LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Pharmaceuticals may not be the best medicine for patients. Some doctors are now changing the way they treat patients - by taking them grocery shopping.
Physicians, such as Dr. Daniel Nadeau, are prescribing food rather than pills to fix the body.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly half of all Americans routinely take prescription drugs, and 75 percent of all doctor visits involve drugs.
To counter the dependency on drugs, Loma Linda University School of Medicine incorporated a special emphasis on lifestyle medicine in which physicians learn how to prescribe food instead of narcotics.
In fact, there is rising interest from doctors at the annual Food as Medicine Symposium on Feb. 11-12.
"We go to our doctors. We live an unhealthy lifestyle, and we just say: 'Give me a pill for that,' and 'I want to be healthy'," Nadeau said. "You might get your numbers down a bit, but you're not going to feel the best that you could feel."
Each month, Nadeau roams the aisles of supermarkets, giving shoppers new ideas to chew on.
Food can help remedy the most common issues with aging, according to Nadeau. "You can really do so much for your brain by including fresh or frozen berries in your diet everyday," he said.
Nadeau suggests consuming the following items to improve your health naturally:
— Avocados: have very healthy oil, which helps to lower cholesterol
— Carrots: contain a lot of beta kerotene, which is good for the eyes
— Blueberries: help prevent dementia
— Plant-based proteins: beans, seeds and nuts can lower the risk of heart disease
"Cultures that eat the highest number of beans in their diet have the longest life expectancy," Nadeau explained.
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