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Food as medicine


Food has always been essential to human life, not only for its nutritional value but also for its medicinal properties. Healthy food habits can improve our overall health, prevent chronic diseases and even aid in the management of existing medical conditions.

   Healthy food such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats can provide your body essential nutrition. Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that can help to protect the cells from damage, lower risk of chronic disorders and improve immune system.

  Food is a fundamental part of our daily lives, providing us with the energy and nutrients we need to live and thrive. However, food is not just a source of fuel it uses as medicine to prevent and treat various health conditions.

This concept is known as “food as medicine”.

food as medicine

              Food as medicine is not a new concept. Ancient Civilization such as Greeks and the Chinese, recognized the healing properties of certain foods and used them to treat various ailments. Today, scientific research continues to validate the health benefits of certain foods and their potential to prevent and treat diseases. However, it is important to note that food should be use as a substitute for medical treatment, while certain foods are beneficial to health, they. should not be used as a replacement for medication or other medical treatment. 

       Let’s understand with examples, how food can act as medicine!!!!!!

  • One of the most well-known examples of food as medicine is the Mediterranean diet. This diet is rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes and olive oil and associate with lower risk of heart disease, stroke and certain types of cancer. The Mediterranean diet is also rich in antioxidants which can help to protect the body against damage from harmful molecules called free radicals.
  • Another example of food as medicine is the use of probiotics. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeast that are beneficial to the digestive system. They can be found in fermented food such as yoghurt, kefir, and sauerkraut. Probiotics can help to improve digestive health, boost the immune system and even improve mental health.
  • According to advanced nutritional science, CAROTENOIDS link to longevity and chronic disease prevention. More than 600 carotenoids synthesize by plants and act as antioxidant properties. Carotenoids are found in green vegetables, tomatoes and yellow, red and orange fruits and vegetables such as carrot, sweet potatoes, papaya and red peppers.
  • We also know as a newly discovered substances with identified age delaying functions such as mushroom derived antioxidant ERGOTHIONEINE and the bacterial metabolites QUININE and PYRROLOQUINOLINE QUINONE (PQQ). PQQ synthesize by soil bacteria and is present in vegetables and quinine in produced by favorable gut bacteria. These substances protect against the degradation of cellular protein transcription and of Mitochondria.
  • Certain foods also have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to reduce inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation link to a variety of health conditions including Arthritis, diabetes and heart disease. Foods that have anti-inflammatory properties include fatty fish, nuts, seeds and leafy green vegetables.
  • Food is used as medicine to manage certain health conditions. People with Type 1,2 diabetes can use food to help regulate their blood sugar levels. Foods that are high in fiber such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables can help slow down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. Foods that are low on the glycemic index such as sweet potatoes, quinoa and lentils can also help to regulate blood sugar levels.

Food as medicine is not just about individual foods, it is also about the overall quality of the diet.

 Some herbs, Berries and fishes also have medicinal properties. If they are properly consume in the daily diet, they can be more beneficial. Let’s look at some examples.

  • Garlic; – Garlic is potent anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. It can also help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  • Turmeric; – Turmeric contains CURCUMIN, a compound that has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It improves brain function, lower the risk of heart diseases and cancer.
  • Turmeric aid in the management of Arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.
  • Ginger; – Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce pain and inflammation in the body. It can also help to improve digestion, relieve nausea, vomiting and boost immune system.
  • Berries; – Berries are high in antioxidants that can help to protect your cells from damage.
  • They reduce inflammation in the body. They may improve brain function, lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Salmon fish; – Salmon is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation in the body.
  • salmon fish lower the risk of heart disease, stroke and other chronic conditions.
  • We have learnt how food acts as medicine, but it’s important to know that no one food can cure a specific disease, but a healthy diet can certainly help.
  • If you have a medical condition, it is important to speak with your healthcare provider before making any significant changes to your diet. They can help you determine which foods are best for you and whether any dietary supplements may be beneficial.

Dr.Hetal Patel


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