I recently attending the Center for Mind/Body Medicine’s conference entitled “Food As Medicine”. The conference was inspiring, to say the least. It made me think about diet in general and how it affects our health. According to the many speakers, diet can be the difference between living a long, healthy life or not. One speaker asserts that by eating a healthy diet can affect the expression of genetics, specifically in the case of cancer! No matter the presenter’s background, all agree that our diet and food choices are ultimately our best medicine or worst poison. If you want to talk about preventative medicine, diet cannot be ignored. After 4 days of lectures, the amount of information can be overwhelming but I have come up with a few dietary basics that are good “food for thought” as we prepare our next meal.
- Get plenty of GREEN, LEAFY vegetables in your diet. Do this every single day. We KNOW to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, but the “green leafies” are especially important.
- Spice it up! Many spices have therapeutic effects. If you think about the standard American diet (SAD), we are quite limited in our spices used in traditional cooking. Use fresh spices as often as possible but dried options are also beneficial
- DO NOT eat refined sugars or flour. Blood sugar instabilities are being identified as a root cause of a variety of diseases. Refined sugars and flours are a major culprit for throwing off healthy blood sugar regulation.
- Gluten is out, quinoa is in. Much discussion was focused on chronic inflammation and gluten is a specific inflammatory-trigger. It may seem difficult to cut gluten out from the diet, but it is quite easier than you might think….
- 5. Fermented foods are your friend. The idea that human beings are more bacteria than human cells was reiterated many times throughout the conference. This bacteria that makes up a large portion of “us” comes from our gut! You may be familiar with probiotics as a supplement but fermented foods are a way to put these healthy bacteria into our bodies with food. Yogurt, kefir, kimchee and sauerkraut are all examples of fermented foods.
By no means am I any expert on diet. These are all guidelines that I had gathered through my experience with the CMBM. If you face a specific ailment or condition, I would HIGHLY recommend seeking out the guidance of a trained dietary and supplement professional who has had extensive training in the field.