Federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reports 86% of healthcare spending is for patients with one or more chronic conditions. But, did you know food has the power to prevent and fight diseases? Read on to learn how you can use food as medicine to improve your health and quality of life.
What is Food as Medicine?
You may be wondering what does food as medicine mean?
Specific diets have proven the powerful impact in promoting health and preventing some diseases which have contributed to the concept of food as medicine. Food might not entirely replace medicine, but certain diets have been known to suppress inflammation and make the body inhospitable to cancer cells.
Your eating habits greatly influence your risks to diseases. There’s a need to pay attention to what you eat especially when you are sick to give your body nutrients to heal and reverse the effects of diseases.
Seek Out Medicinal Foods
The following is a list of a few foods with the ability to improve health and ward off diseases:
- Ginger reduces nausea – Many recognize ginger as a cooking spice, but its uses go beyond. It aids in digestion, calms stomach upsets and helps treat arthritis. It’s widely known to reduce nausea and vomiting.
- Calcium-rich foods heal broken bones – Dairy products, vegetables, eggs, fatty fish, nuts and beans help heal and strengthen broken bones.
- Probiotics protect against disease – Ongoing studies by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine support the use of probiotics (friendly bacteria) to treat skin infections, irritable bowel syndrome, and certain cancers.
- Beets give you energy – Packed with carbs, calcium, iron, vitamins A and C, beets are a natural source of energy. Further studies show they help fight cancer and protect against heart disease.
- Good fats – Cutting fat entirely from your diet may lead to depression. Healthy fats (avocado, olive oil, fatty fish and certain nuts) is crucial for your brain to function properly and reducing the risk of heart disease.
- Mushrooms boost the immune system – American Cancer Society research continues to examine how shiitake mushrooms may prolong the life of patients with advanced stomach and colorectal cancer.
- Legumes eliminate toxins – Peas, beans, lentils are rich in soluble fiber, which can lower cholesterol in the blood, maintain blood sugar levels and they’re great sources of antioxidants. Researchers from the University of California at San Francisco suggest a high-fiber diet may eliminate carcinogens and toxins from your body.
- Honey, an alternative to sugar – Honey is an excellent source of energy and it boosts immunity.
- Berries have numerous benefits – Experts have found natural antioxidants present in berries to have phytochemicals that help lower the risk of having chronic diseases. The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry has shown that berries slow age-related memory changes and curb stress resulting from aging.
- Fresh, leafy green vegetables – High intake of kale, broccoli, asparagus, etc. can decrease your risk of heart disease. A study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention journal highlights broccoli in particular as having benefits in fighting bladder cancer.
Now You Know, Food is Nature’s Medicine!
Ayurvedic proverb clearly states, “When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use; when the diet is correct, medicine is of no need.” Whether you make small changes or eat more of these foods, you will maintain your health while preventing diseases and allowing your body to function properly.
Overall, seeing your food as medicine helps you make better decisions about what (and how) to eat.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material provided on this Site is provided for information purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, before undertaking any diet, exercise, other health program, or other procedure set out on this Site.