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“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” hearkens back to Hippocrates, the father of medicine. This quote, though thousands of years old, acknowledges the importance of healthy eating and how the nutrients in various foods have healing properties. A healthy lifestyle with good nutrition is vital for maintaining good health and disease prevention.
A healthy diet includes eating and drinking enough of the right foods to provide your body with the nutrients needed to function properly and maintain health as it is intended to do. Some diets encourage disease, such as hypertension, high cholesterol and other heart issues, and increase the odds of obesity, diabetes and cancer. Other diets reduce the risk for these diseases. Research shows that eating a mostly plant-based diet can keep the body free of certain diseases, reverse many diseases and aid in the prevention of or reduce the risk of cancers.
A mostly plant-based diet consists largely of vegetables, whole grains, beans/legumes, fruits, nuts and seeds. If desired, twenty percent of the diet could contain fish and chicken and minimal low-fat dairy products. These nutrient-dense foods provide the body with healing vitamins, minerals, proteins, healthy fats and fiber.
Along with a plant-based diet, keeping adequately hydrated is important for optimal health. Drinking eight 8-ounce glasses a day is ideal. The rule of thumb: drink half your weight in ounces each day. Coffee, tea, milk, pop and juices don’t count. Drinking pure, clean water is the best way to hydrate and keep your body flushed of toxins.
Chemicals in our environment can be detrimental to nutritional health. Buy organic food items and choose produce from local farms when possible. Wash all fruits and vegetables before eating to eliminate pesticides and potential toxins.
“Let food be thy medicine…” is a great approach to take when looking at lifestyle changes needed to prevent and reduce disease. This does not suggest that conventional medicines are not necessary, but rather shows the significant role that a healthy diet plays in disease prevention. Take full advantage of what a healthy diet can do for you!