food items pouring out of medicine bottles

Food is Medicine

Last updated: September 2022

Although we may consider the phrase "food is medicine" to be part of our society’s more recent trend towards healthy eating, this phrase is actually attributed to Hippocrates, the Greek founder of Western Medicine (circa 400BC).

“Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food.”

How can food play a role?

Thankfully, we do not have to rely solely on food as medicine as they had to way back in 400 BC, but let’s consider that our food choices can make a big difference in our recovery and quality of life. And a great thing about living in the 21st century is that we have wonderful science to help us make good choices.

I do recognize how confusing the research can be with one study conflicting another. As a prostate cancer patient researching and studying which treatment options to choose, the idea of now weeding through more literature and recommendations could be overwhelming for sure. My hope is that this article will provide a direction that will make your food choices more simplified.

An option: the mediterranean diet

Here is my simple recommendation: The Mediterranean Diet. Why this one?

Some research has found that the diet can reduce the risk of aggressive prostate cancer, or the risk of the cancer progressing. The diet may also lower the risk of other issues, such as heart disease.1

One of the co-authors of a 2018 study in the Journal of Urology on this topic stated: “If other researchers confirm these results, the promotion of the Mediterranean dietary pattern might be an efficient way of reducing the risk of developing advanced PC, in addition to lowering the risk of other prevalent health problems in men such as cardiovascular disease."1

Diet is all about balance

The bottom line is that the totality of what you eat matters more than eating a single food or even eliminating a single food or food group. Adopting an overall plan of eating pulling from a good variety of foods should help simplify the process.

Make no mistake, if you currently eat Frosted Flakes or Pop-Tarts for breakfast and pull through McDonald's for lunch, this will be a change and may take some effort. Slow and steady progress towards changing habits is the best way to achieve the goal of lifestyle and food choice changes. Be kind and gentle with yourself, no judgments. Of course, if you choose to cut out processed, fast food cold turkey and move immediately into a more healthful and cancer-fighting diet, then go for it!

Find what works best for you

The beauty of a simplified choice is that there is plenty of information online about what the Mediterranean diet is and recipes that will allow you to eat delicious food that will help you feel better and may even help in your prostate cancer care. Win/ Win.

“If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health.” -- Hippocrates

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