Sorry I have been out of commission the past few weeks…er months – I’ve been tied up with school and work, and well I do my best not to “half-ass” my posts (it’s the perfectionist in me — thanks mom!)
In order to keep myself accountable for more frequent postings (at least in the short-term) I plan to offer a series of postings focusing on replacing over the counter and prescription medication with what mother nature provided to us.
If we take a quick look at those who have lived the longest (at least 100 years old – we refer to these individuals as centenarians) – they did not have such high depression rates, obesity, cancer heart disease, and diabetes, were not a concern, and they lived in minimal discomfort. These individuals were not prescribed medications, but rather they consumed a nutrient-dense diet.
Hippocrates said it perfectly: “Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food”
Our culture today has traded in healthy foods for pills. Let’s take a look at the top most prescribed pills (courtesy of webmd.com):
- Hydrocodone (combined with acetaminophen) — 131.2 million prescriptions
- Generic Zocor (simvastatin), a cholesterol-lowering statin drug — 94.1 million prescriptions
- Lisinopril (brand names include Prinivil and Zestril), a blood pressure drug — 87.4 million prescriptions
- Generic Synthroid (levothyroxine sodium), synthetic thyroid hormone — 70.5 million prescriptions
- Generic Norvasc (amlodipine besylate), an angina/blood pressure drug — 57.2 million prescriptions
- Generic Prilosec (omeprazole), an antacid drug — 53.4 million prescriptions (does not include over-the-counter sales)
- Azithromycin (brand names include Z-Pak and Zithromax), an antibiotic — 52.6 million prescriptions
- Amoxicillin (various brand names), an antibiotic — 52.3 million prescriptions
- Generic Glucophage (metformin), a diabetes drug — 48.3 million prescriptions
- Hydrochlorothiazide (various brand names), a water pill used to lower blood pressure — 47.8 million prescriptions.
Do you see a trend going on? Drugs for blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid, cholesterol and pain. All of these can be if not prevented, then alleviated by the healing properties of food.
Unfortunately, we are consuming a diet full of “nutrients” that will contribute to those health conditions. Each day I have a habit of observing what others are consuming, and think of all the additives, excess calories and fat, and lack of REAL nutrients are in what they are eating…then I wonder – do they even comprehend what they are consuming?! For example… a guy sitting near me at Starbucks right now is full on chowing down on a thick roast beef sandwich on a white hoagie with oil dripping out onto his fingers along with thick coleslaw.
Sorry for jumping onto my soapbox here….but there is NOTHING healthy about what he is eating. And since I mentioned that I am at Starbucks…90% of the things they sell will contribute to the listed health conditions. Sure some are “low in calories” but they are high in refined sugar and fat, and lack protein and fiber. Sure there are “healthier options” but those are healthy in comparison to the regular options. It is no wonder our population is suffering from so many health conditions, and are resorting to medications on a daily basis.
However, if we were to focus on WHOLE foods in their natural state, many of these health issues can be alleviated, and prevented.
I will use this posting as an introduction to a series of more holistic alternatives to common medications – which have provided a great deal of support through evidence to provide relief of common symptoms of the previously mentioned health conditions (I cannot say “prove” as in the scientific realm, nothing can actually be proven).
*DISCLAIMER – I will primarily be focusing on replacing common medications (over the counter and prescribed), not necessarily supplements. While a natural and whole food-based diet is essential for a nutrient dense diet, it is still challenging to get in all the nutrients we need to support our bodies for our current lifestyle.