Food matters

I believe that nutrition should be a very large focus in medicine. Doctors’ first response to illness should be to use nutrition and lifestyle changes to heal, supporting the natural healing ability of our bodies. Only when truly necessary should pharmaceuticals be used. When I speak these opinions to people, I sometimes get a blank stare. I get it; “healing our bodies through nutrition” sounds a bit abstract – a little crazy maybe. But let me put things in perspective.

When you have a headache, and you pop some advil or ibuprofen, it takes your pain away. That tiny little pill, smaller than the tip of my pinky finger, can do all that! Amazing, right?! Now compare the size of that pill to the amount of food you eat for a standard meal. I don’t know about you, but my dinner plate is about the size of my head, piled with food! In both cases – taking medication and eating real food – you’re giving your body something to use, something to break down and work with.

From a science standpoint, our physiological systems are all intertwined; the systems that allow our hearts to beat, our muscles to move, our lungs to breathe, and our food to nourish us work together in synchrony. The food that you eat affects each and every part of your body – from your skin to your digestive tract – because it is very literally the fuel for each of our systems. So healing through nutrition is not a crazy idea at all! In fact, it’s science. It’s medicine.

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Don’t get me wrong, as a medical student and future physician, I understand and believe in the use of medication when appropriate. However, I do not support the over-prescription of medication or the abuse of antibiotics and over-the-counter drugs. Drugs should be used when necessary – when the health of the patient is at risk without them. Medication shouldn’t be assumed a life-long commitment. Instead, it should be seen as temporary support, while the goal of the physician should be to improve the health of their patient so that they don’t have to rely on drugs. Through nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices, we can prevent and treat many of our nation’s health problems such as type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, respiratory diseases from smoking, kidney disease, high blood pressure, obesity, autoimmune disorders, stroke, and even some types of cancer.

Maybe that headache is a sign that you’re dehydrated, hungry, stressed, or tired. Listen to your body, don’t silence it. The goal should be to address the underlying issue, instead of covering up the symptom.

“There were never so many able, active minds at work on the problems of diseases as now, and all their discoveries are tending to the simple truth — that you can’t improve on nature.” –Thomas Edison

22 Comments Add yours

  1. Tiffany says:

    I LOVE this, and agree with it 110%! Using nutrition as medicine is an aspect that everyone needs to grasp hold of. Great post!

    Like

    1. Nicolet says:

      Thank you, Tiffany! I am so glad you enjoyed it 🙂

      Like

  2. Staying healthy is easier than getting healthy. I maintain a healthy weight by eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly.

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    1. Nicolet says:

      Yes!! I agree!! I love that 🙂

      Like

  3. Jay says:

    It’s so funny everytime I have a headache my mom says to drink water. I always thought she was crazy but I drink now and most of my headaches go away now shhh don’t tell mom

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  4. When I get a headache the first thing is to roll my shoulders, stretch, drink water and get some blood flowing!

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    1. Nicolet says:

      YES! That is exactly what you should do 🙂

      Like

  5. I’ve run the gamut. I know how much better I feel when I eat well. But eating junk makes me feel like junk. You’d think I’d keep that in mind when I am making my choices, but too often I choose the wrong thing.

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    1. Nicolet says:

      We all have trouble making the right choices sometimes, but the fact that you are aware of that and actively working to be better is what matters! ❤

      Like

  6. livanies86 says:

    I totally agree with you!!! Great post! I can see that my body is reacting on the way I´m eating! And also my soul 🙂

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  7. RM says:

    I believe almost all our aches and pains can be drastically helped by our diet….

    Like

    1. Nicolet says:

      Yes, I agree! Of course, there are circumstances where medication is needed. But most of our money is going towards drugs for Type II Diabetes and obesity! Those are most definitely preventable diseases.

      Like

  8. I definitely agree with you! Food is powerful and it deserves more attention!

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  9. Thats actually pretty interesting to think about, I agree most people opt out and take medication. I think using nutrition is a good idea because food provides the energy for the body.

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  10. Esse D says:

    This is interesting. I just watched a Netflix documentary called What the Health talking about how what we put in our bodies are directly related to illnesses and condtions.

    Like

    1. Nicolet says:

      Yes! What we eat MATTERS so much ❤

      Like

  11. I’m glad to have read your article because it validates my practice of not taking medicine right away when I don’t feel well. I usually rest first or eat and drink plenty of water.

    Like

  12. ohmummymia says:

    ‘Listen to your body’ that’s really good point:)

    Like

  13. Great article. I do suffer bad headaches all the time I do believe it is from stress.

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  14. Elizabeth O says:

    I’m surprised that dome people respond the way you described. It’s common sense thst our diet, our nutritional history, can have a huge impact on our lives. Aside from nurturing the body, food offers healing properties to help us along the way.

    Like

  15. I agree with this so much. Food is everything when it comes to our health and it affects our body greatly. I think it’s better to rely on food than medication on most cases unless we really need that extra help from meds!

    Like

  16. fasetto says:

    I agree that it is better to focus on eating well instead of just taking drugs to fix a problem that you created because you didn’t eat well in the first place.

    Like

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