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Why Eating Dinner is Better Than Seeing a Doctor

Why Eating Dinner is Better Than Seeing a Doctor

MEDICINE JUST DOESN’T come in pills.

In many cases, it’s as close as your fork or your spoon.  That’s right. Your meals can be powerful medicine — if you eat the right kinds of foods.

Today, I’d like to tell you about my recent trip to China. While there, I was reminded of how the Chinese view the medicinal properties of food — and the lessons we can learn from this approach.

The Chinese view of food as medicine is evident in their language: Their word for eating is comprised of two characters: chi fan, or “eat rice.”  The word for taking medicine is chi yao, or “eat medicine.”

Food contributes taste, texture, delight, energy, and nourishment.  In China, food is all that — AND a source of medicinal healing compounds to support well-being and health.  That’s because the Chinese recognize that the nutritional value of food goes beyond calories.  In fact, they know that many foods are rich in special plant compounds than can prevent and treat disease and transform health.  These compounds are called phytonutrients.

Phytonutrients aren’t calories, protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, or minerals. They’re molecules that interact with your biology, switching on your DNA to heal your body.  Modern scientists are increasingly learning how phytonutrients can enhance health through improving the function of genes and metabolism.

Never heard of these compounds?

It’s not surprising — phytonutrients just aren’t part of our vocabulary.  In the West, we tend to view food and medicine as two separate things.

But things are very different in China.

Please leave your thoughts by adding a comment below – but remember, we can’t offer personal medical advice online, so be sure to limit your comments to those about taking back our health!

To your good health,

Mark Hyman, MD

Mark Hyman MD is the Medical Director at Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine, the Founder of The UltraWellness Center, and a ten-time #1 New York Times Bestselling author.

Comments (6)

  • It seems that every edible product has found some “Scienlist , doctor, researcher, professional assosciation to proclailm the heralth benefits of ltheir product! Reader beware! Consider the source of all recomendations.Pay close attention to tlhe reactions of your own body!

    Pharmaceutical ads tell about bad reactions to their products. They often say these are “rare” But what if the “rare” reaction is yours!

    Some doctors say, “You need to take this for the rest of your life” ALL medications have side effects. If you are taking a medication “for the rest of your life”, the side effects have the opportunity to work long time damage!

  • I fully agree. The hard part is to keep aware of all foods and the needs of the body and not to become accustomed to habitual menus. This is what I struggle with.

  • I have done very well with the BSS book My A1C is 6.1 and I have lost more than 10lbs,gone down a dress size and look younger than my 84 years. I went to Barns and Noble to look for the cookbook and the BSS . The had lots of diet books but none by Mark Hyman.

    • Responding to Joans email. I must be behind the times. Not only do I not know what BSS (or was it BBS?) is about – I do not understand AC 1 either.

      I’m wondering, if she’s 84, what Joan did with lose skin after losing 10 pounds?

      • Jacquelyn, if you’re still out there, BSS = “Blood Sugar Solution,” the book that this website grew out of.

        A1C (hemoglobin A1c, HbA1c, A1C, or Hb1c;) is a form of hemoglobin that is measured primarily to identify the average plasma glucose concentration over prolonged periods of time. Basically, it indicates what your blood sugar’s been doing for the last several weeks, so it’s a more telling measurement than the snapshot fasting blood sugar test your doctor might order.

        ~ Susan