How Food, The Chemical Messenger of the Body, Either Promotes Health or Disease

Adiel Gorel

Signs of a Poor Diet: Understanding The Roots of Disease Through Nutritional Biochemistry

My podcast guest Dr. John Neustadt is a clinician and researcher who has made it his life’s work to research signs of a poor diet, and help people eat what makes them healthier from within. He is an expert in integrative medicine who has published hundreds of medical articles and has contributed to numerous health and wellness books.

He started out studying literature, then wanted to be an environmental writer before finding his real calling when he started to study botany. He fell in love with biochemistry, particularly in the study of plants, and also ventured into ethnobotany, which is the study of how different people use plants as medicine and so on. John and I had a fascinating chat about nutritional biochemistry and more.

The Flexner Report and how it changed things.

John has deeply researched the way food can be health-giving or disease-causing, and how we as a society use pharmacological interventions even when we don’t have to. While John has no qualms about taking medications when indicated, the point is that the amount of pharmaceuticals prescribed and consumed is not wholly warranted. Healthcare should be about understanding the signs of a poor diet, deriving benefits from sunlight, eating the right things, exercising, and education. In other words, it should be about empowering the patient, but it has become about continuing treatments and patients not getting better.

John speaks about how the Flexner Report which was released about a hundred years ago changed a lot of things in the medical field, and not necessarily for the better. It made healthcare narrower and more driven by pharmacology and industrial processes. It became more about technology and pill-popping than natural curative processes. Now with the internet helping people become more informed and better organized, people are understanding the signs of a poor diet, and demanding healthier, more natural healing modalities as John explains.

Food is a chemical messenger.

signs of a poor diet

Food is the chemical messenger of the body. With every spoonful, we’re either feeding the disease, or we’re promoting our health. – Dr. John Neustadt

John explains how whatever we eat is either actively contributing to our wellness or is causing disease. The fact that we are eating things that are highly processed and far removed from their natural state, is responsible for a lot of what ails us as a population. I am a strong believer in the old adage let food be thy medicine, and John explains how that works.

He calls food the chemical messenger of the body in the way that it turns genes on and off, and how it moves our biochemistry in one or other direction. While the typical American diet is rich in macronutrients such as carbs, proteins, and fats, it lacks micronutrients such as essential vitamins and minerals. This is a big reason for the sharp increase in the risk of Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease, and early death. We need to read these signs of a poor diet. The fact that the food that we finally end up eating has undergone so much processing actually strips it of much of its goodness. As such we are simply not getting the kind of nutrition we need.

We speak about the function of magnesium at a cellular level, a Berkley study about zinc and copper deficiency, whole foods, organic produce, plant-based diets, and more. John explains why a good multivitamin can act as an insurance policy for our health. Tune in to this episode of The Adiel Gorel Show to listen to my interview with Dr. John Neustadt. 

Adiel Gorel

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