Is the Hippocratic Oath Hypocritical?

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Let Food be Thy Medicine?

By Patti Bartsch, N.D., Ph.D., Nutritionist at River City Chiropractic

What would Hippocrates Say?

All medical doctors take the Hippocratic Oath which includes the phrase “First, do no harm.”  If doctors are so concerned with what Hippocrates believed, why aren’t they honoring his motto of “Let food be thy medicine”?

Something like 6% of medical schools offer a nutrition class and in most of those it is an elective.  We know that “we are what we eat” and yet people continue to eat things that do not occur in nature and therefore have no nutritional purpose in the body; in fact they can be highly toxic.

I was listening to NPR the other day and there was a discussion about saying Grace (Gracias = Thanks).  I was taught to say Grace in catholic school but I was never taught to be thankful to the food.  We were taught to be thankful to God for providing the food but we never actually focused on the food.  Native Americans and other cultures that are connected to the Earth honor their food.  They honor any animal that gave its life for the food and they honor the Earth for providing the weather to grow their food.  They recognize that food is life.  Food provides the body not only with calories as fuel, but with micronutrients and phytonutrients to optimize health.

If you had an ingredient label, what would be on it? From a health perspective, I think it is important to recognize food as the ingredients that make up you.  Would you want to be made from natural ingredients like sweet potatoes, brown rice, green beans, beets, and garlic?  Or would you want to be made from sodium benzoate, FD&C Red 40, high-fructose corn syrup, and disodium EDTA?  The truth is that your body cannot build or repair itself with those ingredients.  It recognizes them as foreign and mounts and immune response against them.  I refer to these products as anti-nutrients because rather than providing nourishment, these foods make your body fight them.  And while your immune system is distracted by these anti-nutrients, it cannot keep up with normal demands so illnesses like colds, allergies, and cancer go unchecked.

Blueberries are a Healing Food

Food has tremendous healing properties.  Garlic has been used for centuries for its anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.  It is recommended that at least one-quarter, preferably one-half, of the plants you eat are uncooked.  This is because heating foods above 118°F causes the destruction of valuable enzymes and other nutrients.  Try to eat a big salad at least once per day and try to have a rainbow of colors in that salad.  Consider using just olive oil and vinegar as dressing because many commercial salad dressings have lots of artificial ingredients.

I wrote an earlier blog about how I unintentionally cured my allergies when I transitioned to a whole-foods diet.  Why did my doctor never tell me that my diet of processed foods from cans, boxes, and plastic trays was likely contributing to my allergies?  Because she had no clue.  They don’t teach that in medical school.  They teach that a person with high cholesterol needs to be on a prescription medication to control it.  They don’t teach that a high-fiber, plant-based diet will help the body to rid itself of excess cholesterol before it is reabsorbed into the bloodstream.  Why?  Because there’s much more profit in drugs than there is in beans.  But guess what?  These drugs are toxic!  The pharmaceutical companies know they’re toxic and so do the doctors.  This is why they require regular blood tests to check to see how your liver is doing; because they know the drugs are damaging your liver.

Hey!  What happened to “First, do no harm”?  I think they should revise the Hippocratic Oath so that it focuses on “Let food be thy medicine” instead.  I’ll put my money on the healing power of foods over a handful of pills any day.

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Make an appointment for a Chiropractic Evaluation or Nutrition Consultation at River City Chiropractic in Onalaska, WI

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