There are a few cliches around food: ‘you are what you eat’ ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ ‘eat too much of the wrong food and you’ll get fat and sick ’ – ok, I made that last one up, but it has as much truth as the others.
Our modern lifestyles have resulted in a diet vastly different from our grandparents, we eat things that can be consumed, but can not necessarily be called food. Hot dog anyone?
Our physical and mental health would be vastly improved if we all made a pact to ‘get nude’. That’s right, ‘get nude with our food’. Ditch the supermarket for the green grocer or farmers market, go to the butcher instead of the deli, bring a box of veggies home instead of supermarket bags full of square things in packets. Nude up your food, bring it home in its birthday suit – your body with thank you for it.
Everyone knows that rates of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and autoimmune diseases are higher than they’ve ever been. So are rates of clinical depression and anxiety disorders. No one knows why (apparently). I’m no expert, and I only have my own experience to go by, but I do think what we are consuming goes a long way to explain it.
Obviously there are things at play that are out of our control, such as genetic predisposition and environmental aspects. But it astounds me that modern medicine does not include a protocol of eating real food as a way of managing certain conditions.
Alas, you do not need a doctor to tell you to eat real food to improve your health and quality of life. You are in control of this, what goes in your mouth is entirely your choice.
But know this, there are plenty of foods that will improve your health if you are facing illness. It’s complicated, there’s no doubt about that, as there is no prescription for it – what works for one person may not work for another. It’s a case of trial and error.
Given that winter is just around the corner, for those of us in the southern hemisphere, below is a list of really simple remedies for winter ailments, without setting foot in a pharmacy. And if you’ve been chowing down on too much ‘fawn’ food, you’ll be more compromised because your body will have been working really damned hard to process it. So wrap your laughing gear around some of the treats below.
Thyme tea: a brew of thyme leaves will help loosen congestion and ease symptoms of bronchitis. Steep a tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves (or a teaspoon of dried) in a cup of boiling water. Drink as a tea.
Cinnamon & honey tea: this tasty little powder stabilises blood sugar, and is a great antiviral and antibiotic. Mix one tablespoon with one teaspoon of honey and boiling water, drink as a tea that will help relieve cough and congestion and lower fever.
Lemon Balm tea: this little maestro will help you fight that cold sore that’s brewing on your lip. Steep two to three teaspoons of fresh leaves in one cup of boiling water, for 10 – 15 minutes. Dab on to your lip daily with a cotton ball.
Ginger & Lemon tea: Steep a knob of ginger in hot water and squeeze in the juice from half a lemon. Ginger will help with high fever and headache and is very effective against sinus symptoms and congestion. The vitamin C in the lemon will help speed up your recovery.
These little remedies are just the tip of the ice-berg, there’s a whole world of whole foods out there, all designed by nature specifically to nourish your body and make you feel great. This is the first in a series of posts on the therapeutic value of food, so if there is something that you’re interested in, comment below and I’ll be sure to include a post on it. What foods work for you and make you feel great?