Apparently heating ready-made meals in plastic containers in microwaves generally isn’t seen as controversial. Margarine and seed oils aren’t seen as controversial. Taking pharmaceutical drugs for life (in cases where there are other ways) isn’t seen as controversial.

Diet sodas aren’t seen as controversial. The wood polish that is used to clean surfaces in homes all over the world every single day is not seen as controversial. Scented candles (the synthetically fragranced ones) aren’t seen as controversial. And, of course, fast-food isn’t seen as controversial and neither is heaps of added sugar, hidden sugars and calling sugars by other names.

But, according to Wikipedia, Functional Medicine (FM) is seen as controversial. In fact, the words used in the introduction to the Wikipedia article are “unproven” and “pseudoscience.”

I’m not surprised: There’s not a lot of money to made in the world of FM. As FM doctors we believe in modern medicine and pharmaceutical interventions. We also believe (strongly) in food as medicine (yip, you read that right). We believe in movement as medicine. In breath as medicine. In mindset as medicine. In nature as medicine.

And most importantly, as FM doctors we believe that people are CURIOUS and CAPABLE. Curious enough to understand their own bodies better (and want to learn more), and capable enough to start a long-term, invested healing journey that puts them back in the driving seat.

And for some reason, according to large swathes of the internet, these are all controversial beliefs and views.

I’ve studied for over 20 years (altogether), through national and international universities that are well respected and so I’m not hesitant to say:

I am a proud Functional Medicine doctor. I am a specialist in a multi-system and whole-being approach to health. I know that food (among many other things) will make a huge difference to the quality of your life. I also know that becoming more aware of every day toxins (including stress!) will do the same. If that’s controversial, so be it.

A Food is Medicine Cooking Demonstration at Hanya House

One last thing: As with any service provider, when you’re looking for a doctor, do your research and don’t be shy to ask the doctor to share their qualifications and their methodology.

This article originally appeared in Dr. Rav’s “Food is Medicine” column in the Muse Magazine.