Sisterhood Agenda

Food as Medicine-Proven Best Practices

Food as Medicine
Angela D. Coleman
Latest posts by Angela D. Coleman (see all)

Food as medicine has been a concept for centuries, emphasizing the therapeutic benefits of certain foods. This timeless concept recognizes that the nutrients and compounds found in various foods can have healing effects on the body.

When we see the medicinal value in what we eat, we consciously acknowledge the power that food has to promote health and well-being.

In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in the idea of food as medicine. People are increasingly turning to natural remedies and holistic approaches to address their health concerns. Our personal experiences often create mindset shifts that lead to a greater appreciation for the healing properties of certain foods.

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Health benefits

Research has shown that certain foods can have powerful effects on our health. For example, berries are rich in antioxidants, which can help protect our cells from damage. Garlic has antibacterial and antiviral properties, making it a potent natural remedy for fighting infections. Turmeric contains curcumin, a compound with powerful anti-inflammatory effects.  Adding leafy greens and nuts into our diet can help combat oxidative stress and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Similarly, consuming foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fatty fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts can have a positive impact on brain health and reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

The best thing about these foods is that you can find them in most food stores and they are not always very expensive.

Incorporating these foods into our diets can help support our overall health and well-being.

Just remember that food is not a substitute for medical treatment. While certain foods can have beneficial effects, they should be used in conjunction with traditional medical approaches, not instead of them.

Empowering choices

Food as medicine is also about the choices we make.  We can damage or harm ourselves with food. And we can help ourselves with food. Our choices can be very empowering.

Mother Nature is a blessing.  There are so many edible gifts that grow naturally to support us. We can enhance our natural healing processes by adopting a mindful approach to our dietary habits and selecting nutritious foods.  With a “food as medicine” approach, we can tap into the extraordinary potential of food to support and enhance our body’s ability to heal itself.

The concept of food as medicine is so much more than an individual nutrient or a specific food. It means adopting healthy eating habits and patterns of behavior.  Food as medicine is a lifestyle.

Eating with purpose

Practicing mindful eating, which involves paying attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of food, as well as recognizing hunger and fullness cues, can promote a stable relationship with food and prevent overeating.  Of course, including regular physical activity in our daily routine can enhance the beneficial effects of a nutritious diet on our overall health.

The concept of food as medicine is often based on our traditional, ancestral traditions. Studies have shown that certain dietary patterns, such as the Mediterranean diet, have been associated with a lower risk of chronic diseases and improved longevity. The Mediterranean diet, which is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fish, and healthy fats like olive oil, has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and cognitive decline. Research has also highlighted the potential role of specific nutrients, such as vitamin D, in supporting immune function and reducing the risk of autoimmune diseases. Mostly, we get vitamin D from the sun.

Since everyone is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. It is always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional, and even meet with a nutritionist, before making any significant changes to your diet.

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