Mind and Body

Food as medicine

Copyright©2010 Robert Linton

 (Copyright©2010 Robert Linton)

When trying to cure an ailment, so often we turn to the laboratory to find a synthetic, "magic" cure. However, more and more, we’re finding that nutrients in natural foods have everything we need.

"An apple a day keeps the doctor away."

"As much vitamin C as an orange!"

So often we hear or read nutrition comparisons to our food, it almost begs the question: Why don’t we just start eating these foods instead?

Felicia Stoler, a nutritionist and dietitian and author of Living Skinny in Fat Genes, makes a connection between health, nutrition and natural foods. 

She suggests that we should not turn to diets that cut out whole food groups, as this is unnatural, and only makes us crave these foods more. 

We should be eating as close to the ground as possible, meaning that we should eat foods that are close to the way they are found in nature.

There are so many natural foods that have made their way from the kitchen cabinet to the medicine cabinet to supplement our health and nutrition.

Grapes: Kids and adults can enjoy the nutritional benefits of liquefied grapes in grape juice or wine. Both have been known to reduce the risk of blood clots, reduce bad cholesterol (LDL), prevent damage to heart blood vessels, and help maintain a low blood pressure, according to Mayo Clinic.

Fish Oils (Omega-3s): We always hear that fish is so great for us, but many people are picky about the food. Unfortunately for the fish-haters, fish contains omega-3, an essential fatty acid that we actually need to obtain from food sources.

Omega-3s are known to support mood regularity, blood circulation, joint health, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, in addition to many other benefits that studies are continuing to find. Luckily, there are capsules as well.

Tomatoes: Tomatoes are high in the antioxidant lycopene, which has proved to have a myriad of health benefits. Studies have shown tomatoes to support cardiovascular health, bone health, and possess anti-cancer properties among others.

Cranberries: Cranberries are a great example of a food that is often used as medicine. Many people utilize cranberry juice to help with urinary tract infections (UTIs). In addition to helping with UTIs, research shows that cranberries can prevent plaque formation on teeth and help prevent stomach cancers and ulcers, among other benefits!

In addition to these foods, there are many others with medicinal nutritional values. It’s important to remember that optimal health comes from small, everyday choices. Eating whole, unprocessed foods is one of the best ways to attain health and nutrition!toes in many forms-- from ketchup, to sun dried, to pasta sauce.

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