You might not realize it but food was the very first medicine used by ancient human ancestors. Over time ancient people learned that certain foods help certain conditions and our ancient ancestors began to build a knowledge base that was soon passed down from one generation to another. The keepers of this healing knowledge were called by many names but I prefer the term “shaman.” As time continued these ancient shamans continued to build on their knowledge base by figuring out which foods and which herbs helped which conditions. And, again, this knowledge was passed down to the next generation of shamans.

Sadly, today we have come to depend on modern medicine which produces chemical drugs for anything and everything that ails us but, often, with some very significant and even dangerous side effects. For example, I don’t know about you but for me I’m not willing to get “perfect skin” at the risk of also developing heart problems or seizure disorders. Frankly, when I see these drug commercials on TV and listen to the side effects it’s rather frightening. What many of us today don’t realize is that there are alternatives and these alternatives don’t have these dangerous side effect BUT they take longer to work as they don’t deliver “instantly.”

I came across a commercial on the Internet last week hosted by an inventor who is also an attorney. I guess he suffered from thinning hair since his early 20s and he had tried on the latest products for his condition including Rogaine among others. During his infomercial he admitted that these products did nothing! He said they were a waste of money and a waste of his time.

This guy began to do some “experimentation” on his own after acquiring an interest in food as medicine. He completely changed his diet which apparently consisted of a lot of fast food and microwave food. He started eating dark green leaf vegetables, yellow peppers, tomatoes, an a host of other foods mostly raw as most of the time when we cook these foods we overcook them and kill off many of the nutrients. He says after about 2 months on this new diet he began growing hair! By doing a bit more research he discovered that most hair loss is caused form an enzyme and these foods block that enzyme. He may well be on to something and eating raw vegetables is certainly safer than some of the hair loss products on the market in my opinion.

I’m sure you have a grandmother, aunt, mother, or other relative that likes to push chicken soup when you have a cold or the flu. For decades modern people thought chicken soup being helpful in alleviating the flu or a cold was just an “old wives tale.” Then some research was actually done a few years ago and lo and behold that research found that there IS indeed something in chicken soup that helps cure the common cold and flu!! “Old wives tale”? Try ANCIENT KNOWLEDGE!

Yesterday yet another study reported involving broccoli and prostate cancer. This research was conducted by the Oregon State University. They have concluded that the dietary compound found in broccoli known as “Sulforaphane” which is KNOWN now to help prevent prostate cancer may work through its influence on long, non-coding RNAs.

This research provides yet more evidence for how these long non-coding RNAs might play a crucial role in turning cells on to becoming malignant. Further, we once thought these genes were “junk DNA” but we have found out they are, in fact, NOT! This study adds to the growing body of evidence the lncRNAs play a major role in cell biology and development by controlling what genes are turned on so they can carry out their function. Studies seem to indicate that when these lcnRNAs are deregulated they actually contribute to several diseases including cancer!

What this means is that the control of lncRNAs might give us a new way to prevent OR slow the progression of cancerous cells in the body! It also might mean that this study is a turning point for our understanding of how cancer might be triggered and spreads.

Broccoli is a food with this DIETARY COMPOUND at some of the highest levels. This could initiate an entirely new range of dietary strategies, foods, or drugs that may play a role in cancer suppression or control. This study also showed that on lcnRNA is unregulated in prostate cancer (LINCO1116) but that it can be decreased by treatment with the compound found in broccoli, Sulforaphane. This study also demonstrates AGAIN that DIET IS important! And what we eat DOES affect our bodies and physical health!! If we eat junk food then it should come as no surprise when our health turns to “junk”!

The OSU research further showed that treatment with Sulforaphane can normalize levels of this lncRNA and this might even go beyond cancer prevention as it might help researchers develop strategies for slowing cancer. Researchers in this study also noted that increased consumption of Sulforaphane containing foods appear to be associated with LOWER RISKS of developing prostate cancer and I would extend that and postulate it likely includes other types of cancers as well.

in this age of instant this and instant that, pop it in the microwave we have forgotten the significance of food as medicine! Perhaps we should take a few looks BACK and not only appreciate the knowledge that our ancient ancestors had but USE IT! We just might find that much of what ails us “magically” goes away or doesn’t hurt us that bad.

In some ancient cultures they had what they called “water doctors.”  These were shamans who specialized in water and health, basically.  Somehow these people knew that the human body is mostly water and that much of what ails us can be directly traced back to not enough or even too much water intake!  They monitored the intake and output of water by people who came to them and recommended either more and less water intake.  It seems to have worked with many of those who came to them so instead of grabbing that BIG GULP maybe we should be grabbing that bottled water.

An ancient Greek philosopher once recommended “everything in moderation” and that’s actually a good rule to follow.  Too little OR too much of something often has negative effects on our bodies.  We REALLY need to take a close look at what we eat and what we don’t eat when it comes to our health in general because far too often we end up just stuffing our gut with junk!

Finally, here’s something else to consider.  Researchers are no longer recommending that we drink 20 million gallons of water per day as they’ve now decided that our bodies tell us when we need water IF we pay attention to our bodies.  That actually is very true but DON’T wait to the point of dehydration!  Our bodies will also tell us when we’ve had enough water and that signal usually comes when we have to “choke down” that last drink of water.  If you have to choke it down then you’ve had enough.  Also, you know those cravings you have for such things as olives, pickles, a great tossed salad, fruit, fish, certain meats, etc?  Some researchers are now recommending we give into these cravings because it is our bodies telling us it needs something in that food.  Understand I am NOT talking cravings for junk food because normally those cravings are for the sugar content which does us more harm than good.

Foods really were the first medicines along with herbs and I have a suspicion that our ancient human ancestors might have been very choosy about what they ate.  Why? Consider the environments they lived in and consider the demands those environs made on them physically.  Had they been weak in body they would have never survived but THEY DID and that tells me they just didn’t eat or drink anything that came along! Perhaps we need to go back to that rule and pass up much of the junk foods that are put before us as they are mostly composed of refined sugars and corn syrups that end up sending us down a road most of us never intended to be on.

Far too often the media and entertainment industry portray our ancient ancestors as brute idiots but I suspect just the reverse was the TRUTH.  Had our ancient ancestors been brute idiots then none of us would be around today as we would have quickly gone into extinction.  We are here today ON PURPOSE!  And we can thank our ancient ancestors for that!!  Ancient ancestors who were far from being brutes and idiots.