LET FOOD BE THY MEDICINE
No doubt you have heard of this famous quote from Hippocrates the Father of Western Medicine, “Let Food Be Thy Medicine and Let Medicine Be Thy Food”.
Hippocrates advised people to keep healthy and prevent illnesses by eating a nutrient-dense diet.
Hippocrates also said, “Leave your drugs in the chemist’s pot if you can heal the patient with food.” Hippocrates believed that ill health was mainly caused by poor nutrition and bad eating habits; and that if people could develop good eating habits, their health could be restored. He advocated eating.
EAT HEALTHY FOOD
Eating the right foods can make us strong and healthy. Remember the old saying “an apple a day will keep the doctor away”?
What we put into our mouths can make us healthy or make us sick. The right foods have the power to energize us, heal and repair our bodies, make us feel good, and even boost our intelligence. Eating foods that are good for us can make us healthy by reducing inflammation, balancing our hormones and sugar levels, maintaining the right P.H. level and reducing the toxins in our bodies.
There is a lot of confusion over what is healthy eating these days. There so much conflicting messages and advice about what to eat and what to avoid. One day, we are told “Fat is good”. The next day, they tell us “fat is bad”. One day, egg is bad, the next day egg is good. Who can we believe? No wonder we are at a lost when it comes to “healthy eating”.
Not only that, there are so many diets, from paleo, vegetarian, vegan to ketogenic. What is right? Who is right? If one type of diet is right, can the other be wrong? Can they all be right?
The good news is that there are some basic principles of eating that most natural health experts agree on. They include:
- Choose to eat real food, sourced locally. Real food comes from the earth; is whole, single ingredient food. It is mostly unprocessed, free of chemical additives and rich in nutrients. It’s the type of food human beings ate exclusively for thousands of years and does not make us sick.
- Eat more vegetables, fruits, nuts seeds, whole grains, and wild caught fish. Limit or give up dairy, restrict saturated fats, and reduce your intake of red meat and carbohydrates (especially processed foods).
- Eat organic foods if you want to limit your exposure to harmful chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides, preservatives, antibiotics, and hormones
- Eat whole foods. Whole foods are plant foods that are unprocessed and unrefined, or processed and refined as little as possible, before being consumed. Examples of whole foods include whole grains, tubers, legumes, fruits, vegetables (Wikipedia).
- Make sure you include probiotics in your diet. They improve our immune system
- Consume prebiotics such as artichoke, garlic, leek and onion
- Eat less meat
- Seeds and nuts are good for you
- Opt for healthy fats. Avoid hydrogenated fats.
- Include high oxidant foods in your diet. They include berries, dark chocolate, turmeric, ginger and kale.
AVOID EATING BAD FOODS
Food is a foundation of either health or disease.
Eating bad foods can harm our bodies, make us sick, cause obesity, and lead to premature death.
A poor diet that consists mainly of processed or junk food will fail to deliver the nutrients our bodies need to function properly. Lack of proper nutrition and toxicity from a bad diet is linked to most chronic diseases.
The term “junk food” was originally coined in the 1950’s by Dr. Michael F. Jacobson. Junk food is an empty calorie food that provides no or little nutrition but has high calories that come from sugar or fat. They do not provide the necessary nutrients for your body to stay healthy.
In Andrew F. Smith’s Encyclopedia of Junk Food and Fast Food, junk food is defined as “those commercial products, including candy, bakery goods, ice cream, salty snacks, and soft drinks, which have little or no nutritional value but do have plenty of calories, salt, and fats. While not all fast foods are junk foods, most are. Fast foods are ready-to-eat foods served promptly after ordering. Some fast foods are high in calories and low in nutritional value, while other fast foods, such as salads, may be low in calories and high in nutritional value (Wikipedia).
Our food system in rampant with processed chemicals, antibiotics, hormones, pesticides, processed junk, and chemicals and added sugars. Most of our modern-day food is made “in plants” instead of plant. Most Americans eat mainly processed or junk foods which come from the factory which are full of harmful ingredients that make them sick.
Today, chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, dementia, cancer, skin problems, and gut problems plague half of the American population. These diseases are attributed mainly to a unhealthy diet and lifestyle.
A recent study shows that people who eat the most processed food are at the highest risk of developing cancer. On the other hand, cutting down consumption of processed food reduces the risk of cancer. If you wish to stay healthy, you should cut down on your consumption of processed food and opt for natural whole foods instead. Don’t wait until you are sick to change your diet. It may be too late. The best time to make the change it today!
FOOD AND GENES
Conventional doctors tell us that we cannot change our DNA; and that the genes we inherit from our parents predisposes us to the same illnesses as our parents. However, scientists are now discovering that whether or not we develop a disease is not totally dependent on our genes. There is emerging evidence that the foods we eat can change our genetic expression. This field of study is called “Epigenetics”, which is the study of how biological and environmental factors can influence how our genes are expressed. This is good news for us! This means that eating right can make us healthy and keep disease at bay.
SUPERFOODS THAT HEAL
In addition to eating well, we can enhance our health by adding Superfoods to our diets. The term “superfood” is a new term referring to foods that offer maximum nutritional benefits for minimal calories. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants (Medical News Today).
Some of the most beneficial superfoods include:
- Wheatgrass: This superfood contains lots of vitamins, minerals and chlorophyll
- Berries: They contain high levels of flavonoids which are known to improve cardiovascular health
- Aloe Vera: Aloe Vera is rich is phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals and has antibacterial, antifungal properties
- Bee Pollen: Bee Pollen contains high amounts of carotenoids, amino acids and enzyme
- Avocado: This popular food contains lots of healthy fats, potassium, Vitamin C and K
- Salmon: Salmon has high amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids which is good for our heart and brains
- Goji berries: This superfood has much higher anti-oxidants than blueberries. Chinese have long eaten them for longevity, and vitality
- Green tea: This tea is known to have high levels of antioxidants which have anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties.
In his book “WTF should I eat?” No 1 New York Times bestselling author Dr Mark Hyman shares that “I have seen thousands of incredibly ill patients become thriving, healthy humans by taking a comprehensive approach to wellness in which they eat real food, reduce stress, incorporate movement, build better relationships, and find joy in their own personal way. What connects their experiences, however, is and will always be food. I have never seen anyone evolve to the best version of him or herself by eating a really crappy diet”.
According to Bonnie Feldman, DDS, MBA, the founder of Your Autoimmunity Connection, “Through my work with the autoimmune community, I have seen how changes in diet can alter our health trajectories”.
Food, without doubt, is a powerful natural “drug “which God has given mankind. Let food be thy medicine on a daily basis so that , hopefully, you do not have to resort to synthetic drugs and artificial treatments.