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Don't eat anything your great-great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food! - Michael Pollan

There is substantial scientific evidence that diet plays an important role in the development and treatment of numerous chronic maladies. One such paper was published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition on the health outcomes of the Mediterranean diet. The goal of this study was to investigate the association between adherence to the Mediterranean diet and 37 different health outcomes. The study included thirteen meta-analyses of observational studies and randomized clinical trials (RCTs). Researchers found that greater adherence to the Mediterranean diet is associated with a reduced risk of major chronic diseases. They found a reduced risk of overall mortality, cardiovascular diseases, coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction, overall cancer incidence, neurodegenerative diseases, and diabetes. Researchers found that the prevalence of overweight and obesity was inversely associated with this diet. For site-specific cancers, as well as for inflammatory and metabolic parameters, they found the evidence to be suggestive or weak.

The Mediterranean diet is generally characterized by high consumption of plant foods—fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds, and wholegrain cereals. The produces used are preferably locally sourced. Daily desserts are mainly fruits. Olive oil is the primary source of lipids. Consumption of dairy products—mostly cheeses and yogurt—is moderate. Fish, poultry, and eggs are consumed in low to moderate amounts. Red meat is consumed in small amounts, and low frequency and a moderate intake of wine are included during meals. This diet is low in saturated and trans fats, with optimal nutritional quality due to the presence of healthy fats from olive oil, nuts, fish, as well as complex carbohydrates, micronutrients, antioxidants, and, furthermore, it is abundant in fiber from varied plant-based composition with enough protein from both plant and animal origin. The Mediterranean diet has not only been held as a health model but is also praised as a cultural model. It is highly palatable and affordable. It results in lower environmental footprints due to its greater emphasis on plant-based foods rather than animal-based ones.

Foods provide all the nutrients that the body and the mind need to survive, thrive, and ultimately heal. Unfortunately, medications have become the answer to all problems—a panacea to any maladies. Although there is no doubt that some medicines can save lives, especially in cases of chronic or emergency situations, they are currently being used indiscriminately and with the purpose of alleviating symptoms. Medications do not address the root cause of maladies. They rarely prevent diseases.

People are taking more medication than at any other time in our history, yet the number of sick people is not decreasing. Fifty percent of Americans have a least one chronic disease and the number is growing. Medications are a ridiculously small part of the solution. A better solution is a preventive approach where one makes the body strong by proper nutrition and exercise, and by reducing the prevailing damaging level of current stress. Natural wholesome food should become the focus: medicines should be rarely used—only in a case where a natural holistic solution is not possible. A few research institutions are starting to realize the importance that food plays in the proper function of the body and they are deciphering the thousands and thousands of chemicals contained in the food that affect our body and mind in ways we have yet to understand. The only supplement one needs is varied and diverse natural foods.

It has been scientifically proven that you can heal yourself. In Mind over Medicine, Dr. Lissa Rankin details the proven ways in which one can heal oneself from just about any condition, with proper nutrition, rest, meditation, and overall increasing your immune system strength. Nutrition really matters, don't just eat.... eat to heal yourself!

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