Before we ever had medicine, we had food. Food, when used as medicine, is often effective at correcting diseases like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, type 2 diabetes, autoimmunity and more.
In addition, food does not cause side effects, while medications often cause such serious side effects that people need to take more medications to manage them. Also, food can be used to treat the root cause of a problem, while medications are usually taken to treat symptoms without addressing the actual cause of the problem.
The benefits of food on health
Certain foods, like nuts, turmeric, and flax seed have been studied excessively to showcase their medicinal properties.
A study performed in 2013 on 110 people looked at the effects of ground flaxseed on blood pressure in hypertensive patients. Over six months, participants experienced a 46% decrease in the risk of having a stroke and a 29% decrease in the risk of developing heart disease.
Another superfood, turmeric, is comparable to some over-the-counter medications when it comes to relieving inflammation and pain. The active ingredient in turmeric (curcumin) has been proven to decrease edema in rats. Other studies have found that curcumin is at least as beneficial as pain medications at managing pain after hernia surgeries.
Then, there’s the powerful Brazil nut. In one very small study of ten people, researchers discovered that eating 4 Brazil nuts during a single meal resulted in a decrease in LDL levels by 20 points within 9 hours of consumption. (For reference, it takes statin drugs about 4 days to begin showing a decrease in LDL levels.)
Why functional medicine?
Using food as medicine is just one way to incorporate functional medicine into our daily lives. Functional medicine differs from traditional medicine in a few ways.
First, functional medicine is patient-centered. Functional medicine specialists focus on maximizing health and vitality beyond the absence of disease. By listening to the patient and learning his or her unique story, functional medicine experts are able to tailor treatments specifically to each person’s needs.
Second, functional medicine is based on an integrative approach. It examines the patient’s medical history, physiology, lifestyle factors, diet, stress levels, and other factors that can lead to illness.
Lastly, functional medicine integrates traditional Western medicine and “alternative” care. It focuses on disease prevention via nutrition, diet, and exercise, and incorporates a combination of drugs, botanical medications, supplements, detoxification, and stress-management techniques.
For your body’s natural healing power and the immune system to be effective, it needs foods with diverse and high quality nutrients. This can be hard to do when we are constantly bombarded by processed, prepared and packaged foods that lack vital nutrients but include harmful additives.
If you’re feeling the effects of poor nutrition in your mind and body, reach out to our functional medicine experts at Lisanne Wellness Center. We will be able to identify the underlying causes of illness and disease through a systems-oriented approach.
Our functional medicine experts look at the whole person to understand how their genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors can influence long-term health and chronic disease. At Lisanne Wellness Center we are dedicated to showing you how to eat better and guide you to make simple lifestyle changes for robust health.
To schedule an appointment with a Functional Medicine Specialist, contact us today. Call 713 461 9355 to schedule a consult today.