As humans we’re robust, but we’re not invincible. And many issues lie in the fact that we evolved to be very active creatures that ate natural ingredients, to ones that are mostly sedentary. These days we tend to eat highly fatty and sugary foods which would never be found in nature, and in quantities that are far too large. So when things go wrong with the body, it makes sense to take it back to basics. Give ourselves the healthy and natural foods we were quite literally designed to eat. Modern medicine can be very effective, but it’s powerful and often comes with a whole host of unpleasant side effects. Don’t underestimate how incredible nature can be at both preventing ills and even reversing certain conditions once they’ve begun. Here’s how you can use food as your medicine.
Acne and Skin Conditions
Hormonal fluctuations and inflammation caused by processed foods, high sugar and high-fat foods can all trigger or worsen skin conditions like acne. Cow’s milk is also a known cause, most likely due to the blood sugar spikes it causes and the increase in insulin levels which encourages the production of sebum in the skin. Avoiding these in your diet is the first step. Instead fill up on fresh produce, fish, flaxseed and foods high in probiotics. Unlike milk, yoghurt is more easily digested by the body, and the high probiotic count helps to reduce inflammation and acne. Other ingredients you can add to your diet for better skin include green tea which can help protect against sun damage and UV rays. Brazil nuts which are high in good fats and contain skin-friendly vitamin E, and turmeric which again reduces inflammation. Staying hydrated is also key to good skin, so be sure to drink plenty of water too.
Digestive disorders can often be a result of food intolerances. If you suspect that this is the case, it’s important to pinpoint what’s causing the problem- keeping a food diary or visiting your GP for tests are two options. Unlike food allergies where the symptoms come on quite quickly after consuming (making it obvious what the issue is) with intolerances, it could be hours or even days afterwards making it far harder to work out. Common food intolerances include wheat, gluten and dairy- meaning you could be eating a perfectly healthy diet filled with low-fat dairy and whole grains but still experiencing uncomfortable symptoms. Acid reflux is another common digestive disorder- avoiding spicy, and citrus foods as well as carbonated drinks can help. Oats, ginger, banana and poultry are all foods that are likely to help. Don’t overfill your stomach, especially in the evening as laying down with a full stomach can make issues worse.
Fatigue, ‘brain fog’ tiredness due to a poorly functioning adrenal gland can really affect your quality of life. It’s generally found in those who are under physical, mental and emotional stress where the adrenal glands stop producing enough hormone. Speaking to a specialist who uses a natural approach such as https://www.drlam.com/ can be beneficial. Foods you can consume to help include coconut, olives, avocado, nuts, seeds and cruciferous vegetables. Not only will these things naturally replenish your body and give you energy but they can help to restore balance and combat the symptoms of adrenal fatigue.
Cramps are painful spasms in the body and can affect your daily activities such as driving. Leg cramps can also wake people up from sleep which then causes further issues. While they can be a result of an underlying issue, cramps can be a result of dehydration or potassium deficiency. Therefore drinking plenty of water and green tea is the first step. Foods high in potassium include dark leafy greens, squashes, yoghurt, fish, mushrooms and bananas.
Being able to see well is something we shouldn’t take for granted. Vision issues are life changing, and so it’s important to protect our eyes and do what we can to keep them in good health. To avoid cataracts and macular degeneration as we age- fill your plate with green leafy vegetables, oily fish and non-meat protein such as eggs, nuts and beans. A healthy diet can also keep you at a healthy weight meaning you avoid preventative diseases like type two diabetes- a condition which can also affect your eyesight. Quitting smoking and protecting your eyes from the sun are also ways you can protect your eyes and maintain good eyesight right into old age.
Diabetes and Blood Sugar Problems
Type two diabetes is often a result of obesity over many years. Staying at a healthy weight is one way you can avoid this. If you’re at risk for or have been diagnosed with diabetes, keeping your blood sugar under control is key. Your health advisor or GP will walk you through a suitable plan, it’s important to follow this to prevent further issues with uncontrolled blood sugar levels. This will mean cutting right back on sugary foods and refined carbs. Complex carbohydrates release energy more steadily so are a far better choice. Fill up on asparagus, avocados, beans, berries, broccoli and carrots amongst other things which have been shown to be beneficial in type two diabetics. With the right lifestyle changes, diabetes can be reversed in some patients to the point where they no longer need medication. Eating the right foods and exercising is key to doing so, so there is hope if you’ve recently been diagnosed.
Eating a healthy and balanced diet is one of the best ways you can protect your body. You’ll be happier, live longer and experience far fewer health issues compared to those who eat a standard American diet. We only get one life, it’s up to us to make it a good one. Don’t cut it short by making poor choices.
Do you consider food as medicine? What are your favourite ingredients to promote good health?