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Food As Medicine Essay

2505 words - 10 pages

As our Society becomes more educated on how our food choices affect our health and wellbeing, Allopathic medicine needs to recognize its value. Since the beginning of mankind, people have used foods to not only fill their stomachs, but also to heal their bodies. Food can affect our health and even our emotions in both positive and negative ways. Allopathic medicine, evidence based science, looks at food mainly for its caloric value: using food to heal is looked and frowned upon, as “Alternative” medicine. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Ayurvedic medicine though practiced for centuries have found their way into Western Cultures, becoming more popular as a way to become healthier.

Allopathic medicine is an evidence based science: It breaks everything down into its individual components, whether it is, food, herbs or our bodies. There really is no longer a “family” doctor, we have specialist for each part of our bodies, and these doctors though refer us to one or the other, do not communicate with each other to treat the bodies as a whole. Our bodies work as a whole each organ in synergy with the other. Our foods are much the same; they are not made up of singular components that work separately but all components working together. Using food as medicine gets to the core of our health problems, healing several parts of our body together. A non-healing wound may be a sign that your liver is not working properly. Allopathic medicine on the other hand will give you synthetic drugs to heal that cut, on the surface but does not address why the cut won’t heal.

Because our foods are complex in nature and the way we interact with our diets, Allopathic medicine which has a need to break down each component of food and study them (evidence based medicine), though has found there are medicinal properties in our foods. These studies are so narrow that one must question the relevance of the findings. (Zander et. al 2004) These studies have put such limitation on themselves that it fails to take into account that our foods are complex in nature as are our interactions with our diets (Quirk et. al 2013) Hyman (2005) put it best:
“The limited knowledge of Western Science about food is overshadowed by the centuries old Chinese wisdom of using medicinal foods to fill the belly, nourish the soul, and heal the body”
Compared to the diets of Americans, which consist of red meats and fatty foods, other countries are much healthier. Greece for example has a diet that is high in Omega-3. Because of this the cancer mortality rate is ½ that of the USA. While the mortality rate is a mere 1/20 for coronary heart disease! Why because Americans eat less omega-3’s and much more red meats and fried fatty foods (Xu, Xu, 2006). There is a movement toward integrating nutrition into our health care system, though Allopathic medicine has not changed its view. It fails to take into account that food has many dimensions, making it hard to single out nutrients or...

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