Monday, July 1, 2013

Food as medicine. What does it mean?

Photo credit: Maarten Wouters/Getty

Eating well isn’t just about keeping the tank full. It can also be about treating and preventing disease.

We all know that we should stay away from fatty foods or too much sugar, and that we should add more fruits and vegetables to our diets. But other than fiber and “nutrients”, how many of us really understand the chemistry of our food or how it might affect us?

Most cultures have traditionally used plants for therapeutic purposes, and even today, most modern medicines are still derived from plants. However, our society has become so far removed from both food and medicine that few people realize the value of fresh, whole foods or how they affect our bodies. The widespread use of processed ingredients, artificial colors and flavors, and other unpronounceable additives also means that most of us aren’t even ingesting the good stuff without knowing about it.

Starting today, I’ll be making periodic posts about a variety of beneficial foods. I’ll discuss the important compounds they contain and how they could influence your health. My first post will look at the effects of coffee and caffeine. Keep an eye out for it later today...

“Let food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food.” – Hippocrates 

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