How can you use food as medicine to eat your way to better health? We all have often heard the phrase, “You are what you eat.” It is not just a mere sentence. It is a truth based on many scientific facts. Whatever we eat and our overall food choices have a significant impact on our health. Shopping wisely improves your waistline and budget.
Nowadays, when people turn towards organic foods, herbs, and natural cures, healthy foods are becoming a cure for many ailments. Various foods have healing properties and help in recovering the body after an accident or injury. In today’s articles, we will tell you about how to eat your way to better health.
Best Food for Medicine and why
For a healthy body, the most critical factor is to maintain your ideal body weight at all times. It implies that you need to consume more nutrient-dense and fewer calorie-dense foods.
Nutrient-dense foods are full of nutrients and fill your stomach but add little to the caloric count. Some of the nutrient-dense foods include:
- Nuts, Legumes, and whole grains
Nuts and some of the dried fruits are the most nutritious ones but have zero or few calories. These include Almonds, Raisins, Figs, Peanuts, etc. They are an essential source of magnesium, zinc, iron, and other vital minerals.
Legumes and Beans are not only full of micronutrients but are also an excellent source of plant protein.
If you are overweight, you need to cut down your caloric intake and increase physical activity.
You can consume Whole Grains such as oat and wheat as porridges and tortillas. These grains are excellent fiber, thiamin, riboflavin, zinc, magnesium, and other micronutrients.
- Fruits and vegetables
Almost every person can incorporate seasonal fruits and fresh vegetables into their diet. They are some of the best food for medicine. You can consume fruits and vegetables raw, as a part of salads, in juice or pickles.
- Dark green leafy vegetables
Dark green leafy vegetables are excellent sources of calcium and iron. In people with iron deficiency anemia, the consumption of leafy green vegetables can improve the production of red blood cells. Leafy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and kale are excellent sources of potassium, magnesium, Vitamin A, C, E, and B6.
Avocados contain fat that is most helpful for the body. It also comprises various fat-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin E and K. The fat of avocados helps remove the cholesterol from the bloodstream. It also acts as an antioxidant, and experts found it to reduce the growth of cancer cells.
Berries such as blueberries and raspberries are rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants. These prevent free radicals from damaging your body and boost immunity.
- Meat and eggs
When we say meat, people take it as mutton or beef. We also included fish and chicken in the same class. Meat is most beneficial because it furnishes our bodies with high-quality protein. We should take care to consume only lean cuts of meat to prevent the buildup of cholesterol.
Fish is an excellent source of vitamin A, D, and E. Oily fish provide our body all the essential fats and fat-soluble nutrients.
Eggs are also easy to incorporate into your diet and are excellent sources of Vitamin B2 and B12. It is also an excellent source of choline and helps in the synthesis of cell membranes.
Foods to avoid and why
For good health and an active lifestyle, we advise you to avoid calorie-dense foods. The best foods for medicine provide many nutrients while helping you manage your weight. It would be best if you only consumed these kinds of food in moderation, once in a while. Here are the reasons to avoid certain foods.
- Sugary Foods
Many nutritionists call white sugar “The White poison.” If consumed in more significant amounts, sugar can cause insulin resistance and can increase the risk of diabetes. It also increases caloric intake drastically.
- Fried Food
Foods deep-fried in hot oil are not only calorie-dense, but they also are nutritionally inadequate. We lose many nutrients when we cook food at a high temperature. It can create chemical compounds which may harm your health.
- Refined Carbohydrates (read: junk foods)
Pizzas, burgers, fast foods, pastries, and bakery items are all one or the other forms of refined carbohydrates. These not only upset the glycemic load but eventually get turned into fats and lead to obesity. They also may cause digestive health issues such as constipation and flatulence. That is why we advise you to consume these foods once in a while and not in routine.
Properties in food that improve your health
Fresh foods have unique properties, which act as food for medicine. These are as follows.
- Properties of whole grains
- They regulate blood glucose levels.
- Help eliminates the toxins from the body.
- Improve digestion by maintaining the balance of intestinal flora
- Fruits and Vegetables
- They boost immunity because of the phytochemical.
- Fruits and vegetables improve energy metabolism because of their micronutrient content.
- They fill the stomach without adding to the caloric load
- Meat, Fish, and poultry
- This helps build the muscle mass of the body and contributes to the growth
- In case of injury, the protein content of these foods aids in speedy recovery
- They can prove to be a source of energy in the absence of carbohydrates.
Healthy fats and oils
- They act as a carrier of fat-soluble protective nutrients
- Forms the protective membranes of vital organs
- Provides lubrication to joints and improves joint health
- Are vital components in the synthesis of essential hormones
All the naturally occurring foods are beneficial to your health. They not only act as mere food but also have healing and recovery properties. The critical element is to know which foods you can consume regularly and eat in moderation.
Consuming whole grains, meats, legumes, and fruits regularly will provide benefits to your body. Avoid sugary foods, refined carbohydrates, and fatty foods at all times. You should only consume these foods occasionally. When you use food as medicine, you gain a wealth of health and fitness benefits.
Hopefully, our brief guidelines will help you plan your meals in a healthy befitting manner.