The concept of “food as medicine” has been gaining a lot of attention in recent years. The idea is simple: what we eat can have a powerful impact on our overall health and wellbeing. In fact, some experts argue that certain foods can be even more effective at preventing and treating certain diseases than traditional medications.
“One of the key principles of food as medicine is that the body is designed to heal itself when given the right nutrients,” says Dr. Freddie Ulan, founder of Nutrition Response Testing®. “This means that by eating a diet rich in nutrient-dense foods that address our bodies’ needs, we can support the natural healing process.”
Nutrient Dense Foods
Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds are some of the best examples of nutrient-dense foods that are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These foods are also rich in fiber, which is essential for maintaining a healthy gut microbiome and promoting digestion. Eating a diet rich in these types of foods can help to lower your risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
It’s also important to be mindful of the types of fats and proteins you consume, as they play a crucial role in overall health. Healthy fats, such as those found in avocados, olive oil, and nuts, are beneficial for heart health and can help to reduce inflammation in the body. Meanwhile, lean protein sources, such as fish, chicken, and legumes, are important for building and repairing tissues.
Food Sensitivities and Allergies
Another important aspect of food as medicine is being mindful of food sensitivities and allergies. For example, if you have a gluten sensitivity, avoiding gluten-containing foods can have a major impact on your overall health and wellbeing. In addition, it’s important to be aware of food allergies and intolerances, as they can cause a wide range of symptoms and chronic health issues if left untreated.
Health Benefits of Nutrients
Certain foods have also been found to have specific health benefits. For example, turmeric, a spice commonly used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine, has anti-inflammatory properties and has been found to be beneficial for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and certain types of cancer. Similarly, omega-3 fatty acids found in fish such as salmon and sardines, have been found to be beneficial for heart health, reducing the risk of heart disease.
What to Avoid
It’s also important to mention that food as medicine is not only about what you eat but also what you avoid. Processed foods, added sugars, and unhealthy fats should be limited in your diet as they are associated with a range of chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
The concept of food as medicine is rooted in the idea that what we eat can have a powerful impact on our health. By focusing on nutrient-dense whole foods, being mindful of food sensitivities, and including healthy fats and proteins, we can support our body’s natural healing processes and reduce our risk of chronic diseases.
It is important to remember that food as medicine is not a one-size-fits-all approach. The best way to determine what your body needs is to work with a Nutrition Response Testing® practitioner and get a personalized, clinically designed nutrition plan that addresses the exact nutrient needs for your body.