I believe that food is the first step in maintaining life and holistic health. This is the nature's way of nurturing & healing the creatures. It doesn't matter that someone is living a healthy life or caught in a disease/disorder but the importance of correct foods play their role in all respects. In fact, human body is built on the foundation of nutrients present in the foods ingested and continues to grow with the same nutrients. Body does not need to be 'drugged' until there is a direct threat to human life.
When we say food, it means human food which comes approximately 60% from crops (grains, veggie & fruits), 30% from animals, 8% water and rest 2% from inorganic sources (ratios may be different from cultures to cultures). We remain healthy when total calories extracted from our daily food is within the ranges of 55% from carbohydrates, 35% from proteins and only 10% from fats. Unfortunately we poison our bodies not only by taking food with wrong proportions but also by choosing wrong foods, drinks and timings as well as we are simply not using food for the purpose that food was created. Mind it that the same healthy food may become harmful if taken at wrong time or in wrong quantity.
Medicines, on the other hand are made from the isolated food compounds and then synthetically refined so become much more toxic than their plant or animal sources. Since they are very specifically the target oriented, rapid in action, more potent and limited in duration, so they are failed to replicate the desirable actions of plants and animals they come from. Furthermore, they lack natural safeguards that are present in those substrates. If we carefully analyze the composition of drugs, it is invariably found that there is really no cure in drugs or medicines. Our bodies do not need artificial remedies, rather our body needs only the opportunity to exercise its own innate powers of self-healing mechanism. Thus it is demand of the time to understand the healing process, it entails how to build it, and keep it for desired results which is especially expected by the medical practitioners and the patients as well.
The general Diet Care role of drugs and medicines should not be undermined because they save lives in critical cases. The most interesting fact, I would like to share about brighter side of medicine is that it has helped the humanity to raise life expectancy in the 20th century which is some 82 years in America and 68 years in Pakistan but contrary to that a darker side of the food is that it has shortened the life expectancy due to overeating and misuse of opportunity. The lesson to learn is to use both food and medicine within their limits thus going out-of-proportion is killing anyway.
There are certain plant species which have medicinal powers (called herbs) and many of them are always present in our kitchens, like garlic, ginger. fennel, turmeric, peppermint, cinnamon, etc. They are good to improve digestion of regular and 'extra' foods but their optimum use is still a question because scientific dose has not been fixed as yet. We must use them but their blind use may be killing too.
The use of foods with planning can help in general wellbeing of a person as well as can correct sick conditions. It is called 'Food Therapy'. It tells about guiding people for good health through making good choices, and offers expert advice in the management of various disorders and diseases.
Dr. Sultan Mahmood