"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food" is a quote attributed to Hippocrates, a Greek physician considered the father of modern medicine. It is often used to emphasize the importance of a healthy diet as part of maintaining good health and preventing disease. The idea is that the foods we eat have the power to nourish and heal our bodies, and that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein can help prevent and treat many health conditions. In this new blog series I will go over many different ideas and recipes to inspire you to use food in ways to help heal your body and lower inflammation.
Eating mindfully and being aware of the food you eat can help improve digestion and nutrient absorption. Being present during the meal can help the body better digest nutrients from food. This includes eating slowly, savoring each bite, and honing in on different flavor profiles. A basic outline of mindful eating is as follows:
Eating a balanced diet: Eating a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein can help prevent and treat many health conditions. This type of diet is high in nutrients and low in saturated fat, sugar, and salt.
Targeting specific health conditions: Certain foods have been shown to have specific health benefits. For example, fatty fish, such as salmon, are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help lower the risk of heart disease.
Avoiding harmful foods: Certain foods, such as those high in saturated fat, sugar, and salt, can be harmful to our health. Avoiding these foods can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes.
Supplements: Some people may need to supplement their diet with certain vitamins or minerals if they have specific deficiencies. However, it is important to speak with a healthcare professional before starting any supplement regimen.
It is important to note that using food as medicine does not replace traditional medical treatments. It should be used in conjunction with any medical treatments prescribed by a doctor. It is also important to speak with a healthcare professional or a dietitian before making any major changes to your diet.
Nutritional Health Benefits
There are many foods that are considered to be great medicine due to their nutrient content and health benefits. Here are a few examples:
Leafy greens: Spinach, kale, and collard greens are rich in vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and folate. They also contain antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation and protect against chronic diseases.
Berries: Berries such as blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are high in antioxidants, which can help protect against cancer and heart disease.
Fatty fish: Fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help lower the risk of heart disease and improve brain function.
Whole grains: Whole grains such as quinoa, oats, and brown rice are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They can help lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.
Legumes: Legumes such as lentils, beans, and chickpeas are high in fiber, protein and minerals, they can help lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels, as well as aid in weight management.
Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds such as almonds, walnuts, chia seeds and flax seeds are high in healthy fats, protein, and fiber. They can help lower cholesterol and improve heart health.
Garlic and onions: Garlic and onions contain compounds that can help lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and improve immune function.
Turmeric: Turmeric is a spice that contains curcumin, an anti-inflammatory compound that may help reduce the risk of cancer and Alzheimer's disease.
Chronic Disease Management
Eating a healthy diet can help improve overall health and prevent chronic diseases. Some tips to help getting started are,
Plan ahead: Plan your meals and snacks in advance to make sure you have healthy options on hand. This can also help you avoid impulse eating or grabbing unhealthy foods when you're short on time.
Eat more fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Aim to fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables at every meal.
Choose whole foods: Whole foods, such as whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats, are more nutritious than processed foods. Try to choose whole foods as often as possible.
Watch portion sizes: Eating too much of any food can lead to weight gain. Use smaller plates and pay attention to how much you're eating.
Cook at home: Cooking at home allows you to control the ingredients and portion sizes in your meals. This can help you make healthier choices and avoid the added sugars, sodium, and saturated fats found in many restaurant and takeout meals.
Limit added sugars and saturated fats: Added sugars and saturated fats can contribute to weight gain and chronic diseases. Try to limit your intake of foods and drinks high in added sugars, such as soda and candy, and saturated fats, such as butter and cheese.
Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water can help with digestion, reduce hunger and keep you feeling full.
Use your Senses: Try holding your nose while you eat your favorite desert, the taste has almost completely vanished! You can use this to your advantage by adding aromatics to finish a plate just before eating. a little bit of citrus zest, or your favorite herb, or spice can really liven up a dish that might otherwise be thought of as bland health food.
Who I Am and Where We're Going
I am Chef Kenyon and I will be guiding you through the steps to help you get the the most out of your diet with recipes, how to videos, and products. I have been cooking for over twenty years across the US and I currently reside in Denver, Colorado. I am excited to team up with my brother Jalil to help bring his clients a complete guide to healing through therapy and culinary tools. A lot of the content from this blog will be used for a book covering the history, folklore, and mythology of spices and herbs.I hope you will join me on this culinary journey after which we will all be better suited to let food be our medicine.