Daniel Amen, MD, receives the IHS Visionary Award on Feb. 23 in New York City.

You are in a war for the health of your brain, said Daniel Amen, MD, director of the Amen Clinics and author The Brain Warrior’s Way. The world is riddled with bad foods and harmful substances that can result in premature death of many, he said.

“The real weapons of mass destruction, that have killed more people than ISIS has ever thought about, are highly processed, pesticide-sprayed, high glycemic, low fiber, food-like substances in plasticized containers,” said Amen. “This is a problem.”

Practitioners must make patients aware and arm them with the tools to combat this issue, said Amen. We need an integrative health model more than ever before. The current political climate may offer some solutions—a vaccination commission to more closely regulate the pharmaceutical and medical industries, for example.

Integrative practitioners must acknowledge the war that we are in with health and the products put out to consumers that could potentially harm them, said Amen. “Practitioners must live the message,” said Amen. “If you don’t live the message that you are trying to transmit to your patients—if you don’t exercise, if you don’t eat right, if you’re not taking care of your important numbers—than how are you going to convince anybody else to do the same thing?”

Amen, who specializes in psychiatry, presented at the Integrative Healthcare Symposium Annual  Conference in New York City on February 23, on applying integrative healthcare concepts to brain health and mental well-being. He was also the recipient of the Visionary Award, presented by IHS. Take a look at the video below, which features highlights from his keynote.

#IHSNY17 Recap: The Brain Warrior’s Way