“This was my wake-up call. I opened my eyes to the depressing fact that there are other forces at work in medicine besides science. The U.S. health care system runs on a fee-for-service model in which doctors get paid for the pills and procedures they prescribe, rewarding quantity over quality. We don’t get reimbursed for time spent counseling our patients about the benefits of healthy eating. If doctors were instead paid for performance, there would be a financial incentive to treat the lifestyle causes of disease. Until the model of reimbursement changes, I don’t expect great changes in medical care or medical education.” Michael Greger (How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease)
“So, let me ask you a question: Why do you eat what you do? Now you may think, well that’s obvious — we eat because we’re hungry, to give us energy or something similar. And yet in reality, most of us choose to eat for so many other reasons. Maybe it’s taste, or cravings, boredom, convenience, social acceptability, a treat, because we’re upset, happy, it’s mealtime and so on. And therefore what and when we choose to eat isn’t necessarily what our bodies need. Our sophisticated brains mean we can choose so many reasons to eat, however, we’ve lost our belief in food as medicine, and that what we eat will nourish our minds and bodies and support us in the best way possible. How often do we consciously think about food being used to repair and renew those millions of cells, working together to keep us healthy.
Before we look at specific foods to help our immune system, let’s look at how we can reconnect with food as medicine. When I was diagnosed with cancer 10 years ago, one of the first things I thought was, ‘how can I stop this happening again?’. Food was one of the areas of my life I began to change — initially out of fear, to help keep me healthy. Foods that would nourish me became my focus and reconnected me with healing. The good news is that you don’t have to get very sick in order to do this! You can start to believe that you have some control over your health, to consciously set an intention when you shop, cook and eat, to choose foods that will nourish you and your family and help keep you well, not just now, but in the future.”
“This doesn’t mean conforming to a strict Paleo diet, but rather following the guidelines it suggests. Consider a whole foods plant-based diet with as little processed food and added sugar as possible.
Ideally this means consuming far fewer grains (understanding that some people can’t tolerate wheat and other grains at all); little or no dairy (even if you don’t seem intolerant to it); cold water fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel as the preferred animal product; and far more intestine-activating fiber — we consume a paltry average of 15 grams a day; our Paleolithic ancestors took in 100 grams.”
“Using food as medicine starts by changing your approach to food from that of restriction to introduction — of an abundance of the right foods. Take on the role of a scientist and become an expert on the study of your own body and find out what makes it tick. Health-conscious people start off by taking an interest in the role good nourishment can play, and because of the positive outcomes in both general well-being and with specific health issues, they end up sticking to their new healthy eating habits.
Healthy food is an important part of your life and there are plenty of ideas and concepts swirling around about what is good for you. Ayurveda, the ancient medical system of India, honors real food and a healthy diet as a vital contribution towards sustaining good health. The versatility of Ayurvedic principles provide insight into how and why changing one’s food habits can have such a huge effect on your health and well-being.
The following recommendations are influenced by Ayurvedic concepts to help introduce you to a world where it’s possible to feel healthy and happy on a daily basis thanks to the healing foods you eat.”