5 basic principles of using food as medicine
Eating wholesome food and avoiding processed or junk food is the way to wellness, but it’s much easier said than done. The Greek physician and father of modern medicine Hippocrates was one of the first to suggest that food is medicine when he said: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” In this day and age the ton of information available online is both a blessing and a curse, so we’ve done the work for you and found these five basic principles on how you can use food as medicine:
Choose whole foods
Experts suggest we strive to eat like our hunter-gatherer ancestors, but with the knowledge and mindfulness of our own time. Where you can, choose unprocessed foods without tons of added sugar and salt. These foods have more readily available nutrients your body craves.
Identify food allergies and intolerances
Bloating, cramps and inflammation might be your body’s way of telling you’re eating something you have a negative reaction to. One of the recommended ways of identifying an allergy or food sensitivity is by following an elimination diet. It works like this: You cut out one thing at a time for a certain period to see how you feel while you don’t eat it and also how your body reacts when you re-introduce the eliminated food. Dairy, gluten, nuts, and grains are often high on the list of allergens. Consult your doctor or a dietician to ensure you get the right results.
No matter how healthy your diet is, if your body is suffering from stress (yes, suffering), then it won’t be able to work at its optimal capacity. Too much stress also interferes with your hormones, which impacts your hunger and moods. When you change your lifestyle or change your eating habits, remember to also include a plan on how you’ll deal with stress. Eating mindfully and meditating is often recommended for coping with stress and bad eating habits.
Consult a doctor about deficiencies
If you’re feeling tired, lethargic or just plain run down you could be suffering from a nutrient deficiency. Google any one of these symptoms and you’ll be convinced you have a terminal illness in a minute. The best thing to do is to consult a doctor who can recommend a supplement and eating plan so you can keep your energy and wellness levels high.
Don’t become a food fanatic
The most important thing to understand about food, weight loss and wellness is that each and every one of us is unique. What works for one, might not work for another. Remember food is something you should enjoy, not something to overthink or obsess about. Beautiful, colourful, and healthy foods tastes good and makes you feel good. Find what works for you and enjoy the process.