Diet & Nutrition
The goal of healing through diet and nutrition is to increase the nutritional content and benefit per bite of food while lowering unhealthy allergens, fats, and toxic chemicals. By doing so, a person’s food cravings will diminish, weight loss will naturally follow, and the amount of expensive nutritional supplements needed for optimal healing will lower. Thus, you get a great figure, satisfaction from meals, and save money all at the same time! What more can one ask for?
There are certain foods that yield great healing power: wild blue berries, goji berries, moringa powder, nuts (but not peanuts), cruciferous and green leafy vegetables. These foods typically provide high amounts of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Making smoothies or creating a healthy trail mix using these highly nutritious foods can be a very powerful step towards recovery. Often berries are high in vitamin C and antioxidants. Organic nuts are high in protein, healthy fats, and minerals for energy and heart health.
In the majority of the alternative health texts that I have studied, the oft repeated warning against wheat and dairy consumption should be seriously considered. Initially, most patients in my practice show a hypersensitivity to wheat and dairy. They often have mold, dust, and pollen allergies as well. Why dump extra energy in managing your overwhelmed immune system when you can simply reduce or eliminate the foods that are at the root of inflammation? Because wheat and dairy allergies are quite common, most health food stores and organic grocery stores carry alternative wheat-free or gluten free products. Try them out and see if you like them as you give your immune system a greatly needed rest.
Then there is the question of alcohol and cigarettes. I believe that just as feelings are numbed by alcohol, so is the gastrointestinal (G.I.) tract. After all, some have called the G.I. tract the “second brain,” because every receptor in the brain can also be found in the G.I. tract. Now, while you are spending hundreds of dollars on nutritional supplements and organic vegetables, would you like to sedate the very organ responsible for delivering these expensive, health promoting nutrients to the rest of your body? Not only does alcohol lower the ability of the G.I. tract to function, it will also cost you in the amount of time it would take to heal.
Of course, alcohol and cigarettes are addicting. Like prescription medications, they have withdrawal signs and symptoms associated with dosage reduction. For those who are truly addicted to alcohol and cigarettes, orthomolecular interventions can ameliorate withdrawal signs and symptoms just as it does with other medications. Dosages will naturally lower as the whole person starts to heal and the necessary neurotransmitters responsible for the biochemical basis of peace and joy are replenished.
Does diet and nutrition matter when one is already taking a lot of different supplements? Absolutely! There are so many creative ways that foods can rob you of necessary nutrients nowadays that I have given up trying to supply everything through nutritional supplements and ignoring the patient’s diet. That may sound rather funny coming from a doctor. But considering that I had been conditioned to give the “right pill” during ten years of medical training, it’s not surprising that my first approach was to find the right supplement pills. I had to undo a lot of training to come to appreciate the power of good nutrition. But, it is true. Eating a healthy diet that provides optimal nutrients is the foundation of healing and recovery.
When can I start cheating on my diet? That is always the unspoken question after a period of disciplined, ascetic, healthful dieting. One does get so tired of healthy foods after a while. The eyes get drawn to the chocolates, the ice creams, the pies and cakes that had long been set aside for the sake of recovery. The answer to this question is that you can cheat at any time, but the best time to cheat is when you are robustly healthy. Your G.I. tract should be all knitted together without a leak in sight. Your stomach should be churning out those helpful digestive enzymes. Your immune system hums as it courses arrogantly with deadly strength throughout your body. Go ahead then and take that delicious bite of cake and enjoy!