Food as medicine

High resolution photo from Cecilia Parr via unsplash.comA couple of years ago, I became interested in the link between food and health. What really set me off was when I noticed how much sugar went into everyday foods. For example, I was completely caught off guard when I realized that there were 20g of added sugar in a jar of tomato sauce, per serving! It really got me thinking about what the industrialization of food has done to our diets.

Around that same time, I met someone during a technology meetup at my office. Somehow, the conversation turned to food, and we both lamented over the effects that processed food has over our body. He made a great comment, or observation if you will, when he said that we should treat “food as medicine”. His comment really hit home and got me thinking about our relationship with food.

Bottom line, over the last generation or two, food has been industrialized. It is being manufactured by corporations who are interested in cost and profit. They are not interested in the effect their product has on health. If their food causes health issues, then the pharmaceutical companies are there with drugs to cure the ill effects. It’s a vicious cycle that we somehow have to break. The industrialization of food for cost and efficiency is bad for health and has become a blight on society that we are all paying for.

Since that meeting, I’ve read numerous books on food and their affects on our health. If you are interested in understanding how our bodies are ill-equipped to handle the modern diet, I would recommend reading Wheat Belly, Grain Brain, and Primal Body. Each of these books show how a return to a diet made up of natural foods leads to an improvement in overall health. Essentially, when our bodies are fed what they were meant to process, our overall health improves. While the examples in each of these books are extremes, I believe that there are benefits to be had. I know because I’ve witnessed the benefits first hand by adjusting my diet based upon the recommendations in these books.

We need to get back to basics and be a lot more mindful of what we are putting into our bodies. We eagerly and willingly pop pills and ingest remedies to make ourselves feel better, but hesitate when it comes to eating what is right for us. It’s indicative of the marketing culture we live in where we are easily influenced by what is played through the media, whether it’s TV, the internet, or any of the other many mass media items we are subjected, too. The food companies know the formula. They know how to market to us. They know how to influence us. And when their efforts pad their profits and wallets, they have no incentive to stop.

It’s time we realized that the marketing messages played out on TV by the food and drug companies aren’t meant to help us. They’re part of their marketing machines meant to push profits. We must take matters into our own hands. We need to take a more active stance on our diet. We have to be more cognizant of what we are eating and putting into our bodies. It starts with food. We need to start looking at food as more than simple nourishment and calories. We need to start treating food as medicine.

 

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