Health Watch: Researchers say food is medicine!

ORLANDO, Fla. (KFSN) -- The list of health problems caused by being overweight seems endless, including type two diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep apnea, and kidney disease according to the NIH. But the answer to these ailments is simpler than you might think. Researchers at Tufts University are proving that eating an apple a day really does keep the doctor away! And that confirms this doctor's advice. Food is medicine."There's a growing body of evidence that shows that healthy nutrition and medically tailored meals can significantly improve overall health outcomes," stated Richard Seidman, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer, L.A. Care Health Plan.

A recent study looked at the economic and health benefits that would occur if 30 percent of the cost of healthy food were covered by insurance for those with Medicare and Medicaid. Those healthy foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, seafood and plant-based oils.

"There's so much evidence that the more we eat that's plant-based, that's not processed, so fresh from garden to kitchen is the direction to lean in," Dr. Seidman continued.

The model found that healthy food prescriptions could be more effective than certain drug treatments. And over a lifetime it would prevent more than three million cardiovascular disease cases, prevent over 120 thousand diabetes cases, and save 102 billion dollars in healthcare costs. The researchers say this finding supports the concept that food is medicine.

Healthline.com says the top three healthiest vegetables are spinach, carrots and broccoli. And top three fruits are grapefruit, pineapple, and avocado. This study was part of a collaboration of researchers working to identify cost effective strategies to improve health in the U.S.
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