As a nation, we are overfed but undernourished. That sounds a bit contradictory, doesn’t it? How can we be OVERfed, yet UNDERnourished? This alone shows how greatly our food choices impact our health! Most of the foods we are overfed with are nutrient-depleted foods and, because of this, they do not provide many nutrients to our body. This poses a major concern if food is meant to be our fuel.
If you knew a certain type of gas was going to cause your car to break before you get to your final destination, would you still select that type of gas at the gas pump? I hope the answer is no! You wouldn’t fill your gas tank with any type of liquid to simply get your car to read “full” on the dashboard, you need that full tank to get you places! This is how we ought to think about our food and its relationship to our body.
Food is the fuel for our bodies. It does much more than fill our stomachs when they feel empty; the types of foods we choose to eat play a key role in determining the state of our health now and in the future. Since the food we eat is a determinant of our health, that means we have the power to work towards better health with each meal we eat.
A quote from Hippacrates states, “let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” This explains just how powerful food is to us; food is our medicine. It protects us from chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and Type 2 Diabetes, and helps us remain or get back to a state of wellness. Food has the capacity to do this because it nourishes our bodies with the nutrients needed in order to function properly at a cellular level. When our bodies are supported at a cellular level, magic happens – or so it seems! The goal with using food as medicine is to prevent serious diseases from occurring. This is why we like to think of food (and lifestyle) as healthcare and medicine as “sickcare”.
How to Let Food be Your Medicine
Do we have you excited about food yet?! Here are a few foundational components to using food as medicine in your personal healthcare:
Eat Real Food. As mentioned before, our nation is overfed with processed food products which, in turn, has led us to be undernourished. Choosing nutrient-dense, whole foods allows us to support our bodies from within because they nourish us with the nutrients we need!
Food is Information for the Body. Remember how food does much more than simply fill our stomachs when they feel empty? It delivers information to our bodies. Food gives instructions to our bodies (i.e. our cells) about how to function. We want our cells to be able to function at their most optimal level!
Eat the Rainbow. Consuming a variety of colors in your diet means consuming a variety of nutrients. The catch? Do this through whole foods, not food colorings or dyes! Create beautiful meals full of as many colors as you can. Eating the rainbow will nourish your body with a multitude of nutrients, giving signals to repair and replenish. Added bonus: this makes your food very pleasing to the eye. Search the internet for pictures of watermelon radishes or purple sweet potatoes and you’ll see just how bright some foods are, naturally!
Take the leap and take control of your health…eat real food. Reap the benefits food has to offer and use it to nourish your body! Here at Integrative Health & Wellness we are cheering you on in all your efforts!