In many medical systems, such as Traditional Chinese Medicine , Ayurvedic Medicine , or Native American, food has always been an important way to treat illness and maintain health. Little by little more ‘traditional’ medical institutions and environments are recognizing the legitimacy and importance of these approaches. An increasing number of studies provide evidence for the preventive or curative properties of certain foods, as well as the effects of utilizing food and diet as part of a comprehensive approach to health. For example:
There are many other plants that contain protective, disease-preventing compounds known as phytochemicals. Often, it is important to eat the whole plant, as the skin or outer hull contains nutrients and fiber that offer significant health benefits.
For much more information on food as medicine, including the role of various food categories and which foods to eat for specific health conditions, see the Food as Medicine  topic on this website.