Today I have my top 12 foods that double as medicine.
Of course I believe that there is more to eating and food than merely providing energy. I know, I know – food is fuel and that’s all we should think of it as, right?
To me, food serves as something far more than fuel. In fact, I mostly use it for a dual purpose serving the gut healing journey.
But these dual purposes don’t always coincide, depending on the food you’re eating.
- The first purpose is to provide your soul nourishment. I don’t pretend that some of the foods I love eating the most do anything for me but soothe my soul. In other words, these foods might not provide all that much nutrition and/or gut health benefits. And yet, this flexibility is part of healing.
- And the second purpose is that the food itself can act as medicine. No, I’m not talking about medicine whereas I would choose xyz food instead of a necessary antibiotic. I’m talking about food as medicine because the specific food has qualities which resemble medicine and/or aid in healing some aspect of the body.
Anyways, today I’m here to talk about the second purpose with my top 12 foods that double as medicine.
Top 12 Foods that Double as Medicine
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They say Hibiscus tea is great for lowering blood pressure. While that’s great and you might be looking to lower your blood pressure, those are not the types of “conditions” I’m going to focus on today.
For the sake of this post, I’m speaking directly to you, my Gutsy darling.
The top 12 foods that double as medicine are specifically for IBS, IBD, anxiety, and/or an overall immune boost (since many of you with IBS and/or IBD have compromised immune systems).
Good for nausea and digestive discomfort. I love dropping whole pieces of ginger into bone broths and/or making freshly-brewed ginger tea using a combination of fresh ginger and ginger chews.
Used for IBS. Peppermint oil is effective — and could be the first line of treatment — against irritable bowel syndrome, according to a 2005 scientific review of 16 clinical trials. Make note: If you have heartburn or GERD, don’t choose peppermint. There are a lot of peppermint ideas in The Gutsy Girl’s Bible.
It is of the best dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These essential fats are an important part of treating any inflammatory or autoimmune condition. By far, hands down, my favorite way of getting salmon in is through a Salmon Poke Bowl. But even just baking a basic salmon is delicious. One of the best recipes in my book are the Salmon Cakes. So good!
Everyone knows by now that garlic is a staple medicinal food found in nearly every kitchen, benefits fevers and poor digestion, and helps the liver and gallbladder. Raw garlic is a prebiotic fiber (food that feeds probiotic bacteria). It has many antiviral properties. Even though it is high-FODMAP, garlic is used for SIBO oftentimes.
Compounds in mushrooms, types of which include maitake and reishi, have been shown to boost your immune system. Way back when, I talked a lot about mushrooms and you can find it HERE.
This delicious herb and medicinal food helps to soothe digestion, stomach cramps, and constipation. It has also been studied for its ability to potentially ease depression.
Bone broth contains an abundance of nutrients. These nutrients help ward off and treat illnesses like IBS and IBD, chronic fatigue, leaky gut syndrome, anemia and allergies. Every single bone broth recipe I’ve ever created is packed with nutrition. HERE is the Chicken Bone Broth recipe.
Helps to stimulate digestion and relieves gas. It is warming to the body and helps neutralize toxins when added to meat dishes. Black Pepper is a carminative. Carminatives improve digestion, dispel gas, ease bloating, and act as antispasmodics to relieve cramps.
Chamomile is a plant in the daisy family and comes in capsule, liquid or tea form. It is used for many things, but I especially noted its use for indigestion, Crohn’s disease, diarrhea, IBS, peptic ulcer, and Colitis.
It actually benefits digestion and can help ward off illness when flu and colds are making the rounds.
According to Tibetan medicine, “+ take Turmeric before meals to benefit the lungs and throat, + take it with a meal to enhance digestion, and + take it after meals to aid the colon and kidneys. Turmeric is a digestive bitter, which is an herb that supports digestive function by stimulating bitter receptors on the tongue, stomach, gallbladder and pancreas.
This fermented food can improve immunity, help down regulate inflammation, and is full of antibacterials. It is also used as a natural way to increase stomach acid.
Categories of Food Acting as Medicine
I listed some of my favorite individual foods (herbs and spices) above. But as spring looms and fresher food is in full sight, there are entire categories of foods which act as medicine.
These categories act as medicine due to their nutritional properties, nutritional density, and/or preparation method:
- probiotic foods
- prebiotic foods
- fermented foods
Especially if you are in a gut HEALTH phase, you can’t go wrong with any of the above.
If you’re still healing your gut, some will be more appropriate for you than others.
If you liked this post, you might also enjoy:
- Mediterranean Diet for Gut Health
- Best Foods for Heart Health
- The Leaky Gut Meal Plan: 4 Weeks to Detox and Improve Digestive Health
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You will heal. I will help.