Your Diet is Your Pharmacy: The Medicinal Power of Food

Expert Cited: Dr. William Li

Written by
Brian Leddy
Summer picnic with friends in nature with food and 2023 11 27 05 22 51 utc

The best tool you can use to fuel your fight against disease and supercharge your healthspan may just be the foods you're eating.

In a recent chat, health gurus Dr. Mark Hyman and Dr. William Li took a deep dive on how food isn't just about sustenance and calories—it's actually a secret weapon for activating your body's own healing powers – if you choose the right stuff.

Expert: Dr. William Li

Field of Study: Angiogenesis (regrowth of blood vessels)

Bio: Author, speaker, and phsyician, Dr. William Li is resonsible for signficant advancements in the field of angiogenesis which has led to the development of several new medical treamtents for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and more.

In further good news, the "right stuff" doesn't have to be boring and bland meals (though, spoiler alert, broccoli is still part of the equation. We're talking about vibrant, flavorful foods that pack a punch and help you feel amazing, while coaxing your body's natural healing mechanisms to kick into gear.

Ready to unlock the power of food as medicine? 

1. Activate Your Inner Healer: Choosing key foods can set in motion a domino effect, stimulating your body's own healing mechanisms. For example, chowing down on beets or spinach isn't just tasty, it kickstarts a chain reaction in your gut that generates nitric oxide, which can lower blood pressure, boost blood flow, and even call in your body's repair crew (stem cells!).

And did you have any idea of all the great stuff tomatoes can do? Learn all about it right here.

2. Phytochemicals: Your Flavorful Allies: These natural compounds found in plants are responsible for giving your food its delicious taste. But they also are key components for a food's medicinal properties as well, so they pull double-duty by delivering a whole host of health benefits at the same time. 

A great example can be found in strawberries. When a strawberry plant is stressed by pests, it produces more ellagic acid, a phytochemical with potential health benefits.

To learn more about Phytochemicals read this article. But if you don't have time, just remember this: the more flavorful the (natural) food, the more powerful the medicine!

3. Microbiome Modulation - AKA Your Gut Check: Your gut microbiome is like a bustling city, and the food you eat determines who lives there. A healthy gut is key to overall health, so feed it well with plenty of fruits and veggies. 

If you're fighting a certain disease, a healthy gut can go a long way. This article summarizes a study of the role a specific gut bacteria, Ruminococcus, which comes from high fiber fruits and veggies, may play in cancer treatments.

We've also shared a few tips that may help you cultivate a healthier gut through the foods you eat.

4. Food and Medicine: A Dynamic Duo: Turns out, some foods can actually make your medicine work even better. One study suggests, Broccoli sprouts, for example, may give your flu shot a serious boost. 

For a deeper dive on food's that may support the efficacy of certain medications, check out this article.

5. Ancient Wisdom, Modern Health: Traditional diets like those from the Mediterranean and Asia have been using food as medicine for centuries. It's time to take a page from their book and embrace a diverse, plant-powered diet.

The Bottom Line

Food isn't just a fuel, it may also be a potent medicine, if you're eating the right stuff. With a better understanding of the potential healing benefits that we can gain through our diet, aside from just the day to day sustenance we need, it can help you make better choices when planning your meals.

Brian Leddy Profile Image
Brian Leddy CEO & Co-Founder, BodyStack (FDN-P)
Certified Functional Diagnostic Practitioner (FDN-P) and owner of Leddy Functional Wellness. Formerly an Adweek Executive and Media Entreprenuer, Brian pivoted his career to focus on inspiring and coaching people from all walks of life to make positive strides in their respective health journeys. Brian is a Co-Founder, and now serves as the CEO of BodyStack.
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