Fast Feed: The Cure Du Jour – ‘Food as Medicine’

June 4, 2018, 8:07 am
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With the current focus on health and wellness, food has taken on a new role in our lives. Self-care continues to be key, and what we put on our plates is now celebrated for its ability to boost, soothe, treat and heal. As such, we’re seeing an entirely fresh focus on the concept of ‘food as medicine’ for both body and mind.

We’ve been following the rise of the new generation of nootropics since 2017, with our latest update in February this year. We’ve witnessed huge spikes in the sales of herbal adaptogenics such as ginseng and mushroom (though the much-vaunted mushroom latte has so far divided opinions), as well as energy-, cognitive- and mood-enhancing ayurvedic ingredients like ashwagandha. With the legality of many of these kinds of supplements still being debated, we’ve so far been keen to highlight the careful balance that manufacturers must find between medicine and marketing. However, a Californian initiative has recently taken an entirely new approach to ‘food as medicine’ that we’re excited to hear more about.

The Ceres Community Project, which started in 2009 in California, is at the vanguard of this new movement – it employs teenage sous-chefs to prepare fresh, healthy meals for cancer patients. The team is participating in a new, state-funded study testing whether regular and nutritious meals will affect the prognosis and treatment of critically ill patients from low-income backgrounds. Over the next three years, researchers from Stanford, the University of California will assess how better nutrition affects the hospital admissions and healthcare costs of 1,000 patients with a range of conditions, including heart failure and Type 2 diabetes. This is new kind of approach, increasingly supported by academics and public-health officials alike, that departs from exotic ingredients, but embraces a similar philosophy of nourishing the body from the inside out.

This could be the start of a new take on ‘food as medicine’ that does not necessitate new ingredients, but, rather, champions the power of a healthy, balanced and satisfying approach to nutrition for people in all walks of life. It could be just the tonic we all need.

 

Image courtesy of Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Content: courtesy of Flavour Feed

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