Welcome to my 'Food is the Medicine' post!
First of all, I must congratulate you for taking the time to do your research on this topic of green living. We all think of food as a life-giving resource, but it is interesting to know that the same food we believe is giving us life can also be harmful to us.
In a modern diet, we eat a wide range of foods that are not good for us. Due to the ease of preparing processed foods, we are eating a lot of unhealthy fats and by doing this, we are causing many of our health problems. Food can be directly related to many different diseases. Therefore, we must observe what we eat and how we eat it.
Can we seek a healthier and happier life by restoring our taste for food and adopting different habits? If so, why don’t we do it? Well, there is a combination of reasons why this appears so difficult for many people.
As a qualified teacher, I am passionate about education and the impact it can have on bettering our future. It is down to us individuals to do our research and make small changes to the way we live our lives.
These small changes are easy to make and can have a big impact on our health, the health of our family, and our environment. This website is designed for everyday people looking to make these changes. Here you will learn a legitimate way to go green.
Let me be completely transparent with you, I am not here to pitch or sell anything to you. I am here to reveal and to assist you on your journey of going green!
Natural Vs Chemical Medicines...
The industrial revolution leads to huge technical advances, it developed industries, machinery, and the use of chemicals. These discoveries have molded the societies we live in today and the daily choices we make today.
Why use food as medicine when we can take drugs and tablets that have been specially formulated to tackle certain health concerns? In some cases this is true, but not all the time. Some drugs have properties that can lead to additional problems or prolong recovery.
To know what chemicals are best to take, you need to become an advocate for your condition and research the benefits and advantages of natural remedies versus prescription drugs.
Many years ago, we used nature to treat our ailments. I live in the Sonoran desert and I was astonished to learn that nearly every plant I see has value in the medical world. So it is no surprise that food has medicinal properties too. A lot of this knowledge has been lost over time. We have replaced this knowledge with modern knowledge, which is not necessarily always right.
Many medicines and drugs are created by extracting properties from plants and animals which occur naturally. Some are created chemically in the laboratory, where the molecular structure is mimicked. Either way, the facts remain the same. The beneficial properties of certain plants are used to treat health ailments.
The human body is natural, it's an aspect of nature on earth. However, we seem to forget this today and this is probably due to the technological advancements that have adapted the societies we live in. We forget that our bodies respond well to nature and the advantages it can provide us with. It is almost like we have forgotten that the majority of medicine we need grows naturally in our environment.
Food as Medicine...
What you select to eat has profound effects on your overall health. Research shows that dietary habits influence disease risk. While certain foods may trigger chronic health conditions, others offer strong medicinal and protective qualities. Thus, many of us argue that food is medicine.
Yet diet alone cannot and should not replace medicine altogether. Although many illnesses are often prevented, treated, or maybe cured by dietary and lifestyle changes, many others cannot be treated by food alone.
The many nutrients in food play a virtual role in promoting health and protecting your body from diseases. Eating whole, nutritious foods is vital because their unique substances work synergistically to make an impact that can’t be replicated by taking a supplement.
Vitamins and minerals are vital for your health and your body only needs small amounts of them. However, Western diets are high in processed foods and low in whole foods. This form of diet is usually deficient in vitamins and minerals. Such deficiencies can substantially increase your risk of disease and obesity. For example, insufficient intakes of vitamin C, vitamin D, and folate may harm your heart, cause immune dysfunction, and increase your risk of eleven cancers including, but not limited to, cancer of the breast, ovary, kidney, pancreas, colon, rectum and bone marrow.
Nutritious foods, including vegetables, fruits, beans, and grains, boast numerous beneficial compounds, like antioxidants. Antioxidants protect cells from damage which will otherwise cause disease. Studies demonstrate that folks whose diets are rich in polyphenol antioxidants have lower rates of depression, diabetes, dementia, and heart conditions.
One component of a healthy diet is fiber. It promotes proper digestion and feeds the beneficial bacteria in your gut. Therefore, high-fiber foods like vegetables, beans, grains, and fruits help protect against disease, decrease inflammation, and boost your system. On the opposite hand, low-fiber diets are related to an increased risk of illnesses, including carcinoma and stroke.
Protein and fat which are found in whole, nutritious foods play various critical roles in your body. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and aid immune function, muscle synthesis, metabolism, and growth, while fats provide fuel and help absorb nutrients. Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in foods like fatty fish, help regulate inflammation and are linked to improved heart and immune health.
The Healing Power of Food...
There are foods with healing properties, capable of curing diseases or helping to reduce them. Every century has seen a new disease that infects vast numbers of the population. Cancer is one of the most prominent worldwide diseases in our century.
It has been discovered that the interaction of genetic and hormonal factors and unhealthy lifestyle habits are the cause of most cancers. Did you know it has been scientifically proven that some foods are effective for fighting cancer and they are known as anti-cancer foods?
Some foods are capable of reversing the creation and development of the abnormal genetic configuration of cancer cells. They have bioactive compounds that create activity within the body which leads to health benefits.
So yes, food can be used to treat ailments using their healing properties. However, the most effective way to use food as medicine is to consume it as a long term disease preventative.
For that, we have to reverse these negative habits by living a healthy lifestyle, forming healthy eating habits, accompanied by sport or exercise, which will allow us to strengthen the physical state of our body and take advantage of the nutrients that food provides us with.
The main reason why people don't eat healthily is that they prefer the taste of unhealthy food and they find it irresistible. However, with the right knowledge, you can change this. Keep reading!
Facts & Statistics...
In the last 160 years, our total sugar intake has skyrocketed. The average person here in America consumes over 150 pounds of sugar each year. That is equivalent to more than 500 calories per day of sugar.
Added sugar contributes to diseases because sugar promotes inflammation. There is a correlating relationship between areas that sell more processed products and counts of chronic diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
Two of the biggest culprits for our sugar intakes are soft drinks and juices. We tend to believe that copious amounts of apple juice are acceptable to provide for our children, however, it is the sugar content that we need to be concerned about. One study found that in children, sugar-sweetened beverages are responsible for a 60 percent increase in obesity.
Did you know that a bad diet can hurt our immune system and our genetics? The consequences of our bad eating habits are then passed on to our innocent children, who will be likely to suffer illnesses and allergic reactions.
Without water or food, a human being or any other animal could not survive. Therefore they are as vital as the air we breathe. Also, we need food to provide us with the energy needed to survive and create a livelihood.
However, we tend to look at the food on a short-term basis. We look for lunch to help us get through the afternoon. We neglect the long-term benefits of a healthy diet on or live and physical health.
What Food Tastes Better?
Regularly eating foods high in sugar and salt affects the taste buds. They become accustomed to high levels of sugar and salt, and this makes us think that unhealthy food tastes better. When a person accustomed to this diet eats natural foods, they find them somewhat tasteless.
Unhealthy food tastes better only for the people who eat them regularly. Have you ever looked at the person in the office who consistently eats salad and wondered how they do it?
Are you surprised to see them turn down a slice of pizza or request lunch at a salad bar? It appears that they must just prefer that type of food. Do you think that could never be you? Well, you are wrong!
Everybody has the capability of enjoying healthy food as much as unhealthy food. Intact often people who enjoy healthy food will consistently choose it over unhealthy food. This can be you too. First, you just need to understand what causes us to crave certain foods.
Love of Food or Addiction...
As a society, we have become addicted to our modern diet which is high in sugar and salt. Unlike alcohol and tobacco addictions which are often frowned upon, eating unhealthy is generally accepted and not considered an addiction by most people. But it is because you just can't help it.
All addictions work in the same way. You become hooked into a specific substance, thing, or activity. It hijacks the brain, changing the way it works. All addictions are hard to overcome because your brain controls everything you do - your actions, desires, and emotions.
However, with the right knowledge and support, you can overcome food addictions. Research shows that certain foods can influence neurological patterns in your brain.
However, there is not a standard or widespread food addiction treatment method. However, in less severe cases you can address food addiction by identifying behavior patterns that fuel the addiction, then finding ways to exchange those patterns.
The Importance of Gut Health...
Scientific research now suggests that the microbiota-gut-brain axis is involved in many conditions, such as depression & anxiety, addiction, manic depression, autism, and even Parkinson’s disease and stroke. An individual’s gut is comprised of about 500 million neurons.
The nickname “second brain” has been related to the alimentary canal because it can function independently from the brain. The tract has two-way communication with the brain, meaning it can communicate with the brain. It does this through parasympathetic fibers of the vagus and of the prevertebral ganglia. This is referred to as the gut-brain axis, and it explains why people have “gut feelings”, “butterflies”, or other reactions within the stomach.
A healthy gut microbiome is filled with beneficial bacteria that break down, assimilate, and absorb nutrients from the food you eat, which fuels the processes in your body. These good bacteria crave healthy food and send messages to your brain which in turn affects your cravings for healthy food. In contrast, a gut with a high level of unhealthy bacteria will crave unhealthy food.
Research shows that a healthy gut can reduce addiction relapse and improve recovering addicts' well-being. The communication between your gut and brain will work properly and you will crave healthy food when your gut is healthy. Enough serotonin is produced, essential nutrients are synthesized, and people feel energized, calm, and knowledge an overall greater sense of well being.
So again, changing you food habits comes down to tricking your brain into enjoying healthy food again and this starts in the gut.
Broccoli is a flower vegetable widely consumed throughout the world. It provides us with vitamins, minerals, and water necessary to enjoy good health. It has high water content, 90% of its content is water. Also, it is a very good natural antioxidant.
It has micronutrients such as vegetable protein, carbohydrates, very low-fat content, and a fairly high fiber input. Fiber is great for your digestion.
Potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron, zinc, and iodine are minerals that can all be found in broccoli. As for vitamins, it has vitamins C, E, B3, B1, and B9.
Broccoli strengthens our immune system and increases resistance to infections. It is also a great anti-inflammatory because it contains quercetin. It can help prevent the appearance of different types of cancer such as prostate, stomach, breast, lung, or colon.
Celery belongs to the same family as fennel and parsley. Like broccoli, it is a food with high water content at approximately 95%. This makes low-calorie food which is ideal in hypo-caloric diets. Celery helps lower cholesterol and hypertension, as well as being beneficial for the cardiovascular system.
Celery is a rich source of multivitamins and other essential minerals that play an important role in bodily mechanisms, functions, and chemical reactions. Properties include antioxidant, cardio-protective, anti-bacterial, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, depurative, sedative, digestive, and analgesic.
Garlic is a common ingredient in many of our meals and is closely related to onions. It is very effective in the prevention of diseases related to the cardiovascular system. I recommended consuming this food daily to reinforce your immune system and enjoy its benefits.
It also contains a compound called Allicin, which has medicinal properties. It is a powerful fungicide, anti-viral, and is effective for treating patients with HIV. Thanks to its antibacterial properties and the impediment of cancer cell formation, garlic reduces the risk of certain types of cancer.
It is a very effective powerful antibiotic for eliminating harmful microbes and bacteria from our bodies. It is a selective antibiotic, selecting harmful bacteria and eliminating them without damaging the beneficial bacteria.
This food benefits the digestive system and helps prevent stomach and intestinal inflammations. It is a powerful diuretic, capable of purifying our body by facilitating the elimination of toxins and liquids.
This fruit is high in fiber and minerals such as manganese, potassium, and iron. It contains vitamins A, E, C, and folic acid, which is an antioxidant. It is rich in carbohydrates, which provides us with healthy energy.
Thanks to these properties, bananas benefit us by improving our glucose regulation, protecting our kidneys, and keeping our cardiovascular system healthy. It has also been discovered that bananas can help prevent and fight colon cancer, intestinal, and cholesterol problems.
Healthy Eating Tips...
Everybody is different and the best place to get advice specifically designed for you is to schedule an appointment with a nutritionist. The tips I am about to give you are commonly recommended by nutritionists and health professionals.
- Plan meals and shopping lists. Avoid improvisation and shop once a week;
- Make 5 meals a day - three main meals and two snacks;
- Always combine a protein, carbohydrate, and healthy fat;
- Drink between two and three liters of water daily;
- Take between five and seven servings of fruit and vegetables a day;
- Eat fruit and vegetables them in their fresh and natural form;
- Eat fruit and vegetables with the skin;
- Avoid packaging where possible;
- Choose whole foods, preferably organic;
- Consume only a small amount of juice that is 100% pure;
- Consume 1-2g of lean proteins per kilo of weight;
- Avoid sweeteners or sugar and foods that contain them;
- Do not abuse alcoholic beverages. You should drink one glass of red wine daily;
- Eat 3 to 6 nuts daily;
- Use olive oil for cooking;
- Avoid pre-cooked and excessively processed foods;
- Eat legumes once or twice a week;
- Do not overcook food and avoid using the microwave;
- Avoid fried and breaded foods;
- Use skimmed milk.
Food is the Medicine: The Final Verdict!
"You are what you eat" is a phrase that encompasses a lot of truth about our eating habits. For some people, this is true with positive results and for others, it is the opposite. Our choice of what we eat is vital. If we want to be healthy, food is one of the key factors we should consider.
A good diet accompanied by an active lifestyle will lead to a healthy life with reduced chances of illness and disease. These choices will affect the life we live today and the life we give to our children.
Instead of resorting to a medical professional to cure an issue; prevent illness or disease occurring in the first place. We must treat our food as medicine and our medicine as food.
If you have an unhealthy diet, work towards a healthier future by starting with your gut. Cleanse the bad bacteria, eat probiotics, and create a healthy balance in your second brain which will help you enjoy healthy foods in the future.
If you have any further questions or comments, please leave them below and I will get back to you soon.