Doctors write prescriptions for vegetables

Doctors who formerly wrote prescriptions for drugs are now writing prescriptions for vegetables and fruit in a New York City health initiative. At Lincoln Medical Center in the Bronx, doctors have changed the way they are treating kids with asthma, diabetes and weight problems. Instead of drugs, they write prescriptions that can be swapped for Health Bucks accepted at 140 farm markets in the city, including one that is set up right outside the hospital. Participants receive $1 per day for each person in their family. So a family of four get $28 of free produce a week.

Fourteen-year-old Johanna Terron is one of about 110 children enrolled in the program for her weight and asthma. Each week, she comes to the hospital where they check her weight, her blood sugar and blood pressure. And then she leaves the appointment with a prescription she can exchange for free produce. Johanna says that before she started the program she had never touched vegetables because she didn't like them. Instead she went to Burger King almost every day and ate a lot of junk like chips, candy, soda and ice cream. But over the last year, Johanna has completely overhauled her diet. She's lost more than 20 pounds and can exercise now because her asthma is better.

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Sue's comment

As increasing studies suggest a link between animal fats in meat and dairy and Western diseases, it's good to see doctors addressing the cause rather than medicating the symptoms.

Vegetables are the key to health. Failsafers are often surprised to realise that - including legumes - there are 38 low salicylate vegetables and 27 moderate salicylate vegetables listed in the RPAH Elimination Diet handbook. This includes 4 different kinds of green beans and 4 different kinds of cabbage:  French, butter, snake or string, red, green, savoy and wombok.

Vegetables and cancer

One woman wrote 'My doctor told me I should eat broccoli to prevent cancer. But broccoli isn't failsafe. Is there anything else I can eat?'

Yes, there is. Of the top six breast cancer fighting vegetables - found in laboratories to inhibit breast cancer cell growth by 100% - five are failsafe:garlic

  • leeks
  • scallions (also called shallots or spring onions see Wikipedia scallion photo)
  • Brussels sprouts
  • cabbage

The other one was cauliflower (not failsafe). Other failsafe vegetables that inhibited breast cancer cell growth were green beans, red cabbage, potatoes, celery, lettuce and beets (moderate in salicylates). Effects are similar for other cancers. In laboratory studies, some fruits and vegetables such as grapefruit, avocado and tomatoes (not failsafe due to high salicylate and amine levels) have been found to actually increase cancer cell growth. Further reading: Anti-Cancer by Dr David Servan-Schreiber.

Vegetables and heart disease

After being diagnosed with a heart problem last year, another failsafer wrote (story[1243]):

'One cardiologist wanted me to lower my cholesterol levels  through medication. When I said to him I would like to try it through diet the answer was: "That is not easy, I wish you good luck".  I really had the idea that there should be a natural way through diet.

Seven months later my conclusion is that a vegetable based diet very low in fats with some grains and legumes is at least as good as being on statins for both the cholesterol level and protection against heart attacks. Taking the side effects into account, I think it is actually much better since the side effects of a healthy diet are much more far reaching than heart disease. Hence I’m no longer using statins.and the cardiologist is quite happy with my cholesterol levels.

Apart from achieving good cholesterol levels, improved energy, much better skin and a clearer head, I discovered that the rates of heart disease, strokes, diabetes type 2, cancer and even autoimmune diseases like arthritis, lupus, MS, Crohn’s and more are actually heavily influenced by what we eat. Strangely enough this does not seem common knowledge, not among our specialists either. Currently it is not reflected in our dietary guidelines.' - see the full story

Whole food plant based diets

There is now a huge amount of research suggesting that whole food plant based (low fat vegan) diets may prevent a wide range of health problems including some cancers, obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular heart disease.  It is possible to be a failsafe vegan, see our failsafe weightloss factsheet

More information

[1243] Statins caused insomnia so I lowered my cholesterol levels through a healthy diet (October 2013)

Jane Brody, Huge study of diet indicts fat and meat NY Times, 1990

Cornell University, Switch to Western diet might bring Western diseases, 'Even small increases in the consumption of animal-based foods was associated with increased disease risk'

Dr John McDougall, Your health is not determined by heredity,

Failsafe vegan on our failsafe weightloss factsheet

- thanks to Joe, NSW for recommending this story

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