It is true that you are what you eat. Quite literally, your body transforms your food into your skin, or your bones, or something as subtle as your mood.
On a macroscopic level you see a gorgeous, rich, dark chunk of chocolate, you smell its intoxicating sweetness and your body automatically responds by preparing the digestive organs for a moment of pleasure. Your mouth salivates and your stomach starts to produce acid. Perhaps your liver and pancreas are already prepped and producing enzymes for the lavish dose of sugar and fats that your blood stream is about to receive.
On a microscopic level your body sees the sugar, fats and proteins as glucose, lipids and amino acids. These are the building blocks for your body tissue, your biological communication networks and your cellular metabolism. In other words, your food creates your organs such as skin and bone; your neurotransmitters such as melatonin and dopamine; your energy production and your ability to eliminate waste.
And all without your conscious awareness.
Imagine how awe-struck you would be by what you would discover if you could explore your body on a microscopic scale… Your body is doing a million things simultaneously in one moment, all day and all night, every day and every night. It is truly a miracle. Imagine what would happen with this unconscious process if you consciously put thought and energy into the fuel and building blocks you gave your body.
Do you get frustrated with parts of your body that don’t function the way you would like because you think it is out of your control? What if it was within your control? Imagine if you could help to heal these parts of your body… Not only with the types of food that you choose to consume but also by the mindful attention you give to your body, when it is communicating warning signs that something is not right.
Your body is a precious vehicle that is taking you through your life journey and it is within your control to use food as medicine so that your journey is not a long continual bumpy road of health issues. Food as medicine is preventative medicine, that does not mean that all health issues are preventable but it does give you back your power to make choices that will have immediate and life long benefits.
In short, the food you choose to eat can make it easier for your body to produce energy, balance mood, or heal broken skin. It can be a complex new world the more you delve into it but our philosophy is to keep it simple, to approach something new one thing at a time. Here are some of our favourites to get you inspired to try something new, and stick to it!
Apple Cider Vinegar
An old remedy for all sorts of ailments, apple cider vinegar is a fermented food that contains beneficial enzymes and bacteria that make it a strengthening digestive tonic. The sour taste also stimulates our endogenous production of digestive enzymes that aid digestion, assimilation and absorption of nutrients from our food. The acid content of apple cider vinegar actually creates an alkaline environment in the lower digestive tract, aiding in the growth of beneficial flora, and also alkalising the rest of the body via the blood. Hence, apple cider vinegar is commonly used to help clear inflammatory skin conditions, such as eczema.
A staple source of nutrients by the Inca for centuries, maca root is used to support the body’s resilience to stressors and enhance general vitality, virility and fertility. Maca increases blood oxygen and overall energy without being overstimulating. Maca needs to be gelatinised to remove a particular starch that is hard to digest, after this process it becomes a more concentrated nutrient rich powder that can be eaten raw or cooked. See our Turmeric Maca Chai recipe below. We will be hosting a Maca evening this month with a couple of excellent human beings who are actively harvesting their maca in Peru, creating a sustainable and fair trade of maca root so that we can enjoy it in NZ.
Turmeric is part of the ginger family and has been used for centuries within traditional Chinese medicine and traditional Indian medicine, otherwise known as Ayurveda. It is known to lower inflammation and ease arthritic or muscular pain, as well as support digestion, liver detoxification and circulation. One of the known active constituents of turmeric is curcumin, this has been isolated and used in high therapeutic doses as a supplement, however more recent studies are showing that it is actually more affective when in combination with the other naturally occurring constituents. This simply means that the food form is always the best.
Spirulina is a fresh-water blue-green spiral algae, the blue colour is from an antioxidant called phycocyanin and the green colour is from a high content of chlorophyll. Both phycocyanin and chlorophyll are blood cleansing and blood building nutrients. This means that spirulina both supports detoxification and elimination of metabolic waste, and also supports cellular repair and energy production. Spirulina is a rich source of many nutrients including protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, making it an all round medicinal daily boost.
Turmeric Maca Chai
For these colder days it can be comforting to have a warming drink that is both pleasurable and medicinal. Turmeric and other culinary spices have potent anti-inflammatory and carminative properties, as well as stimulating circulation, Turmeric Maca Chai can be made as an energizing daily tonic.
On the stove top simmer two cups of your favourite nut milk (I have used a coconut and rice blend), with a generously heaped teaspoon of maca root powder, a less generous teaspoon each of turmeric & cinnamon, a sprinkle of nutmeg & cayenne pepper (or get creative with any of your favourite spices). Once it is steaming hot & all ingredients are blended into the milk add 8 drops of stevia, or if you prefer 2 teaspoons of honey. Pour into your favourite vessel & share with a friend!