Food as Medicine
Nearly 2,500 years ago Hippocrates is supposed to have said, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”
Beyond basic nutrition, food also provides important medical benefits. Hence, food is also medicine. The food we eat can stop and in some cases fight disease. If you find yourself chronically suffering from depression, constipation, headaches or hypertension, make the food you eat the solution to these problems.
Some of these whole, nutritious foods include:
Whole grains contain different phytonutrients (A phytonutrient is the term given to the parts of plants with health benefits) that are performing as good as fruits and vegetables, according to the American Dietetic Association. Whole grains include whole wheat, oats, bulgur, brown rice, and bran.
Researchers at the University of Minnesota states that eating three daily servings of whole grains can cut the risk of
- heart disease by 25 to 36 percent
- stroke by 37 percent, and
- type 2 diabetes by 21 to 27 percent
Among the food containing probiotics (the “friendly” bacteria that when ingested helps fight diseases), yogurt is the most popular and beneficial. According to two recent studies, eating yogurt considerably improved a person’s capacity to fight off pneumonia.
Eating yogurt is a recommended daily habit; just make sure that you buy yogurt brands with “live” or “active” cultures, as the probiotics can’t give any benefit if they’re already dead before you eat them.
A study presented at the November 2005 meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research established that Polish women who take cabbage and sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) four or more times a week were 74 percent less prone to develop breast cancer.
The mighty cabbage may also protect against cancers of the stomach, lungs, and colon. The super component in cabbage seems to be sulforaphane, a phytochemical that works by inciting cells to eradicate cancerous substances.
Eating cabbage four times a week may be a la lot for most people, but putting it to soups and salads once or twice a week is a good idea,
Researchers at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University promote the benefits of blueberries. Taking one serving of wild blueberries are equal to eating two to three servings of some other fruits and vegetables, including broccoli, apples, and even spinach.
Studies published in the past year also illustrate that eating ample servings of blueberries may help reduce brain damage from strokes and may lessen the effects of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
Scientists have been aware for years that habitual eating of tomato-based foods can shrink a man’s risk of prostate cancer by up to 35 percent. Of late, studies have revealed that men who already have prostate cancer may profit as well.
The levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the patients’ blood plunged by nearly 20 percent. (PSA is a gauge of prostate-cancer-cell activity, so the lower the level, the less active the cancer cells.)
The probable active component in tomatoes is lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that is considered to also shield the body against stomach and lung cancers. Men with prostate cancer are advised to eat cooked tomatoes daily, in chilies, soups, spaghetti sauces, or other dishes.
An all-natural pain reliever, cherries can benefit sufferers of arthritis by reducing the pain in the joints. Joseph Pizzorno, a doctor of naturopathic medicine and coauthor of The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods said, “One of the old-time therapies for gout [a very painful form of arthritis] was black cherries.” “Until just recently, nobody really knew why it worked out; they just knew that it did.”
If you suffer from arthritis, you should integrate this antioxidant-rich fruit into your diet a number of times a week.
Beans is one of the most underrated nutritional sources today. Not only are beans a fine source of protein and antioxidants, they’re also rich in fiber which has been proven in some studies to help prevent colon cancer. Two to four servings a week of beans will prove to be beneficial.