Your health is a direct reflection of your lifestyle and what you put into your body. For example, exercise has been shown to be as effective and in several cases more effective than modern drugs for heart disease and diabetes.
It’s also no secret that food has tremendous healing potential. And more specific food groups and items can be preventative in nature. But can food be approached as “medicine”?
There are many “medicinal” superfoods that are proven favorites.
Supporting your gut microbiome is perhaps one of the most beneficial things you can do to boost your overall health. Indigestion, gas or bloating, constipation or diarrhea, or virtually any chronic disease, are signs indicating your gut flora is out of balance.
Traditionally fermented, unpasteurized foods will help reseed your gut with a wide variety of beneficial bacteria. Not only does about 80 percent of your immune system originate in your gut, microbes carry out important roles in many other biological systems as well.
Examples of foods known to support your gut health include (but are not limited to) the following:1
- Fermented vegetables, which you can easily make at home, typically contain high levels of probiotics making them ideal for optimizing your gut flora.
Ideally, you'll want to consume a variety of fermented foods to maximize the variety of beneficial bacteria, as each have their own set of benefits.
- Bone broth is extremely healing to your gut and forms the foundation for the GAPs diet, which is based on the Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) principles developed by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride.
The GAPS diet is designed to heal leaky gut, which is the root of many allergies and autoimmune disorders. When combined with toxic overload, you have a perfect storm that can lead to neurological disorders like autism, ADHD, and learning disabilities.
- Aloe vera aids the absorption of nutrients, and helps heal your gut lining to prevent leaky gut and other intestinal problems, including Crohn's disease, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and acid reflux.
- Chia Seeds contain about 10 grams of fiber in just two tablespoons, and they're rich in anti-inflammatory phytochemicals for soothing gastrointestinal distress.
Along with fermented foods, fiber is very important for optimal gut health. Some microbes ferment fiber, and the byproducts nourish your colon.
- Turmeric for Rheumatoid arthritis.Research9shows curcumin, the active ingredient in the curry spice turmeric, possesses potent anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties. One highly bioavailable form of curcumin was found to be more effective in alleviating rheumatoid arthritis (RA) symptoms than the NSAID drug Voltaren. Not only that, but those who took the curcumin actually experienced the most improvement across the board, with no adverse side effects.
Ginger for menstrual cramps. According to Dr. John La Puma, a practicing physician and professionally trained chef:
"Ginger probably works as well as ibuprofen for menstrual cramps. It works taken as a ginger capsule or chewed."
Herbs and Spices - The list of herbs and spices that benefit gut, joint and immune health is long. The point to make is to get them organic when possible (stay away from pesticides, especially for the young and the elderly).
Food Is Powerful Preventive Medicine
If optimal health is your goal, there's no getting around your diet. Your physical health is a direct reflection of what you put into your body. Pre-packaged processed foods may be convenient, but cooking from scratch using fresh unprocessed ingredients is an absolute must if you want to improve your health.
Fermented foods also play a very important role in your overall health, as they are a primary source of beneficial bacteria. High quality fiber is also important for this reason. As a general guideline, eating more fresh vegetables is one of the simplest steps you can take to improve your overall health. A vegetable-rich diet with limited grass-fed meats or better yet proteins and amino acids from bone broths can help protect you from arthritis, heart disease, stroke, dementia, cancer, and even slow down your body's aging process.
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