Let Food Be Thy Medicine

“Let food be thy medicine…” is a profound ancient quote that continues to prove true over and over again in recent scientific studies.  Despite what the science says, and with modern medicine at our fingertips, we sometimes feel more comfortable taking drugs rather than adjusting our diets.  Of course, in many cases, prescription medication is necessary (and lifesaving!), but the healing power of food should not be ignored – after all, the father of medicine told us so.

Here are some top food choices for…

Your Hair and Skin:
-Low-Fat Cottage Cheese – Since hair is mostly made of protein, a diet rich in protein may help support healthy and vibrant locks. Low-fat cottage cheese is chock-full of protein, weighing in at a whopping 14 grams per half a cup.
-Pumpkin Seeds – Pumpkin seeds are a good source of zinc, which may support healthy skin.

Your Brain:
-Arctic Char – This fish is full of omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA, which may help to support brain function. If you don’t like eating fish, try a good quality nutritional supplement.
-Kale – A study done in the Journal Neurology has reported that getting more than two servings per day of veggies, especially leafy green ones such as kale, may slow down cognitive decline.

Your Nose:
-Sunflower Seeds – Hay fever affects many people all over the world, and one particular nutrient that may be beneficial is vitamin E. Researchers believe that vitamin E may help calm the immune system and in turn, may help improve allergic symptoms. Sunflower seeds have 37% of your daily vitamin E needs in just one ounce!

Your Eyes:
-Whole Eggs – Eggs are a great source of two antioxidants – lutein and zeaxanthin.  Research shows these nutrients, also known as carotenoids, may help fight cataracts and possibly delay the onset of macular degeneration. Just be cautious of your egg consumption if you are at risk for heart disease.

-Bilberry – This berry is in the same family as blueberries and may help support eye health.

Your Heart:
-Asparagus – Asparagus is a good source of folate and potassium, two nutrients that may support heart health.
-Grape Juice – Natural, unrefined grape juice is high in phenolics. Phenolics are a group of powerful antioxidants that may help to reduce free radicals (unstable molecules that can damage cells and DNA).

Your Bones:
-Chocolate – Dark chocolate is rich in magnesium, which is vital for bone health.
-Salmon – The omega-3 fatty acids in this fish may help to improve bone density. Whole, fresh salmon (bones intact!) is another great source of calcium, which is also essential for healthy bones.

 

References:

(1) Leafy greens linked with slower age-related cognitive decline. (February 23, 2018). Retrieved from https://www.nia.nih.gov/news/leafy-greens-linked-slower-age-related-cognitive-decline

(2) Low Fat Cottage Cheese. (2018). Retrieved from http://www.calorieking.com/foods/calories-in-cottage-cheese-low-fat-cottage-cheese-1-milkfat_f-ZmlkPTEyMzc4Mg.html.

(3) Morris MC, Evans DA, Tangney CC, Bienias JL, Wilson RS. (2006). Associations of vegetable and fruit consumption with age-related cognitive change.  Neurology, Oct 24;67(8):1370-6.

(4) Smith, R. (2004). Let food be thy medicine. British Medical Journal, 328(7433)

(5) Vitamin E. (March 2, 2018). Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminE-HealthProfessional/

(6) Wartian Smith, P. (2008). What you must know about vitamins, minerals, herbs & more. Garden City Park, NY:Square One Publishers.