It has been since late July since I adopted a vegan(ish*) diet and I had planned on writing a post about my experience so far – however, for me, it’s not about being vegan or not – it’s about understanding that every meal we eat influences health…whether we like it or not.
When we’re young, we don’t give much thought about health or wellness.
If we’re lucky, we take one health class in high school and spend the rest of the time worrying about college prep coursework and who is friends with who that week.
We may have momentary lapses of thinking about things we should or shouldn’t do, but we yet hold the perspective what those choices will result in in adulthood.
In most cases, as a person ages and matures they start to pay more attention to their health. In many cases, this is not a choice made freely – but instead made because of problems we start experiencing with our health.
When this occurs people may try to ‘cure’ an ailment by synthetic means or a magic bullet pill (or better yet – a cocktail of pills). Yet, if you take a moment to consider, this means of assessment is illogical since it is addressing symptoms and not address the true cause (otherwise known as healing).
You see, what we put on our plate is a more effective, beneficial and valuable medicine than anything found in a pill bottle.
Food is not just calories – instead it is a source of our health – for instance, take phytonutrients which prevent and treat disease. This plant chemical interacts with our very cell biology and performs like a switch on our
DNA to heal the body. It is estimated that there are nearly 10 thousand known different phtochemicals that affect disease (such as cancer, stroke and metabolic syndromes).
In fact, a very new and growing field of research called nutrigenomics examines how nutrition prevents the development of disease and maintains cellular, tissue, organ and whole body homeostasis. This occurs by observing how nutrients act at the molecular level.
The goal of nutrigenomics is provide special diets to help with specific conditions. How novel is that!
Pharmaceutical grade drugs attempt to mimic the interaction our body has with food. Although there are cases in which a person may have to rely on a medication – it should not be taken lightly.
This philosophy of choosing food wisely to maintain health and heal the body and is not anything recent (shoot-it’s common sense, right?).
"Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food"
Hippocrates 460 - 359 BC
Every time you go to the grocery store, think of it as your pharmacy.
Try not to rely on vitamins and supplements – they are in no way in the same caliber as authentic sources of vitamins and minerals found in fresh food.
The concept using food as medicine is that food is a spectrum between mere nourishment and healing – and there are many valid approaches to diet.
In the end, whether you think of food as medicine or not, it will affect you health one way or another!
(*what currently works best for me is a vegan diet that includes fish –sometimes termed ‘sea’gan.)