You are what you eat!
Hippocrates once said "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." This wisdom dates back to 431BC, and yet it is perhaps all the more timely when applied to our modern livelihoods. Society at large has become just that, large. A recent report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has illuminated just how out of hand the obesity epidemic has become. Currently, over one-third of adults (the numbers for children are not good either) are obese and if trends continue we could see that number climb to 44% in just over 15 years. The health problems associated with obesity are numerous and costly. Health issues will most certainly arise and have arisen when society views food as taste-bud entertainment or a quick fix rather than a basis for health.
Modern medicine has managed to morph into a symptomatic response to the effects of poor nutrition and lifestyle. Whereas, the wisdom imparted by Hippocrates suggests that preventative care and education would have a far greater impact on society’s long term health and vitality. As a culture, we have become overfed and undernourished.
A long-term nutrient-poor diet will take its toll on the body’s ability to heal itself. We experience the world through the food that we eat. Quite simply, the life that is in food becomes our lives via the digestive system. The digestive system is also intimately linked with our immune system. Over 70% of immune activity takes place via the digestive system. Thereby, digestive health has a direct correlation to our over-all health and well-being.
Call in the mushrooms! Mushrooms are an incredible source of protein, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and antioxidants. Mushrooms are low energy dense foods meaning that the amount of calories per volume of food is small. In other words, mushrooms are low-calorie protein sources that are fat and cholesterol free. The antioxidant levels found in mushrooms are also very high compared to other vegetables. Antioxidants are valuable to the body because they prevent cell damage, a precursor to aging and worst case scenario, cancer. The good news does not stop there, mushrooms retain most of their nutrients when cooked (stir-fry or microwave) leaving the good stuff to be absorbed by the body.
Mushrooms are precisely the kind of food that we, as a society need, to reverse the tide of being overfed and undernourished. Let the foods we eat be our medicine so that we may begin to view our food for what it is, life, and not just some quick fix to a hunger pang!