Your Food is a Medicine: Why and How It Can Nourish Our Body
The food we are eating is giving our bodies the materials and information we need in order to function properly. If we would not get the appropriate information, our metabolic processes will suffer, and our health will decline. If we get so much food, or some foods that give our bodies the wrong instructions, we may become undernourished, overweight, and at risk, may develop conditions and diseases, such as heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes. In short, the food we eat is central to our health. Medicine is the art and science that deals with healthy maintenance, and the alleviation, prevention, or cure of diseases; and food is acting as medicine, to prevent, maintain, and treat diseases. Therefore, we should take medicine with food.
What does food do in our bodies?
The nutrients in medicinal food allow cells in our bodies to perform their proper functions. Nutrients are food’s nourishing substances that are important for the maintenance, growth, and development of body functions. This means that if the nutrients are not present, human health will decline. When the intake of nutrients does not meet the nutrient needs dictated regularly by the cell activity, the metabolic processes slow down and may even stop. In other words, the nutrient is giving our bodies instructions regarding how to function.
In this sense, natural healing foods may be seen as a source of information for the body. To think about food in this way will give us a view of nutrition going beyond grams or calories, good or bad foods. This view is leading us to focus on foods that we need to include, instead of foods to exclude. Rather than viewing food as an enemy, we should look to food as a way of creating health and reducing disease by helping body to maintain its function.
Why Must We Care?
The food nutrients are giving our bodies the materials and information they need in order to function appropriately. However, our everyday dietary medicine does not always provide all of the information our bodies need. We know that we have to get basic balance of nutrients each day, but we may not be wary about the Standard American Diet or the SAD lacking nutrients. Furthermore, some of the processed foods include the chemically altered sugars and fats, which can give our bodies the wrong signals.
Connection between Foods and Diseases
As a society, we face essential health problems. The US ranked 9th in the life expectancy among the nations in the developed world. We have a workplace that is plagued with reduced productivity and absenteeism due to chronic health problems, which include the depression. About 78% of the health expenditures are for the treatment of chronic disease. Many researchers believed that these problems are quite related to diet. While they usually believe that these diseases including obesity, stroke, particular cancers, and diabetes II, were caused by just a single mutation of gene, they now generally attribute these conditions to a network of biological dysfunction.
Furthermore, the medicinal foods that we eat are a significant factor in the dysfunction, partly because our diets have lacked the balance needed of nutrients. In order to prevent the onset of these diseases, we have to know how the multiple nutrients in a diet is interacting and affecting the function of the human body, in accordance to the Nutrition Society, the largest nutritional organization in Europe.
Perspective of Functional Medicine
Because your food is medicine, one of the components of functional medicine is focusing on how food and diet affects function and health. When functional medicine practitioners have examine the nutrition role in the chronic disease, they are looking at multiple systems like the immune system, digestive system, as well as the detoxification system, due to the interconnection between these systems. For example, since 80% of the immune system is contained in the gastrointestinal system, the issues of a person with immunity may be related to the faulty digestion.
Functional medicine is maintaining that chronic disease is nearly preceded by a period to decline health in one or more systems in the body. Thereby, these practitioners are seeking to identify the early symptoms indicating the underlying dysfunction, which may possibly lead to disease. One way that functional medicine would seek addressing the declining health is by providing the nutrients and natural healing foods necessary to restore function. This is a non-invasive and effective intervention, which aims to stop the process to lead to disease.
How to Nourish your Body
In developing the nourishment in our body, you will need to plan your meal for the week. Make sure that you take into account any meetings, potential conflicts, or special events that might be making it difficult for you to eat a nutritious meal and you should plan accordingly. Choose a day to do your cooking and shopping for the week, and you should purchase in bulk. There are many nutritional recipes, which you can make for a delicious and healthy meal because your food is medicine.