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Let Food Be Thy Medicine for Preventing Chronic Diseases

Food as Medicine....

Western medicine teaches us that pills are the ultimate remedy for curing illnesses, aches, and pains, causing individuals to rely strongly on doctor prescriptions for dealing with unfortunate diagnosis. Yes, having access to emergency medication does put our minds at ease, knowing preventative care for infections and some illnesses are available at our fingertips. However, many Americans view western medicine as the be-all for healing the body and/or protecting it against long-term effects of chronic diseases. Through metabolic programming, medication has become the American crutch for sustaining the status quo in health, lacking knowledge on natural remedies such as using food as a form of preventative care.

A National Health and Nutrition Survey completed in 2015-2016, showed that 45.8 percent of the US population used some form of prescription drug within a 30-day window, with a significant increase in adults over 60. Amongst those prescription drugs were bronchodilators consumed by children ages 0-11, central nervous system stimulators for adolescents ages 12- 19, and antidepressants were the top medications for adults ages 20-59. Understand, the issue here is not the medication, as some adults depend on medication, like babies depend on breast milk for nutrients. Where the problem lies is the co-dependency on medication for long-term care. “Our culture has come to equate healing with drugs, so much so that many of us expect our doctors to give us medication”- Dr. Josh Axe.

What would happen if we relied more on food for medicine rather than prescription drugs? For example, curing your common cold with herbs and foods like ginger, garlic, oregano, cinnamon, cayenne, and chicken broth. These items are not only cheaper than medication, but they also help build our immune system to fight against illnesses like colds and/or chronic diseases such as cancer and high blood pressure. Cinnamon is an antioxidant, which fights off damage cells that cause cancer. Ginger is a natural healer of the gut as well as an anti-inflammatory. Garlic is great for individuals who suffer from high blood pressure. Its main active ingredient, allicin, is a natural antibiotic that increases the bodies nitric oxide which supports our blood vessels. Unlike emergency medicine, herbs and highly nutritional food have no long-term effects on our organs if eaten regularly. Medication could cause serious nutrient deficiencies, stripping the body from vitamins and minerals like calcium, zinc, magnesium, which are needed for fighting off infections and chronic diseases.

Dependency on emergency medicine for fighting chronic diseases or illnesses is metabolic programming that’s been in the American culture for centuries, which has limited the reliance on food for healing the body. Emergency medicine hinders our ability to support our immune system as we age. Food as medicine not only is accessible and more affordable than emergency medicine, but it also builds knowledge around health and nutrition for living a life free of chronic diseases. 

For more information, visit cites below on prescription drugs and food as medicine. Or read Dr. Axe, Josh: Ancient Remedies. Jacket, 2021 

https://www.marketwatch.com

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com

https://www.kff.org/health-reform/issue-brief/data-note-prescription-drugs-and-older-adults/

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