Trust your elders
The importance of modern medicine and the part it has played in the development of civilisation as we know it is well known. Whether it’s vaccines that have helped millions avoid communicable diseases, or antibiotics that treat a plethora of bacterial illnesses, it’s hard to imagine a world without these essential provisions. Despite this, many speak of the forgotten wonders of ancient medicinal practices and how superfoods are better than modern medicine.
Every corner of the world, from Africa to China, India to South America, will at some point have had to rely on a traditional system of medicine, involving completely natural ingredients to treat all manner of ailments and diseases. It was simply all that was available in the past.
The substances that you put in your body have a huge effect on your mood and your ability to cope with stress. Ashwagandha, an adaptogenic herb popular in Ayurveda – the traditional system of medicine used by Indian communities for centuries – is known to lower stress by controlling levels of cortisol, a hormone that triggers high stress levels.
Maca is another superfood that has a positive impact on the body’s hormone levels, assisting in the maintenance of physical and psychological stresses that can lead to depression.
A good diet and healthy digestive system is also a cornerstone of good mental health, so a balance of food types and amazing superfood supplements can also alleviate symptoms of depression and support a natural recovery without resorting to strong medication.
Why treat something when you can just prevent it in the first place? Many of our common ailments and diseases are a result of our low immunity and poor health. Whether you have a poor diet or hectic work life, superfoods can be used to bolster your immunity and prevent the need for medication down the line.
Many superfoods such as Ginger, Turmeric, Garlic, Ceylon Cinnamon and Cacao have a positive impact on the body’s immune system and its ability to boost the activity of the organs that work to provide resistance against infections and toxins. A simple tea recipe is enough to increase your natural protective layer and reduce the need for modern medication.
It’s all too easy for us to reach for a packet of Paracetamol or Ibuprofen when we feel sick or hungover, but next time you’re feeling rough, consider a superfood alternative known for having a similar effect to modern pain killers.
Ginger is perhaps the best known natural pain killer used by many to combat chronic pain. Containing Gingerols, it is highly effective in reducing pain and inflammation. Turmeric, which contains Curcumin, an anti-inflammatory that helps to fight pain is another alternative to most modern pain tablets or medications that can come with unwanted side effects such as nausea or constipation.
Try boiling down some fresh Ginger and Turmeric for a health potion, or mixing in some superfood powder into various drinks and meal recipes.
According to the British Journal of Nutrition, Ginger shows signs of being able to fight chronic inflammatory diseases such as cancer.
Also, studies suggest that Turmeric could be effective in preventing cancer. While more research needs to be done into the reasons for its potential preventive qualities, it has been suggested that Polyphenol, a type of antioxidant, is responsible for supressing tumour initiation.
Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s cause problems with memory, thinking capacity and behaviour. Ashwagandha, used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years, has been proven in some studies to play a part in the prevention and treatment of this serious disease.
A natural solution
While turning the clocks back to an age where anaesthetics, birth control pills and general sanitation are no longer available is not ideal, it is clear that along the way we have lost many of the age-old strategies for maintaining good health and treating illnesses.
This list is by no means exhaustive, and as you can see, the effects of superfood ingredients on the body range from preventive to treatment related, but the next time you encounter a health problem, give natural remedies a chance. You might be impressed with the results.