It sounds so simple doesn’t it?
Hippocrates once said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Ann Wigmore stated simply, “The food you eat can either be the safest and most powerful medicine or the slowest form of poison.” And Meryl Streep said, “It’s bizarre that the produce manager is more important to my children’s health than the pediatrician.” All of these quotes have ONE common link that’s quite possibly the most simplistic of truths, food is medicine!
When was food first used as medicine?
The exact date as to when food was first used as medicine is unknown. What we do know is that cultures have been curing illnesses and preventing diseases with nature since the beginning of time. In those days, modern medicine was not yet a concept, or rather, even a thought. Though, some of the earliest health care systems we have found date back to thousands of years ago in ancient times. Two of them being Ayurveda (Indian) and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Both of these systems promoted health and enhanced the quality of life through the gifts nature provided which in turn started shaping the healing properties food provides us.
In fact, ancient Egyptian medicine first used honey to treat infections, while in Hippocrate’s Greece, as well as pre-modern Europe and Asia, garlic was used to cure athlete’s foot and ginger was eaten to stimulate the metabolism.
So how exactly does food heal our bodies?
First of all, to understand this it is best to look at what is ailing your health. Everyone’s body is different and may be suffering from different illnesses. Take a look at your symptoms. Ask yourself what the problems are or what you are feeling. Fatigue? Depression? Acne? Low libido? The symptoms you are feeling is you body’s way of telling you that something is off.
Most of us feel that these issues need professional medical treatment, while in some cases this may be true, but for most, all that is needed is a closer look at the foods you are consuming. For example, sugar has recently been linked to a low libido in both males and females. Another recent study has come out comparing prescription pills vs. changing the foods you eat to cure sever acne. In many cases, those who changed their diet had, for the first time in their life, CURED their acne completely! Diabetes is also a disease that can possibly be removed from your life just by the foods you eat.
How can I change the way I’m feeling?
- Start by taking a closer look at how you feel and write it all down so you have a reference point.
- Begin a food diary immediately. Keep a two week log of the way you currently eat.
- Start researching what foods help alleviate the symptoms your having and most importantly, what foods are known to cause or contribute to them. This really is the most important step in understanding how food is medicine.
- Begin an elimination diet. Remove any foods that could be ‘poisoning’ you for two solid weeks. Then every 3-4 days you may reintroduce ONE food back at a time. See what the effect is, analyze how you feel and most importantly, keep a diary. This will really come in handy!
Here’s a good example.
If you are suffering from a leaky gut caused by Candida overgrowth, some foods that are very nutrient dense like sweet potatoes, beets, and carrots might seem like a good choice, but they are not! Certain starchy vegetables have higher sugar contents that feed the Candida growth. Instead, eating non-starchy veggies like cabbage, rutabaga and garlic are the right choice because of their amazing anti-fungal properties. Only until your gut completely heals is it ok to incorporate starchy vegetables back into your diet.
The plant-based truth!
The truth is, rich, plant-based diets provide us with phytochemicals that do WONDERS for our immune system because of their high antioxidant content. These phytochemicals can actually prevent diseases and are found in many common (and delicious!) vegetables, fruits, grains and even herbs. The key is to determine which foods are right for you!
It is never too late to take hold of the amazing healing properties that foods have to offer and to take control of your health. All you really need is a little patience and determination to feel the beauty of a healthy, happy body again!
Share your food healing stories with us and let us know what you think about the medical power of food below.
Happy and Healthy Blessings,
The Roots team