Photo: Stuart Fisher

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Eat Your Way to Better Health
Too often, we talk about the ways food can be a health hindrance, leading to conditions like heart disease and diabetes. However, doctors are learning more and more about its potential as a health helper.

From the time you take a bite, every ingredient you consume sets out on an incredible journey, eventually interacting with cells that make up your organs, tissues, and vessels. As a cardiac surgeon and professor, I’ve seen firsthand how these interactions can influence health and recovery. And research involving patients with an artificial heart suggests that a key predictor of their health outcomes is the quality of their nutrition.

But the health impact of what we eat extends far beyond the operating room. Many conditions or issues that are treated with a pill can probably also be helped by the right food, and a good diet can have a hugely beneficial effect on diabetes and high blood pressure. (And while food alone can’t replace cancer drugs or repair an arthritic knee, a healthy menu might help with recovery.) I’m so passionate about this that I’ve just written a book on the topic, Food Can Fix It, which explains the benefits of specific foods and shows you just how potent your plate can be. Here are my prescriptions for what to eat to treat several common ailments...