If you want to know where the REAL medicine is, let me introduce you to the phytonutrient. Also called phytochemicals, these are plant-derived compounds (“phyto” means “plant”) that have a lot of amazing properties. These include:
- The ability to remove free radicals in the body;
- Stopping inflammation in the vessels and organs;
- Improving the power of the cells in the immune system;
- Eliminating the oxidative damage in cells, and
- Deactivating cancer causing agents.
In short, Phytonutrients are why your mother always told you to eat your vegetables!
“Whole Food Plant-Based diet” is a term you’re going to hear A LOT on FoodtherapyMD. It is the cornerstone of nutritional medicine, and the key to any program that professes to improve health and longevity. However, people still have questions about switching to a whole plant-based diet, mostly because we have been fed conflicting and dangerous information about health and nutrition by those that seek to profit from sickness. Here are some of the commonly asked questions:
“Eating the seasons” is an important way to introduce food variety into your diet, but it also has many other benefits as well. Foods that are in season taste better, they are less expensive than those grown out of season, they are more nutrient-dense, and they are better for the environment (that blueberry you love doesn’t have to be flown, shipped, and driven from far away so it has a lower carbon footprint).
As summer turns to fall, a whole new crop of foods are coming into season. Here are FoodTherapyMD’s top 5 foods to add to your grocery list this fall.
There is lots of information floating around on the web and social media about heavy metal toxicity and attributing everything from arthritis to cancer on its deleterious effects. But what does the science say? Are there actually legitimate things we can do and foods we can eat to help protect our bodies from toxic metal buildup?
Heavy metals can’t be avoided. Compounds like arsenic, mercury, lead, and aluminum are naturally occurring in the earth and water. But human industrialization and subsequent pollution has concentrated the amounts to potentially toxic levels, especially in food sources like fish and seafood. Many of these metals are also used in the manufacturing of household and beauty products (like lead in paint , aluminum in deodorant, and bismuth in makeup). Your body does have natural detoxification methods in place to eliminate these substances. But if overwhelmed with high doses, organs like the liver, bones, thyroid and brain can concentrate these toxins often to harmful effects.
As for the science, there have been numerous studies on the effects of heavy metals and disease, mostly on the role that toxic levels play in the development and progression of neurological disorders such as Alzheimers Dementia, ALS, autism, Parkinsons Disease, and Multiple Sclerosis. There are also proven associations between heavy metal toxicity and leukemia, liver disease, and thyroid dysfunction. So from a health perspective, over-exposure to heavy metals is a legitimate health concern and natural methods that can limit the effects should be incorporated into your health routine.
There have been recent articles on the internet that state that cholesterol is no longer believed to be the cause of heart and vascular disease and that stopping meat is dangerous for your health. As usual, the meat industry has taken a page out of the tobacco industry handbook, and put their marketing campaigns in overdrive to fund the creation of a few articles to be released to the press in an attempt to stop the rising tide of plant-based eating.
To understand why the reduction (or elimination) of animal products is so beneficial to your health, it is necessary to understand chronic disease, and the root cause of most chronic illness. That cause is inflammation, and the foods that we put into our bodies can either PROMOTE inflammation, or REDUCE and eliminate inflammation. Logic would dictate that the goal would be to eat as few inflammatory foods as possible, and eat as many anti-inflammatory foods as possible. Science agrees.
I have always been skeptical of fads. Any reasonable, intelligent person should question a trend that professes to offer over-the-top health claims. But when it comes to juicing, I believe that it offers vital and important benefits to disease prevention and even reversal.
And although juicing may have just recently been forced to the public eye, it is by no means a new practice. Jack LaLanne was promoting the power of raw vegetable and fruit juices 50 years ago, long before it was fashionable.
You may have been seeing on the internet and TV all the celebrities and athletes that have gone plant-based, or maybe you just left the doctor’s office with yet ANOTHER prescription and are feeling a bit frustrated. Or perhaps you got the call that a friend or family member has been diagnosed with cancer and it’s causing you some stress. Whatever the reason, the idea of going plant-based is becoming more and more appealing, but some of you just aren’t quite there yet. Well here are FoodTherapyMD’s top 7 reasons to finally take the plant-based leap: