For many months now I have been a subscriber to to free newsletter, Naturopathy Works by Dr. Colleen Huber, NMD.
What caught my attention in the May 2007 issue is her discussion on food and a new book she has written, Choose Your Foods Like Your Life Depends On Them.
As many of you know, I’m extremely picky about where my food comes from and the quality. This is one of the few excellent sources of great information on the foods we’ve evolved with, what we’re faced with today, and what we can do about it.
Excerpted from the chapter Food as Medicine:
We eat our way into our symptoms, and we can eat our way back out
“Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.” – Hippocrates
“We live at a strange crossroads in history. Over the last few decades, the human species has been hypnotized by the temptations offered by the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. The 1950’s ushered in the “better living through chemicals” age. And we believed, and we bought and swallowed and injected and are still consuming them in massive amounts, and, most recklessly, injecting such chemicals as ethylene glycol (antifreeze), aluminum and formaldehyde into our babies as part of vaccines, without any prior safety testing.
But now with massive chronic disease plaguing our most industrialized populations, autism closely following children’s shots, and more pathology coincident with concentrated chemicals, we are beginning to wake up from our long post-World War II slumber. Now begins the next era when synthetic chemicals are starting to be seen as, however useful in many applications, best kept at a distance from our bodies, our homes, public spaces and wilderness.
The old era of unthinking reliance on a synthetic existence is showing severe disadvantages, just as the urgency to forge new relationships with nature is becoming apparent. Plants and other whole foods are coming into their own new era as naturopathic physicians and other well-informed health practitioners rely on them for their central role in healing. Within our lifetimes, natural substances will eclipse pharmaceuticals in medical practice, as the general public awakens to its far superior healing capacity.
But the pharmaceutical industry will be the slowest to catch on, just as most physicians and druggists of the early 20th century refused to believe that absence of certain nutrients could bring on such horrible diseases as scurvy, pellagra and beriberi. Then as now, allopaths were eager to lay blame for these diseases on microbes, until . . . oops! limes cured the “limey” British sailors of their scurvy, and we saw that Vitamin B3 prevented pellagra, while Vitamin B1 prevented beriberi and Vitamin D prevented rickets. As usual, conventional medicine corrects itself long after the natural physicians are already healing patients. In fact, evidence now shows that even bubonic plague, which allopathy still attributes exclusively to bacteria known as Yersinia pestis, was more likely to strike those with low Vitamin C intakes and those who did not eat garlic.
What would possess a person to think that food could possibly be medicine? Our first clue is the structure of our intestines. Whatever comes into the mouth later travels through miles of efficient tubing that extracts certain molecules from the food we eat, then converts them to one common molecule, Acetyl Co-A, from which the building blocks of the body are then made: protein, glucose and (healthy-type) fats.
The intestines are great little machines, but not omnipotent. That is, they can convert food molecules to Acetyl Co-A, because food has familiar and malleable combinations of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. But it cannot do that with bizarre substances that the body is unfamiliar with, such as petrochemical products and synthetic substances used in pharmaceuticals. The body has no experience with many of these substances, has little clue what to do with them, and often excretes them, which may explain why placebos so often equal or surpass drugs in clinical trials. More often, though, as the body tries to either detoxify or wall off the offending invader drug, it creates new metabolites, which have multiple pharmaceutical effects, some of which may be quite harmful.
Food, on the other hand, is right at home in the body, since our species has always processed it, and we have become quite efficient eating machines as a result. Therefore, we easily break down ingested protein to its component amino acids. These then in turn get rearranged into the proteins that our genes tell us to make, all of the busy construction that takes place in the womb, and for the rest of us: replacement of lost skin and membrane cells, slightly longer fingernails, hair, scabs over wounds, etc. Carbohydrates and dietary fat get broken down to Acetyl Co-A and rearranged to form the molecules our body needs to function, because this is how our bodies have been handling things for all of our existence as a species. How would the body be able to do that from a pharmaceutical? It can’t. It’s like trying to make your car run on orange juice…”click here to continue reading
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