December 4, 2021

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For remarkable cuisine

Foods, herbs to manage some diseases

The rate at which I get text messages on what can be used for prostate enlargement is disturbing and this is why I had to put a hold on the medicinal plants series. This new series will be about discussions on some diseases (starting with prostate enlargement), foods and herbs to manage them. I will discuss the diagnosis of these diseases too. As it is the custom on this platform, each series starts with an introduction. Please, be my guest.

When I was told to give a name to this column, I threw it open to my siblings and they made suggestions. One of them cracked my ribs by suggesting, “Eat right or you die.” It is funny but that is the truth!  On a daily basis, we hurt our bodies by the food choices we make and this is why many of us are sick. At this point in my life, no one can tell me otherwise, food is definitely medicine to the body.

Let me share some stories with you. I belong to many groups on Facebook. There are also many pages that I follow. I find people’s testimonies amusing on a particular group that upholds abstinence from carbohydrates as a means of shedding weight and staying healthy. One gets to see things like, “Admin, you must look for my menses.” There are usually high cases of unplanned pregnancies! The truth is, when you eat right and your weight is reduced, if you are overweight, every part of your body will function perfectly. On the same platform, those who are hypertensive always see changes in their health. In fact, some may not even need their medications anymore. In another group, they had a “no soda challenge” sometime ago. One will be surprised at the good news people shared. A particular one goes this way, “This is the best menses I have had all my life.” I have a personal experience to share too. I have always had an oily and acne- prone face. In fact, I crack jokes that a vegetable oil factory is situated on my face. So, sometime last year, I decided I wanted to be a “good girl” to my health, so I stopped taking milk and sugar. The result shocked me because all my pimples cleared off! People around me even noticed the transformation. Do you still doubt what eating right can do to the body? Okay, this one will blow your mind. In 2003, at the age of 26, Bestselling author Chris Wark, was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. He had surgery, but instead of chemotherapy, he used nutrition and natural therapies to heal himself. He is still alive today and he is cancer free!

From the foregoing, you can see that our food choices can make or break our health. After all, we are what we eat. As good as food is to our bodies, it can still be the cause of ill health if we make wrong choices. Like one of the leading figures of early American history, Benjamin Franklin, said, “Few die of hunger, many die of eating.” Bestselling author, Dr Mark Hyman, also said that, “Food is the cause and food is the cure of most diseases. He further said that, “Food has the power to heal us. It is the most potent tool we have to help prevent and treat many of our chronic diseases.” Talking about healthy choices of food, one has to bear in mind that healthy food is grown, not processed. Also, the closer food is to its natural form, the better it is for us.

American inventor, Thomas Edison, predicted years ago that, “The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs but rather will cure and prevent diseases with nutrition.” I have been told that there is a section in Seventh Day Adventist Hospital, Ile-Ife, Osun State, where patients are treated with food and plants. So, Edison saw the future. For ages, the emphasis has been on eating healthy to attain optimum health. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, favoured the use of food in treating patients. He said, “Leave your drugs in the chemist’s pot if you can heal the patient with food.” He also said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine thy food.”

My mother told me a story some time ago. It happened in the 70s while she was at the hospital to give birth to my immediate younger sister. She said a woman’s blood pressure suddenly skyrocketed immediately after she had her baby. While the doctors and nurses panicked, the woman just told them to give her food. Immediately she ate, her blood pressure became normal! The woman knows her system already and she saved the situation that day. I had a funny experience last year. I had a pepperish feeling after urinating. It was quite strange because I know of a burning sensation like when one has a yeast infection, not a pepperish feeling. I sat down, looked back to days before to see if I could figure out the cause. It then dawned on me that I did not take water many days before the incident (I am not a fan of drinking water. It is a bad habit I am trying to overcome). I took lots of water and the feeling stopped. That was my body warning me about dehydration! The message is noted because I now take lots of water. How much of your body do you know? Our bodies talk to us, let us always listen.

That health challenge you are going through may not be hereditary but dietary. The fact that your grandfather died of diabetes does not mean you will be killed by the same disease. Even if it is hereditary, it does not mean it is written on stone, you can be a jinx breaker with a good diet. Diet is not enough; being physically active goes a long way. Getting your body moving and engaging in exercise comes with a series of health benefits. While your mental health certainly reaps advantages, so does your emotional and physical health. You do not even have to register in a gym to be fit. Walking is a good form of exercise. Regular medical check-ups allow you to nip diseases in the bud. A Facebook friend, Dr Mujajati Aaron, wrote on his wall recently, “You can never run away from a doctor, something or someone will bring you.” Not even a doctor can run away from a doctor!

An American cultural anthropologist, Margaret Mead, once said, “It is easier to change a man’s religion than to change his diet.” This is true because I actually returned to my sugar and milk even after discovering they are the fuel to my acne breakouts! We need to close our eyes to all unhealthy foods, no matter how much we love and enjoy them. This is a great sacrifice we must make to enjoy good health. Good nutrition is the greatest weapon at our disposal to fight and prevent diseases. That is what we are going to use in this warfare.

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