Food as medicine

August 10, 2015

August/September 2015, Featured, Food

Food as medicine

According to the World Health Organization, world cancer rates could increase by 50  percent to 15 million new cases by 2020.

According to the World Health Organization, world cancer rates could increase by 50
percent to 15 million new cases by 2020.

by Michelle S. Fondin — 

The adage “you are what you eat” is more than a cliché. In today’s world, it is a reality. And what we have available to eat is increasingly artificial, genetically modified, chemical laden and simply unhealthy. Even though the choices may seem varied, in actuality they are limited to a few ingredients that show up in different products. So what should you eat to maintain optimal health?

First, consider a few facts and natural inclinations we have. This will put you in touch with your intuitive nature.

1. We need to eat in order to stay alive.

2. Our ancestors who lived before the Industrial Revolution had to rely on hunting, gathering, growing and storing food to survive.

3. Because the human body has been hardwired over time for survival, eating large amounts of food or yo-yo dieting will lead to weight gain.

In the postindustrial era, processed or chemically produced food has become the norm. Owing to shrewd and manipulative advertising, most people do not even know the difference between something healthy and something processed.

If one cereal carries the claim that it will lower cholesterol and is endorsed by the American Heart Association, why should we not believe it? If a yogurt company makes the claim that its yogurt has five grams of fiber and your doctor says you must get more fiber, why not buy that yogurt?

One thing we need to realize is that advertisers tell partial truths. Food manufacturers and distributors are multibillion-dollar corporations.  If you do not believe their claims, their advertising teams are doing a poor job. In 2010, the net revenue of Kraft Foods Group was $49.2 billion.

In comparison, smaller, organic food companies, such as Horizon Organic Dairy, bring in net revenues of $50 to $100 million per year. It is not surprising that we believe the large food company claims, given how loud and present they are in our daily lives.

For millions of years, humans have eaten what was available from the earth, and for the past 100 years or so, they have eaten what is available. It is important to understand the difference in that statement. In order to obtain optimal health, we need to go back to eating what is available from the earth, because that is what we are hardwired to process.

Biological evolution takes a great number of generations, not one or two. By pouring chemically produced food and drinks into our bodies, we are attempting to force biological evolution over the period of one lifetime. And our bodies are protesting.

According to the World Health Organization, world cancer rates could increase by 50 percent to 15 million new cases by 2020. And according to the Centers for Disease Control, obesity is the number two preventable cause of death in the United States.

A poor diet costs us not only our lives but our resources, as well. Type 2 diabetes, a completely preventable form of diabetes, drains $63.14 billion from our health care system yearly, and that figure does not take into account the cost of lost days of work, physician office visits and the detriment to families. Close runners-up in preventable disease are hypertension and heart disease, followed by osteoarthritis and gallbladder disease.

The good news is that you can do something about all this. With a shift in awareness and a change in habits, you get to take control of your health and life. Most people only dabble in a healthy lifestyle and then brace themselves for a cancer diagnosis or for some other disease that may creep up. But most diseases do not come out of nowhere. Disease is developed over years, sometimes decades.

According to Ayurvedic medicine, 95 percent of diseases are completely preventable with a consistent, proper lifestyle — one that includes a good diet, meditation and an exercise regimen. This is good news, because it gives you control. Being in control means you take responsibility for your own health.

Leaving your health to doctors, medicines, other health care practitioners or fate means leaving the door wide open to greater health problems in the future. When it comes to health, there is a place for allopathic medicine, herbal medicine and, yes, prayer, but those are certainly not ways to prevent ill health. They are simply bandages applied to what is already broken.

What I am emphasizing here is taking real responsibility on a daily basis starting now, today. There is a reason you are reading this article, and this is it. By taking responsibility, you cannot blame anyone or anything for your sickness or disease.

 

Michelle S. Fondin lives in Herndon, Va., and is the author of The Wheel of Healing with Ayurveda. She holds a Vedic Master Certificate from the Chopra Center and is a member of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association and Yoga Alliance. She treats clients, speaks and offers workshops. michellefondin.com or newworldlibrary.com. 

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 34, Number 4, August/September 2015.

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