Food matters.

Think Fresh

Food matters.


Shilpa Ravella, M.D.

Gastroenterologist with expertise in nutrition

Dr. Shilpa Ravella is a gastroenterologist with expertise in nutrition and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center where she directs the Adult Small Bowel Program.  She speaks and writes regularly on food, health and wellness and has written for a variety of national media including The Atlantic, New York Magazine, Slate, Discover, USA Today, PBS and TED-Ed.  She has been featured in Cosmopolitan, Food and Wine, Glamour, Prevention, Women's Health and many other outlets.


Why food matters

What you eat can make you sick or healthy, change how long or how well you live and even affect your genes. Food can also alter the trillions of bacteria inside your gut, or the gut microbiome. We’re starting to learn that the interactions between food, gut bacteria and the immune system play an important role in preventing disease and maintaining health. This is both an old and new way of thinking about food.


Two thousand years ago, Hippocrates said, “All disease begins in the gut.”  Today we don’t yet have all the answers, but we’re learning more every day.  Fresh, minimally processed plant foods can prevent and reverse disease, optimize the gut microbiome and help calm inflammation.

When the hospital serves McDonald's


"As Lesser wrote in a 2013 editorial for the American Medical Association Journal of Ethics, “offsets from selling foods that clearly damage human health would, likewise, be indefensible … Serving definitively unhealthful food items to patients, visitors, and staff is simply unethical.” (more...)

Food doesn't have to wear makeup


"Artificial dyes made food look more attractive, which made them popular with consumers. America is a relatively young and expansive country, and a major historical concern involved feeding a growing population while moving food large distances. Food was treated like a commodity, with market forces shaping what were most valued: cost, convenience, and appearance." (more...)

The nutrient deficiency you probably have


"If you could make only one change to your diet, what would it be? The options are endless. You can cut out specific foods like meat, grains or gluten. You can play with ratios of fat, carbohydrates and protein. You can eat only fruit or go on a juice cleanse.  There is one change, however, that provides the biggest health return for the investment" (more...)