Food is Medicine

by Jacqueline May Conte, CNP

I bet you’ve heard the famous quote, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. Hippocrates had it right, but somewhere along the line we forgot this brilliant bit of truth. After decades of producing and consuming processed, refined foods out of ease (and comfort), we’re now trying to find our way back to using what the earth provided to provide true health while wading through an immense amount of information available out there to know what is actually healthy. As complicated as nutrition can be, we have over complicated things. It’s important to remember that food affects each person differently based on our unique physical makeup and external contributing factors, but there are some simple staple elements that can bring about big changes in most anyone’s overall well-being.

Eat a Variety of Organic Foods

Eating too much of the same foods limits your nutrient profile and can imbalance your body, causing symptoms of nutritional deficiency like dry skin, muscle weakness and stress. Instead of loading up on supplements, try diversifying your diet first so you can see whether your body will re-balance itself. Eat organic foods to avoid toxins that complicate digestion and build up in the body, eat all colours of the rainbow and try a new food each week.

Make Sure It’s Real

Safety first. Avoid packaged food as much as possible and eat whole foods that don’t have nutritional labels. Familiarize yourself with certified organic and non-GMO labels on packaged food you choose to consume. Remember: a label isn’t just a required list of ingredients. It’s also a marketing tool. If a product is labelled with “natural” or “clean”, chances are it’s not. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients in your food, it probably isn’t worth eating.

Drink Water

A lot of run-of-the-mill symptoms, such as headaches, fatigue and infrequent bowel movements can be due to dehydration. The trick is to hydrate before feeling thirsty. Start the day by drinking a tall glass of water before eating to replenish stores lost over night. Sip on water throughout the day and aim to increase your daily filtered water intake to half your body weight in ounces over time. Watch out for diuretic drinks like coffee and caffeinated tea.

In my practice, I encourage my clients to embrace dietary changes that are both necessary and achievable in a way that is realistic and fun. Eating real food rich in nutrients can set the foundation for healing and keep you healthy in the long-term. Book an appointment with me to continue the conversation and to discover which foods are your medicine.

Jacqueline Conte is a Holistic Nutrionist and offers appointments at Local Health Integrative Clinic on Mondays , Wednesdays and Fridays. Click here to book an appointment with Jacqueline.