Nourishing the Heart

Q: Is it true that food alone is sufficient to nourish the body? For instance, for heart health?

A: Let’s start with the simple answer. Nutritious, healthy food has sustained our ancestors for thousands of years. One of their biggest challenges was not having enough food before humans became farmers (agrarian), and even then, hunger was a reality. Most but not all of the westernized world’s dietary challenges come down to the quality and quantity of the food we eat. We became a fast food nation with quick, convenient meals that are often void of vital nutrients, taking center stage. Indeed, we are an overfed and undernourished society.

I share with my patients this simple illustration: A health-promoting diet is like the tiles on a kitchen counter. They are the center of wellness. Taking supplements is like the grout, filling in the spaces and completing the counter. Medicinal herbs add phytonutrients that are difficult to get from our everyday diet.

The more complicated answer is that even the most health aware and motivated patients do not either have access or the time to prepare perfect “wellness meals”. We may not be getting optimal garlic or turmeric levels, for instance, to glean all of the benefits that regular intake may garner.

We can also compare our eating habits to cultures that have demonstrated daily turmeric intake for health-supportive properties. A medical site such as Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s website, can provide you with some proposed and researched considerations for turmeric and other herbals.*

Spicing up our meals with botanicals like Garlic, Cayenne and Turmeric and
supplementing when we fall short of our health-supportive aspirations with high quality, organic supplements is vital in gleaning essential phytonutrients and phytochemical activity.*

Heart-healthy medicinal herbs such as Ginkgo and Hawthorn are not typically found in one's diet, thus supplementing with the input of a trained and skilled healthcare provider can allow for the strategic and individualized application to support one’s goals.

I encourage my patients to become educated on their bodies and research what and why they may consider incorporating into their health-supportive diet and lifestyle. Looking at both conservative medical resources such as and also other resources, for the sake of an example, can offer broader appreciation on a given health consideration.


Peace and abundant blessings,

Dr. Chris Meletis, N.D.


About Dr. Meletis, N.D.

Chris Meletis, N.D., has more than 25 years of experience practicing natural medicine. Based in Portland, Oregon, he shares his vast knowledge with fellow healthcare providers and his patients, and generously give to those in need. A lecturer and author, Dr. Meletis as written over a dozen books and hundreds of national articles. He was named Naturopathic Physician of the Year in 2003 by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians and was inducted into the National University of Natural Medicine Hall of Fame in 2018.