Friday, December 28, 2007

Food: A Tool for both Prevention and Ammunition against Disease

Our immune system is responsible for protecting us from foreign invaders like bacteria, viruses, parasites, and cancer. It is a complex system that gets abused regularly by daily activities such as poor diet, lack of exercise, and our 21st century environment. The correct foods along with proper quality (organic vs. non-organic) can help to strengthen the immune system and prevent disease and infection, whereas, the wrong foods can cause immune system errors and allow chronic infections, cancer, colds, AIDS, asthma, allergies, autoimmune diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue), and even Type I Diabetes to flourish.

Around 2,500 years ago, Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, first popularized the "food as medicine" concept, which unfortunately, fell into obscurity by the 19th century. The first 50 years of the 20th century saw the discovery of the essential elements and vitamins. This led to "enrichment" of processed foods to help people regain the health they lost when they abandoned real whole foods. However, today we are realizing that processed and refined foods “fortified with nutrients” is not beneficial and actually harms the body’s immune system. A diet lacking whole, unprocessed natural foods free from pesticides and hormones is a valid explanation for the declining function of our immune system. Lets get back to what Hippocrates said, “let thy foods be your medicine and your medicine be thy food.”

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