Dr. Andrew Weil ON: Using Food As MEDICINE To Reduce Inflammation & HEAL THE BODY | Jay Shetty

Last updated: Jun 1, 2023

The video is an interview with Dr. Andrew Weil, who discusses the importance of using food as medicine to reduce inflammation and heal the body, as well as other lifestyle practices to maintain good health and prevent cognitive decline.

The video features an interview with Dr. Andrew Weil, a pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, who discusses the importance of using food as medicine to reduce inflammation and heal the body. He emphasizes the need to avoid refined, processed, and manufactured foods and to maintain physical activity, good rest and sleep, and positive relationships. He also provides practical tips to prevent cognitive decline, such as avoiding head injuries and smoking, and engaging in activities that keep the mind active, such as word puzzles and learning a new language.

  • Dr. Andrew Weil emphasizes using food as medicine to reduce inflammation and heal the body.
  • He recommends an anti-inflammatory diet based on the Mediterranean diet with added Asian influences.
  • Other lifestyle practices like physical activity, good rest and sleep, and stress reduction are also crucial for maintaining good health.
  • Preventing cognitive decline involves avoiding head injuries and not smoking, as well as keeping the mind active through word puzzles and language learning.
  • Trying to change everything at once can lead to giving up, so it's important to make small changes.
  • Turmeric is the most powerful natural anti-inflammatory agent and may help prevent Alzheimer's disease.
  • People in traditional societies engage in daily physical activity and eat locally grown or found foods.
  • Matcha and green tea have mind-body benefits and can reduce the consumption of coffee.
  • Food can be used as medicine to reduce inflammation and heal the body, and it's important to have a balanced diet and avoid processed foods.

Dr. Andrew Weil ON: Using Food As MEDICINE To Reduce Inflammation & HEAL THE BODY | Jay Shetty - YouTube

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Introduction

  • The interview is with Dr. Andrew Weil, who is a pioneer in the field of Integrative Medicine.
  • Dr. Weil discusses the importance of using food as medicine to reduce inflammation and heal the body.
  • He also talks about other lifestyle practices to maintain good health and prevent cognitive decline.
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Diet and Lifestyle Habits for Health and Longevity

  • The first rule of healthy eating is to avoid refined, processed, and manufactured food.
  • Dr. Weil has developed an anti-inflammatory diet based on the Mediterranean diet with added Asian influences.
  • Chronic low-level inflammation is the root cause of most serious diseases, so containing inflammation is crucial.
  • Other lifestyle practices include maintaining physical activity throughout life, getting good rest and sleep, and neutralizing the harmful effects of stress on the mind and body.
  • Maintaining good relationships and spending time with people whose company you feel positive about is also important.
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Preventing Cognitive Decline

  • Two practical pieces of advice to prevent cognitive decline are to avoid head injuries and not to smoke.
  • Practices like doing word puzzles and learning another language can keep the mind active and prevent cognitive decline.
  • Learning another language is useful even if you don't master it.
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Dr. Andrew Weil ON: Using Food As MEDICINE To Reduce Inflammation & HEAL THE BODY | Jay Shetty - YouTube

Conclusion

  • Dr. Weil emphasizes the importance of using food as medicine to reduce inflammation and heal the body.
  • Other lifestyle practices like physical activity, good rest and sleep, and stress reduction are also crucial for maintaining good health.
  • Preventing cognitive decline involves avoiding head injuries and not smoking, as well as keeping the mind active through word puzzles and language learning.
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Importance of Making Small Changes

  • Trying to change everything at once can lead to giving up.
  • Choose one thing to improve each year.
  • Dr. Weil's book, "Eight Weeks to Optimum Health," offers an eight-week program to make small changes.
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Using Food as Medicine

  • Dr. Weil recommends an anti-inflammatory diet.
  • Avoid packaged, refined, and processed foods.
  • Eat natural foods, especially vegetables.
  • Add berries to your diet for antioxidants.
  • Drink tea, especially green tea and turmeric tea.
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Turmeric as an Anti-Inflammatory Agent

  • Turmeric is the most powerful natural anti-inflammatory agent.
  • Regular consumption of turmeric may help prevent Alzheimer's disease.
  • Indians eat turmeric at every meal.
  • Turmeric can protect rats genetically programmed to develop Alzheimer's from developing it.
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Observations from Blue Zones

  • Blue zones are areas with unusual concentrations of very healthy old people.
  • Women outnumber men in blue zones.
  • Workouts in blue zones are natural, such as farming and gardening.
  • Dr. Weil observed that men and women are equally represented in the oldest old in Sardinia.
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Traditional Lifestyle Practices

  • People in traditional societies engage in daily physical activity through daily tasks such as gardening and farming.
  • They eat foods that are only in season and locally grown or found.
  • They have social connectedness by living in bigger families or closer to families with children.
  • They get together every evening and during the middle of the day.
  • Maintenance of physical activity throughout life and maintenance of social and intellectual connectedness are the two outstanding commonalities of successful agers.
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Matcha and Its Benefits

  • Matcha is a daily plant that has incredible mind-body benefits.
  • Matcha is prepared in a unique way where tea plants are heavily shaded for three weeks before harvest.
  • The leaves get bigger and thinner and produce more chlorophyll, antioxidants, and flavor compounds.
  • Matcha has a calming effect and moderates the action of caffeine.
  • Matcha is more healthful than other forms of tea because you consume the whole leaf, not just an infusion of it.
  • Matcha oxidizes very quickly and loses its brilliant green color and becomes bitter if not carefully protected.
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Green Tea and Its Benefits

  • A lot of research has been done on green tea in particular, but all tea has beneficial effects.
  • Tea has different stimulant effects than coffee and is not associated with truly addictive behavior.
  • Tea has a modifying effect of l-theanine, which has a calming effect.
  • Tea does not have a crash coming down effect like coffee.
  • Drinking tea can help develop a tea culture and reduce the consumption of coffee.
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Food as Medicine

  • Food can be used as medicine to reduce inflammation and heal the body.
  • Chronic inflammation is the root cause of many diseases.
  • Anti-inflammatory foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish.
  • Pro-inflammatory foods include sugar, refined carbohydrates, and trans fats.
  • It is important to have a balanced diet and avoid processed foods.
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The Benefits of Tea Culture

  • Historically, coffee has been associated with argumentative behavior and loud gatherings, while tea has been associated with contemplation and meditation.
  • A greater tea culture in North America could work its way into the dominant coffee culture.
  • Tea is therapeutic and has a meditative process with healing properties.
  • Tea is now seen as a healthy drink, whereas in the past it was associated with old and sick people.
  • Tea is a slow drink that encourages a meditative process.
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The Green Mediterranean Diet

  • The Mediterranean diet is heavily based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and olive oil.
  • The green Mediterranean diet reduces animal products even further and increases sources of polyphenols, which are antioxidant compounds found in plants, fruits, vegetables, tea, and dark chocolate.
  • Green tea is recommended to add to the green Mediterranean diet.
  • Researchers are not trying to promote any agenda, but rather provide scientific evidence for the benefits of the green Mediterranean diet.
  • The green Mediterranean diet is proposed as being even healthier than the traditional Mediterranean diet.
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Healthy Cooking Oils

  • Avocado oil, olive oil, and algae oil are recommended as healthy cooking oils.
  • Canola oil and palm oil are heavily used in packaged foods and should be avoided.
  • Palm oil extracted from the kernel is high in unstable unsaturated fatty acids and saturated fat, making it unhealthy.
  • Most commercially produced canola oil is heavily contaminated with agrochemicals and is extracted with heat and solvents, creating carcinogenic products.
  • Ghee, which is pure butter fat, is not healthy and should only be used as a flavoring.
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Dr. Weil's Work and Research

  • Dr. Weil's work has not led to any recent research on canola oil and palm oil.
  • Dr. Weil recommends avocado oil, olive oil, and algae oil as healthy cooking oils.
  • Algae oil is a new product that is made through culture and has a high smoke point, neutral taste, and one of the omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Canola oil was developed by Canadian scientists from rapeseed oil, which has a toxic fatty acid, but most commercially produced canola oil is heavily contaminated with agrochemicals.
  • Dr. Weil is a big fan of olive oil and recommends cooking with it.
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Using Food as Medicine

  • Dr. Weil suggests using healthy oils like avocado and ghee to add flavor to food.
  • He also recommends using cashew milk instead of coconut milk for a healthier fat option.
  • Turmeric is a great spice to use for its anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Dr. Weil's company sells fermented turmeric from Okinawa, which he says is delicious.
  • Using food as medicine can help reduce inflammation and heal the body.
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The Benefits and Risks of Cannabis

  • Dr. Weil prefers to use the term "cannabis" instead of "marijuana" due to negative connotations.
  • He has been involved with cannabis since 1964 and believes it is a useful plant.
  • Cannabis is one of the least toxic drugs and has a low risk of physical harm.
  • There is a lot of variation in individual reactions to cannabis, and it can have both positive and negative effects on the brain and body.
  • There is potential for cannabis to be used therapeutically, but more research is needed.
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The Importance of Sleep

  • Dr. Weil emphasizes the importance of getting enough sleep for overall health and well-being.
  • He recommends creating a sleep-conducive environment by keeping the bedroom cool, dark, and quiet.
  • Dr. Weil suggests avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bed and establishing a regular sleep schedule.
  • He also recommends practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation to help fall asleep.
  • Getting enough sleep can help reduce inflammation and improve cognitive function.
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The Benefits of Mindfulness

  • Dr. Weil believes that mindfulness practices can help reduce stress and improve overall health.
  • He recommends practicing mindfulness meditation for at least 10 minutes a day.
  • Dr. Weil suggests focusing on the breath and bringing attention back to the present moment when the mind wanders.
  • Mindfulness can help improve mood, reduce anxiety, and improve cognitive function.
  • It can also help reduce inflammation and improve overall physical health.
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Using Food as Medicine

  • Inflammation is the root cause of many chronic diseases.
  • Food can be used to reduce inflammation and promote healing.
  • Anti-inflammatory foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats.
  • Processed foods, sugar, and unhealthy fats can increase inflammation.
  • Spices like turmeric and ginger have anti-inflammatory properties.
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Personal Experience with Cannabis

  • Dr. Weil used cannabis in his 20s and 30s for fun and creativity.
  • Over time, his reactions to it changed and it became an unproductive habit.
  • Many of his friends had similar experiences with cannabis.
  • Dr. Weil is unsure why this happens and there is little research on the topic.
  • Today's cannabis preparations are much stronger than those available in the past.
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Dangers of Strong Cannabis Preparations

  • Dr. Weil tried a cannabis oil recommended for pain control.
  • He took half the recommended amount and experienced vivid hallucinations and loss of equilibrium.
  • The effects lasted for 8 hours and his equilibrium was off for 2 days.
  • Dr. Weil believes the preparation was fairly dangerous and is concerned about people taking it without proper guidance.
  • Today's cannabis preparations are much stronger than those available in the past.
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Early Interest in Psychedelics

  • Dr. Weil's interest in psychedelics goes back to 1960 when he read about a student who died while taking mescaline for inspiration.
  • He became interested in Aldous Huxley's book, The Doors of Perception.
  • At Harvard, he worked with Richard Evans Schultes, who was a leading expert on hallucinogenic plants.
  • Dr. Weil is currently working on a book about psychedelics.
  • He believes that psychedelics have the potential to be used as medicine for mental health issues.
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What are Psychedelics?

  • Psychedelics are mind-manifesting drugs that alter perception and consciousness.
  • They are a large group of compounds found in plants, animals, and synthetic or semi-synthetic drugs.
  • They fall into two chemical families with distinctive molecular structures.
  • Ketamine and cannabis are not psychedelics, but MDMA is part of the chemical family.
  • Psychedelics are non-toxic physically, but the main dangers are psychological and depend on set and setting.
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