Foods to Heal the Body and Mind
Many foods have been used as medicine amongst cultures. Before grocery stores, vending machines, and fast food, traditional meals consisted of seasonal, wholesome ingredients. Long before food, as we know it today, eating has always been at the center of indigenous cultures. Harvest ceremonies were celebrated, songs were sung, and words of thanks were recited for all the living things that were sacrificed to nurture our existence. Our ancestors understood the natural rhymes of the earth, the importance of healthy soil, and the way certain foods heal our bodies and minds.
Nutrients found in fresh, wholesome ingredients give our bodies instructions on how to function. Our modern-day food system, heavily consisting of processed food, removes essential nutrients from the raw ingredients, giving our bodies the wrong signals instead of the information needed to properly function. Additionally, diet culture has contributed to society’s ever-changing idea of “good” vs. “bad” food, with a large emphasis on calorie counting. So really, what should we eat? Michael Pollan, the author of In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, words this simply by saying “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Listed below are a few examples of raw foods that have been used to heal people physically and mentally for tens of thousands of years.
Rosemary is more than a flavorful herb added to a meal. It has also been shown to enhance memory and reduce anxiety levels. The effects of rosemary can also help rebalance the gut micro bacteria.
Ginger has a long history of being used in traditional medicine. It’s most common use is to be effective against nausea. This herb is especially beneficial to pregnant women who experience morning sickness and women who struggle with menstrual pain.
Medicinal mushrooms such as reishi, lion’s mane, and Chaga have been used in Eastern medicine for thousands of years. The health benefits of these mushrooms are lengthy. Most of these can be bought in a powder form and added to your favorite meal or beverage. The benefits range from helping with sleep and anxiety to improving muscle recovery. You can learn more about the unique benefits of medicinal mushrooms here.
Nuts and Seeds
All nuts and seeds are high in essential fats that supplement heart and brain function. Specifically, flax, chia, and hemp seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids which is an essential type of fat your body doesn’t produce on its own. Flaxseed is considered one of the most nutritionally dense seeds on the planet! Add some of these seeds to your meals each day to reap the benefits.
Many foods have healing properties, but it’s important to recognize that no one food will solve everything. The best way to start is by eating a variety of minimally-processed foods with less than four ingredients.