🔑 Key Takeaways
- Eating high-quality, phytochemical-rich foods impacts our biology in real-time, determining our health outcomes. By viewing food as information, we can regulate our biology and prevent chronic illness.
- Food plays a critical role in creating a healthy body. Choosing the right diet can heal imbalances and treat the root cause of diseases, while a western processed diet can cause nasty bugs and compounds leading to sickness and weight gain.
- Eating an anti-inflammatory, plant-rich diet with phytochemical dense and high fiber foods can help reduce inflammation and maintain good health. Food is essential information that can positively impact overall well-being or lead to disease.
- Poor nutrition is a major contributor to chronic diseases that kill over 11 million people annually. Despite this, the US neglects to invest in nutrition research. There's a pressing need for a National Institute of Nutrition to promote policy changes to address this crisis.
- Doctors need to be better educated on the impact of nutrition on chronic diseases, and believe that dietary changes can make a significant difference. Including more cruciferous vegetables in one's diet can help reverse chronic diseases.
- Incorporating prebiotic fibers, probiotics, polyphenols, fruits, vegetables, proteins, and good fats in diet can improve immunity, microbiome, and detox pathways. Functional medicine approach involves identifying the root cause of fatigue and personalized treatment plan.
- Functional medicine approach for managing fatigue comprises of personalized diagnostic tests, assessing nutrition, hormonal balance, gut health, mold, toxins, allergens, and microbes. Small lifestyle changes, like following a nutritious diet, getting adequate sleep, managing stress, and avoiding toxins, can go a long way in improving one's energy and overall health.
- Eliminating processed food, increasing movement and sleep, and adding in Vitamin D and multi-fish oil can improve health. Experiment with caffeine and understand your body's metabolic pathways. Consult a healthcare professional if lifestyle adjustments aren't enough.
- Limit caffeine intake, monitor glucose levels, prioritize protein and vegetables, and get adequate sleep to feel vibrant and address chronic diseases beyond diet and exercise.
- Combat poor sleep by getting sunlight in the day, consuming magnesium-rich foods, winding down before bedtime, and taking supplements. Functional medicine doctors take a holistic approach to addressing underlying issues that affect sleep.
- While conventional medicine may focus on symptom management, functional medicine aims to address underlying root causes of insomnia such as chronic stress, low magnesium, and inflamed microbiome through an anti-inflammatory diet. Better sleep can also improve overall health by reducing carbohydrate cravings and weight gain.
- Having a calming bedtime routine that avoids screens, incorporates relaxation techniques, and preparing a low sugar breakfast in the morning can promote better sleep and weight management.
📝 Podcast Summary
Food as Information for Optimal Health
Food is not just calories. It contains powerful compounds that drive biology, prevents disease and regulates every system in our body, including the seven systems of functional medicine. Eating high-quality, phytochemical-rich foods impacts our biology in real-time and can change it in days or minutes. Plants and animals that eat a wide variety of plants have a high level of phytonutrients, which when consumed by humans, creates a symbiotic phyto adaptation. The quality of the food we eat matters as it determines whether we live a long, healthy life or die quickly. Expanding our idea of food from just fuel and energy to being information can help us regulate our biology and prevent chronic illnesses.
A new approach to medicine using functional, network, and biology as modern tools.
The current view of disease based on symptoms and diagnoses is outdated and doesn't reveal the root cause of the disease. The re-imagining of medicine through Functional medicine, biology, and network medicine is the future. The body is organized into seven basic systems controlling every aspect of the body and imbalances in these systems cause diseases. Diet is the single biggest thing that positively or negatively affects these systems. Picking the right foods can help create a healthy microbiome and balance the seven systems, while a western processed diet can cause nasty bugs and compounds leading to sickness and weight gain. Reimagining medicine with food as medicine can heal imbalances and treat the root cause of diseases.
The Power of Food on Our Health
Food is a powerful tool that affects every aspect of our health, from our immune system to our hormones, brain chemistry, and overall structure. Eating an inflammatory diet high in sugar, processed foods, and refined oils can drive our biology towards inflammation, which is at the root of most diseases. However, consuming a plant-rich diet that is anti-inflammatory, phytochemical dense, and high in fiber can help reduce inflammation. Good nutrition also helps regulate detoxification, hormones, energy production, circulation, and structure. In essence, food is information that changes gene expression, microbiome, epigenome, and master switches around aging longevity. Therefore, the quality of the food you eat is the single most important factor that can either create health and vitality or generate disease and glitchy software.
The Urgent Need for a National Institute of Nutrition in America
Diet is the number one killer in the world, causing more deaths from chronic disease than smoking or infectious disease. Despite this, the national Institute of health spends almost nothing on nutrition and chronic disease. Obesity and chronic disease caused by food are on the rise as the leading causes of death worldwide, taking around 11 million lives each year. America with the world’s best healthcare system is also the unhealthiest population due to the modern American diet. There is a need for a national Institute of nutrition to advocate policy change and address the chronic disease crisis. More countries have this institute but America does not.
The Need for Personalized Nutrition Education In Medical Schools
Doctors receive very little education about nutrition and its impact on chronic diseases in medical school, and this needs to change. Doctors also lack the belief that changing one's diet can actually make a significant difference in managing chronic diseases. Personalized nutrition education and training for doctors can make a significant impact in the healthcare system. In addition, improving one's diet can reverse chronic diseases and the human body responds positively to whole foods. Adequate amounts of cruciferous vegetables are important to be included in one’s diet.
Importance of Choosing Nutrient-Rich Foods and Functional Medicine Approach for Overall Health
Choosing the right foods based on their health benefits is important in maintaining overall health. Foods that are high in prebiotic fibers, probiotics, and polyphenols can help in improving the immune system, microbiome, and detox pathways. It is important to have a diet that includes a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, quality proteins, good fats, nuts, and seeds. When dealing with fatigue, it is essential to identify and address the underlying cause of it rather than focusing on treating the symptom. Functional medicine approach emphasizes on understanding the root cause of the problem by taking a detailed history, conducting physical and lab tests, and formulating a personalized treatment plan.
Functional Medicine Approach for Managing Fatigue.
Fatigue is a complex issue that requires a deep understanding of the patient's symptoms and overall health picture. Functional medicine asks two critical questions - what is causing an imbalance in the body, and what does the body need to thrive? Diagnostic tests are tailored to assess nutrition, hormonal balance, gut health, mold, toxins, allergens, and microbes. A person's habits and lifestyle significantly influence their energy levels. While Functional medicine doctors have advanced diagnostic tools, small lifestyle changes like following a nutritious diet, getting adequate sleep, managing stress, and avoiding toxins can help to alleviate generalized fatigue. Thus, working on one's habits and lifestyle can go a long way in improving one's energy and overall health.
Functional Medicine: Making Small Changes for a Big Impact on Health
Functional medicine involves taking out bad stuff and putting in good stuff to improve health. This means eliminating processed food, junk, caffeine, alcohol, sugar, and increasing movement and sleep. Vitamin D and multi-fish oil can also help with deficiencies. Simple things like hot and cold treatments, exercise, and stress reduction can make a huge difference in overall health. Caffeine affects individuals differently, and it's worth experimenting how someone feels with and without it. It's important to know your body and understand your metabolic pathways. If lifestyle adjustments don't work, it's important to consult a healthcare professional to find the root cause of health issues. Overall, health problems are solvable with proper attention and lifestyle adjustments.
Simple Lifestyle Changes to Boost Energy and Overall Health
Limiting caffeine to one cup a day and taking a caffeine holiday can give more energy. Continuous glucose monitoring can help understand how food affects energy and mood, and cutting out sugar and starch in favor of protein and vegetables can recalibrate metabolism and brain chemistry. Sleep is important for clearing brain waste and getting enough deep sleep is essential for feeling vibrant and functional. The ideal amount of sleep is individual, but between 7-9 hours is best. Taking sleep deprivation seriously is crucial for addressing chronic diseases beyond diet and exercise.
Holistic approaches to combating poor sleep.
Poor sleep is caused by a variety of factors, such as lack of sunlight, high-starch diets, alcohol, caffeine, stress, and low magnesium levels. To combat poor sleep, it's recommended to get sufficient sunlight but avoid exercising too late, consume magnesium-rich foods, wind down before bedtime, and take magnesium supplements and melatonin. Mark Hyman personally experiences sleep issues while traveling, but he's learned to mitigate them with a bedtime routine. Conventional medicine typically treats poor sleep by identifying issues like sleep apnea, while Functional medicine doctors take a more holistic approach to address underlying issues and improve sleep quality.
Conventional vs. Functional Medicine Approaches to Insomnia
Conventional medicine approaches insomnia by suggesting therapy, sleep pills, and better sleep hygiene without addressing the underlying cause of sleep disruption. Functional medicine takes a different approach by looking at potential root causes such as chronic stress, low magnesium, or inflamed microbiome. An anti-inflammatory diet can help reduce inflammation in the brain, leading to better sleep quality. Sleep can also be a missing link in overall health, as seen in cases such as a caffeine addict who improved after caffeine and inflammation were addressed, and a lawyer who lost 50 pounds by addressing his sleep apnea. Poor sleep can lead to carbohydrate cravings and weight gain.
Importance of Sleep Rituals to Promote Better Sleep and Weight Management
Sleep deprivation can lead to hormonal changes that increase hunger and cravings for carbohydrates, leading to weight gain. Having a sleep ritual at night can help calm the nervous system and prepare the body for restful sleep. This can involve activities such as taking a hot bath, reading, writing, yoga, stretching, deep breathing exercises, or getting a massage. It is also important to decompress and unwind before bed by avoiding screens, engaging in relaxing activities, and avoiding stressful thoughts. In the morning, setting up a routine that involves meditation, grounding, exposure to sunlight, and a low sugar breakfast can help set up the circadian rhythm for the day, reduce cravings for unhealthy foods, and promote better sleep at night.