FOOD – The Most Powerful Drug on the Planet
As we move along the wheel of wellbeing, we are now at the Nourishing Solutions wedge. It is quite remarkable how the quality, quantity, times, and types of foods we eat have an incredible effect on our health and mental health. Thomas Edison said, “The doctor of the future will give no medication but will interest patients in the care of the human frame, diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.” To me, this sounds like the holistic or functional medicine approach. Maimonides, The Rambam said, “No disease that can be treated by diet should be treated with any other means.” There is also a concept of “Chrono nutrition” – knowing what times of the day it is best to eat, and then what types of foods to eat at those times.
One of my current mentors, the encyclopedic Dr. Leslie Korn, as well as another of my favorites, Dr. Mark Hyman, talk about the “SAD Diet” – Standard American Diet – which when consumed, literally makes us sad. This “diet” consists of foods that are often only food-like, “Frankenfoods.” They may have artificial ingredients, additives, hydrogenated fats, preservatives, etc. My motto for such food labels is, “If you can’t read it, don’t eat it.” If there are many ingredients as well, think twice before popping it into your mouth. Eating the SAD diet can cause inflammatory processes that contribute to cognitive decline, anxiety, depression, and more. Some of the causes of inflammation are stress, poor quality food, lack of exercise, being overweight, smoking, sleep deficiency, microbiome and gut problems, exposure to toxic materials, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, etc. Food is not just fuel or energy or something to fill a hunger need. Food is nutrition, medicine, internal instructions, and information. It also is connected to our individual cultures, which means a lot. Traditional cuisine and food-centered gatherings nourish us on many other levels. According to Dr. Mark Hyman, “Food is the most powerful drug on the planet. And it’s not just calories, food is actually information, literally instructions, like code. So, you can upgrade or downgrade your biological software by what you put in your mouth every day.”*
According to Dr. Korn, “mood follows food.” Eating the wrong things at the wrong time can affect our moods and attitudes. I mentioned this in one of the introductory articles about NOGA Wellness Solutions® – Wellness is a Many Splendored Thing (CLICK HERE to read it again). For instance, in chrononutrition, Dr. Korn recommends eating a hearty, grounding breakfast that is low-carbohydrate. (Unless you’re on a particular diet such as intermittent fasting which would push it off.) She explains that you are nourishing the brain and the gut at the same time (your first and second brains). She also suggests these basic guidelines:
- Being relaxed when eating
- Becoming sensitive to what you feel after you’re done eating. Much of the field of integrative nutrition explains that digestive problems can adversely affect mental wellness.
- Watching out for exposures, pesticides, preservatives etc. My rule is, “If you can’t read it don’t eat it.”
- We need to understand that everybody’s biopsychosocial is individual and each person needs to be eating his or her own preferred diet for their system.
- Eat from the rainbow of fruits and vegetables. Dr. Korn calls the colors of the fruits and vegetables we should eat, the colors of the Brainbow because the whole color spectrum of nutrients helps our body-mind, and brain. She explains the diet is essential but it’s not sufficient we may need other things such as vitamins minerals fats and other things since our food supply is depleted of some of these things.
- We need to recognize that foods and nutrients can possibly if we eat good foods we may be able to diminish other cravings and addictions.
- When moving toward better habits, sometimes we need to use substitutions that are slightly healthier. I called it “tweaking up.”
Enjoy tweaking up your nutrition profile. Consider the power of good nutrition. Remember it is a powerful drug for health, mental health, and an upgrade for your biological software! Lots of success on your health upgrade!
*You may enjoy watching Dr. Mark Hyman’s
“Start Using Food as Medicine to Heal The Body & Live Longer!
Enjoy your free streaming download of my recent composition Gratitude, dedicated to Hashem 🙂
The lyrics to the vocals version are:
“Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude is all I have for You.
Gratitude is all I have for You!”
Other free downloadable resources can be found HERE.
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