"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." Hippocrates
We can all agree that over the course of time, what we put into our body directly influences our health. The food we eat affects how we feel, how we think, how cells are oxidized, the level of inflammation our bodies face daily, our digestive health, hormones, fertility - food fuels just about everything. When people start to use food, herbs, teas, oils and roots medicinally, there are so many questions.
Yet as time passes, the transformation in their skin, energy, sleep levels, digestion, appetite, weight and general symptoms - makes them a passionate believer. Can food really change everything?
Becoming your own health advocate can be confusing in today's world. There are so many "diets" and "detoxes" claiming success that sometimes just navigating through a food store can feel like the new Wild West: added sugars hiding between the lines, pesticides on produce, and tricky packaging hiding harmful ingredients.
So, what foods should we be eating? When it comes to healing with food, making simple and small changes are the easiest way to make BIG impacts on your health. A great place to start when it comes to using "food as medicine" is by increasing the foods in your diet that soothe inflammation. After all, inflammation is one of the leading causes of almost all diseases.
One of my favorite inflammation-taming foods to use (in a variety of ways) is ginger. Ginger is a powerful because it contains compounds that "blast" away inflammation. In two separate clinical studies 75% of arthritis patients and 100% of participants with various muscle-related pain reported relief when consuming ginger regularly.
Ginger also has antioxidant properties. It has countless everyday uses, like easing cramps, nausea, congestion, fevers and it even quells unwanted digestive gas.
Ginger is a pungent and spicy root that is available all year round. It offers a very unique and powerful taste, yet is versatile enough to use in smoothies, juices, in cooking, baking or sauteeing (especially with vegetables), along with homemade teas and jams. I wanted to share with you one of my favorite recipes for Medicinal Ginger Jam - it is so delicious, give it a try:
- 1 large piece of fresh organic ginger (about 5-6 inches or longer)
- 4-6 tablespoons of organic unfiltered honey (or liquid coconut sap if you can find it)
- 1 tablespoon of royal jelly
- 2 tablespoons of arrowroot power OR coconut flour
- 1/2 teaspoon chia seeds (optional)
- Peel a large piece of ginger with a spoon to remove the skin.
- Grate the ginger into a small pan and add some amino rich coconut sap (coconut sugar in liquid form). Use just enough to cover your ginger.
- Add in the royal jelly.
- Cook on low heat until everything is softened (about 10-15 mins).
- While this mixture is warm, pour into a blender, adding 2 tablespoons of coconut flour (or arrowroot powder) and pulse into a jam.
- Add in chia seeds (optional), pour into a glass jar, seal and refrigerate!
Why Is It Good For You? We already talked about the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits of ginger, but coconut sap is one of the most nutritious natural sweeteners around. Rich in amino acids, B Vitamins (namely inositol, another powerful anti-inflammatory), vitamin C and various minerals, coconut sap is a step above all other sweeteners. Royal Jelly is one of my favorite medicinal foods. Vitamin and antioxidant rich, it helps to boost fertility, balance menstrual imbalances, lower cholesterol, and generally give a healthy boost to the immune system. Last, chia seeds are a simple and fast way to add minerals and healthy omega-3 fats into your diet.