Why Food Could Be The Best Medicine of All

The power of food as medicine gained scientific credibility in 2002, when the U.S. government released results of a study that pitted a diet and exercise program against a drug treatment for Type 2 diabetes.

Among people at high risk of developing diabetes, those taking metformin lowered their risk of actually getting diabetes by 31% compared with those taking a placebo, while those who modified their diet and exercised regularly lowered their risk by 58% compared with those who didn’t change their behaviors, a near doubling in risk reduction.

Studies showing that food could treat disease as well soon followed. In 2010, Medicare reimbursed the first lifestyle-based program for treating heart disease, based on decades of work by University of California, San Francisco, heart expert Dr. Dean Ornish. Under his plan, people who had had heart attacks switched to a low-fat diet, exercised regularly, stopped smoking, lowered their stress levels with meditation and strengthened their social connections. In a series of studies, he found that most followers lowered their blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels and also reversed some of the blockages in their heart arteries, reducing their episodes of angina.

While I don’t agree with everything the article says (mainly advocating animal and animal based foods) the idea of food as medicine is coming into it’s own.  Perhaps we are looking back 2500 years at the wisdom of Hippocrates who said “let food be thy medicine, let medicine be thy food.”

Read the entire article here:  http://time.com/5534352/food-best-medicine/ 

Photograph above by: Zachary Zavislak for TIME