Let Food Be Thy Medicine
Hippocrates once said “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” and I think he had it pretty right.
Our bodies are the result of what we put into them so if you’ve not been feeling your best lately, maybe it’s time to visit the food doctor!
Prescription: Leafy Green vegetables, Prunes, Whole Grains, Raisins, Apricots, Water
Summary: Fatigue can be a sign that you are not getting enough iron from your diet. When you are fatigued, iron-rich foods are going to help your red blood cells in their role of delivering oxygen to the muscles, meaning you’ll be feeling more awake and energised. Plenty of water will also help, dehydration can reduce your blood volume, meaning your body has to work harder to pump your blood, resulting in you feeling tired.
Prescription: Bananas, Soy milk/yogurt, Whole Grains, Nuts
Summary: Insomnia can occur for a number of reasons but diet can definitely play its part in curbing your sleepless nights. Too much caffeine and sugar, not enough exercise and overeating can cause sleeping problems. Bananas, nuts, whole grains and soy milk or yogurt are all rich in Tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that helps produce serotonin and melatonin which have a relaxing effect on your brain. Try having a tryptophan-rich snack before bed to ease you into a better nights sleep.
Symptom: Weak Immune System
Prescription: Oats, Garlic, Green Tea,
Summary: If you catch colds easily or find yourself with chronic or recurrent infections then you are likely to be suffering from a weakened immune system. Sugary, processed foods are a real stress on your immune system so cutting them out of your diet can help. Also try adding some power foods into your diet like oats which contain beta glucans that help fight against bacteria, viruses and parasites.
Foods rich in powerful antioxidants, like Green tea and garlic will also help give your immune system a significant boost.
Symptom: Mood swings
Prescription: Soybean, Flaxseed, Chia Seed, Walnut,
Summary: Yes, even your mood can be linked to your diet. Be sure not to have prolonged intervals without food as this can cause your blood sugar to slump, causing mood swings. Also make sure you are getting plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, research suggests that low omega-3 levels are associated with depression, pessimism, and impulsivity. Foods like flaxseed, walnuts, chia and soybean are all good sources of omega-3.
Prescription: Oats, Mushrooms, Soup, Fruits, Vegetables
Summary: Possibly one of the most obvious links between what we eat and how we feel or look is our weight. Being overweight can be a sign that we need to change what we are eating. Try eating filling foods like mushrooms and homemade soups which have been reported to fill you up more and leave you less inclined to snack. Also, foods which release energy slowly, like porridge oats are great to leave you feeling satisfied for longer. Calorie control is an important part of weight loss, fruit and vegetables are generally low in calories and paired with exercise, you can start shedding that excess weight. Beware of those sneaky calories in things like fruit juices, dressings and sauces, they all count too so try switching your fruit juice for a green tea, trading your caesar dressing for a splash of balsamic and switching from carbonara sauce to a tomato and herb sauce.
Symptom: Bad skin
Prescription: Sweet Potato, Blueberries, Brazil Nuts, Water, Carrots, Kale
Summary: Beta-Carotene and Vitamin A are great for healthy skin, sweet potatoes, carrots and kale are good sources. Eating just four Brazil nuts is enough to give you your RDA of selenium which is a powerful antioxidant that can protect against sun damage and age spots. Other antioxidant-rich foods like blueberries are also great for skin. Good old-fashioned water is also a simple way to improve skin. Making sure you are drinking plenty of water each day ensures you are keeping your skin cells hydrated and also helps your body flush toxins, leaving you with better looking skin.
Symptom: Irregular bowel movements
Prescription: Kidney Beans, Lentils, Lima beans, Bran Cereals, Raisins, Raspberries, Strawberries
Summary: Irregular bowel movements are an important indicator that something with your diet is not quite right. Increasing fibre can help you to obtain healthier, more regular movements! Legumes such as kidney beans, lentils and lima beans have a high fibre content per serving and can be added to your soups and pastas to increase your fibre intake. Also, try eating bran cereals for breakfast. Bran is high in fibre, and topping with a healthy serving of high-fibre fruits like raisins, raspberries and strawberries will help even more!