Let Food Be Your Medicine

“Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.” Hippocrates, 400 B.C.

Think of it, around 2,400 years ago, it was well known that not only was food meant for sustenance, but as nutrition to prevent disease and encourage health! There was a time not to long ago, in modern society, that people who taught nutrition were called nuts - health nuts, to be exact.

Today science and medicine is once again catching up to the old ways of thinking by now calling these foods “functional foods.” This is a term given to healthy foods and supplements meaning the food actually contributes more to our health than it contributes to wearing the body down.

In our culture, many think that eating healthy is a burden or may inhibit their lifestyle. I have met many people who are chronically ill and want to eat “fun foods” because they feel they don’t have much longer on this earth anyway. Most people feel that food has no influence on their health.

When told of the quote "let food be your medicine," the first thought is that food is not as powerful as a drug. Perhaps now that science is actually recognizing the importance of nutrition and health, more of us can realize that some foods can heal, food is a powerful influence on your health and healthy foods are a blessing.

Incorporating healthy food into your daily regimen doesn’t have to mean that you completely change your lifestyle. (Although many do change when they feel the positive effects of a good diet.)

For example, while at home I make sure my children eat more than enough fresh, organic fruits and vegetables every day. If we decide to eat out or eat “party foods,” we make sure we all get our fill of fresh veggies before we go. This way the body has more nutrition and energy to digest the processed foods and perhaps even counteract the negative effects.

If we knew how food works in us, perhaps we can appreciate them more. Here are some examples.

One of the important foods that are easy to incorporate are carrots, known for beta carotene. This substance has been shown to cut chances of stroke, heart attack, and may even prevent lung cancer! Carrots have long been known to be rich in the nutrition that our bodies’ need in order to manufacture healthy, fresh skin cells and hair. Since your body sheds and rebuilds skin and hair everyday, this would be nutrition that we don't want to miss.

Garlic is well known for it’s antibacterial and antiviral qualities. This could be due to the fact that it increases the function of our immune system. Remember this during flu season.

Apples have natural fiber in them, which is excellent for digestive health and reduces cholesterol. In addition, fiber makes you feel full so it could be a good appetite suppressant. Apple skins contain quercetin, a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease, inhibiting the growth of tumors and can inhibit the spread of cancer cells.

I could go on and on about the many foods with many different health benefits. You could say that if nature, or God, made it than it is good for you. We just have to make sure to consume enough on a daily basis. Remember, it’s what you do most of the time, not some of the time. And this brings up another point.

We should eat whole, mostly raw and organic fruits and vegetables when possible. Studies have shown that organic foods contain 40% more nutrition than non-organic. Also, when the food has become adulterated with over cooking, processing or adding harmful chemicals and pesticides, it will not have the same effect.

Let food be your medicine. Increase your health by adding healthy (and functional) foods into your daily regimen, and try to have at least a daily salad or invest in a juicer and drink your vegetables. Either way, take care of your body and it will take care of you.

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