Can food be the first line of defense in our fight against disease? Experts and doctors continue to point to the pivotal role food plays in how healthy we live, including what diseases we can avoid and how effectively we maintain our energy levels. In many ways, the foods we eat can become the medicine we need to boost our immune system and live healthier lives. Food as Medicine? Statistics say that many Americans today are on some sort of prescription medication. From depression and anxiety to physical chronic pain, there are so many different reasons why we take medicine. What if there was something we could eat or drink that could take the place of that prescription? Sound impossible? It is easy to understand why some have a hard time believing that what we eat could have that kind of effect. However, there continues to be proof that food really can be that powerful. Take heart disease as an example. Research shows that up to 70% of all heart disease is actually preventable by how we live and what we eat. The same could be said for cancer. The best defense against these life-threatening diseases is a good offense; in this case, it’s healthy foods. Who is Missing Out? The problem is, eating healthy food is not always as fun or tasty as eating the foods that are not so good for us. This is often a major obstacle when people decide to eat healthier. In all reality, when food does not taste good, people will not eat it, no matter how healthy it may be for us. We may be missing out on foods that can heal our bodies and boost our immunity to be able to fight high blood pressure, cholesterol, and other ailments simply because the food does not taste good. These foods can help slow the effects of aging and prevent damage in blood vessels and the brain without the need for prescriptions and medicine. Where Do I Start? So, let’s say you are ready to put the “Food as Medicine” theory to the test. How do you get started? Does it require a complete overhaul of your diet? Most people would be surprised to learn that getting started is simpler than they think. There are 5 types of foods that Dr. John La Puma, author of “The Big Book of Culinary Medicine,” suggests everyone can start with. These 5 words make up an easy to remember acronym: BITES. B – Berries – the darker the berry, the more antioxidants it holds I – Indian Spices – highly anti-inflammatory T- Teas – excellent activity against tumor cells E – Eggs – rich in protein S – Salmon – easy to cook, high in Omega 3 Dr. La Puma says by simply incorporating one of these foods each day or week, you are on the right path to providing your body with the food medicine it needs to prevent disease. To learn more about foods and diets that can help you overcome your health issues, be sure to give Arrowhead Health Centers a call at 623-334-4000.