Food As Medicine for Women’s Health
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food,” said Hippocrates over 2400 years ago. This idea still rings true today.
What you fill your refrigerator with may be a bigger determinant of health than what’s in your medicine cabinet. Most of us eat at least three times per day. That’s at least three opportunities to nourish our bodies with food that creates health, supports hormones, and makes us feel our best.
The truth is that most doctors don’t talk about nutrition very much. I only spent a handful of hours on nutrition curriculum in medical school. As I’ve always loved food and known how vital getting back into the kitchen is for health, I had to learn about food as medicine tools in training outside my initial medical education. Nutrition has become foundational in my integrative medicine practice.
Today’s article will dive into my food as medicine approach for women’s health. Keep reading to learn more about:
Let’s jump right in!
A Food As Medicine Approach
When your mother made you chicken soup for a cold, she was utilizing food as medicine. Warming, nutrient-rich broth supports hydration and immune health. There is wisdom in this tradition.
There are many examples of these natural, food-based remedies, many of which can be traced to traditional medicine practices like Ayurveda.
Modern science has taken longer to see the value in using food as a medical tool for both prevention and to treat specific health conditions. Still, it now confirms much of what ancient traditions and common sense have taught us about the power of nutrition.
For example, it’s well proven that people who eat more vegetables and fruit have lower risks of a variety of chronic diseases, enjoy longer lifespans, and report more happiness and a higher quality of life compared to non-veggie eaters.
While changes to your diet might not provide a quick fix, it is the best long-term strategy to promote health. Eat more nutritious foods is also generally safe but be sure to talk about diet changes with your provider. And while food is medicinal, don’t replace prescription medications with food.
Principles Of Using Food As Medicine
We’ve been taught that food is fuel and boils down to calories, but food is so much more. Here are some of the ways I think about food as medicine.
Each whole food contains various nutrients: vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients (plant nutrients), fatty acids, amino acids, and more. We can only isolate what we understand; there is likely so much to learn about each food and how nutrients work in synergy.
Women’s Health Superfoods
There are so many individual foods that can be incorporated into the diet and used therapeutically to support hormone balance and women’s health through life stages. Here are some examples:
When it comes to health, food is foundational. Nutrition is powerful medicine for prevention and as part of treatment protocols for various conditions. It’s also a tool we all have access to at least a few times daily.
Changing dietary habits isn’t always straightforward. If you desire support and guidance, please reach out to our clinic for integrative care from our team of doctors, nutritionists, and other practitioners. Food is medicine; be sure to eat your medicine today.