The food we consume gives our bodies the information and materials they need to function properly. If we don’t get the right information, our metabolic processes suffer, and our health declines. If we eat too much food or food that gives our bodies the wrong instructions, we can become overweight undernourished, and at risk for the development of disease and conditions, such as arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease. Dr. Mark Hyman’s advice is that healthy foods act as medicine to maintain and heal illness, but if you feed your body with bad food it will make your body weak and susceptible to diseases.
However, diet alone cannot and should not replace medicine in all circumstances. Although many diseases can be prevented, treated, or even cured by dietary and lifestyle changes it doesn’t entirely mean others cannot. Many nutrients in food promote health and protect your body from disease. Eating whole, nutritious foods is important because their unique substance work synergistically to create an effect that can’t be replicated by taking a supplement.
As a society we face significant health problems, researchers at the National Institute of Health believe that these problems are partly related to diet. While medics used to believe that disease such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, stroke, and certain cancer was caused by a single gene mutation, Dr. Hyman explains how the food we eat contributes highly to biological dysfunction, because they lack the necessary balance nutrients.
Whole nutritious foods boast vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, protein, and fat, all of which promote health and are key to optimal bodily function. Dr. Hyman explains that you can eat vegetables and protein and still meet your optimal nutritional needs. Fiber is an essential part of a healthy diet, it promotes digestion and feeds the beneficial bacteria in your gut. Although your body only needs small amounts of vitamins and minerals, they’ve vital for your health. However, highly processed food and low in whole foods like fresh produce are typically deficient in vitamins and minerals. Such deficiencies can substantially increase your risk of disease. Protein and fat in whole, nutritious foods play various critical roles in your body. Amino acids are the building block that aid immune function, muscle synthesis, metabolism, and growth, while fat provides fuel and helps absorb nutrients. An omega-3 fatty acid found in foods like fatty fish helps regulate inflammation and is linked to improved heart and immune health.
An unhealthy diet high in sugary drinks, fast food, and refined grains are the main contributor to conditions like diabetes and obesity. These processed foods harm your gut bacteria and promote insulin resistance, chronic inflammatory, and overall disease risk.
Food does much more than simply provide you with energy. It may promote or worsen health, depending on what you eat. A nutrient-dense of whole foods has been shown to prevent many chronic diseases and may help to treat some conditions. Although it’s clear that following a nutritious diet is the most important factor in living a long, healthy life, keep in mind that you should not rely on food to replace conventional medicine.