The food pharmacy is not at all a kitchen cabinet full of foods that miraculously cure different ailments, it is an idea—how the food can help prevent and even treat disease. A "food pharmacist" realizes that there will not be an instant difference in health when eating differently, but instead a long-term and healthier difference.
Studies suggest that diet plays an important role in health. This suggests that a diet made up of 80 to 90 percent plant materials might be the best for guarding against cancer and heart disease.
The citizens of the most industrialized countries have high incidences of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity, to name just a few of our problems, leading to heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems; and obesity (being 20% overweight), which, when compared to a person of average weight, means that you have three times more possibility of a heart attack, five times more of diabetes, and six times more of developing gall bladder diseases. Is our modern, rich food worth the health price we pay?
What does a food pharmacist do?
What does a food pharmacist say about this? Changing your diet acts as preventive medicine to some of major health problems (and is a lot less expensive and less stressful that a heart bypass). The food pharmacist begins consuming less of the foods that are bad for our bodies, and more of the foods that help our bodies. A quick rule of thumb would be to begin eliminating fats and sugar from your diet and limit the cholesterol and salt, because these substances to high cholesterol and clogged arteries and obesity and its problems. In replacement, use whole grains, tubers, fruits, vegetables, and drink plenty of water.
A diet that stresses vegetables and fruits provides you less risk of developing the aforementioned "industrial" diseases. Vegetables and fruit do not have a lot of cholesterol or sugar. You can eat more without gaining weight. And finally, fruits and vegetables may provide added protection against cancer. Research studies have identified thousands of phytochemicals, natural chemical compounds produced by plants, that appear to be able to either repair damaged cells or prevent pre-cancerous damage from occurring.
Can foods cure us? Consider this: Twenty-five percent of all prescription drugs used throughout the world are derived from natural plant substances. If you count fungus and molds, that figure jumps to 50 percent. Penicillin was isolated from bread mold. Malaria can be prevented and cured with quinine, a substance derived from cinchona bark. Morphine is made from an extract of the poppy plant. The list goes on.
If we continue to study the plants in the world around us—both the food plants and others—we might will prove Hippocrates correct when he said "Food is your best medicine and the best foods are the best medicine." and support the Chinese herbalist Shin Huang who said "It is diet which maintains true health and becomes the best drug." Who knows, maybe someday your physician will prescribe foods. Wouldn't that be great?
Fruits in general, contain caffeic acid, which helps make carcinogens water soluble and easier to excrete.
Apple: Boron, mineral linked to the prevention of osteoporosis
Cantaloupe, kiwi, mango, papaya: Vitamin C, an antioxidant; helps immune system by stimulating white blood cells
Bananas: Potassium, which may help regulate blood pressure
In general, limone, which increases activity of enzymes that eliminate carcinogens.
Oranges, grapefruit: A variety of phytochemicals that may reduce inflammation that causes asthma, arthritis, and allergies.
Pineapple: Bromelain, an enzyme that may relieve symptoms of heart disease and asthma.
Manganese; which helps build bones.
Broccoli: Dithiolthiones, which may speed up production of enzymes that protect DNA from damage. Sulforaphane, which may be used prevent breast cancer.
Cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, mustard greens, rutabaga, turnip green, Indoles: which might lower risk of breast cancer. Isothiocynates, which help protect DNA.
Peppers: Phytochemicals, which may prevent carcinogens from activity.
Capsaicin: which is used to treat arthritis.
Tomatoes: Vitamin C, an antioxidant, Lycopne, which may be linked to lower incidences of cancer.
Carrots: Beta carotene, an antioxidant; might prevent and treat cancer; lowers cholesterol
Asparagus: Fiber, vitamin C, and calcium; and a phytochemical that may prevent cervical cancer
Garlic, onion: Allyl sulfides, which have antibiotic properties and may help an enzyme that removes carcinogens in the body.
Soybeans: Genistein, which may be able to block tumor growth.