Food for Health
How interesting. Hippocrates, for whom the medical ‘hippocratic oath’ is named is known to have said, “Let thy food be thy medicine!” This is huge. This man said over 2000 years ago that food should be the source of our health!
So how do we understand how to do this? Some good answers will follow here. Let’s begin with traditional cooking. Over all the years, those who cook and gather our foods have certainly learned from tradition and from those who taught them how to cook. In many families, the women have handed down cooking techniques and food knowledge from generation to generation. Just walking into grandma’s kitchen, we can smell the rich goodness in what she’s making. That’s no accident, in that she learned to use steps, processes and ingredients in ways that are best for her family’s nutritional needs. Cooks know how to build strong and resilient bodies for strength and overall wellness. Again, how interesting. Many things were known throughout the world about good cooking, well before trade routes established connections between cultures. Onion, celery, garlic, carrots, parsley, cilantro, etc, have been built into traditional cooking worldwide!
Should we focus on certain foods? Not so much as we should seek out variety. Eat a broad array of the freshest, most natural foods you can find. Broad array refers to all types of foods in all the colors. Each food color represents good vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals which our bodies want for optimal health. When our food variety is wide, we stand the best chance of fulfilling all the body’s needs. The freshest and most natural foods are just that! They are as close to nature as possible. They are minimally processed, if at all, before eating. They have the best nutrient profiles right when they are harvested, fresh and brought to our table.
Modern life and food access make some of this more difficult, as we may not have access to all the foods or variety our food mentors have had. In some cases, we have access to a much greater variety, but may have lost some of the freshness in the process.
Eating at home and cooking from scratch should be the mainstay of our diets. Eating out should be simply an occasional treat, as should be eating foods that are processed such as those in the aisles in the grocery store. The food items such as fresh vegetables, dairy and meats typically located around the edges of the store are being kept fresher with refrigeration and water.
Live a healthier, happier and maybe longer life by eating well as your best form of ‘medicine’.
Dr. John P. Lang, DC CMG (Florence)
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