Much has been said about food as medicine in the prevention of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular conditions, neurological and inflammatory diseases. The importance of a healthy diet to prevent degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's and cancer has also been studied...
That is why a food as medicine helps us prevent diseases and reduce mortality. However, there are also some conditions in which diet is a fundamental part of medical treatment and is highly recommended to improve the condition.
There are several diseases in which the deficiency of nutrients or vitamins are the main cause of its development. For example, anemias are conditions in which a decrease in hemoglobin is observed, a protein that helps in the transport of oxygen in our body. Part of the treatment consists of increasing foods high in iron, folic acid and B-complex vitamins. Foods such as legumes, beans and green vegetables help to increase the levels of these components and significantly improve the condition.
Rickets is a disorder caused by a deficiency of vitamin D, calcium and phosphorus that leads to weak bones and a decrease in their functions. It occurs more frequently in children and it is known that increasing calcium-rich foods such as dairy products and green leafy vegetables are important measures during their treatment.
Conditions in which an increase or decrease in the size of some glands in our body is observed may also be associated with the deficiency of some nutrients. Goiter is an increase in the thyroid gland and although there are several factors that could increase its size, iodine deficiency is one of its main causes.
Goiter is a sign that the thyroid gland is not able to produce enough thyroid hormone, which is an important basis for our metabolism. Salt with iodine is used to prevent this condition, but foods high in iodine help in the production of this hormone. Iodine is found in foods such as fish, shellfish, some algae, fruits, and vegetables.
Inflammatory diseases are those in which the body is in a constant state of alert to combat any imbalance, be it infectious, traumatic or any agent that causes damage to the body. There are several chronic inflammatory conditions in which nutrition is included in the prescription of treatment. Intestinal diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease can benefit from comprehensive nutritional support that includes high-fiber foods, fruits, and vegetables.
Vitamin D, Omega 3, and probiotics can also improve the condition and lessen the appearance of symptoms. In autoimmune-inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis, a decrease in periods of inflammation has been observed if, on the contrary, foods high in saturated fats, sugars, dairy and processed foods are eliminated. The diet high in fruits and vegetables, as well as fish and nuts offer great anti-inflammatory properties for this condition.
Therefore, food as medicine does play an important role in the prevention, but also in the treatment of several conditions in which symptoms can improve with the incorporation of the necessary nutrients to treat the condition. The key to our health is awareness of good nutrition.
If you want to know what nutritional and lifestyle changes can improve your health and nutrition, contact the new FitMed health and nutrition program. A personalized program dedicated to improving your health with significant and permanent changes that take you to another level to improve your well-being.
Adamar Gonzalez MD
Dr. in General Medicine
Creator of the Transformation Program
in Health and Nutrition from FitMeD