Food Is Medicine: A Powerful Idea Takes Hold


What if you didn’t need to take medication or get an expensive treatment to manage your disease? What if instead of prescribing drugs your doctor wrote you a prescription for vegetables?

If that sounds far-fetched, it’s not. It’s happening right now. All across the country, healthcare organizations are embracing the idea that food is, in fact, medicine.

“There’s no question people can take things a long way toward reversing diabetes, reversing hypertension, even preventing cancer by food choices,” Dr. Daniel Nadeau of St. Joseph Hoag Health told NPR in a recent story.

The idea is gaining traction here in West Michigan too. A few years ago, Spectrum Health developed the Nutritional Options for Wellness program. The NOW Program, administered by Access of West Michigan, aims to help food pantry clients manage their chronic illnesses through diet, healthy living classes, and regular contacts with health professionals.

To learn more about the intersections between food and healthcare, check out the full NPR story.

To find out what’s going on here in West Michigan, take a look at Access’s NOW Program and learn about Spectrum Health’s healthy food prescription program, Spectrum Healthier Communities.