- Stephanie Holliday
The Science of Healing
Updated: Oct 4, 2021
Food choices have the potential to heal the body.
I am excited by the unfolding science of nutrigenomics: the ability of nutrition to affect gene expression.
"...in large part our biology is driven through the nutrients we eat and through vitamins and minerals and other factors in food that are dietary signalling molecules...food is actually information, it's instructions. And it has the ability with every bit, in real time, to change gene expression to affect epigenetics, to alter the function of protein networks, to change our hormones, to change our immune system..." Dr. Mark Hyman
Food is information to the body and the body can read and utilize real food.
Did you get that?
If you eat natural, real, whole food, the body has receptors which can read the molecules of these nutrients, phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals. That information is then used to build healthy body systems.
The body doesn't know how to read strange molecules such as food additives and preservatives, herbicides and fungicides. It also doesn't understand the chemical changes that happen to food when they are deep fried and processed.
Discovering the healthiest, most nourishing foods, and eating them regularly is a good step in the direction of health.
"That is what nutrigenomics is all about. Understanding how nutrition can power genes to create function that then leads to a long healthy life, not the fear of disease, but the presence of wellness." Jeffrey Bland, PHD
THE GOLDEN RULE OF USING FOOD AS HEALING
Eat a plant based, whole food diet (real food from the earth).
It can be that easy.
Whole vegetables, fruits, grains, raw nuts and seeds should be the foundation of your diet.
5 EASY WAYS TO EASILY INTRODUCE HEALTHY FOODS
1) IDENTIFY COMMON FOODS YOU EAT, TRADE UNHEALTHY INGREDIENTS FOR WHOLE FOODS.
Look in your cupboards and fridge, examine what you eat in a day and in a week...this is a good first step in food awareness. You may think you eat pretty healthy, but if you look well, you will likely find a lot of packaged and processed food.
breakfast cereal oatmeal
white pasta buckwheat pasta or quinoa
red meat lentils, beans or tempeh
sugar raw honey
cow milk nut milk
jello/pudding chia pudding
sweet treats fresh fruit
fries baked potato
2) COMMIT TO ONE WHOLE FOOD MEAL PER DAY
This doesn't have to be time consuming. But it will start to transform your habits.
Here are some ideas:
Oatmeal, with fresh fruit and hemp seeds.
Baked potato over a salad of arugula, avocado, tomato, parsley and shredded root vegetables.
Black beans and sweet potato cooked in onions, garlic and tomatoes.
Super smoothie with fruits of your choice, flax/chia or hemp seeds, coconut cream and spirulina, if you like extra sweetness, add in a few dates.
Creamy quinoa mixed together with tahini and miso, topped with steamed greens, shredded carrot and ginger.
3) CHANGE YOUR COOKING METHOD
Frying is simply bad for your body. Even when sauteing or roasting, choose oils that have a high smoke point, such as avocado or coconut oil. These oils retain their molecular structure and do not cause free radical damage when heated.
Even better, try cooking without oils:
Bake potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, red peppers, etc.
Roast vegetables in a light broth of miso.
Steam greens: kale, boc choy, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, etc.
Boil root vegetables and create tasty purees.
4) SWAP A MEAT PROTEIN FOR A VEGETABLE PROTEIN DAILY
There are an abundance of tasty vegetable proteins and more than any other food, vegetables heal the body. And all plants contain protein! Broccoli contains more protein per calorie than steak and spinach is about equal to chicken and fish. If you eat a whole food plant based diet, you will more than meet the body's requirement for protein. Some ideas include:
Raw and/or soaked nuts and seeds
Green leafy vegetables
Steamed kale: 1 cup = 2.5g protein
Broccoli: 1 cup = 4.65g protein
Baked Potato: 2.6g protein
Rice & Beans: 100g = 6.4g protein
Edamame: 1/4 cup = 6g protein
Tofu and tempeh: 1/4 cup = 9g protein
Legumes, includes lentils and beans: usually 20-25% protein
5) BRING ON THE SUPERFOODS
All fresh vegetables and fruits are actually superfoods, especially leafy greens. However, the term "superfoods" has been used to define nutritionally dense foods, often in the form of powders that can be added onto and into many foods. This is an easy way to super charge your food and bring up the nutritional content. Some of my favorite include:
Chlorella - a green algae that can chelate heavy metals (pull them out of your body) and is high in minerals, anti-oxidants, b-complex and amino acids. This article details 7 proven effects of chlorella.
Spirulina - nutritionally dense blue green algae. Gram for gram has more protein than red meat, contains all the essential fatty acids, and is full of anti-oxidants, minerals and vitamins.
Hemp seeds - high in two essential fatty acids: linoleic acid (omega 6) and alpha- linolenic acid (omega 3). Great source of complete protein, just 3 tbsp provide 10 g of protein. They are high in manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, iron and thiamine.
Amla powder - The Indian gooseberry, high in vitamin A and vitamin C. It also contains high levels of folic acid and minerals like calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, carotene, and magnesium
Moringa powder - High in vitamins and minerals. Has anti-oxidant and anti- inflammatory effects. The science is not clear if it is safe for pregnant women as it can make the uterus contract.
Mixed green powder - There are numerous green powders on the market, they often combine various ingredients such as wheat grass, barley grass, spirulina and chlorella mixed with powdered fruits, vegetables, herbs, enzymes and probiotics.
Give your body the information of healing by choosing nutrient dense plant based foods.