food as medicine 1
food as medicine 1

Food vs. Meds: How Organic Foods Can Prevent Disease and Achieve Wellness

“Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food,” Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician is famously quoted. Today, many people are returning to the words of the father of western medicine. Hippocrates was different from his contemporaries because he believed that diseases were caused by factors in the natural world like diet and activity rather than by superstition or the mythic gods. In the same spirit of natural causes, many modern people are beginning to turn to organic food in the hopes of finding natural remedies as well.

What Can Organic Food Actually Do?

The term “super food” is an oft awarded title that is used to describe trendy veggies, like kale, that reportedly contain amazing nutrients and vitamins to fight everything from free radicals and heart disease to just plain old age. Antioxidants are another powerful word on the market. Although not everyone really knows what “antioxidant” actually means, most people are quite aware that blueberries and pomegranates will help them lose weight and grow smoother skin while possibly preventing Alzheimer’s disease.

Basically, an organic food is one which is does not contain synthetic preservatives, artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors and other artificial additives, growth hormones, antibiotics, hydrogenated oils, stabilizers and emulsifiers. Organic also includes processes, controlling how the food was produced. To be certified as organic means the absence of bioengineered genetic modification, pesticides, certain fertilizers, etc. Proponents of organic and natural food over medicine point out that by eliminating artificial chemicals used to produce many foods from their diet, they are already on the road to better health. In addition, the natural nutrients found in the fruits, vegetables, grains and meats can positively affect the human body by providing the nourishment it needs.

Thus, it might be possible to replace preventative medicine with natural food, explains Dr. Roy Geib, professor of microbiology and immunology at University of Indiana. However, the FDA is less convinced that organic foods will necessarily preclude disease or prove a guarantor of improved health. Yet it does believe that organic and natural foods “are a key component in the major consumer trend known as whole health solutions—diets that promote health and well-being, prevent disease, help cure illness and protect the environment.” And in answer to the question who grocery shops into this organic “trend,” one FDA report stated that “most buyers are not radically different from those of conventional foods. They tend to be younger, better educated and have higher incomes.”

Functional Foods

Another related solution on the rise is the possibility of functional foods. Dr. William Li the founder of the Angiogenesis Foundation says that foods which are engineered to influence blood vessel production may be a significant key in the puzzle of fighting disease through food rather than medication. But organic food supporters fear that genetically modifying foods simple opens up a can of worms as the process of engineering foods may carry unknown harmful side effects. In addition, many maintain that cures already exist in nature.

Clean Foods

Clean eating is a rapidly growing movement to find and consume food in as close to its natural state as possible. This usually involves minimal cooking and a mostly raw diet of vegetables, fruits and proteins. Clean eaters hope that by avoiding harmful processes and added chemicals, their bodies will be healthier and better able to fight disease.

Total Health and Wellness

Finally, your doctor might want to weigh in on all of this with some advice on healthy eating and achieving wellness. If you want to pursue better health naturally, a wellness focused program like an MDVIP health care plan is a great way to actively choose health and fight disease with the help of medical professionals to offer advice and provide preventative checkups and screenings. After conducting your own research and consulting a doctor, you might decide that eating organic is the best way to promote your own health without added medication.