‘let food be your medicine’

By Dr. Orna Izakson

beans and oregano.

beans and oregano.

The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates (460-377 BCE) famously said “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.”

Gardeners know the best way to get your veggies is fresh and organic, ideally straight from the farm or garden. But beyond simple nourishment, scientists are finding some foods specifically help prevent or reverse certain diseases. Published research from the past few months alone has shown fruits and veggies protect your heart, brain and eyes, and help fight asthma, cancer, swine flu, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis.

Much of the research looks at isolated constituents in the foods, although of course there’s more to fresh fruits and veggies than the isolated “active ingredients” scientists have identified so far. All the components in the plant work synergistically, and do more than just one thing.

Here’s a short list to get you started. (more…)

fatty fast food bad for asthmatics

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Orna @ 11:24 am

Fatty fast-food burgers aren’t particularly healthy for anyone. But new research finds they’re especially bad for asthmatics, increasing inflammation in the lungs and blocking the life-saving effects of emergency inhalers.

Asthma affects about 34 million people in the United States and nearly 3 million in Canada, and those numbers have been climbing steadily.

To study the effect of food choices on asthma, a group of asthmatics were given two different kinds of meals. One group got burgers and hash browns, high in fat and calories, and the other got yogurt instead — with 80 percent fewer calories. Four hours later, folks in the high-fat group showed more activation of a gene that makes the body consider fats a pathogen — fighting it the same way as it would a virus or bacterium. Inflammation is how the body mounts such a fight.

The burger and hash browns combination also reduced the effect of albuterol inhalers, which help relax spasming airways during an asthma attack, possibly by blocking receptors the drugs target.

Naturopathic medicine offers great options for asthmatics, starting with diet and moving on to reducing inflammation and bronchospasm.

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