The Greek physician Hippocrates, known as the “father of medicine,” said, “Let food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.” We think he’s right, too, because what he knew centuries ago has been confirmed by science today—that food can be medicine. However, one must choose food wisely—whole organic foods, including plant foods.
In fact, some of the benefits of whole, organic foods include that whole organic plant foods contain thousands of phytonutrients called phytochemicals—over 25,000 that are known and possibly thousands more yet undiscovered—as well as fiber and other nutrients, micronutrients and nutritional benefits not found outside of the whole food complex. Science confirms that food phytochemicals offer protection against certain diseases, with many phytochemicals also serving as powerful antioxidants to protect the body against the damage of free radicals, which can cause cell and tissue damage.
Likewise, food is more than just energy or calories; it also contains hidden information that communicates to your genes and results in your state of health. Whole, organic, unprocessed foods positively speak to our genes in their native language, so eating foods closest to their natural state can help our bodies be their healthiest.
You’ll also want to make sure your food is organic. Why? The USDA Certified Organic seal means high-quality, pure, nutritious foods that are not filled with toxins, including prohibited pesticides, GMOs and much more. Organic foods help keep the body clean, too. For example, scientists confirm that eating an organic diet makes pesticide levels in the body drop to undetectable levels, while pesticide levels return almost immediately with a non-organic diet. It’s no wonder, though, because over one billion tons of pesticides are used in conventional farming in the United States each year.
And while certain foods can serve as “medicine,” other foods can do the opposite. For example, processed foods have had those phytochemicals purged from them, and they speak negatively to your body.
The truth is that there are more than 320,000 processed foods and beverages available to us on the market. They can cause a host of problems, too, including genetic communication breakdown, but processed foods have been with us for decades. For example, in the 1970s, major changes in U.S. agriculture led to an overproduction of corn and an extra 500 calories available daily for every American—mostly in the form of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which is hazardous to health and has no vitamins, minerals, or enzymes and robs the body of micronutrients. Additionally, HFCS messes with healthy cholesterol and insulin levels and converts to fat faster than any other sugar, while raising serum triglyceride levels—and that’s not a healthy combination.
What commercial, processed foods also do is provide a host of unwanted toxins, including multiple pesticides, GMOs and others. Simply put, they’re not the kind of food that act as “medicine.”
Hippocrates was right, though. Food can be medicine—the right kind of food, that is. So, choose your food wisely.