Your Food: Medicine or Toxin?


“Let thy medicine be thy food, and thy food be thy medicine.”

So said the Greek physician Hippocrates, the source of the Hippocratic Oath and widely considered the father of Western medicine. When you think about it, food is something you have three times a day, with snacks in between. Everything you take in as nourishment is either contributing to your wellness or your illness.

Many of the diseases that have become very widespread in this part of the world are the result of chronic inflammation. Irritable Bowel Syndrome, arthritis, asthma; even more serious illnesses such as high blood pressure and cancer, have their roots in the inflammation response. Knowing this, we’d all do well to learn what foods are enablers of chronic inflammation and which actually help bring it under control.

Many digestive specialists agree that processed foods, particularly those with high fructose corn syrup or a lot of processed sugar, are to be reduced and eventually eliminated from the diet. This is because our digestive systems have evolved to break down the complex sugars that are available in whole foods. Food made in a factory typically contains sugar that has already been thoroughly processed (or worse, the high-fructose stuff); this overwhelms our systems and encourages the inflammation response. Sugar also promotes cancer call growth — mutated cells seem to thrive on it. Part of any anti-cancer diet has to include cutting way back on these substances.

Every time you put a bit of food into your mouth, you may want to cultivate mindfulness of it. Read labels, be aware of what’s in your food. It’s either medicinal or toxic; choose well!

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