Food as Medicine

Eating your medicine is not a new concept but it is gaining popularity and with popularity comes a certain acceptance, a validation perhaps. Sally Fallon, head of the Weston Price Foundation, wrote the cookbook “Nourishing Traditions” to put in perspective all the information shared by Weston Price in his mind boggling book titled “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration”. Weston Price wrote “Nutrition and Physical Degeneratioin” after traveling the world in the 20’s and 30’s studying not people with diseases but the very opposite, people who were very healthy, who had normal bone growth, no decay (he was a dentist after all) and who lived long lives. We read that now some 80 years later and have a so-called light bulb moment. “You mean to tell me that we can eat our way to good health?” That is exactly what it means.

Why do we have some innate desire to move further and further away from eating healthy food that will feed our bodies what it needs and instead we willingly reach for another bottle of expensive pharmaceutical goo or allow Novartis to poke us and fill our bodies with “flu vaccine”? If we eat a food and after wards we burp and feel bloated or worse, shouldn’t that convince a person that they don’t need that food and seek something healthier to feed it? Apparently not because if we did, if we really paid attention to what makes our bodies feel strong and energetic we would also fight infection, inflammation and thus disease and the need for pharmaceutical products would eventually dwindle to nothing. Let’s explore some ideas from the experts who feel we can use our food as medicine.

Krispin Sullivan, an expert on Vitamin D and nutrition, feels that if we ate what our ancestors ate we would appreciate good health but I suspect very few of us follow that edict. Let’s think about it for a minute, what did your ancestors eat? For example I am mostly Swedish on my mother’s side and my dad, although mostly of British ancestry, called himself a “mutt”.  That means my genetic code was composed of genes from a pool of island peoples, island people eat fish and seafood and vegetables were rare or vegetables that could grow on poor soil. Grains were hard to come by but fish was plentiful and eaten every day. My genetic code means my body needs what fish can provide for good health, so I suppose everything being perfect I should eat fish every day or find a healthy source of Omega 3 for the hefty amounts of DHA and EPA my body needs. The other thing Krispin believes is you should approach every food you eat in the following manner:

First, only eat real food (no cookies, desserts,etc.) then look at the food, if it looks good smell it. If it smells good, taste it. If it tastes good, eat it. If you eat it and it makes you feel good, eat it for a few days and if you still feel good this is a food that is good for you. Her philosophy is that just because you have heard a food is good for you it may not be right for your body type and you need to eat what your body responds positively to.

Joe Mercola touts the Metabolic Typing diet which also has as its basis eating the right food to keep your body healthy. Let’s start with a person who is a protein type. That person needs a  lot of good healthy proteins like grass fed beef, bison, dark meat chicken and the vegetables you eat must keep your body in balance and not add to acidity. Carb Types need literally tons of vegetables and juicing will allow them to get the vast amounts of green vegetables they need. Then there are the mixed types and obviously they need a little of what is good for both the protein type and the carb type. This is a simplified version of metabolic typing but his site has extensive information regarding the test and there is a book called oddly enough “The Metabolic Typing Diet” by William Linz Wolcott and Trish Fahey.

Some people like the “Eat Right for your Blood Type” but I found eating the foods that my blood type should eat was not healthy for me. Blood type diets lost credibility for me when I noticed that my husband and I, although the same blood type have very different requirements to function at our best. He can get through the whole morning on a bowl of cereal and juice and I would have a meltdown in 30 minutes if I ate that for breakfast. I also know Joe Mercola tells the story about following his blood type diet and almost getting in to trouble with Type 2 Diabetes. The “Cave Man Diet” or the “Paleo Diet”  is basically a diet based on whole food, no grains or legumes and people have had great success with that diet. The latter diets are all based on eating food that is healthy and good for your body with virtual elimination of grains and legumes.

In summary, I think Krispin Sullivan might have it right. If your ancestors ate it you should eat it but it should be the identical food they ate not some chemically laden newfangled idea of what they ate. If a food makes you feel good for hours and days, you should eat it. If you have a healthy dentition with little to no decay you are eating foods that are most likely good for you. If you are healthy, sleep well, have ample energy to get through the hardest days and have few complaints of body aches and pains you are probably eating right for your type and your food truly is the best medicine you can take.

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