Food as Medicine
For thousands of years humans have been using certain foods, plants, and herbs as a source of medicine. Spices are also known to have health benefits as well. Flu season is in full effect, so eating healthy is more than necessary. There are a wide variety of produce that can help affect your health positively. You can add certain herbs and spices with produce to help improve your diet.
An article on BerekelyWellness.com provides a great spread of the vegetables and fruit that prevent diseases from cancer to heart disease. You can see the article organizes the foods by color. Your grocery bags should be colorful like that of a rainbow. Each color has their own benefits, here is a list of the fruits and vegetables by color:
Fruits and Vegetables by Color
- Green/Yellow (Cucumbers, Green Beans, Peas, Romaine Lettuce, Spinach, Green Peppers): Help with eye health, improves your immune system, and can help prevent certain cancers.
- Orange/Yellow (Peaches, Oranges, Tangerines, Nectarines): Loads of Vitamin C, prevents cervical cancer, prevents tumor growth, good source of Vitamin A.
- Red, Purple, and Blue (Watermelon, tomatoes, grapefruit, berries, beets, red cabbage): Prevent heart disease, strengthens immune system to fight cancer cells, reduces risk of prostate cancer.
Spices and Herbs
Here is a list of common spices and herbs that can help strengthen health:
- Cinnamon: Antioxidants (most out of any spice), lower blood sugar, and lower inflammation. Due to a certain chemical cinnamon can also ease nausea.
- Basil: Anti-inflammatory and anti-viral qualities.
- Tumeric: Contains Curcumin (cancer preventing compound), improves joints.
- Cayenne: Improves blood circulation and prevents the risk of heart problems.
- Mint: Help with digestive problems, eases nausea.
- Oregano: Antiviral, Antibiotic, Antibacterial qualities. High in antioxidants. As a result oregano can treat fever, cough, and common illnesses.
- Rosemary: Antiseptic purposes and helps with digestion.
- Thyme: Has the antioxidant Thymol in high concentrations. (You can find Thymol in mouthwash).
Sick Soup Recipe
- 1 lb. cooked chicken
- Mirepoix (celery, carrots, onion)
- 2 boxes of Chicken stock
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 1 potato
- 1/2 head of cabbage
- 1/2 pound green beans
- 1 tablespoon oregano, 1 tablespoon rosemary, 1 tablespoon thyme
- Olive Oil
- You should first cut your cauliflower into little florets, slice the cabbage in thin slivers, and cut the potatoes in small pieces.
- Pour olive oil into a large pot. Put your mirepoix in and gently sweat the vegetables.
- Once the vegetables are a little soft, pour your chicken stock into the pot.
- After season with the rosemary, oregano, and thyme, and bring to a boil.
- Next you put your potatoes in the broth and let them cook since they take the longest to cook. (15-20 if your potatoes are bite size pieces).
- While your potatoes are still cooking, add in your cauliflower.
- It is now time for the green beans and cabbage to enter the pot. You should cook these for 5-10 minutes.
- Finally you can add your chicken since it is cooked already. Season with salt and pepper and taste.
- Pour yourself or your sick friend a large bowl. Squeeze a lemon wedge for some extra Vitamin C and enjoy the warmth of the soup.
Mama, Katie – Wellness. “Health Benefits of Herbs and Spices | Wellness Mama.” Wellness Mama®, 11 Jan. 2018, wellnessmama.com/1092/health-benefits-of-herbs-spices/.