Food as Medicine

Increasingly, research is showing that food is now as important to our health and wellbeing as any medicines we may be using.  It actually assists patients in creating balance in their health. Recently there was an excellent demonstration of how diet can impact health in Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s documentary, “The Last Heart Attack” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-Unn7LjFkI).

The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) states that over half of the US population is deficient in vitamins and minerals leading to essential nutrient insufficiences.

One reason for this is that our crops have been developed to increase yields without respect to maintaining the nutrient loads.  Much of our diet is very low in colors and fibers – leading to a diet that creates inflammation in our bodies.  Inflammation is the source of most of our chronic disease int he population today.  In fact researchers are now saying that cancer is only 5-10% genetic and that the rest of the factors are environmental – including diet!

As an example, some essential nutrient insufficiencies linked with the top causes of death in the US are:

  • Heart Disease: Ca, Mg, Zn, Se, K, Cr, Cu, and Vitamin D
  • Malignant Neoplasms: Ca, Mg, Zn, Se, Cu, and Vitamin D
  • Chronic Respiratory Disease:  Mg, Se
  • Diabetes:  Ca, Mg, An, Se, Cr, and Vitamin D
  • Alzheimers:  Mg, Se, and Cu
  • Nephritis and Nephrotic Syndrome:  Zn, Se
  • Liver Disease:  Zn and Se
  • Hypertension:  Ca, Mg, Zn, Se, K, Cr, Cu and Vitamin D

The message is clear that it is important to pay attention to your diet – and that your diet is the best way to obtain these nutrients.  In the next week I will be providing additional information regarding how to assess your current diet and determine how to easily optimize your approach to what you eat to obtain optimal health and wellness.

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