Select Page

Food as Medicine – 5 Top Tips

Food as Medicine – 5 Top Tips

Many of us have been forced to slow down a bit over the past few months. We are suddenly working from home. Unable to go to the gym. Crafting with our kids more than ever before.

While there is so much uncertainty at this time, one thing has stayed constant: The articles, Instagram posts and Facebook Lives regarding ways to boost the immune system! 

It seems as though everywhere we turn, we see “5 Tips to Boost the Immune System!”, “ Eat for Your Immunity!” and now is the time to “Focus on Self Care Today!”

Yes, all of these concepts are helpful and relevant. Yes, we need to hear this information. 

Although, as your dietitian, I have a feeling that you already know that eating vegetables, avoiding sugar, meditation, exercise, and 7 or more hours of sleep each night is crucial when it comes to supporting immune health. However, the goal is to have those habits ingrained into your daily routine. We want your foundation of immunity to be built BEFORE danger and disease strikes.

So, once the foundation is built, how do we take nutrition to the next level? Here are my top tips for using food as medicine: 

5 Tips to Use Food as Medicine

1. Eat Your Antifungals & Antibacterials

Did you know that certain foods have powerful antifungal and antimicrobial properties? Totally true. Nature’s best medicine comes disguised as oregano, garlic, onion, Manuka honey, turmeric, and ginger. Try to incorporate at least one of these foods daily. Soups, smoothies, and stir-frys tend to work best. 

Pro Tip: Speaking of nature’s best medicine, many ask us, can I simply skip fruits and veggies and take a supplement instead? The answer is NO! A supplement is just that- a supplement to your normal diet. Plants naturally contain too many amazing compounds to be replaced by a supplement.

With that said, what supplement would we recommend to help with inflammation? Well, If you’re a female looking to fight inflammation and correct any imbalances down in your nether region, we highly recommend checking out the Perfect Condition Vitamin by Love Wellness.

This nutrient-based supplement has the perfect blend of anti-inflammatory agents such as turmeric and powerful, all-natural antimicrobials such as garlic, grapefruit seed, and coconut oil in order to keep you balanced from the inside out. Say goodbye to awkward smells and yeast infections- the safe and natural way!

If you’re a male looking to boost energy while addressing total body inflammation, check out Men’s Pure Pack by Pure Encapsulations. This extensive combo of nutrients and antioxidants promotes energy and stamina while supporting prostate and cardiovascular health.

2. Choose Color

It’s no secret, eating a rainbow each day can dramatically improve human health by reversing damage at the cellular level. Aim to consume 3 different colors at each meal. Example: Morning smoothie that contains spinach, strawberries, and blueberries. Bonus: dark leafy greens are incredible when it comes to detoxification.

3. Feed Yourself with Fermentation

Fermented foods are one of the best-kept secrets when it comes to boosting human health. To use fermented food as medicine, aim for 2 TBSP each day of fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, or 4-8 oz of Kombucha (Check out the recipe below!). Fermented Foods serve as premium fuel for the good bacteria in our gut, thus helping to strengthen our immune system. 

4. Real Food for Real People

No matter how divided this country is regarding food beliefs -keto, paleo, vegan- there is one thing all experts agree on: eating real food! Our body was designed to digest and metabolize food that does not contain a bar code. The more chemicals and additives we ingest, the more bogged down our immune system becomes. It’s as simple as that!

5. Focus on Correcting & Preventing Nutrient Deficiencies

Consider speaking to your doctor or dietitian about testing for micronutrient deficiencies. Believe it or not, many Americans are suffering from chronic health issues that could have been completely prevented if vitamin and mineral stores were up to par. In fact, numerous studies have shown that more than 90% of Americans are deficient in one or more nutrients at the minimum dose to prevent deficiency diseases!

Remember my friends, Rome was not built in a day and the same can be said for your immune system. Focus on incorporating one new tip on using food as medicine each week and soon enough, these habits will become second nature and you will be harnessing the true power of food!

And now a quick recipe to help you use fermented food as medicine in your kitchen each week….

Homemade Food as Medicine Kombucha!

(Usual disclaimer: FWDfuel Sports Nutrition is a participant in the Emerson Wellevate Associates program as well as the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.)

Now that you know fermented foods can boost the immune system like no other and you are practicing social distancing at home, do you know what that means? 

This is the PERFECT time to learn how to make your own kombucha at home!! Not only will this boost your immune system, but it will boost your wallet as well. 

For those who are new to this lovely, sparkling beverage, kombucha is tea that is combined with yeast and a small amount of sugar in order to promote fermentation.

Drinking 4-8 oz daily can be helpful for increasing the “good” bacteria in our gut, thereby enhancing our immune system.

Before we begin, be sure to have the right equipment on hand:

Pot or tea kettle
Small funnel
Mason Jar (/which comes with cloth and rubber band)
Stirring spoon
Otis Classic Swing Top Glass Bottles with tightly closing lids

Food as Medicine: Homemade Kombucha

Prep Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 gallon of purified water
  • 6-8 teabags of your favorite tea
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • SCOBY This stands for Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast. You can make your own or choose a little assistance with a starter kit.
  • 2 cups of unflavored neutralized, store-bought kombucha
  • Option to include 1-2 cups of your favorite chopped fruit for additional flavoring berries are great! or 2-5 TBSP of fresh herbs or spices

Instructions

  1. Create a tea base:  Bring water to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar until it is dissolved. Drop in the tea and allow it to steep until the water has cooled. This may take a few hours (depends on pot size). If you’d like to speed up the cooling process, place the pot in an ice bath.
  2. Add starter tea: Once cool, remove the tea bags or strain out the loose tea. Stir in the starter tea. (The starter tea prevents “bad” bacteria from making a home in the first few days of fermentation.)
  3. Transfer to jars. Add SCOBY: Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon glass jar and (with clean hands!) carefully slide the scoby into the jar. Cover the mouth of the jar with a few layers and secure it with a rubber band. Even paper towels or coffee filters will work.
  4. Ferment for 7-10 days. Be sure to keep the jar out of direct sunlight, at room temp and in an area that won’t be continually disturbed. Periodically check the Kombucha and scoby.  It is not unusual for the scoby to float at the top, bottom, or sideways during this process. Don’t be freaked out if you see weird floaters and strings hanging from the scoby. These are normal signs of fermentation!
  5. Time to Taste Test. After 7 days, start to taste your kombucha. Wait until you reach a balance of sweet and sour that you prefer. It is now time to remove the scoby, but make sure you have another batch of hot tea in the wings in order to hand off the scoby! Side note, it is ok to keep your scoby on a plate for a little bit until you are ready to transfer to the new batch.
  6. Bottle Up!: Measure 2 cups from this batch to serve as your starter tea for the next batch. Pour the fermented kombucha (strain if desired) into bottles using the small funnel. Add any fruit or herbs you may want for additional flavor. Leave approximately a half inch of room at the top of each bottle.
  7. Carbonate then Refrigerate: Store the bottled kombucha at room temperature out of direct sunlight. Allow 1 to 3 days for the kombucha to carbonate. Refrigerate to stop fermentation and carbonation. Be sure to consume your delicious homemade food as medicine kombucha within a month!

Love what you’ve learned? Want to check out more info on the latest and greatest holistic supplements for total body women’s health? Check out Love Wellness to discover the very best on the market.

Cheers to health and happiness!

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27672694
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5537775/
  3. https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/6/3/e009892
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3601187/

About The Author

Kylene Bogden

Kylene Bogden is one of the most well respected Functional Sports Dietitians in the United States. As a high school and collegiate sprinter, she experienced recurrent injury and fatigue. After years of constant struggle, she eventually learned that an abundance of processed foods and poor fueling strategies were the root of her performance issues. Kylene's personal journey as an athlete fueled her passion for finding a more progressive approach to sports nutrition. Since then, she has helped thousands of individuals dramatically improve overall health and athletic performance by taking a whole food approach. To learn more about Kylene's story and how a functional nutrition approach can help you to achieve your goals, simply click on the contact us link in the upper right-hand corner today!

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




Sign up to our newsletter!

Subscribe

Protein Shakes & Smoothies

Learn how we make tasty and nutrient-dense shakes and smoothies for meals, snacks, and recovery

Ultimate Weight Gain Meal Plan Guide

From snacks to meals to supplements, let us show you how to gain muscle like a pro.

Keto Diet Food List and Guide

From snacks to meals to supplements, let us show you how to gain Learn our top 10 tips to be successful and the best foods to be consuming.muscle like a pro.

Contact Us

Contact Info

19970 Ingersoll Dr, Rocky River, OH 44116
+419 366 3163

Follow On

Subscribe & Fix Bloating Now

Subscribe for weekly updates on fixing fatigue, bloating, and gut issues with anti-inflammatory foods and a FREE copy of our Super Tasty 3 Day Anti-Inflammatory Meal Plan to reduce bloating, improve gut function, increase energy, and improve athletic performance! Transform your eating with this meal plan today!

You have successfully subscribed! We'll be in touch soon with some of our biggest tips!

61 Shares
Tweet
Share9
Pin52