FarmboxRx has been revolutionizing the future of healthcare by delivering Food as Medicine to at-risk populations as a part of health and wellness insurance programs. Our fresh produce boxes offer a solution to help reverse diet-related and chronic illnesses through food, nutrition education, and lifestyle changes. With the expansion of FarmboxRx’s fresh produce delivery benefit, the healthcare industry is initiating the necessary steps toward preventative care versus its traditional sick-care approach, which currently focuses on only treating members after their conditions have been deemed as chronic.
But, what exactly is Food as Medicine?
Food as Medicine is a form of preventative care that focuses on healthy eating as a way to prevent diseases and medical conditions from arising. Think of the old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” While this statement may not be entirely true, it is certainly a step in a positive direction when it comes to adopting simple dietary habits, such as eating more fruits and vegetables as a way to avoid illnesses.
Colorful, fresh produce offers the body all of the natural healing properties found in these plant-based foods. Diets rich in nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables can:
-lower blood pressure
-reduce risk of heart disease and stroke
-prevent certain types of cancers
-lower risk of eye and digestive problems
-positively affect blood sugar levels
-help with weight maintenance
Changing Your Mindset Around Food
The Food as Medicine approach presents a lifestyle that requires looking at food as an opportunity to heal the body. Depending on what foods you consume, they can positively or negatively impact your health. Fortunately, because fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins, minerals, as well as hydration levels, the secret to vibrant health is simply eating more of these foods.
To help understand this concept, let’s paint the picture: it is the end of a long work day, and you come home wanting to eat something, but you aren’t quite sure what to prepare. It is common to opt for the most convenient option that does not take a lot of time to cook and/or its cheapness in price. Two go-to meals may be spaghetti or a quick pass through the drive-thru line at your favorite fast food chain. Whichever meal you choose in this scenario, whether you are choosing between time or its cost, you likely didn’t pause to ask yourself, “what can I eat to help heal my body?” When you ask yourself this question, all of the endless possibilities of nature’s foods begin to appear with the nutrients and healing properties to improve your health.
For example, eating dark, leafy vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, swiss chard, and mustard greens, are strongly associated with reducing risks of cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, chlorophyll, the phytonutrient* found in all naturally green foods, is a powerful antioxidant that not only detoxifies your blood, but also stimulates your immune system and energizes the body.
Looking at foods from the angle of how they can positively boost your health changes the intention of why you are eating, which can also be a tool for rejuvenating yourself.
*phytonutrient – natural chemical found in plants to keep them healthy and protected against potential attacks and invaders
3 Tips For Viewing Food as Medicine
Do your research.
We encourage you to jump into books, videos, podcasts, along with the different articles in our FarmboxRx wellness magazines to discover the wonderful healing properties of food. Look into how the most common foods in your diet affect your health, as well as how your favorite foods affect you. What are the nutritional differences between fast food and home-cooked meals? Apples over cookies? Carrots over candy? The more you learn, the more you will want to adjust your eating habits accordingly.
Create a food journal.
Use the sample food journal in this magazine to track one week’s worth of eating. The purpose of this food journal will be to learn how certain foods affect you, and to connect any resulting patterns. Do you notice for example, that every time you over indulge in a sugary treat that your ankles swell up and become inflamed? Do you find that you are not as grumpy in the afternoon before lunch time when you include a couple of veggies in your breakfast?
Ask yourself, “what can I eat to help heal my body?”
This is a great first step to take in terms of wanting to know more about the healing relationship between the human body and fresh produce. Fruits and vegetables offer the body with several vitamins and minerals that are essential to proper health, and the more of them we eat, the more the body is able to heal itself. After you’ve done more and more research, you will begin to make certain associations with foods such as, “I know if I eat these carrots that they will help improve my eye health,” or “green, leafy vegetables contain chlorophyll which is good for the heart.”