Let Thy Food Be Thy Medicine

Have you seen Terry Wahls TEDx talk? Yeah, neither had I, until recently. I can’t believe this escaped my attention for so long. Terry talks about how she beat multiple sclerosis. Yes! Completely beat it into submission! She did it with food. Hippocrates was absolutely right, and as we can see from Terry’s testimony, food can have a therapeutic effect on the body.

An alternate title for this post could have been: Eat Your Veggies!! I’ve always found it funny when the news would make reports about a phytonutrient or antioxidant newly discovered by science, like lycopene or resveratrol, and then proudly announce that the vegetables and fruits that have it are (surprise!) good for you.

This video is 17 minutes long and well worth your time. Terry is a doctor, so she approached MS from a medical and scientific perspective, she did her research. She found which nutrients her deteriorating brain needed to slow the progression of disease. She began to take supplements of these nutrients and felt better, however, and I love this next part:

Then it occurred to me that I should get my long list of nutrients from food. That if I did that I would probably get hundreds maybe thousands of other compounds that science had yet to name and identify but would be helpful to my brain.”

What happens next is astonishing. In just one year, just by changing her diet, she goes from being nearly bed ridden to going on an 18 mile bike ride. This therapeutic diet  consisted of:

Everyday – 3 cups green leafy veggies, 3 cups sulfur rich veggies, 3 cups colorful veggies & fruits, and protein rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Everyday.

Once a week – a serving of organ meats, and a serving of seaweed.

She recommends packing in these nutrient dense foods first, and then as desired, if tolerated,  add starch and dairy foods.

In summary… eat your veggies! If you want to feel well, if you want to be healthy… eat your veggies. I would like to comment on these quantities though. Nine cups (9!) of vegetables a day is really quite a lot. It’s great, and I think that’s probably necessary if you’re in poor health. Nine cups would provide a therapeutic dose of nutrients. If you’re in fairly good health though, I think the standard recommendation of “5 a day” would suffice for maintaining health. And don’t forget quality protein and fat – omega 3 is serious brain food!

Terry points out that eating this way is not cheap. However, we can spend our money on nourishing food now, or we can spend it later on doctor visits, prescriptions, and surgery.

This is why I love nutrition. We have the power to determine our health and wellbeing just by how we eat. So….. eat your veggies.


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