The Best Medicine
I’ve only been around in the corporate world long enough to have become a notorious foodie. I abandon the comfort of my blanket at 5.30am every morning, except Saturdays and Sundays, just to conquer the traffic and get to work at 8am.
So, oftentimes I dash into my kitchen and whip something that won’t steal from my already demanding time. And I would wolf down every last drop of it. I was a reckless consumer until I rammed into a nutritionist in Victoria Island one Tuesday morning and the narrative changed positively.
Have you ever considered the kinds of foods you subject your stomach to or the purpose they serve in your body? Do you want to know or are you simply eating to fill your empty food chamber and jet off to work?
You will agree that what you choose to eat has profound effects on your overall health. Health experts have said that food is medicine, but this will only work when you make the right choices of what you consume on a daily basis.
Look at dietary habits. It influences disease risk. While certain foods may trigger chronic health conditions, others offer strong medicinal and protective qualities.
Different findings have proven that robust diets, indeed, function as preventative medicine.
However, it is recommended that diet alone cannot and should not replace medicine in all circumstances. Although many illnesses can be prevented, treated, or even cured by dietary and lifestyle changes, many others cannot.
With this article, readers are exposed to the medicinal effects of food, including which foods should and shouldn’t be used for healing.
Many nutrients in food promote health and protect your body from disease.
Eating whole, nutritious foods is important because their unique substances work synergistically to create an effect that can’t be replicated by taking a supplement.
Vitamins and Minerals
Although your body only needs tiny amounts of vitamins and minerals, they’re vital for your health.
However, Western diets — high in processed foods and low in whole foods like fresh produce — are typically deficient in vitamins and minerals. Such deficiencies can substantially increase your risk of disease.
For example, insufficient intakes of vitamin C, vitamin D, and folate may harm your heart, cause immune dysfunction, and increase your risk of certain cancers, respectively.
Beneficial Plant Compounds
Nutritious foods, including vegetables, fruits, beans, and grains, boast numerous beneficial compounds, such as antioxidants.
Antioxidants protect cells from damage that may otherwise lead to disease.
In fact, studies demonstrate that people whose diets are rich in polyphenol antioxidants have lower rates of depression, diabetes, dementia, and heart disease.
Fiber is an essential part of a healthy diet. It not only promotes proper digestion and elimination.
Thus, high-fiber foods like vegetables, beans, grains, and fruits help protect against disease, decrease inflammation, and boost your immune system.
On the other hand, low-fiber diets are associated with an increased risk of illnesses, including colon cancer and stroke.
Protein and Healthy Fats
The protein and fat in whole, nutritious foods play various critical roles in your body.
Amino acids — the building blocks of protein — aid immune function, muscle synthesis, metabolism, and growth, while fats provide fuel and help absorb nutrients.
Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in foods like fatty fish, help regulate inflammation and are linked to improved heart and immune health.
Whole, nutritious foods boost vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, protein, and fat, all of which promote health and are key to optimal bodily function.