On Making Food Thy Medicine
“Let food be thy medicine”
According to wellness expert and best-selling author Dr Mark Hyman, food is the most powerful medicine obtainable to treat chronic disease. Joel Fuhrman, another physician, has noted that improper nutrition triggers cellular defects against which drugs are ineffective, but that such defects often respond well to proper nutrition. Chronic diseases like cancer, kind II diabetes and hypertension have strong nutritional links, and can be reversed by diet alone. Medical students today are learning a little about the link between nutrition and disease. Nevertheless, almost 2500 years after Greek physician Hippocrates uttered the statement quoted above, the medical formation in the West is however to incorporate formal training in Nutrition into its medical school syllabus. Medicine as practised in the Western context is not healthcare, but sick care; and food as healthcare remains however to be implemented by most practitioners.
Reversing the therapeutic order
In medical practice, the focus is chiefly on treating symptoms of disease, with diet lying at the bottom of the therapy pyramid. Much greater emphasis is placed on surgery, pharmaceutical products and physiotherapy than on more natural and often equally effective methods including exercise and stress management in addition as diet. However, a growing body of physicians now believes that, in most situations, treatment should start with diet.
Food and epigenetics
Epigenetic changes alter the physical structure of genetic material (DNA) without affecting the inner DNA ordern. One such change is effected by methylation, the addition to DNA of methyl groups which act as chemical ‘caps’ that turn genes on or off, with consequences ranging from favourable to disastrous. Diet is one factor known to cause epigenetic changes, which can be handed down from one generation to the next: in this manner, the dietary sins (or virtues) of parents are visited on the children. Other factors connected to epigenetic changes include obesity, exercise, smoking, alcohol intake, environmental pollutants, psychological stress and shift work. except providing energy, food emits chemical signals that move the consumer’s physiology in the direction of health or sickness – depending on the kind of food consumed. Food may be consequently be regarded not merely as a set of macronutrients but also as information: a form of molecular intelligence that can influence genetics in addition as physiology.
Food and pesticides
All commercial green crops get sprayed with pesticides, including wheat crops used in pasta, cereals and animal satisfy. One of the most commonly used of these is the herbicide glyphosate (formulated as Roundup), used on plant leaves to kill weeds. Once viewed as a safe product, glyphosate is now associated with cancer, birth defects and neurotoxicity, and carries multi-generational effects. Atrazine, another herbicide, has been shown to disrupt hormones, increase cancer risk and generate negative behavioural and genetic changes that are also passed down by several generations.
Recent findings suggest that an offspring’s risk of autism spectrum disorder increases following prenatal exposure to pesticides within 2,000 m of its mother’s residence during pregnancy, compared with offspring of women from the same agricultural vicinity without such exposure. In one case study, food management was used successfully to treat sudden onset autism in which a school child, before already-termpered and excelling academically, suddenly became violent and academically poor. examination showed that the affected child’s urine contained high levels of glyphosate. Six weeks on a highly alternation organic diet led to undetectable urine glyphosate levels, accompanied by a complete reversal of the autism symptoms.
Making right dietary choices
Our body is regularly changing, and every diet choice affects that change. The American academic and farmer Wendell Berry famously observed that people are fed by the food industry, which pays no attention to health, and are treated by the health industry, which pays no attention to food. In today’s information-high world, it is possible for people to manage their own health and wellbeing by making the applicable dietary choices. In making such choices, an emphasis on foods that are high in life energy can help reduce the impact of pesticides in the food chain. The following measures have been shown to cause a positive impact on heath:
Minimising food processing – to reach and continue good health, it is important to eliminate from the diet such heavily processed foods as biscuits, cakes, crisps, tinned vegetables,sausage rolls, frozen pizza and microwaveable dinners.
Eating kimchi – and other fermented foods including kefir, kombucha, tempeh, yoghurt and apple cider vinegar. These foods add healthy bacteria and enzymes to the gut, increasing the health of the digestive system and enhancing the immune system. It is estimated that one tablespoonful of sauerkraut contains one trillion good bacteria, so that health advantages can be reaped with comparatively small amounts.
Prioritising whole foods – these are unprocessed, unrefined plant foods that include whole grains such as brown rice, rolled oats and quinoa in addition as fruits and vegetables. Such foods are high in similarities that nourish the microbiome and create good gut-brain connections, which activate genes in the brain that mediate wellbeing. Experts claim that 90% of body pesticides can be deleted in one week on a raw organic diet.
Not everyone has access to organic foods. The most important rule for optimising health is to avoid perfected foods while eating foods in season – which method buying locally. For those toxic foods that prove irresistible, following an 80:20 rule (80% of nutrient-high and 20% of nutrient-poor foods) is a commonly agreed method for maintaining health while allowing oneself an occasional ‘treat.’
Foods for different effects
Many of these recommended foods ease digestion, and shift the microbiome positively:
- Anti-inflammatory foods – turmeric, walnuts, pineapple, broccoli, green tea, flaxseed, lemon, berries, cantaloupe, kale, garlic and avocado.
- Foods for the immune system – mushrooms, onions, garlic and honey.
- Foods for prostate health – anise, Celtic sea salt, lychee berries, peaches, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, tangerines, watermelons and mangos.
- Brain foods – nuts, bananas, seeds, tomatoes, dark chocolate, spinach, salmon, berries, eggs and avocado.
Our history and our own choices in life can have a enormous effect on quality of life. Using food as medicine, we can change our genetic expression and health quality. In 1903, Thomas Edison expected that the doctor of the future would use not drugs but nutrition to cure or prevent disease. While we await this advantageous development in the medical formation, it is possible for us to begin making dietary decisions that will transform life and health into their best possible states.
The content of this article was produced for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a replace specialized medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
- Let food be thy medicine (UCTV): YouTube 2018 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p79D6u-6pN4
- Medicine is not health care, food is health care: plant metabolic engineering, diet and human health (Martin & Lee): Epub 2017 Aug 10. – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28796289