutrients,” Annette said. “Your enzymes are intact. That’s why I eat the way I do. I may not be considered vegan in all areas because I do consume honey.”
You would think that Larkins comes from a long line of herbalists and healthy people in her family, but that’s actually the opposite.
Both her mother and her grandmother died of breast cancer before their 50th birthdays. Besides that, diabetes runs rampant up and down her family line (as does a penchant for eating every part of a pig — “even its squeal,” according to Larkins). So much for good genes.
Of those aforementioned maladies, Larkins has experienced nothing. She doesn’t even remember the last time she had a cold or took so much as an aspirin. But the diplomatic woman, who speaks three languages and sharpens her mind on her library of 5,000 books, acknowledges that genes are far from a nonissue when it comes to health and vitality.
“If you eat something in its natural, raw state, opposed to processing it and cooking it, I think it stands to reason that you’ll get more nutrients,” Annette said. “Your enzymes are intact. That’s why I eat the way I do.”
“After noticing positive benefits derived from being a vegetarian,” continued Annette. “I took another step in abstaining from white edibles such as white rice, white sugar, and white flour. Since I felt better each time I removed an unhealthy food choice, it made so much sense that there must be a correlation between eating well and being well.”
“The foods that I consume daily vary depending on my mood; nevertheless, it is safe to remark that my day-to-day diet will consist of dark green vegetables such as collards, kale or lettuce.
Sometimes it may be all of these and more.”
What Nearly Took Her Life
But in 2020, Larkins describes an episode that almost literally took her life. In a YouTube video she describes how “just like that, I was struck down like a theif in the night.”
She went on to describe how she had inadvertently stepped on a piece of broken glass that had lodged in her left foot. While she didn’t pay it much attention, like most of us wouldn’t, it took a toll on her that she never saw coming.
“I considered it my age that was robbing me of my productivity, my stamina and my fruitfulness. But as it turns out,” continues Larkins. “My system was contaminated, broken, infected, by the broken glass incident. The pain was so great, that frankly, I thought I was at my end.”
Who would’ve thought that a simple cut could have done so manage damage to a woman like this.
But as it turns out, if cuts and wounds aren’t properly taken care of in a timely manner, so much damage can be done to the body.
Cuts, grazes, and other breaks in the skin can become infected when bacteria enter the wound and begin to multiply. The bacteria may come from the surrounding skin, the external environment, or the object that caused the injury.
It is important to clean and protect the wound properly to reduce the risk of infection.
The risk of wound infection is higher if:
- the wound is large, deep, or has a jagged edge
- dirt or foreign particles entering the wound
- the cause of the wound was a bite from an animal or another person
- the cause of the wound was an injury involving a dirty, rusty, or germ-containing object
Certain health conditions and environmental factors can also increase the risk of infection. These include:
- a weakened immune system, such as in people living with HIV or those taking immunosuppressant medications
- lack of mobility, for example, in people who spend most of their time in bed
- advancing age — older adults are more at risk of wound infection
- nutrient and vitamin deficiencies
If a person does not receive treatment for a wound infection, the infection can spread to other parts of the body, which may lead to serious complications, including Sepsis.
Sepsis is an extreme immune reaction that can sometimes occur when an infection enters the bloodstream. Sepsis can lead to multiple organ failures and is life-threatening. According to the CDC, nearly 270,000 people in the U.S. die each year due to sepsis.
It was because of her diet and healthy lifestyle that helped her recover where most people would have a much harder time.
Vitamin K is a nutrient needed for healing cuts and bruises. A deficiency in vitamin K can result in slow blood clotting and cause you to bruise more easily. To promote normal blood clotting, adequate intake of vitamin K for adults ranges from 90 to 120 micrograms per day. Main sources of vitamin K are leafy greens and small amounts of oils. Eat salads with spinach and kale, add Swiss chard or broccoli to pasta or soups and cook with canola or olive oil.
Recovery from bruising and cuts is supported by folate, one of the B vitamins. In foods requiring supplementation, folic acid is a synthetic form of folate used. Since this nutrient is necessary for cell division and other processes, regular intake encourages your body to heal after getting a bruise. The folate RDA is set at 400 micrograms per day for individuals 14 and older. Individuals at risk from a folate deficiency are alcoholics, women who are pregnant or of childbearing age and those with malabsorption disorders.
“My chosen lifestyle helped me tremendously with my recovery. Herbal formulas helped flush the toxins from my body.”