Food Matters: A Testament to the Power of NutritionJune 22nd, 2009
Even though it’s well known that we can’t survive without food, most people grossly underestimate the importance of good nutrition. Although a majority of the population is overweight, many of these people are also malnourished, and as a result, suffering from poor health and disease.
The symptom chasing approach of modern medicine makes it easy to rely on medication and overlook the importance of a truly healthy diet. As a result, many of us are living with poor health and just barely surviving on a poor diet rather than enjoying the vibrant and disease free life that good nutrition can provide. The documentary Food Matters does an excellent job of explaining exactly why this is.
Supporting the Body’s Amazing Ability to Support Itself
Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician who is often referred to as the father of medicine, is well known for the saying “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Unfortunately, this simple but yet profound advice is all but ignored by modern society.
Many of today’s most prominent and deadliest diseases barely even existed just a century ago. Their current prominence is very much a result of the drastic lifestyle changes that we’ve made since then, especially in regard to diet. In fact, 80% to 90% of all hospital visits are due to conditions that were ultimately caused by poor nutrition. The only way that excellent health can be achieved is through supporting the body’s amazing ability to repair and maintain itself, and the food choices we make every single day are a major part of this.
The Flawed Approach of Modern Medicine
With the amazing medical and technological advances that we’re fortunate to have access to today, we should be healthier than ever. Instead, disease and poor health are becoming much more prevalent. While our medical system is extremely effective at treating trauma and acute illness, its awful at resolving chronic conditions because of it’s focus on treating symptoms rather than the underlying problem that’s causing them. This flawed approach is a direct result of drug companies funding medical schools, and in turn, influencing their curriculum. While physicians in the United States spend thousands of hours studying pharmaceutical drugs, fewer than 6% of them receive formal training in nutrition.
Most medical professionals recognize the importance of nutrition, but few of them are willing to acknowledge just how important it truly is. While many doctors are quick to prescribe medication, they’re often overly concerned about the risks of excessive vitamin supplementation. This should be a crime considering that adverse drug reactions cause more than 100,000 deaths per year while vitamin supplementation has maybe caused 10 deaths in the last 23 years.
Do you know that modern medicine is the third leading cause of death in the United States? Between unnecessary surgeries, hospital errors, infections received from hospitals, and adverse drug reactions, modern medicine causes over 200,000 deaths per year. Only heart disease and cancer cause more deaths.
The Link Between Diet, Mood, and Disease
Debilitating and potentially fatal conditions and diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and depression can not only be prevented through nutrition, but also reversed. The consequences of neglecting this can not only lead to a severely compromised quality of life, but also premature death. For example, half of all deaths in the United States are caused by heart attacks, and for half of these heart attack cases, death was the first symptom.
In the case of one severely depressed woman who was taking multiple medications and refused to communicate with anyone, high doses of vitamin B3 (niacin) had her communicating with people as if there was never a problem. Because her psychiatrist was concerned about the high doses of the vitamin, she stopped taking it, fell back into deep depression, and returned to her uncommunicative ways. In contrast to the much larger number of people who commit suicide because of depression, Niacin might have killed 1 or 2 people in the last 15 or 20 years.
A Losing Battle Against Cancer
In 1972, president Nixon vowed to find a cure for cancer by dedicating a significant amount of money towards research. 25 years and 39 billion dollars later, the number of deaths caused by cancer each year has more than doubled. Although cancer research is continuously promising the next breakthrough, the outcome is usually nothing more than a new drug that’s extremely toxic and capable of causing cancer.
Unfortunately, the conventional perspective on cancer considers a tumor to be the root cause of the problem when it’s really only a symptom of it. This is a major reason why 70% of all cancer patients who undergo conventional treatment end up dieing within 5 years. In contrast, alternative therapies that focus on supporting the body’s ability to kill cancer cells and prevent tumor growth have a much higher success rate, especially with terminally ill patients. The medical system chooses to ignore this.
In most countries, it’s illegal to treat cancer patients with anything but surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation. It’s well known that a weak immune system is what allows cancer to develop, but despite this, these forms of cancer treatment weaken it even further. While these treatments may eliminate tumors, how can you possibly expect to prevent a new one from developing without using good nutrition and other natural methods to strengthen the immune system? Furthermore, it’s been known for years that high doses of vitamin C can kill cancer cells without the significant risks and side effects of chemotherapy, but this too has been ignored.
Japanese women have less than a 1% chance of developing breast cancer. However, when they come to America and adapt the American lifestyle, their rate of breast cancer is much more similar to that of American women. It’s more obvious than ever that the high incidence of cancer is a result of how we’re living and it’s time for modern medicine to embrace this.
Why Corporate Influence is Bad for Your Health
Although capitalism has inspired innovation in many industries, it’s arguably the most significant factor in modern medicine’s misguided symptom driven approach to treating disease and chronic illness. Like any other large corporation, drug companies are relentlessly focused on making money. To do so, they need to have many people taking their drugs for an extended period of time. Unfortunately, the most profitable situation for drug companies is to have people remain unhealthy and in need of medication. If chronic illness could be prevented and reversed even half as effectively with drugs as it is by living a healthy lifestyle, then the drug industry would generate much less revenue than the 300 billion dollars that it generates annually in North America alone.
Drug companies have gained so much influence that they’ve been able to solidify the symptom chasing mentality of the medical system and suppress much of anything that challenges it. They run their own drug trials for FDA approval, pay the regulators that oversee their drugs, and pay the academic institutions that research their drugs. Through advertising, they even support medical journals, and in turn, discourage them from publishing research that reflects poorly on their drugs. Thousands of studies supporting natural and alternative treatments are also never published.
Having been so significantly influenced by the drug industry, many doctors claim that the use of medication is based on firm evidence while the success of natural treatments are a result of hope, illusion, and the placebo effect. However, the only “evidence” needed for a new drug to be approved by the FDA is two trials that show it to be more effective than a placebo. The company that created the drug can run the trials themselves and conveniently neglect to publish any trials that are unfavorable. In other words, it’s easy for a drug company to have a new drug approved and make it appear to be safer and more effective than it really is.
The Need for a New Paradigm
Each year in the United States, more than 100,000 people die from adverse reactions to drugs that are properly prescribed while about 40,000 people die from car accidents. Most people are more concerned about being in a car accident than taking prescription medication even though the medication is more than two times as likely to kill them. Similarly, two handfuls of cashews can provide the therapeutic equivalent of a prescription dose of Prozac, but some people would rather take the medication because the health promoting cashews contain fat. As a result of the misguided mentality that these examples illustrate, many of us have become overly reliant on a medical system that’s been failing us.
Proper nutrition is one of the most important aspects of good health and can often eliminate the need for medication and even reverse disease. If your diet doesn’t consist mostly of natural whole foods such as meat, fish, fruits, and vegetables, then fatigue, poor moods, and poor health should be expected. If you want to give yourself the best chance of living a full and vibrant life, then it’s essential to take responsibility for your own health and rise above the flawed approach to nutrition and general health that is ruining so many lives.
Although it may not be apparent early in life, your lifestyle choices directly affect the outcome of your life. As you age and your unhealthy habits catch up with you, you may still fail to realize it and simply accept the consequences as normal aging. As this continues, you may very well end up with serious disease and wonder how it happened. Fortunately, the best doctor or nutritionist that you’ll ever find to help you avoid this is you! Take responsibility for your health, stop being a patient, and start living! By implementing a healthier lifestyle, you’ll be happier, look better, feel better, live longer, and even save money. You’ll also have the tremendous satisfaction of having accomplished it yourself.
Food Matters – The Documentary
The message in this article is based on the powerful documentary Food Matters. If you’d like more detail about how the flawed and dogmatic symptom chasing approach of modern medicine may be compromising your life, then you absolutely must watch this documentary! It’s an especially great video for anyone who doesn’t quite understand the negative impacts that modern medicine is likely having on them.
The only criticism that I have of this documentary, which is a minor one, is that it seems to have a hint of bias towards a vegetarian diet. While some people can sustain excellent health without meat, many people can’t.