Traditional Chinese, Mediterranean, and Ayurvedic medicine addressed the importance of food to prolong life. Some parts of the globe, tribal communities and indigenous peoples still use hundreds of edible plants to treat ailments by including them in their diets.
The majority of the world’s population is dependent on modern health systems, in which diet plays little role in the prevention or treatment of disease. Bad nutrition and overconsumption have been widely blamed for the development of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. There is now increasing consensus that healthy eating habits can not only prevent but also treat these diseases.
You can make medicines from everyday edible plants. They are able to create compounds that can be useful for us, making them valuable aids in chemistry. The plants are brilliant chemists and have done much of the work for us.
Instead of starting from scratch to create a new drug, which can be time-consuming, difficult, and costly, it is possible to use a plant chemical to help you design and develop your drug. The steps required to make that drug can be shortened.
Although it is possible that certain chemicals were discovered in early edible plants, which inspired the development and testing of new drugs, this may not have been intentional or planned. Scientists may be able to find them easier by their presence in commonly grown edible crops.
Food as medicine would be the integration of nutrition and food into the health care system. It is possible to prevent and cure disease with this approach. In almost all countries, food and nutrition are the main causes of illness. This reality is often ignored by health care systems, health care discussions, and financing for health care.
Scientists are discovering new ways to modify the course of diseases through food. For example, they can provide medically-tailored meals for patients with chronic conditions or prescribe specific products for those with diet-sensitive disorders like diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure or diabetes. For example, meals that are tailored to meet the nutritional needs of patients suffering from cancer, HIV, or diabetes have been shown to decrease subsequent hospital admissions by almost half, and even to lower overall health care costs by as much as 20%. Researchers in the United States are conducting studies to determine if carefully selected fresh foods can be prescribed to type 2 diabetes patients and low-income mothers. This is called “farmacy”, which is a way to improve patients’ health. To improve the health of their patients, many hospitals employ specialized dietitians.
However, the idea of treating food as medicine may have a wider impact on our health.