Foods Used as Medicine – The Benefits Of Food Groups


People are interested in particular foods used as medicine to target specific illnesses. However, the food groups — the glow foods, the grow foods, and the go foods — are often talked about, but not everyone appreciates their benefits for overall health.

Here is a brief description as to why each group is important, not only in treating ailments but also in preventing them.

Glow Foods: Vegetables Improve Overall Health and Detoxify the Body

Vegetables are an important part of a balanced diet. Without veggies, it becomes difficult for the body to cleanse itself. Veggies also provide the body with several important nutrients such as vitamin C, potassium, carotenoids (lycopene and beta carotene), to name a few.

Those who don’t eat vegetables regularly can suffer illnesses such as malnutrition and constipation. Eating veggies helps to improve overall health and even reduces the risk of developing illnesses such as diabetes and cancer.

Among vegetables, the dark green and leafy varieties contain six times more nutrients than their paler counterparts. They are rich in antioxidants, B vitamins, boron, magnesium, selenium, iron, and zinc.

Yellow, red, and orange vegetables such as carrots, capsicums, squashes, and pumpkins are filled with carotenoids, antioxidants, and vitamin C.

Brassicas such Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, kale, and cauliflower contain B vitamins, folate, iron, magnesium, calcium, and vitamins E and C.

Root vegetables are good sources of selenium, calcium, and some B vitamins.

So don’t forget to fil your plate with some colorful medicine.

Grow Foods: Protein-Rich Foods To Build and Repair the Body

Proteins (or amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins) are obtained from beans, lentils, quinoa, buckwheat, chia seeds, dairy, eggs, fish or organic lean meats. They help build the body and repair damaged tissues.

Foods with protein satisfy the appetite longer than carbohydrates do, so they keep blood glucose levels stable. They are linked to clear thinking and motivation, so not consuming protein can lead a person to experience lethargy and confusion.

The amino acids in some protein-rich foods have a stimulating effect on the brain. They are best taken during the day and not before sleeping to avoid staying awake late at night. Tyrosine is a brain-stimulating amino acid obtained from fish and shellfish.

On the contrary, certain protein foods such as milk contain tryptophan, which is a sleep-inducing amino acid. However, not all foods with tryptophan can create calming sensations because amino acids tend to prevent each other from being absorbed in the digestive system. Tryptophan is among the last to be absorbed, so it only works rapidly when there are little amounts of other amino acids present in the gut.

Go Foods: Complex Carbohydrates for Energy and Calmness

Carbohydrates are largely responsible for transforming ingested food into usable energy. There are two kinds of carbs: complex carbohydrates – such as whole grains – and simple carbohydrates- such as refined sugars.

Complex carbs can increase serotonin levels and make a person calm. They help ease anxiety, irritability, sleeplessness, and hyperactivity. It is said that serotonin derived from food such as brown rice, noodles, pasta, and potatoes are more effective than tryptophan because they are more easily absorbed into the blood.

On the other hand, refined sugars should be taken sparingly because they contain minimal nutritional value and can cause health problems such as diabetes.

So while some foods are true superstars when it comes to healing your body naturally, even more important is to eat a well-balanced diet with all important food groups presented.

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Amy Goodrich
Amy is a life and food lover, certified biologist, and holistic health coach. She is the founder of the healthy lifestyle website and creator of the online program, After successfully changing her family’s health and happiness, she’s on a mission to help other people achieve the life and body they want. You can find here on Facebook or Google+ or get her free clean, whole food recipe eBook here: