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How to Think Better, Sleep Better, and Eliminate Toxins Using the Power of Food as Medicine

Power of food as medicine

Though sugary and salty treats give us a hit of immediate gratification, overdoing it can take a toll on our body long-term. The more we incorporate whole foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds into our daily meals, the better our body functions.

Are you struggling to sleep, getting frequent flus, or just feeling sluggish? A few simple swaps in your eating habits can drastically improve your quality of life.

Keep reading to find out the specific foods you can eat to nourish your body and combat common ailments like insomnia and low immunity.

1) Sluggish Liver

Many of us may have livers that are underperforming due to being overloaded by poor dietary habits and an accumulation of toxins, but we may not even realize it. Symptoms can include acne/body rashes, chronic fatigue, mood swings, poor digestion, and headaches1.

Nourish your liver in 3 ways:

Reduce the burden on the liver

Lowering alcohol consumption is an easy way to ease the stress on your liver.

Increase liver nutrition

Increasing vitamin and iron intake gives the liver a better chance to perform at its best.

Improve liver blood supply

Engaging in moderate physical activity decreases stress levels for your liver.

Why is my liver important?

With the highest supply of biotransformation enzymes of all organs in the body2, the liver is in charge of processing various drugs, poisons and certain metabolites originating in and outside the body. In other words, the liver is an indispensable ‘chemical processing factory’ for the human body. Emotions, sleep, diet, and drugs can affect the excretion function of the liver. If it becomes overloaded for an extended period of time, toxins cannot be excreted efficiently and will begin to accumulate. That’s when the symptoms mentioned above will begin to reveal themselves.

Incorporating these foods will support liver function:

​Fruits and Vegetables

​Other Foods

​Pear Strawberry Kiwi Banana Tomato

​Mung Bean Kelp Honey

2) Brain Fog & Memory Loss

Memory is the ability of the nervous system to store past experiences, which represents a person's accumulation of impressions of past activities, feelings and experiences. Maintaining a good memory has a very important impact on people's life, work and study. Many of us have seen the crippling effects Alzheimer's disease can have when it affects a loved one.

The good news

The most cost-effective way to enhance memory is through your daily diet. Providing healthy fats, choline, lecithin, calcium and magnesium to your brain gives it the energy it needs to maintain itself properly. Foods rich in protein and zinc are also vital for healthy brain function.

Beautiful brain food:

Fruits and Vegetables

Other Foods

​Spinach Pineapple Orange Corn

​Millet Walnuts Milk Egg yolks Oysters Sesame Peanut

3) Insomnia

Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep or maintain sleep, resulting in insufficient sleep. Changes in living conditions, poor lifestyle and eating habits, and negative mental emotions can lead to insomnia. To prevent and treat insomnia, we should prioritize habits that create positive emotions, exercise regularly, and eat a healthy diet.

Why can’t I sleep?

Insomnia happens when brain cells secrete less serotonin. Tryptophan is the essential amino acid that helps the human body produce serotonin. Eating foods that contain tryptophan can act as a natural sedative and help the body resume a healthy sleep cycle.

Help your body rest by consuming these foods:

Fruits and Vegetables

Other Foods

​Mushrooms Broccoli Peas Watercress Soybeans

​Black pepper Red rice Shrimp Milk Sour jujube kernels (traditional Chinese herb) Melon seeds Red dates Chickpeas Millet

4) Compromised/Low Immunity

Immunity is the human body's defense function against external pathogenic microorganisms and other adverse factors. Under normal circumstances, it protects the human body from being invaded by external pathogenic microorganisms. Decreased immunity can often make people feel tired, catch frequent colds, contract infections more easily, and experience gastrointestinal sensitivities.

What impacts my immune system?

Dietary imbalance, psychological and emotional factors, excessive physical fatigue, lack of exercise, natural aging of the body, destruction of mucous membranes, and poor lifestyle choices can all cause low immunity. Having adequate intake of water, protein, vitamins A, B, C, and E, zinc, selenium and iron are essential for enhancing immunity.

Build up your body’s immune system with these foods:

Fruits and Vegetables

Other Foods

​Goji berry (wolfberry) Soybean Broccoli Garlic Sweet potato Spinach Mushroom

​Soybean Milk Almonds Sea cucumber

5) Frequent Urination at Night

There are several reasons why you might be waking frequently at night to urinate. Drinking a lot of liquid before bed, drinking strong tea, coffee or taking diuretics can all be factors. Mental stressors (and the blue light of your phone or iPad) lead to difficulty falling asleep, and if you have urine in your bladder, it can cause you to wake up at night.

What can I do?

Nocturnal urination is not only a warning of prostate problems but obviously affects sleep quality. Those who urinate frequently at night should consume a diversified diet to facilitate the natural cycle of nutrient absorption in the body. To properly control the intake of salt, foods rich in potassium should be supplemented. Following Traditional Chinese Medicine protocols, cool foods should be incorporated in the diet, kidney ‘yang’ should be supplemented, and warm fruits should be enjoyed in the winter months.

It’s worth consulting your doctor as nocturnal urinary frequency can be a symptom of chronic adrenocortical insufficiency, glomerular disease, and chronic tubulointerstitial disease, among others. Hypertension and diabetes can also increase nocturnal urine due to the decline of kidney concentration.

Try these potassium-rich healing foods:

Fruits and Vegetables

Other Foods

​Banana Watermelon Cabbage Mushroom (tremella) Goji berry (wolfberry)

​Mung beans Honeysuckle Peanuts Walnuts

Having learned about over 50 varieties of whole foods that can help heal these common ailments, I hope you’ve been inspired for your next trip to the grocery store! Let me know your top 3 picks that made it to your grocery list.

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