The fuel to keep our body running? Undeniably food. And when chosen carefully, this essential can offer many other (mighty) purposes. For example, healing the body naturally and effectively.
Using food as medicine is a years-old practice — and has recently started gaining more attention. Remember: you are what you eat. So, the first and foremost aspect of healing through food is following the right eating pattern. This would be one that boosts your energy levels and immunity strength. And, of course, while fulfilling your body’s nutritional needs.
Together, let’s help you start your healthy journey that will replenish your body with some good nutrients. Keep reading to learn more.
Healing Through Food Basics
The process of healing through food focuses on replacing all processed, toxic, and refined ingredients with clean, nutritious, and whole food alternatives that encourage improved health. Unlike other, more extensive plans that follow complicated rules and regulations, the process includes only little changes in your diet.
- Replace unhealthy fats with healthy fats. Unhealthy fats are the reason for chronic inflammation and conditions like diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. On the other hand, healthy fats support brain development, cancer prevention, and hormone production.
- Change the meats in your diet by opting for sustainably-sourced options. Grass-fed beef, for example, is more concentrated in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids compared to grain-fed meat. The same applies to wild-caught fish, which is lower in calories and higher in essential minerals than conventional farmed fish.
- Eliminate refined sugars and grains. Refined grains, such as pasta and noodles, are stripped of some important vitamins and minerals. In contrast, whole grains are a good way to squeeze in nutritious foods that also support healing.
Benefits of Healing Your Body Through Food
Consuming food as medicine heals the body in powerful ways.
Plant-based foods, such as veggies and fruits, are healing foods that reduce chronic inflammation and prevent chronic disease. Such foods are also known to lower blood pressure and boost cognitive function.
Improve Heart Health
Filling your diet with heart-healthy foods will keep your heart strong and healthy and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. A healing diet is high in foods with healthy fats, fiber, and antioxidants that all work to protect and promote better heart health.
Balances Blood Sugar
Sustaining high blood sugar levels for extended periods can worsen diabetes and lead to serious issues like nerve damage, vision loss, and insulin resistance.
Consuming high-carb, sugary foods increases insulin and blood sugar. If the condition persists for long, your body will become unable to use insulin efficiently, causing hormonal imbalance and blood sugar crashes.
The concept of healing through food enriches the diet with high-fiber, nutrient-dense foods that allow your body to control blood sugar and insulin better.
Prevents Nutritional Deficiencies
Along with curing the body, a healing diet nourishes you with all the essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants required for a healthy lifestyle. Nutritional deficiencies can cause multiple short-term and long-term problems, such as brain fog, low energy levels, anemia, and bone loss.
Varying the foods on your plate to include all the different nutrients — as part of the healing through food diet — helps meet all the nutritional requirements.
What Foods to Eat
Food as medicine can be consumed in multiple ways, with interesting meal plans that combine nutritious edibles while making space for your favorite cravings. But before creating a healing diet schedule, it’s important to understand the vital foods and nutrients to be included.
Leafy Green Vegetables
Green vegetables, including broccoli, bell peppers, kale, mustard greens, etc., are great sources of manganese, vitamin C, folate, and provitamin A — all important for overall health and strong immune function. They are also packed with polyphenol antioxidants, which provide anti-inflammatory properties.
Nuts and Seeds
Almonds, hemp seeds, pecans, walnuts, or any other nuts and seeds you like are great for fueling your body to aid a speedy healing process. The plant-based protein, vitamins, and healthy fats in these foods support efficient recovery.
Foods rich in carbs, such as sweet potatoes, provide the cells with the energy required for healing and use enzymes like hexokinase and citrate synthase to speed up wound repair. Sweet potatoes are also packed with anti-inflammatory plant compounds that optimize immune response to help the body recover.
To make the process of using medicine as food more delicious, there are a few other options you can include in the diet, too.
- Fruits – strawberries, limes, pears.
- Beans – pinto beans, black beans, lima beans.
- Poultry – organic chicken, goose, turkey.
- Natural sweeteners – maple syrup, raw honey.
- Beverages – bone broth, kombucha, tea.
Proteins repair tissues, a process essential for healing or repairing. “Protein is super important for maintaining and repairing body tissue, and it is important for skin repair and immunity,” states registered dietitian Kavitha Krishnan, RD.
Your daily protein needs depend on your weight, age, and level of activity, so it is best to consult a health professional beforehand. When you’ve worked out the required intake, look for ways to add an appropriate amount to your diet.
- Add a handful of nuts to a flaxseed pudding.
- Turn to healthy snacks like peanut butter, cottage cheese, or crackers.
- Mix a spoonful of protein powder into your smoothies.
Vitamin A & C
Vitamin A helps stimulate collagen to repair and heal wounds faster. You can get it from foods like carrots, cheese, peaches, and milk. Vitamin C boosts immunity and collagen production. Bell peppers, broccoli, citrus fruits, and kiwi are all good sources.
Zinc is associated with helping coughs and colds. This makes it an important aspect of good immunity and efficient healing. The best way to consume this mineral is to extract it from animal products like fish, red meat, and eggs.
What Foods To Avoid
While a wide variety of foods can and should be consumed when following the practice of healing through food, there are a few edibles to be avoided. These are mainly all foods with unhealthy, pro-inflammatory ingredients.
- Refined grains – pasta, white bread, packaged cereals
- Refined sugars – candies, cookies, baked goods
- Unhealthy fats – refined oils, fried foods
- Farmed fish and conventional poultry
- Processed foods – chips, microwave popcorn, instant noodles
How can you heal your body at a cellular level?
Healing your body at a cellular level can be done by using food as medicine.
- Eliminate grains to limit the consumption of pro-inflammatory compounds.
- Switch to a grass-fed diet to increase the intake of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.
- Eat fermented foods because they are rich in probiotics, which boost the immune system and improve gut health.
How do you increase cellular regeneration?
Altering the diet in accordance with the concept of healing through foods is an essential part of increasing cellular regeneration. Other changes include:
- Stop smoking
- Reduce alcohol intake
- Build an active lifestyle
- Get good sleep
- Avoid toxic medications
What promotes cellular repair?
Making healthy changes in the diet promotes cellular repair, but what foods need to be added to create a plan that really helps? Examples are:
- Pomegranate – high in vitamin C and antioxidants to boost cellular rejuvenation.
- Broccoli – detoxifies the body.
- Mushrooms – like shiitake reduce age spots.
- Berries – reduce pain and inflammation.
- Oregano – repairs damaged cells
How can I boost my healing naturally?
Following a healing diet is only one part of the process of natural healing. There’s a lot more to this magical course of events.
- Get enough sleep. Poor sleep increases stress response, which, in turn, disrupts healing. So sleeping for 7 to 9 hours is recommended.
- Choose natural options like curcumin and specialized pro-resolving mediators to resolve inflammation by speeding up cell recovery.
- Reduce stress with activities like breathing exercises, yoga, and meditation to prevent cortisol (the stress hormone) from working against your healing.
Our bodies deserve all the extra attention and care when it comes to recovery and healing — and the practice of healing through food can definitely give us the soothing efforts we’re looking for!