Over the past few decades, health care has been shaped by pharmaceutical giants, so it’s not surprising that we pop pills and seek expensive medical treatments even for the most minor health conditions.
Unfortunately, there’s a downside to this over reliance on drugs and doctors are becoming increasingly wary of the problem, stressing the need to use diet and lifestyle in disease prevention and treatment.
So far however, evidence for the efficacy of dietary interventions in disease treatment has been hard to come by, but a recent study in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology confirmed that dietary approaches were adequate to control Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, even sending it into remission.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, so let’s take a look at some other promising food cures for diseases that are quite prevalent in India.
Foods That Cure Diseases
Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
“Researchers found that watermelons can help in ED treatment, as a compound called citrulline has a relaxing effect on blood vessels, similar to ED drugs”
Because of our lifestyle, erectile dysfunction is becoming increasingly common even in young adults, with reports showing that 1 in 4 patients is under the age of 30. Fortunately, the condition may not require multiple trips to a doctor and expensive drugs.
Researchers at Texas A&M University found that watermelons may actually have a role to play in ED treatment, as a compound called citrulline has a relaxing effect on blood vessels, thereby improving blood flow for better erections – something that ED patients normally have to depend on drugs for.
“Studies show that fresh juice of karelas can lower blood sugar levels and can be even more potent than certain oral hypoglycemic drugs”
Diabetes affects more than 60 million Indians and these figures are only expected to soar over the next decade. The high costs of diabetes drugs makes it imperative to find alternative methods of treatment that can be even slightly effective. Researchers have been investigating such dietary cures for diabetes for several years and have made some promising discoveries.
Bitter melon, popularly known as karela, has long been used in traditional Indian medicine to fight diabetes and researchers have found that fresh juice of the fruit can lower blood sugar levels.
The juice was found to contain compounds that may be more powerful than certain oral hypoglycemic drugs.
“Findings that appeared in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition show that whole grains & psyllium husk can protect against heart disease by lowering bad cholesterol & C-reactive protein levels”
With heart disease affecting millions of Indians, it should come as no surprise that heart attacks claim at least one life every 33 seconds! By the time you’re done reading this article at least 4 people may have succumbed to heart disease – that’s food for thought.
Fortunately, dietary measures for heart disease prevention are highly effective; but, food can also help to treat existing conditions like high cholesterol and hypertension.
Studies published in various journals including the American & European Journal of Clinical Nutrition show that whole grains and psyllium husk can protect against heart disease and ischemic stroke, lowering bad cholesterol levels and C-reactive protein, which may predict heart attack risk.
Experts recommend that heart patients focus on high-fiber foods however, rather than using fiber supplements.
“Studies in the Journal of Natural Products suggest that turmeric could help relieve arthritic symptoms through its suppressing effect on inflammatory body chemicals”
Osteoarthritis is another condition that was once associated with old age, but is also affecting young Indians today. According to conservative reports, the condition affects at least 15 million Indians each year.
Instead of seeking expensive joint replacement procedures though, you could turn to a trusted kitchen ingredient. Spices like ginger and turmeric are known to possess anti-inflammatory properties, and some studies now support the use of turmeric in the treatment of arthritic conditions.
A review of such studies in the Journal of Natural Products suggests that turmeric could help through its suppressing effect on inflammatory body chemicals.
The 30 Second Takeaway
Keep in mind that while diet can be extremely effective at preventing and treating certain health conditions, medications and medical treatments can be life saving. Do not neglect medical attention solely because you believe that your ailment can be cured with food.
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