The father of western medicine said it himself, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Since the great Greek doctor Hippocrates, I haven’t heard many doctors say it again, until I heard about Dr. Terry Wahls. Dr. Wahls was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and her health was rapidly declining. She eventually needed two canes to walk. She decided that her medicines weren’t working the way she wanted them to and after taking a course in Functional Medicine, she changed her diet and within 6 months, she was walking again without a cane and within a year, she was biking again.
In the beginning of this somewhat radical protocol for a traditional Physician, she tried using vitamins and minerals that she had researched but later found that eating WHOLE FOODS was the best way to attain all of the nutrients her body needed to heal. Dr. Terry Wahls has a book out called The Wahls Protocol which you can find on Amazon or on her website http://terrywahls.com/ which is a great resource to help anyone get started on a healing diet. A few foods she highly recommends are:
– Sulfur vegetables like cabbage, kale, collard greens and asparagus, which are excellent sources of sulfur, which is used by the body to produce gamma-aminobutyric acid(GABA). This “inhibitory” neurotransmitter counteracts the early brain-cell death that can occur if the neurotransmitter glutamate reaches excessive levels.
– Organ meats, such as calf liver and chicken liver, which are among the best sources of coenzyme Q-10, which is essential for basic cell function and which is often found to be low in people with cancer, heart disease, and other chronic disorders.
– Kelp and algae, because these detoxify the body by binding to heavy metals in the intestine and removing them in the stool.
Traditional Chinese Medicine places a huge emphasis on food to promote organ health and outlines specifically what foods are good for what organs. The benefit in using Chinese herbs, which are mostly plant and fruit based, is that there are compounds in nature that are better absorbed and have multifunctional properties. Food and herbs must be taken seriously as a form of medicine for our bodies. Herbal and dietary consultations are included in each Acupuncture treatment in my office, or you can request them separately.
Photo Credit: Jeffrey Lu. Flickr.