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January 3, 2014 2:57 pm

Perplexed by Food? Dietitians and Medical Institutions Are Increasingly Turning to Maimonides

avatar by Gidon Ben-zvi

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The purported portrait of Maimonides from which all modern portraits are derived. Photo: wiki commons.

Recently, a growing number of dietitians and medical institutions have begun prescribing a dose of Maimonides to patients looking to get toned and trim.

With various miracle pills, chewing gums and targeted bread or watermelon diets proving – at best- to have a short term effect, Maimonides’s techniques offer a healthy alternative that is in line simultaneously with modern and ancient Chinese medicinal practices, Israel’s Channel 2 reported.

Maimonides, the 12th century Jewish sage and medical doctor, wrote extensively on nutrition and wellness, and his theories are now being incorporated into contemporary medical studies on healthy living habits.

In his writings, Maimonides gave clear instructions regarding what, when and how much people should eat in order to lead a healthy life. One of his well-known quotes is: “No disease that can be treated by diet should be treated with any other means.”

Maimonides’s guide to better living is based on three main fundamentals — nutrition, physical exercise and balanced mental state. If you practice physical activity but neglect your nutrition, or eat healthy but do not exercise, or suffer from depression, then eventually your health will suffer.

Specifically with regards to health and wellness, Maimonides writes, “One’s usual custom and habit is a fundamental principle in the maintenance of health and the cure of illnesses. One should not change ones habits all at once.”

Maimonides may well have been history’s first Western holistic doctor, one who approached human health through the interplay of mind and body and the positive effects of relaxation, movement, sports and food, according to the Channel 2 report. Maimonides also believed in consuming natural foods whenever possible.

Evidently, when it comes to the tools required for optimum emotional and physical health, a more spiritual outlook and sustainable weight loss, there’s – to quote another ancient Jewish wise man – “nothing new under the sun.”

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