Mind & Body,  Nutrition

Food is medicine too!

Food is medicine! Did you know the food you eat can literally be the difference between a healthy you and disease?! It has become dangerously easy in this day and age to eat food that is bad for us without even knowing it – food companies are sneaky with their ingredients and nutrition labels, and the media often mis-communicates information for big headlines. It is also true that big companies pay for falsified research results to ensure their food & beverage products keep selling! I know!!

Like this for example: NY Times, Why the sugar Industry shifted the blame to fat

Food today contains some ingredients we aren’t supposed to eat at all! for example, did you know that blue sports & energy drinks and made using a food dye made from petroleum? Petrol!

But food can also be a way to heal your body, the simplest of ways, because food is medicine when you choose to eat the right foods!

Our bodies are made up of thousands of cells which renew themselves using the food we put in our bodies. You are literally what you eat! and if you are what you eat, why do so many of us choose to eat poison?

Food dyes and colourings made of petroleum, processed foods full of sugar – these things all lead to inflammation and disease. Because our bodies are not made to process them. We can only properly digest and use molecules that our digestive system recognises and can break down.

So what should you be eating?

A closer look at food

Carbohydrates –

We are designed by nature to eat mostly complex carbohydrates, which are mostly broken down into simple sugars and converted to glucose by your liver. Your body uses glucose for energy production as well as making DNA for cell replication.

The thing is when you eat complex carbohydrates your body has to digest them before they become sugar, this doesn’t happen all at once, it takes time. So the sugar is released into your blood stream bit-by-bit, and your body has time to handle it.

The problem with pure sugar, like processed sugar sweets and chocolate etc., is that the sugar goes straight into your blood stream extremely quickly, faster than your body can handle it, causing a huge spike in blood sugar. Your body has to work harder than usual to process this sugar; the pancreas releases a lot of insulin at once and your liver gets overworked dealing with it. This causes all sorts of problems including upsetting the balance of gut flora in your digestive system, mood swings, and energy dips.

Fats –

While a small percentage of the fats you eat are used for construction and producing hormones such as cholesterol, your body uses most fats for energy production.

Vitamins A, D, E and K are all fats. You need fat for healthy brain function, and it does not cause heart disease as previously claimed. There are however good and bad fats!

Hydrogenated fats and human made Trans-fats (which should now be banned!), are both bad for you.

Proteins –

Protein make up most of your body’s structure, including muscles, collagen, enzymes, hemoglobins, plasma proteins, hormones, and much more!

While most people thing you can only get protein from animal products, but this again is false information ( the belief that we need large amounts of animal protein in the diet is a manipulation by powerful meat producing companies, when in fact over consumption of meat can have serious health effects).

Cows and other animals get their protein from grass, and while we cannot digest grass there are plenty of other plants we can eat that are full of proteins. Most vegetable foods are full of protein.

In fact current research shows that eating more plant proteins instead of animal proteins lead to longer life!

Vitamins and minerals –

So you need relatively small quantities of vitamins and minerals they are involved in all kinds of cellular processes, and are absolutely essential for your health.

You need vitamins and minerals for many things including bone formation, skin and mucus membrane building, blood clotting, anti-oxidation, and other cellular processes.

Your body can make vitamin D (as long as there’s sunshine), and vitamin K (via the friendly bacteria in your bowel), but the rest you need to consume in the food you eat. The foods with the highest vitamin and mineral content are (no surprise) fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds & nuts. As well as dairy products in small quantities.

What should you be eating?

Although there is no one size fit, eating healthily isn’t hard. We should all be eating a whole-food diet of fresh fruits and vegetables. In its most simple explanation – choose the foods without an ingredients label! Fruit, vegetables…. one ingredient that you combine to make delicious food AND you know exactly what you are eating. And eat organic as much as possible to avoid consuming pesticides and toxins with your food.

More specifically foods that are good and healthy for you to eat include:

– fruits

– vegetables

– whole grains

– dairy (in small quantities) opt for oat/nut milks & yogurt

– nuts & seeds

– small amounts of fish or fish oils

– pulses

– fermented foods

– probiotics

– lots of water

– a small amount of dark, high cacau chocolate (with no added sugar or milk)

This is a very holistic and clean way of eating that is good for your body AND good for the planet.

NB. You also need to pay attention to your body and observe how it reacts to different foods. A food that most people can eat without any problems, may in fact be something you have trouble digesting and cause you unwanted side effects.

This depends largely on the health of your gut bacteria (or microbiome). These friendly bacteria are important not only for your digestion, but for the function of your immune system.

Food as Medicine

Yes food is medicine, it can heal you. Eating healthy and simply, following the diet above, gives your body the fuel it needs to work properly and the essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals to give you healthy organs, immune system, and cells.

It will also allow your body to start cleansing itself of toxins and all the ‘bad’ man made chemicals etc. that you have absorbed, and start healing you and improving your health from the inside out.

You should also avoid some key things to help with this process. What you should avoid:

– alcohol

– processed foods

– sugar (processed)

– bad fats

– stimulants

– over salted/spicy foods

– fried foods/take out/fast food

– packaged ‘ready made’ meals

– avoid meat and animal produce or eat as little as possible (maximum once per week)

Of course no one is perfect, and you should eat what you enjoy, so the odd indulgence is ok.

But as I have found, the longer you eat this way the less you enjoy the ‘bad foods’ and how they make you feel after you have eaten them (your body grows unaccustomed to them and can actually make you feel quite poorly afterwards).

Eating this way and eliminating toxins and man made ingredients is the start of an anti-inflammatory diet. This is good for all your body and every organ. It can help relieve pain, swelling, and a number of other serious illnesses.

Most illness stems from inflammation in the body.

With this way of eating you should start to feel better in yourself almost immediately, and begin to see results after a month or so! you may even lose some weight as a side effect as your body adjusts to a much healthier way of eating, and digesting foods it is actually made to eat…

 

Your body is built to cleanse itself continually, and is pretty good at it! But if you feel like you need some natural help with this detox process read my post How to Detox Your Body Naturally

Healing specific illnesses with food

If there is something specific you are wanting to treat, this takes a little more attention to detail. I will cover some of these in future posts.

For now: Do you research. Try things out. And listen to your intuition. Your body is the only place you have to live, so treat it nicely. Listen to the signals it’s sending you, and always keep adjusting and learning as you go.

As well as as you grow! 🙂

You can also read my previous posts How to heal IBS for gut issues, and what foods may be affecting your skin is covered in What’s causing your breakouts

If you would like to know more about healing a chronic illness with food, specifically M E, I have something in the works that you should enjoy!

If you would like to be one of the 1st to find out about it, & a whole host of other resources for healing your chronic illness and pain ( everything from my own healing journey!), pop your email address below.

 

I’ll be in touch when I release it later in the year!

Emily xo

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