Cough syrup; allergy medicine; gas relievers. These are the kinds of things that might be found in the typical American medicine cabinet. Upon the first throb of a sore throat, a lozenge is unwrapped and if deemed necessary an antibiotic follows. Somewhere along the line this has become routine; a quick fix. Perhaps this increase in household medicine and antibiotics began with the onset of processed foods...hmmm. What if going back to the basics is the answer to good health? The medicine cabinet of the future is filled with broccoli and spinach! Syrups filled with sugar and dyes aren't the answer; eating a balanced diet is!
Instead of walking to the bathroom to open the medicine chest, the refrigerator will house the necessities to ease most ailments. The basic idea behind this concept is simply this: eat right to prevent disease. Being proactive instead of reactive. Feed the body well and the body is less likely to need repair. Just as a fine automobile is fed with the highest quality fuel and fluids for optimum performance; the human body also requires specific nutrients for proper function. A balanced diet rich in nutrient dense foods is the fuel the body needs. The “new” medicine cabinet, the “fridge“, is full of fresh fruits and vegetables. This conceptualized medicine cabinet is not only the basis of modern medicine, which really is not modern at all, but is also the doorway to a whole new lifestyle. Ideally, this medicine cabinet will not include anything processed or anything that contains words that can barely be pronounced.
For some, this new way of living and eating may seem daunting but is really quite simple when looking at the big picture. A few simple tips can be followed to help stock a new and improved “medicine cabinet”. First, when grocery shopping, only shop the perimeter of the store. This will support the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables which are high in natural micronutrients the body needs. Also, by shopping the perimeter of the store it makes it nearly impossible to purchase processed foods. When the body is fed with natural, whole foods, the nutrients provided are more readily accessible. In other words, instead of having to break down preservatives and additives that were added to processed foods, with natural foods the body has to do less work for a greater outcome...more bang for your buck! Next, prepare the fruits and vegetables in individual servings for the week in order to accommodate a busy schedule. Preparing foods in advance will reduce the chances of eating unhealthy fast food. Finally, when stocking up on necessary medicines, try natural plant based helpers rather than those made in a lab. There are countless herbs and foods that can help treat and prevent illness and disease.
Here are a few ideas to help influence a creatively delicious and nutritious modern medicine cabinet...
SPINACH - packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, spinach also supports an anti-inflammatory diet. One cup of spinach has 20% of the required daily fiber the body needs.
GARLIC - anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal, this powerhouse can combat almost anything; and it tastes good too!
KALE - antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and helps prevent against cancer...this nutrient dense food is also great to help lower cholesterol, especially when steamed. Yum!
APPLES - antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, studies show that eating apples can help reduce the risk of asthma and cancer...a great cardiovascular supportive fruit. As the saying goes... “An apple a day...”
CARROTS - it’s no secret that carrots help our vision, but did you know that they also have anti-cancer benefits as well? This root vegetable is also high in antioxidants and supports a healthy cardiovascular system.
GINGER- great flavor and great for the digestive system, this root can help with uncomfortable gas and bloating. It can also keep nausea, dizziness, and vomiting at bay during pregnancy, motion sickness, car sickness, etc. Ginger can also help prevent certain cancers, is also anti-inflammatory, and can help boost the immune system. WOW!
QUINOA - this ancient grain is a nutrient rich powerhouse of protein. This grain can be eaten like rice or ground into flour. Not only is it a heart healthy food, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant, it is also GLUTEN FREE!
WALNUTS - anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids, this wonder nut is beneficial in so many ways. Walnuts support bone health, cardiovascular health, brain health, and help the body in preventing cancerous cell growth.
AVOCADOS - don’t be afraid of this healthy fat, this delicious food has many health benefits. The body requires a certain amount of fat to function properly, and avocados are rich in these healthy fats. Highly anti-inflammatory, rich in heart healthy nutrients, supportive of cardiovascular health, anti-cancer benefits, and supportive of blood sugar regulation, it’s no wonder so many people enjoy this green wonder!
As Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” The easiest way to stay healthy, feel great, and keep medical bills away is to feed your body well! Don’t wait until you start to feel bad, start today. Give your body and yourself the chance to feel amazing everyday.
By Amber Lynch, LMT, Herbalist, Holistic Nutrition Coach