Combat stress, inflammation or tiredness from the kitchen.
Using food as medicine, including preventive medicine, is a much smarter idea than taking antibiotics or medicines. Taking unnecessary antibiotics not only contributes to the epidemic of drug-resistant superbugs, but antibiotics don't kill viruses, they only treat bacterial infections, so taking them for viral illnesses (such as colds and flu) is useless and detrimental to your future health.
Instead, focus on good food, plants and spices that minimise the need for medication according to science.
Here are a few tasty ideas:
Antioxidants protect the body from oxidative damage caused by free radicals.
Cinnamon is loaded with powerful antioxidants, such as polyphenols.
In a study comparing the antioxidant activity of 26 spices, cinnamon emerged as the clear winner, beating even "superfoods" such as garlic and oregano.
In fact, it is so potent that cinnamon can be used as a natural food preservative.
Cannabis can be found in various forms, and the health benefits of cannabis are growing, here Tara Leo of CaliExtractions gives us an insight into the various benefits of the plant.
Cannabis contains CBD which is a chemical that impacts the brain, making it function better without giving a high, along with THC which has pain relieving properties. Both substances can be extracted and enhanced for use through short path distillation. Users can obtain the following health benefits from cannabis:
Chronic pain relief
There are hundreds of chemical compounds in cannabis, many of which are cannabinoids. Cannabinoids have been linked to chronic pain relief due to their chemical composition. This is why the by-product of cannabis, such as medical cannabis, is commonly used to relieve chronic pain.
Improves lung capacity
Unlike cigarettes, smoking cannabis in the form of cannabis does not harm the lungs. In fact, one study found that cannabis actually helps to increase lung capacity rather than causing any damage to the lungs if it is vaporised and there is no combustion.
Helps to lose weight
If you look around, you will notice that the avid cannabis user is not usually overweight. This is because cannabis is associated with helping the body regulate insulin while managing calorie intake efficiently.
Regulates and prevents diabetes
With its impact on insulin, it stands to reason that cannabis can help regulate and prevent diabetes. Research by the American Alliance for Medical Cannabis (AAMC) has linked cannabis to stabilising blood sugar levels, lowering blood pressure and improving blood circulation.
One of the biggest medical benefits of cannabis is its link to the fight against cancer. There is a good deal of evidence to show that cannabinoids can help fight cancer, or at least certain types of it.
Helps treat depression
Depression is fairly widespread without most people knowing they have it. The endocannabinoid compounds in cannabis can help stabilise mood, which can alleviate depression.
Shows promise in autism treatment
Cannabis is known to calm users and control their moods. It can help children with autism who experience frequent and violent mood swings to control their moods.
Research on CBD has shown that it can help control seizures. Studies are ongoing to determine the effect cannabis has on individuals with epilepsy.
Cannabidiol has been linked to helping broken bones heal by speeding up the process. According to the Tel Aviv Bone Research Laboratory, it also helps to strengthen the bone in the healing process. This makes it harder for the bone to break in the future.
Help with ADHD/ADD
Individuals with ADHD and ADD have problems concentrating on the tasks at hand. They often have problems with cognitive performance and concentration. Cannabis has shown promise in promoting concentration and helping people with ADHD/ADD. It is also considered a safer alternative to Adderall and Ritalin.
Glaucoma causes extra pressure on the eyeball, which is painful for people with the condition. Cannabis can help reduce the pressure on the eyeball, providing temporary relief for people with glaucoma.
Although cannabis is known to cause anxiety, there is a way around it. Taken in controlled doses and in the right way, cannabis can help relieve anxiety and calm users.
Slows down the development of Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer's disease is one of many diseases caused by cognitive degeneration. As we age, cognitive degeneration is almost inevitable. The endocannabinoid in cannabis contains anti-inflammatories that combat the brain inflammation that leads to Alzheimer's disease.
Fighting arthritis-related pain
Today, cannabis is commonly found in the form of creams and balms that are used by people suffering from arthritis. Both THC and CBD help sufferers deal with the pain.
Help with PTSD symptoms
PTSD affects not only veterans, but anyone who has suffered trauma. As cannabis becomes legalised, the impact it has on helping to treat people with PTSD is being studied. Cannabis helps control the fight or flight response, preventing it from being triggered.
Helping to relieve people with multiple sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis can be painful, and cannabis is known to provide relief. Multiple sclerosis causes painful muscle contractions and cannabis can help reduce that pain.
Reduces hepatitis C-related side effects and increases treatment efficacy
Hepatitis C treatment has numerous side effects including nausea, fatigue, depression and muscle aches. These can last for months for some hepatitis C patients. Cannabis can help to reduce the side effects caused by the treatment and at the same time make it more effective.
3. THE MANGO:
- Rich in protective antioxidants
Mangoes are a good source of protective antioxidants, plant chemicals that include gallotannins and mangiferin. They have been studied for their ability to counteract oxidative stress associated with everyday life or exposure to toxins.
As with other plant foods, many of these compounds are found in and just under the skin. A 2012 study analysing the skin of mangoes concluded that it may play a role in preventing obesity, thanks to the plant chemicals found there.
- Can aid digestion
A pilot study in 2018 showed that people with chronic constipation who ate mangoes over a 4-week period enjoyed significant improvement in their symptoms, partly due to the fibre content, but potentially from other compounds in the fruit, too. Interestingly, the leaves of the mango tree also appear to offer potential anti-diarrhoeal activity thanks to chemicals in the leaves.
A previous animal study found that obese mice on a high-fat diet showed an improvement in gut microflora after adding mango to their diet. Studies suggest that this may be due to polyphenols, protective compounds such as gallotannins in the fruit. Mango phytochemicals have also been studied for their gastroprotective effects, offering both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties to the digestive system, and may even help reduce inflammation in conditions such as ulcerative colitis.
- Can help keep skin and hair healthy
Mangoes contain good levels of vitamins A and C. Vitamin C is involved in the formation of collagen, the protein that acts as a scaffold for the skin, keeping it plump and firm. Vitamin C is one of the most important antioxidants as it plays a protective role against environmental damage; a vitamin C deficiency can affect wound healing and increase fine lines and wrinkles. Our hair also needs vitamin C for collagen production and also to aid the absorption of iron, an important mineral necessary for hair growth.
All cells need vitamin A to grow, including skin and hair, and some studies suggest that it may have protective effects against the signs of ageing. One of the key functions of vitamin A is its involvement in the production of sebum, the oily substance that moisturises both our skin and scalp.
- Can promote heart health
A 2016 animal study suggested that mangiferin offered heart-protective benefits, including reducing inflammation. Other animal studies suggest that the same plant chemical may help cholesterol balance. While these animal studies are encouraging, human trials are lacking - more research is needed on how we can replicate these benefits in humans.
- Can promote eye health
The orange flesh of mangoes indicates that they are rich in carotenoids that promote eye health. Specifically, they provide lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoids that play an important role in the retina of the eye, protecting it from sunlight and the blue light emitted by digital devices. Lutein and zeaxanthin are also useful in combating the signs of age-related macular degeneration.
4. THE CURCUMA:
Turmeric, the multitasking superhero of spices, has known anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial and antitumour properties. In short, turmeric fights for your health on multiple levels.
In addition, this bright yellow spice boosts mitochondrial health (mitochondria are the powerhouse of our cells), reducing the amount of free radicals produced by ageing or dying mitochondria. Don't like curry? Then take a curcumin supplement to boost its benefits.
Avocados are a source of vitamins C, E, K and B6, as well as riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium and potassium. They also provide lutein, beta-carotene and omega-3 fatty acids. Avocados contain high levels of healthy, beneficial fats, which can help a person feel fuller between meals.