Food as Medicine: What Does It Mean?

At Kroma, we are inspired by the belief that food is medicine. Every ingredient we put into our foods serves a purpose in the body. Keep reading to learn more about how the foods you eat have a direct impact on your health and wellness. 

How Does My Diet Affect My Body?

Have you ever had a bowl of ice cream, and, after eating it, you were left feeling bloated and lethargic? Have you sat down for pizza and soda, only to be left with heartburn and a stomach ache? Now, after eating a smoothie full of high-quality superfoods, did you feel more energy and focus? This is a perfect example of what food can do. 

We aren’t saying you can’t have pizza and ice cream. We love them too, sometimes

However, it’s important to be mindful of how often you eat foods that leave you feeling good, and how you balance that with foods that leave you feeling not so great. 

There’s a reason people swear by lifestyles like the Mediterranean diet and the Paleo diet—it’s because considering what you’re using to fuel your body can truly change the way you feel. 

Energy Levels

Food plays a direct role in your energy levels. Some foods, like bananas, can give you plenty of energy because they are high in potassium, vitamin B6, and complex carbohydrates.. 

If you eat highly processed foods, you might be left feeling less energized. A perfect example of this is white rice and brown rice. 

White rice has been heavily processed, removing the outer layer and taking with it a lot of fiber and nutrients. When you eat white rice you will get a bit of energy, but it will be short-lived. 

When you eat brown rice, the bran and germ containing the fiber are left on. This fiber is harder for your body to digest, but this trait can give you more energy for a longer period of time as it slowly digests. 

Mood Regulation

Many people do not realize that mental health issues may be made worse or better by what you consume. Foods high in omega-3s, vitamin B12, folate, and magnesium can all support mood

Carbs get a bad rap, but they trigger the production of serotonin and tryptophan, our feel-good chemicals. Eating foods that have complex carbs, such as fruits, veggies, and gluten-free grains can help boost your mood. 

Sleep

Inadequate micronutrients may be a direct cause of poor or insufficient sleep in adults. Adults between 19 and 50 who reported short sleep, which is less than seven hours, all had lower levels of calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, and vitamin K than the recommended daily requirements. Women older than 50 were also lower in vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E. 

Some foods that are known to help you sleep a little better include: 

  • Fatty fish
  • Leafy greens
  • Almonds
  • Turkey 
  • Kiwi

You can also drink a warm cup of chamomile tea or passionflower tea before bed to help you relax. Stay away from coffee, caffeinated teas, and chocolate if you are having trouble sleeping at night, especially in the evening. 

Kroma’s Calming + Repair Magnesium can help, too. This elixir will help you power down, rest, and recharge, with three natural types of magnesium, L-theanine, prebiotics, and pomegranate. 

Libido

Using foods, herbs, and drinks to increase sexual desire has been common practice for thousands of years. Some of these ancient practices are pretty outside of the box, like using a chemical from blister beetles as a sexual stimulant. 

Today, we approach it a little more subtly, with foods like oysters, beets, nuts, chocolates, and seeds thought to increase libido. Many of these foods address a deficiency in a vitamin or mineral that support healthy sexual function.

For a little less subtle approach, stock your cupboard with our Spicy Passion latte. Libido-boosting superfoods like cacao, maca, and goji berries are paired with revitalizing mushrooms to get you going in the best ways.

Digestion

Cutting down on fatty, highly processed foods, increasing foods high in fiber, and staying hydrated can all help your digestion. Digestion is all about how your gut breaks down and processes the foods you eat. Eating whole foods that are high in nutrients and fiber not only help your digestion, but your gut can send out more nutrients to the rest of your body.

Mental Clarity

Many people experience brain fog at certain times in their life. Pregnancy and earlier motherhood are often associated with brain fog or “mommy brain.” Feeling anxious and experiencing a lot of stress can also bring this feeling on. 

Eating foods that support your mental clarity, like blueberries, fatty fish, spices like turmeric, nuts, legumes, and broccoli, can help support your brain and memory.

Overall Health

Foods can also play a direct role in alleviating the symptoms of, and helping to reduce the risk of, chronic diseases, like heart disease, kidney disease, obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure. 

When your diet is full of nutrient-dense, whole foods, you are setting yourself up for better health outcomes and disease prevention, especially cardiovascular health as it is just one of many systems in the body that is directly affected by diet. 

What Does It Mean To Use Food as Medicine?

Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” What he means by this is that wellness and health start with what you eat and put into your body everyday. 

Feeding your body whole foods full of nutrients lowers your disease risk by providing your body with the nutrients it needs to maintain a healthy immune system, cardiovascular system, and overall health. 

Certain conditions like obesity or high cholesterol directly result from your lifestyle, so making changes in your diet can help you get your health back on track. 

Talk to a healthcare professional to see if certain foods or diets can work alongside modern medicine to help you manage or even treat certain health conditions. 

Which Foods Can Help Nourish My Body?

Here are some of our go-to’s when we want to give our bodies an extra boost: 

Matcha

Starting your day with matcha is a great way to give your body extra nutrients and energy to get through the day. Thanks to beneficial compounds like antioxidants, matcha is a wonderful way to start out on the right foot. 

In our Beauty Matcha Latte, we have included collagen protein and superfoods like turmeric, goji, maca, and ginger, to give you additional benefits! 

Bone Broth

Adding bone broth to a healthy diet is a great way to support your gut health. Gut health is incredibly important for your overall health. Bone broth is full of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fatty acids, and it is easily digestible. Bone broth also helps support your bones, joints, and muscles thanks to its collagen content!

Porridge

If you feel hungry again right after eating your breakfast, you may need to add more fiber. Fiber helps your body feel fuller longer. 

Our Super Porridge is made with nuts, seeds, and rolled oats. We have also added chocho plant protein, made from a bean found high in the Andes, to give you even more energy to get through the day. The added cinnamon and coconut oil also work to boost your metabolism.

Smoothies

Smoothies are a great way to get all your fruits and veggies in an easy-to-make, easy-to-take meal or snack. Berries, bananas, avocados, and mangos are all great ingredients to add to a smoothie. Adding leafy greens and healthful herbs like parsley may help support your cardiovascular health.

Nut Butters

A great way to add in more healthy fats, protein, fiber, and vitamins all in one is to add nut butters to your snacks. Nut butters don't just have to be peanut butter. You can buy or make nut butters out of cashew, almonds, walnuts, or any nut you like. 

Make sure your nut butter doesn’t contain a bunch of added ingredients like sugar, salt, or added oils that can negate its beneficial effects.

Greens

Greens like arugula, kale, romaine, spinach, swiss chard, and watercress are full of vitamin A, folate, vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and fiber. Greens are also full of antioxidants for overall health, and they can reduce inflammation. 

Our Supergreens Elixir is a deliciously easy way to get your daily dose of greens!

Magnesium

All minerals are important to the body, but magnesium is crucial to the body. It supports muscles, nerves and energy production, and is involved in hundreds of biochemical reactions that take place every day. Foods high in magnesium include nuts, seeds, whole grains, beans, and leafy greens. 

Conclusion

What we eat, good and bad, can play a role in our overall health and health outcomes. Not only does food support how your body functions, but it also affects how you feel as a result. Libido, mental clarity, energy levels, and mood can all be affected by what we choose to eat. 

Our 5-Day Lifestyle Reset can help reset your current eating patterns and provide you with the tools you need to easily add nourishing superfoods into your day!

 

Sources:

Understanding nutrition, depression and mental illnesses NCBI

Micronutrient Inadequacy in Short Sleep: Analysis of the NHANES 2005-2016 | PubMed

Aphrodisiacs past and present: a historical review | PubMed

From Preclinical Stroke Models to Humans: Polyphenols in the Prevention and Treatment of Stroke | NCBI

Salad greens: Getting the most bang for the bite | Harvard Health

Pros and cons of taking a magnesium supplement | Mayo Clinic