Let Food Be Thy Medicine and Medicine Be Thy Food

Traditionally, food was more than sustenance, it was our medicine. Today, we turn to prescribed drugs for treatments. While such treatments do present immediate results, as opposed to building our immune system against attacks, it makes our system more dependent on such remedies. In addition, prescribed drugs are often wrought with side effects. Educating ourselves to the simplest, yet core solutions, is the only way.

 

Described below are the health benefits associated with some of our common foods.

 

Turmeric

There is a medicinal spice so timelessly interwoven with the origins of human culture and metabolism, so thoroughly supported by modern scientific inquiry, as to be unparalleled in its proven value to human health and well-being.

 

Turmeric turns the entire drug-based medical model on its head. Instead of causing far more side effects than therapeutic ones, as is the case for most patented pharmaceutical medications, turmeric possesses hundreds of potential side benefits, having been empirically demonstrated to positively modulate over 160 different physiological pathways in the mammalian body.

Some of the most amazing demonstrated properties include:
* Destroying Multi-Drug Resistant Cancer
* Destroying Cancer Stem Cells (arguably, the root of all cancer)
* Protecting Against Radiation-Induced Damage
* Reducing Unhealthy Levels of Inflammation
* Protecting Against Heavy Metal Toxicity
* Preventing and Reversing Alzheimer’s Disease Associated Pathologies

For more information, see the original article at Green Med Info[1].

 

Black Pepper

In Kerala, the day begins with a cup of black coffee with a pinch of black pepper powder. Wonder why? Besides enhancing taste, black pepper comes with a host of health benefits, including facilitating digestion, aiding weight loss, improving skin health, antibacterial, antioxidant… the list goes on.

 

Here’s just a couple of such benefits, with links below to more reads.

 

* Stomach: Pepper increases the hydrochloric acid secretion in the stomach, thereby facilitating digestion, which can help in weight loss and increasing the overall functioning of your body. Further, it helps prevent the formation of intestinal gas, and promotes body fluids (e.g., sweating) to remove toxins from the body.

 

* Weight Loss: The outer layer of peppercorn assists in the breakdown of fat cells, making peppery foods a good way to shed weight naturally! When fat cells are broken down into their component parts, they are easily processed by the body and applied to other, healthier processes and enzymatic reactions, rather than simply sitting on the body making you look overweight.

 

* Other benefits include skin health, respiratory relief (e.g., cold/cough), antibacterial quality (helps fight infections), antioxidant, enhances bioavailability (transporting the benefits of other herbs to different parts of body), and so much more.

 

For more information, see the articles on Times of India[2], DNA[3], or Organic Facts[4].

 

Banana

Bananas are one of the best sources of potassium, have high vitamin and manganese content, and, make for great smoothies!

Here’s a rough breakout of 1 mid-sized fresh banana:

vitamin B6 25%                 manganese 16%               vitamin C nearly 14%
fiber 12%                             potassium 12%                  biotin 10%
copper 10%

 

Below is a brief list of associated health benefits, with links for more below.

* A banana’s potassium and fiber help in cardiovascular protection (including maintaining normal blood pressure, reducing heart disease, stroke.)

* Daily intake can help improve the body’s ability to absorb calcium since they are an exceptionally rich source of prebiotic, a compound that nourishes probiotic (friendly) bacteria in the colon, which in turn produce vitamins and digestive enzymes that improve our ability to absorb nutrients, and protect against unfriendly microorganisms.

* Great for fixing bowel irregularities. Where for constipation, its pectin content helps normalize and ease digestive tract movement, and for diarrhea, it replenishes the body of electrolytes.

More information can be found at WH foods site[5].

 

Explore with Our Recipe

General rule of thumb, the more colourful your food, the more nutrient groups you’ve included. Here’s a great summer salad full of colour…

Ingredients:

Corn, boiled (1)

Kidney beans, boiled (1 cup)

Black eyed peas, boiled (1 cup)

Capsicum, chopped in chunks (1)

Green peas, peeled (1 cup)

Tomato, chopped in chunks (1)

Carrots, chopped in chunks (1)

Spring onion, chopped in chunks (1) optional

Garlic, chopped in chunks (4-5 pods) optional

 

Dressing:

Extra virgin olive oil (3 table spoons)

Lime juice, freshly squeezed (1 pc)

Fresh cream from milk, (1 table spoon)

Honey (1 tea spoon) optional

Salt, to taste

Pepper, freshly ground

Parsely, chopped (1/2 cup)

 

Preparation:

Soak and rinse well all your fresh produce. Chop/boil as indicated above. Mix ingredients into a large bowl.

Mix all the dressing materials together in a separate bowl.

Chill both. Mix together and garnish with parsely before serving.

 

 

Author: Gaytri Bhatia is an Ecologist and Farmer, with a background in Environmental Sciences, Analyses and Policy. The views expressed in the article are those of the author.

 



[1] Green Med Info, Sayer Ji, 600 Reasons Turmeric May Be The World’s Most Important Herb, Wednesday, July 10th 2013, http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/600-reasons-turmeric-may-be-worlds-most-important-herb

[2]Times of India, Deepika Sahu, Health benefits of black pepper, January 31, 2014, http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/diet/Health-benefits-of-black-pepper/articleshow/11777301.cms

[3]DNA, Pavitra Sampath,Black pepper – more health benefits than you know!, August 7, 2013, http://www.dnaindia.com/health/report-black-pepper-more-health-benefits-than-you-know-1871235

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