Considered to be one of the most influential figures in the history of medicine, Hippocrates was quoted saying, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. Hippocrates is still, to this day, considered to be the father of medicine as a “rational science” by both medical professionals and historians. Many say that Hippocrates was ahead of his time when he advised people that eating a nutrient-rich diet could prevent and treat illnesses and sicknesses.
Although, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” was coined by Hippocrates, throughout history many traditional healing practices have adopted the theory of foods medicinal properties. From Ayurveda medicine to traditional Chinese medicine and native cultural healing, the use of food, herbs and spices has been used, taught, and passed down for thousands of years.
Thanks to research and clinical studies, modern science can now attest to Hippocrates theory that the foods within your diet can influence your health and wellness. Healthy eating has demonstrated to play critical roles in controlling inflammation levels, balancing blood sugar, regulating cardiovascular health (including blood pressure and cholesterol levels), helping the digestive organs to process and eliminate waste, and many other bodily functions.
In our current era of fast-food, excessive salt and sugar, additives, preservatives, and chemical-based fertilizer, pesticides, and crop enhancers, now more than ever, what we consume has lasting effects on our bodies and health.
Healthy foods contain influential substances including antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, fibre and much more. If we don’t nourish our bodies with these naturally occurring elements, we leave ourselves susceptible to illnesses, nutrient deficiencies, and toxicity.
Studies have shown that a poor diet can lead to a decrease in the functionality of our immune system which in turn lead to common illnesses as well as allergies, autoimmune disorders, and thyroid issues. Poor diet has also been described as a key causative attribute to many serious diseases.
With studies being conducted continuously on foods and their benefits, it has been shown in innumerable studies that what you eat can have significant effects on inflammation, hormones, alkalization, balancing glucose, detoxification, and nutrient absorption.
Decreasing & Controlling Inflammation – Many believe that inflammation is a common trait for a range of illnesses. Inflammation is a response from the immune system when the body perceives it’s being threatened, and it can affect nearly every tissue, hormone, and cell in the body.
Foods Shown to Decrease Inflammation
Balancing Hormones − Hormones affect every part of health, from your energy and cognitive abilities to your body weight and sex drive. Abnormal hormonal changes can be a primary influence of illnesses as well as a secondary consequence of illnesses.
Foods Shown to Balance Hormones
Alkalizing the Body – The pH level of our bodies is a delicate scale that needs to be carefully balanced to maintain an optimal environment for the most basic and fundamental driving force of our bodily functions.
Foods Shown to Alkalize the Body
- Baking Soda
Balancing Blood Glucose (Sugar) – A diet high in added sugar and processed carbohydrates can lead to poor insulin response and other hormonal changes which in turn can lead to cravings, fatigue and mood swings.
Foods to Balance Blood Glucose
- Chia Seeds
- Grass-Fed Lamb or Beef
Detoxifying & Eliminating Toxins – In modern society, we are bombarded by chemicals and toxins from our diet, lifestyle, and environment. Ideally, we want to decrease the build-up of these toxins and chemicals within our bodies to ensure it can function correctly.
Foods to Detoxification (Organic)
- Green Tea
- Mung Beans
Improving Absorption of Nutrients – Many people today suffer from nutritional deficiencies and high rates of free radical damage. Research suggests this is due to processed convenience foods being stripped of their natural nutrients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fibre and enzymes and being manufactured with synthetic ingredients and preservatives.
Foods to Improve Absorption
- Olive Oil
Interesting Side Note:
“The expanding field of Nutrigenomics (also called Nutritional Genomics) is devoted to studying how food influences gene expressions and contributes to either health and longevity or to disease and earlier death. The principles behind nutrigenomics can be summarized in several key points: genes play a role in disease development and prevention; a poor diet can be a serious risk factor for many diseases; nutrient deficiencies and toxic chemicals in low-quality foods have an effect on human gene expressions; each person is different in terms of how much their genes/health are impacted by their diet; and a healthy but also personalized diet can be used to prevent, mitigate or cure chronic diseases.” – Dr Axe
Please note: This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Results may vary from individual to individual.