Food As Medicine

Eating Healthy Can Taste Good

Article by Tracy Carlson/Alive Health Integrative Nutrition

Photography by Tracy Carlson/Alive Health Integrative Nutrition

Originally published in Boerne Lifestyle

The science of using food as medicine to prevent and treat disease dates back thousands of years.  This is contrary to the pharmaceutical industry's approach" or similar. There is a direct correlation between the sharp rise in chronic disease, and the introduction of processed foods loaded with toxins that make up the standard American diet.  Nutrient deficiencies and toxicity are linked to nearly all modern health concerns. It is estimated that 90% of Americans are nutrient deficient; with magnesium, vitamin D, B12 and collagen topping the list. Health conditions associated with nutrient deficiencies include: cancer, auto-immune disorders, heart disease, reproductive problems, migraines, joint pain, hormone imbalance, neurological issues and more.

We are divinely created for perfect health, however, it’s up to us to provide the proper tools and nutrients are powerful tools!  Feed your gut, transform your body and your brain. Healthy gut bacteria are responsible for everything from nutrient absorption and hormone production to a strong immune system.  Healing foods include fresh vegetables, leafy greens, fruits, healthy fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, olive and coconut oils, omega-3 rich foods such as wild salmon, mackerel and sardines. These medicinal foods make a huge impact on overall health by supporting inflammation levels, a healthy insulin response, increasing energy and improving your mood.

Food is information. Food communicates with gut bacteria and our genes. The food we eat has the power to turn genes on or off. For example: a clean diet, as described above, has the ability to turn off disease genes and turn on longevity genes. Through diet and other lifestyle factors, you can control the expression of genes and live a happy, healthy life.  This idea of turning on/off messages that foster health or disease is called Nutrigenomics.

The fastest way to improve your health is to change what’s on your fork. Our health mindset must shift. Instead of reacting after a sickness, be proactive by creating an environment where illness and disease can’t thrive. Change your food for 30 days and you will be amazed at how much better you feel and function! Energy, good sleep, mental clarity, longevity and a strong healthy body can be achieved through the power of real food.  Make a variety of bright, colorful veggies the star of every meal. These recipes are easy, colorful, nutrient-dense and most of all delicious! Ingredients may be adjusted according to the season or personal preference.  or 210-818-3268

Arugula and Fig Salad

1 7-8oz. bag of organic arugula

1 small fennel bulb

6-8 fresh organic figs

3 oz. parmesan cheese

Olive oil, Balsamic vinegar, pink Himalayan salt, cracked black pepper

Place washed arugula on a large plate or platter. Layer chopped fennel on top, toss slightly.  Cut figs into thirds or quarters and place them around the plate. Shave parmesan over the top. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with pink salt, and fresh pepper. Serves 4.

Grain-Free Apple Cranberry Crumble

Filling (organic is best):
4 lg. apples, sliced
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1 T lemon juice
1 T arrowroot flour
1 t cinnamon
2 T honey
Pinch of salt

In a large bowl, combine the above ingredients. Let macerate for 30 minutes.

1 + ¼ cup almond flour
1/3 cup chopped pecans
½ t cinnamon
Pinch of salt
½ t vanilla extract
2 T honey
2 T cold grass-fed butter or coconut oil

In a separate bowl, whisk together almond flour, pecans, cinnamon & salt. Add vanilla, honey & cold butter. Using a fork, mix until crumbly.

Pour the fruit mixture into a 9 X 9 baking dish and top with the crumble mixture. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 45-50 minutes. Let cool slightly and enjoy! 

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