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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 too 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. We still call it
health food.
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. 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 and that 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 every day, this
would be nutrition that we don't want to miss.
Garlic is well known for its 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 the 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. Have at least a daily salad or invest in a juicer and drink your vegetables.