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Food as Medicine and Fuel for Health and Vitality

Foods can cause disease… or foods can cure disease.

Animals in the wild tend to know innately, which foods to eat and which to avoid. They also tend to know which foods to consume to help heal. In modernity humans tend to be removed from this instinctual knowledge. This is just something that happens when we have the leisure and privilege to learn to create foods into all kinds of treats and delicacies, often far removed from its natural form.

Most of us tend to forget that food is for nutrition, healing and survival over taste. Ask the average child, teen or adult, what they’re going to have for lunch or dinner, and chances are the majority will choose based on what they feel like eating.

What if we had the ability to do an instant-results saliva test that could tell us at any given time of day which nutrients our body needed most? Then we proceeded to consume those foods next. When we begin to look at food as medicine and fuel, it’s easier to make better, healthier food choices and harder to choose that donut, french fries, soda or potato chips… the kinds of foods that give pleasure but not substance that your body needs.

food as medicine, shutterstock_106809434

Hippocrates said:

“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be they food.” Hippocrates, 460-370 BC

It must’ve worked for him because Hippocrates lived to be approximately 90 years old, (exact dates are uncertain).1)http://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/hippocrates-120.php

We know we need food and water to survive, yet most people don’t consume enough water, or eat enough healthy foods prepared in ways that retain the most nutrition.

few people eat for nutrition over flavor.

That’s a bit like casting garden seeds into a meadow. Some may grow, but none of them will have their best chance.

Instead, we turn the soil, add amendments (supplements), we plant nourishing ground covers to feed and restore the soil. Then we plant and water and feed the garden what it needs, so that in turn, it will feed us well.

food as medicine, shutterstock_290841278Foods from the garden reap health.

Every bite we consume has one of three results.

Our Foods Are Either:

  1. nourishing
  2. detrimental
  3. neutral

This is not a scientific conclusion. Rather, it’s a general rule of thumb in our family that for optimum health, at least 80% of our diet should fall under the first category: nourishing. That means not only eating the amazing fresh organic foods from the garden, but also, not overcooking our veggies, and not overindulging in sugary treats.

An example of “neutral” health benefit might be a vegetable that has been overcooked to the point that most of the natural nutrients have been destroyed or rendered mostly useless. Some foods, when overcooked, or fried, can actually become toxic, and cancer-inducing,but we won’t go into that here.2)http://www.techtimes.com/articles/104393/20151109/scientists-recommend-cooking-with-lard-butter-frying-with-vegetable-oil-releases-toxic-cancer-causing-chemicals.htm

Oil changes its molecular structure when heated and produces substances called aldehydes, which may cause cancer and heart disease.

For most of us, when we’re deciding what to eat for a meal or snack, what’s one of the first things we say or think? “What do I want to eat?” Right? But what if instead, we said, “What does my body need most?”

If that seems impractical given the vast array of temptations and favorite foods today, we get it! But what about 80% of the time? That’s more doable isn’t it? And to shoot for that goal turns the current average American diet upside down in a good way.

Food as medicine is a really logical and appealing, low cost solution over disease and drugs. For instance, here’s the power of just one simple and very common garden favorite from Bottom Line Publications.3)http://www.bottomlinepublications.com/content/article/natural-remedies/celery-lowers-blood-pressure-and-other-food-cures

If blood pressure is an issue, it maybe that you have to take a pill. Or, it may be that you can just eat a stalk.

food as medicine, IMG_0560

One man in the GardensAll community, David, not only healed himself through his garden, but was able to earn a decent living gardening on just 1/8 of an acre.

Celery Lowers Blood Pressure

We love natural cures, and always go there first. It just makes sense. Sometimes we forget that natural remedies have been around longer than modern medicine.

Natural remedies have been around longer than modern medicine. Let's grow more health!

So… for starters, (and these are just a few of the benefits):

Medicinal Benefit of Foods

  1. Celery for blood pressure
  2. Jerusalem artichokes for blood sugar and diabetes
  3. Persimmons for cancer prevention
  4. Squash as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant
  5. Garlic as antibiotic and antiviral
  6. Elderberry as an immune boosting fruit
  7. You name it… fruits and veggies got it!

Add any vegetable or fruit and you’ve got health and healing benefits when eaten in its natural form or fermented for a probiotic boost.

There are so many healing foods and ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen that can help specific conditions. And, since it’s a favorite topic for us, we also have other articles that may interest you, such as this one on remedies in your kitchen and other home remedies.

 

Foods can cause disease... or foods can cure disease. Animals in the wild tend to know innately, which foods to eat and which to avoid. They also tend to know which foods to consume to help heal. In modernity humans tend to be removed from this instinctual knowledge.

I’m LeAura Alderson, entrepreneur, ideator, media publisher, writer and editor of GardensAll.com. Pursuits in recent years have been more planting seeds of ideas for business growth more than gardening. However, I’ve always been interested in medicinal herbs and getting nutrition and healing from food over pharmacy. As a family we’re eager to dig more deeply into gardening and edible landscape for the love of fresh organic foods and self sustainability. We thoroughly enjoy and appreciate the creative ingenuity of the GardensAll community.

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