Food As Our Medicine
by Judy Meinen
Our magical, mystical, self-healing bodies — 70 trillion cells with all the wisdom, information, and ability to heal on all levels.
“You are what you eat,” a common saying and one our body takes seriously. Our health is dependent on how we feed and fuel our bodies. So what foods feed and fuel us and which ones subtract or bankrupt our supplies?
Green, leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and romaine lettuce have almost twenty times more essential nutrients, ounce to ounce, than any other food, according to Dr. Linda Page in her book Healthy Healing. They help us decrease inflammation in joints, detox our bodies, and add calcium and vitamins to our diets.
The more colors, the brighter the better, is a good guide in choosing our fruits. Berries, apples, melons, pineapples, avocados, and other fruits help our digestive tracts, give us good energy, and add antioxidants to help our immune systems.
Proteins are the building blocks for our muscles and support hemoglobin production — the oxygen-carrying component in our blood. Good sources are lean grass-fed (no grain), no pesticides, antibiotic, or hormone-fed beef and chicken, eggs, legumes, walnuts, and almonds. Also, whole organic, non-GMO grains such as quinoa (keen-wah), wild or brown rice, and poi give long-lasting energy and provide B vitamins to support digestion and the making of hemoglobin.
Refined sugars have been known to stop immune function for up to four hours after ingestion. Artificial sweeteners confuse the pancreas and liver, causing a chain reaction of responses that break down our body and can lead to nausea, nerve dysfunction, fatigue, and depression. Limiting refined grains and sugars and avoiding GMO foods and artificial sweeteners will significantly increase the immune function and overall health of each and every cell. Your body will thank you!
Spring and autumn are good times to clean out our bodies and clean up our diet. Juicing is a great addition to any lifestyle. Juicing fresh organic fruits and greens assists the body’s ability to break down and utilize the available nutrients in our food for maximum health benefit. Enzymes, present in any fresh, whole food, are pre-packaged by nature to help us break down and use the food. Cooking, drying, and microwaving our foods kill the naturally occuring enzymes in the food. If we need to cook our food, taking a digestive enzyme will assist in the uptake of nutrients.
Listening to Your Body: Hunger and Pain Consider that the body gives messages through all signals and feelings, of comfort and discomfort. Proactively “listening” to what these signals are will allow us to make healthy choices.
Our bodies will create a “hunger” message for a nutrient that it needs. Intense cravings may be an indicator of an allergy, addiction, or serious lack of a nutrient in the substance craved. Our hunger is usually related to nutrient needs or thirst more so than caloric needs — that is why even after eating a good amount of calories, we may feel hungry an hour or so later — causing us to search out more food, overeat, and still not feel satisfied.
Enzymes and probiotics, or friendly bacteria, are necessary for correctly digesting food and extracting nutrients. Adding enzymes and probiotics to your diet is very beneficial for adequate digestion.
Pain is a messenger — killing the pain messenger may cause our bodies to send out a bigger messenger and we may experience a dis-ease process that the original pain “messenger” was trying to warn us about. When we treat our body’s messages as a warning or alert to check in and give it what it needs, there will be no need for the messenger. Pain, for example, is a message from the body that a lack of oxygen is present for some reason (swelling, injured tissue, nerve endings injured, etc). Responding to the “message” of the lack of oxygen (massaging, icing, elevating, resting, relieving the swelling) will eliminate the need for the pain messenger. Painkillers kill the messenger, leaving the body to continue to have the problem. Because the “problem” is not heard and addressed, the body needs to signal us again, louder each time.
Drinking water, eight to ten glasses per day, may help relieve tension and pain. Relaxation techniques such as yoga, deep breathing, chakra clearing, and progressive relaxation will allow your body to naturally send out healing enzymes and growth hormones to relieve the reason for the pain message.
Food is nature’s medicine. Our body will let us know if it “likes” a food or not; we just have to listen. Many good resources are available to help us choose which fruits and vegetables, proteins, herbs, and spices are right for us. Ask a health care professional what foods and portions are right for you and what resources they recommend. Healthy Healing by Dr. Linda Page is a text that I use in my practice and recommend.
Judy Meinen, RN, HTP, Reiki Master, does business as Angel Care Healing Touch. Among her other services, she offers the QXCI non-invasive biofeedback system that energetically scans and harmonizes the body’s stresses and imbalances. She will be teaching health-related classes as well as her psychic development workshops this fall. Please visit www.AngelCareHealingTouch.com, or call 715-832-7250 for more information.