How We Lost Focus of Nutrition as the Keeper of Health – InVite Health Podcast, Episode 246
Invite Health Podcast, Episode hosted by Amanda Williams, MPH.
Over 2500 years ago, Hippocrates, who is the Greek physician also known as the father of medicine, had a really amazing statement and that was, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
Now, we fast forward to current day and we have to think to ourselves, how is it that we went so off the rails when it comes to recognizing that nutrition is part of health? It is alarming when you see the lack of nutritional understanding and nutritional planning when it comes to traditional physicians and those in healthcare in general. It really is quite a shame that they had it right 2500 years ago and then you see where we’re at now, with all of the different chronic disease states, we’re still not able to connect those dots.
Hippocrates, for the most part, has been largely neglected, along with that philosophy and understanding of the importance of nutrition. When you look at the way we practice medicine now in the traditional sense, it’s much more about drugs than it is foods. Food as thy medicine has really kind of gone out the window. You don’t have to look too hard or too far to figure out why this trend continues. When we recognize that throughout the United States and technically throughout the world, nutrition in medical education is incredibly lacking.
Today, I want to talk about the lack of understanding when it comes to nutrition. When we talk about nutrition, we’re not talking about putting someone on a low-salt diet or a low-sugar diet. It’s just the basic wherewithal of what is it that nutrition is and why is it that we have pulled so far away from understanding that.
The importance of the Mediterranean diet and superfoods
Most people have heard the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” That’s not a far fetched thought. We understand that our foods can either make us or break us, which is why I continuously talk about the Mediterranean diet.
We know that if we go back in time to Hippocrates and we’re thinking about foods, we know that those foods that were incorporated into his philosophy of health were from that Mediterranean region. There is a large body of research data that suggests that the Mediterranean diet is by far superior to any other form of diet out there. It’s been shown time and time again to have all of these different health-promoting effects across the spectrum.
We need to go back to the basics and look at things like superfoods. These are going to be foods that really, across the spectrum, are giving you a really good, abundant amount of key nutrients including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, protein, healthy fats and the right blend of carbohydrates. There’s not one single food out there that can offer every aspect of full nutrition, but it’s when you adhere altogether to that Mediterranean diet, this is where you gain all of that benefit.
We realize that all of these different foods, like berries, fatty fish, green leafy vegetables, nuts and olive oil, are all a really great way to “superfood up” your diet. Yogurt, for example, is a really wonderful way to balance your homeostasis within the gut microbiome. Cruciferous vegetables, including brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower, really can heighten our body’s ability to function properly. If you’re not hearing this from your physician, it’s probably because they’re not trained in that.
Tune into the full podcast episode to learn more about why many doctors do not know enough about nutrition and why the Mediterranean diet is so important.