Eating your medicine

US medical schools are learning what primitive peoples knew centuries ago and what Gerald Celente and the Trends Research Institute reported decades ago: Food can often cure what ails you.

More than 20 medical schools, including UCLA and the University of Chicago, now require medical students to study not just nutrition, but also food preparation. At Tulane University in New Orleans, students take cooking courses to learn to prepare healthy meals, then teach their new skills to the area’s low-income residents. Healthier diets can prevent a significant portion of the chronic and lifestyle diseases that eat up more than half of US health care spending and are rampant among poor people.

Food also can be a first line of treatment instead of pharmaceutical drugs. For example, a doctor might encourage a heart patient to lower salt intake. However, knowing salt is hard to give up, instead of prescribing the drug tenapanor – and risking its side effects of cramps and diarrhea – to lower salt in the bloodstream, the doctor might show the person how lemon instead of salt can add beguiling tastes to familiar dishes.

 As Celente forecast in the first book he worked on, Natural Healing in 1986: Tomorrow’s health care system will be based in large part on self-care and healthy lifestyles, especially focused on understanding the role whole and clean foods play in preventing or reversing desease. Moreover, the institute sees enormous potential in educating children at a young age to value healthy foods – and the preparation of them – as an essential quality of living a productive life. “Schools should replace dated home economics classes with home health cooking and economics to dispel the myth that eating healthy is too costly, especially for lower-income families.”

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