DOCTORS PRESCRIBING VEGGIES FOR #DISEASE?
We all know where to go to treat a medical crisis, right? For broken bones, excessive bleeding, or other dire immediate concerns dash over to your nearest hospital emergency room. Even better, call 9-1-1. But, where should we go for the kinds of symptoms that ebb and flow, and don’t really seem to go away? In other words, what’s the best place to go for chronic illness?
A recent news story says that place is as near as your kitchen.
A report – airing on National Public Radio – profiled coverage of Lifestyle Diseases which is a phrase we’ve heard bouncing around for years. It typically refers to the obesity and diabetes epidemic but can broadly apply to chronic conditions that are affected by lifestyle choices (nutrition, fitness, relationships, etc.) as well as lifestyle circumstances such as environment and stress.
Even though this is old news, what piqued my interest was mention of chefs and doctors – together – looking to learn more about nutrition. Tulane University is actually partnering with a culinary school to help their medical students learn about using foods as medicine. What a crazy idea!
Well, I’m all for a little crazy now and then.
At least – I’m all for the concept.
Let me start off by stating that I’m not all that encouraged by who Tulane chose to partner with. A culinary school for nutrition advice? That’s sort of like buying a wardrobe based on a Kate Moss fashion show. The clothes may look good, but that has nothing to do with their practicality. Or, even more important – how they’ll look on you.
Foods are the same way. Some may taste great – and even make a great presentation – but that has nothing to do with how they fuel the body nutritionally. There’s no substitute for whole, natural, nutrition-dense and fiber-rich foods.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I’m anti-marshmallow. The point is that if I choose to have one, I’ll do so without delusions about it having any nutritional benefits. And, if I were responsible for feeding athletes who’ve just completed a workout, the last thing I’d do is feed them empty-calorie and energy-stealing sugary pseudo foods.
But then … I sniffled a little and got over it.
I have an appreciation for the fact that what the medical school is trying to do is at least a step in the right direction. They’re making an attempt to pair the two schools of thought – medicine and nutrition – and seek out higher knowledge. It’s my hope that this trend continues because understanding the impact of what we eat should be JOB ONE when it comes to healthcare.
For far too long, “traditional” medicine has been traditionally bereft of nutritional know-how. The established medical model (tests for diagnostics and medicine or surgery for treatment) works well for trauma, but not for chronic conditions. Rebuilding the body from the inside out is the go-to protocol – with nutrition providing the fundamental building blocks to do so.
Using foods as medicine is not a new idea. Holistic nutritionists, naturopaths and other natural health professionals have been schooled in it for centuries. Using foods for prevention and treatment of disease is as old as the hills and its merit has withstood the test of time.
For now, simply write yourself a prescription for kale, cabbage, spinach, and broccoli. Got berries, avocados, and coconut? Fabulous! It’s time to turn the tables and trade Lifestyle Disease for Lifestyle Ease!
Do you write your own nutritional prescriptions? Share your favorite nutritional tip here with the rest of the community!