Food As Medicine

Nourish Your Body

I was raised with the expression, You Are What You Eat. 

Consuming fewer processed foods can lead to better brain and emotional health.

Good health is best supported by eating a variety of nutritious foods every day. 

16 Superfoods

  1. Dark Leafy Greens - Folate, Zinc, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Vitamin C, Fiber. Can be found in Kale, Swiss Chard, Collard Greens, Turnip Greens, Spinach.

  2. Berries - Vitamins, Minerals, Fiber and Antioxidants. Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, cranberries

  3. Green Tea - Lightly caffeinated. Rich in antioxidants and polyphenolic compounds which have strong anti-inflammatory effects.

  4. Eggs - B vitamins, Choline, Selenium, Vitamin A, Iron and Phosphorus. Loaded with high-quality protein. 

  5. Legumes - B Vitamins, various minerals protein and fiber. Beans including soy, lentils, peas, peanuts and alfalfa.

  6. Nuts and Seeds - rich in fiber, vegetarian protein and heart healthy fats. Common nuts and seeds include: Almonds, Pecans, Pistachios, Walnuts, Cashews, Brazil Nuts, Macadamia Nuts. Peanuts — technically a legume, but often considered a nut. Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seeds.

  7. Yogurt and Kefir - Protein, Calcium, B vitamins, Potassium and Probiotics.

  8. Garlic-  Manganese, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Selenium and Fiber.

  9. Olive Oil- Monounsaturated fat, Vitamin E, Protect against cellular damage and oxidative stress.

  10. Ginger- Antioxidant

  11. Turmeric - Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory. Aids wound healing and pain reduction

  12. Salmon- healthy fats, proteins, B Vitamins, Potassium and Selenium. Best source of Omega-3 Fatty acids. 

  13. Avocado - Fiber, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats. Similar to olive oil, avocado is high and monounsaturated fats, oleic acid is one of the most predominant MUFA in avocado, which is linked to reduce inflammation in the body 

  14. Sweet Potato- Potassium, Fiber, Vitamin A and C.

  15. Mushrooms - Vitamin E, Potassium, Fiber and several antioxidants. Button, Portobello, Shiitake, Crimini and Oyster. Due to their unique antioxidant content, mushrooms may also play a role in reducing inflammation. 

  16. Seaweed- packed with vitamin K, Folate, Iodine and Fiber. This ocean vegetable is a source of unique bio active compounds -not typically present in land- vegetables which may have antioxidants affect.

Medicinal Effects of Food

An inadequate diet can lead to fatigue and lead to stress and depression. Sugar and processed foods can lead to inflammation throughout the body and brain, which may contribute to mood disorders, including anxiety and depression. When we’re feeling stressed or depressed, it’s often processed foods we reach for in search of a quick pick-me-up. 

Food as medicine

To boost your mental health, focus on eating plenty of fruits and vegetables along with foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon. Dark green leafy vegetables in particular are brain protective. Nuts, seeds and legumes, such as beans and lentils, are also excellent brain foods. 

A Healthy Gut 

Researchers continue to prove the old adage that you are what you eat, most recently by exploring the strong connection between our intestines and brain. Our guts and brain are physically linked via the vagus nerve, and the two are able to send messages to one another. While the gut is able to influence emotional behavior in the brain, the brain can also alter the type of bacteria living in the gut.

According to the American Psychological Association, gut bacteria produce an array of neurochemicals that the brain uses for the regulation of physiological and mental processes, including mood. It’s believed 95 percent of the body's supply of serotonin, a mood stabilizer, is produced by gut bacteria. Stress is thought to suppress beneficial gut bacteria.

Mindful Eating 

Paying attention to how you feel when you eat, and what you eat, is one of the first steps in making sure you’re getting well-balanced meals and snacks.

Brain Food

Your brain and nervous system depend on nutrition to build new proteins, cells and tissues. In order to function effectively, your body requires a variety of carbohydrates, proteins and minerals. To get all the nutrients that improve mental functioning, nutritionists suggest eating meals and snacks that include a variety of foods, instead of eating the same meals each day.

Here are the top three foods to incorporate into a healthy mental diet:

  • Complex carbohydrates — such as brown rice and starchy vegetables can give you energy. Quinoa, millet, beets and sweet potatoes have more nutritional value and will keep you satisfied longer than the simple carbohydrates found in sugar and candy.

  • Lean proteins — also lend energy that allows your body to think and react quickly. Good sources of protein include chicken, meat, fish, eggs, soybeans, nuts and seeds.

  • Fatty acids — are crucial for the proper function of your brain and nervous system. You can find them in fish, meat, eggs, nuts and flaxseeds.

Transitioning to a diet based on whole foods can improve your health in countless ways. Foods that offer particularly powerful benefits include:

  • Berries. Numerous studies have found that nutrients and plant compounds in berries combat disease. In fact, diets rich in berries may protect against chronic conditions, including certain cancers 

  • Cruciferous vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and kale contain a wide array of antioxidants. High intake of these vegetables may decrease y