Did you know that food can actually serve as medicine for the body? The foods we eat become a part of us. If you’re a gardener, you might have learned that a plant is only as good as its soil, meaning you need to start with quality soil to get a quality plant. The same is true about us. We are only as good as the food that sustains us. If we are surviving on foods that hold no nutritional value, we can’t expect to be healthy.
We can help you understand this concept by breaking foods into two main categories: medicinal foods and addictive foods. If you missed the Addictive Foods lesson, click here.
In contrast to addictive foods, medicinal foods provide the right nutritional support to restore vitality to the body and they actually fortify brain cells, helping us to feel energetic and focused so that we can function at our best. These foods deliver glucose at a slow and steady pace, leaving us content and full for hours, while at the same time feeling attentive and emotionally stable.
Here are some of the best examples of medicinal foods:
Vital Oils – Extra virgin olive oil curbs your appetite for saturated fats by delivering essential fatty acids, which become part of our brain cells, not our belly fat. These oils help stabilize mood and improve focus, endurance, memory, ambition and performance.
Antioxidants – These powerhouses neutralize the free radical pollutants that have accumulated in our bodies, making us more susceptible to disease. Many foods contain antioxidants, such as almonds, apples, avocados, bananas, beans, carrots, celery, cinnamon, garlic, kale, lettuce, nutmeg, old fashioned oats, raspberries, sunflower seeds and stone ground wheat pasta.
Smart Proteins – The right proteins give us important amino acids and replenish our dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin. Smart proteins include things like chicken, turkey, lean meats, eggs, low fat milk, plain yogurt, certain fish, slowly absorbed breads, cereals, grains, legumes, vegetables, seeds, nuts and fruits.
Medicinal Additives – Instead of eating a lot of processed foods that are comprised of a multitude of synthetic additives, cook real food and use nature’s medicinal additives (herbs and spices). Herbs and spices are packed with antioxidants and vitamins that fight off illness and disease.
Fruits & Vegetables – We can’t forget the most basic form of medicinal foods that exist on this planet. Fruits and vegetables should be at the core of any healthy diet. Choose organic produce, which provides the highest amounts of nutrients without consuming unwanted pesticides and synthetic fertilizers at the same time.