Food as Medicine: My Top 5 Healing Foods
If you know me well, or even if you are simply following along with me on social media, you may know that I recently had a small accident right in my own apartment. Most people thought it was a bike accident. Sorry…nothing as “fancy” as that. It happened right inside my home.
This unexpected event landed me in the operating room that same day and pushed important travel plans I had scheduled for just a few days later. I suddenly had quite a bit of unexpected downtime on my hands, as I wanted to let my body heal nicely.
Once I came to accept that I needed to put my “super important” plans on hold (quite difficult for the planner in me!), it was incredible to see the body’s natural ability to heal itself when you use food as medicine. Add to it lots of TLC from friends and family, a couple of Reiki sessions, daily Headspace meditation, and good sleep and hydration, and I was on my way to a speedy recovery.
I truly believe that one of the most important things to focus on while healing from anything—be it an illness, an injury, or any kind of trauma is nutrition. Eating right can not only provide your body what it needs to fight off infection and heal more quickly, but healthy foods can also boost your strength, your energy levels, and your mood.
These are my five favorite healing foods…that also happen to be super yummy, of course. Because after all, even when food is medicine, it should taste good!
Choose your favorite—raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, goji berries—they are all loaded with antioxidants and vitamin C to give your immune system a natural boost and help your body repair and rebuild from any damage.
There’s a reason your mom always insisted you have something green on your plate—veggies are little powerhouses of the vitamins and minerals that are essential to the healing process.
Most green veggies are also high in fiber, so they not only help keep your digestive system moving along, but they also help keep you feeling fuller, longer (so you’re not tempted by the inevitable sweets your well-meaning friends and family will send your way).
The healthy dose of carbs they deliver also helps to maintain blood sugar levels (so no mood swings!)
ORANGE FRUITS AND VEGGIES
There’s never a better time to eat the rainbow than when you are trying to help your body heal. Carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, peaches, and mangoes are all great sources of vitamins A and C, both of which help to naturally bolster your immunity and reduce your risk of infection.
Whatever your preferred source of protein—lean meat, fish, tofu, tempeh, lentils, poultry, beans, eggs—your body needs plenty of it in order to repair muscle damage and help heal wounds more quickly. Bone broth is a healing powerhouse too with lots of collagen to help tissue and bone health.
It’s important to make sure your protein choice also provides a healthy dose of iron, which will help you to fight fatigue and recoup your energy.
When you are recovering, healthy fats are your best friend! Eating foods that are high in the right kinds of fats—hello, walnuts, almonds, coconut, and avocados—helps your body to absorb all those nutrients you are getting from the good food choices you’re making. They also help you feel satisfied and give you a natural energy boost.
And there you have it. Always one to find the silver lining, it occurs that this unexpected break that was forced upon me has been good to remind me of a few things – that I have an amazing support system of friends and family who truly care about me, that my body is not shy to tell me when it needs a break (although next time I humbly ask it does it in a gentler way), and that choosing to eat well truly does allow you to live your best life…even if you’re living it from the couch for a little while longer!
Need help healing your body naturally? SCHEDULE a 20-minute complimentary Discovery Call with me to learn more about my approach and to find out how I can help.