Using Food As Medicine

US NEWS – Some foods can be powerful allies in your fight against chronic diseases and age-related conditions.


Brightly colored berries – such as blueberries, blackberries and raspberries – are high in a range of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C and fiber. They are also rich sources of anthocyanins and quercetin, two compounds that may have powerful anti-disease effects.

Anthocyanins and quercetin are both antioxidants that can protect your cells from everyday damage. Anthocyanins are responsible for the bright blues and deep reds of berries.

The brighter the color, the more nutrition the fruit contains. Quercetin is another plant pigment that also offers anti-inflammatory effects.

“Many foods can be considered medicinal depending on how they are used and how often they are consumed.”  Melanie Murphy Richter, registered dietitian nutritionist

Citrus fruits

Oranges, lemons, grapefruit and other citrus fruits are famous for their high vitamin C content. Vitamin C has been shown to support the immune system, which may impact inflammation. It also helps regulate collagen synthesis for cellular repair, which keeps your skin looking youthful and plump.

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Leafy green and cruciferous vegetables

Kale, spinach, chard and other dark leafy greens are chock full of fiber, vitamins and minerals, which “can help prevent chronic diseases and (help you) maintain a healthy weight,” Sabat says.

Fatty fish

Chronic inflammation has been linked to various health issues, including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and certain types of cancer, Richter says. Incorporating foods that help combat inflammation may help reduce your risk of such diseases.

Fatty, cold-water fish, such as salmon, mackerel and sardines, are excellent sources of the omega-3s, a type of fatty acid that makes up cellular membranes. As such, these foods “promote heart health, reduce inflammation and support brain function,” Sabat explains.

Fermented foods

Foods like yogurt, kimchi and kefir contain lots of probiotics, the live organisms that live in the gut and help you digest food and fight illness … READ MORE. 

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