"Let Food be your Medicine and Medicine be your Food.”
This famous quote is often attributed to the Greek Physician "Hippocrates," also known as the Father of Medicine, who lived during Greece’s Classical Period. This philosophy has endured to today, emphasizing nutrition’s importance in preventing and curing diseases.
"I truly believe that when you eat the right foods and follow proper nutrition, you can prevent and even cure many chronic diseases," said Dr. Ed Soumi, a Las Vegas Board Certified internal medicine physician who has been practicing in Southern Nevada for more than two decades. He is also the founder of Concierge Medicine of Southern Nevada, a medical service that provides personalized care to patients through the use of both traditional and functional medicine.
"Over the years that I have been practicing medicine, I have seen the same group of patients that are coming in and out of the hospital and just not getting well, or their chronic illnesses are just getting worse," said Dr. Soumi. "Over time, I have come to realize that our mission as medical providers should be in prevention and early detection and finding the root cause of what's happening instead of just prescribing medications alone."
Dr. Soumi said that when it comes to functional nutrition, many doctors are still not on board due in part to the fact that there’s still not as much research.
"Most major pharmaceutical companies are not going to spend a lot of money on studies that will say food is better than their medications or drugs," said Dr. Soumi. "But I have seen over and over again how getting rid of toxins and increasing nutrients can make a big difference in improving my patients' health."
Doctor Soumi cited examples where patients who have reversed conditions, including auto-immune diseases and diabetes, when they start thinking of nutrition in a different way.
One of the first things that Dr. Soumi said people should do is educate themselves on the benefits of functional nutrition. He said one of the easiest things you can do right now is "eat the rainbow."
"Just try different fruits and vegetables each week and avoid processed food as much as possible," said Dr. Soumi. "If more people would just eat real food and just do that alone, it can go a long way in helping Americans avoid many chronic diseases."
Dr. Soumi is not only helping to educate his patients when it comes to functional nutrition, but also, he's passing along these lessons to his 9-year-old daughter. He said it was his wife, who's a nurse, who was key in turning him into the functional medicine lifestyle. Something he wishes he had incorporated into his practice much sooner.
"It is really life-changing, but it's not always easy to change the minds of all of my patients' ways right away," said Dr. Soumi. "There are patients who just want to take a pill, and that's it. So, my goal is to keep raising awareness and get them to see how better nutrition can improve their health ... one visit at a time."
"I truly believe that when you eat the right foods and follow proper nutrition, you can prevent and even cure many chronic diseases."