Friday, April 28, 2017

Food or Medicine? It's Both!

Many years ago I happened upon a diet theory by this doctor who wrote a book that detailed the perfect diet based on one's blood type.  It makes sense that people with different blood types would have a different body chemistry ... or at least that they would react differently to different foods. 

Whether or not his theory is correct is not my point here.

What is my point is that we all know that what we put into our bodies affects us.  Some people, for instance, can tolerate large amounts of coffee with no discernible ill effects.  I drink a pot ... or two ... per day.  Yep - somewhere in the neighborhood of five cups, usually before noon.  Then, I switch to tea for the rest of the day. 

Don't judge me.

Coffee got a bad rap back in the early part of the 20th Century, thanks to cereal magnate C.W. Post, who lied about coffee so that people would buy his breakfast drink

Thankfully the greedy, fear-mongering, liar was not successful in his bid to rid the world of coffee, and in fact, coffee has been completely redeemed.  There are even studies that show that there are health benefits to drinking coffee.

Post was wrong about coffee, but he wasn't wrong about food, in general.  What we eat can do very good things for our bodies - or very bad things.

The good news is that we have control, even down to, we can grow some of our own food/medicine. 

I love growing perennial herbs.  Usually, I just find the herb, drop it in the ground, and forget about it, until I'm in the kitchen cooking, and I want to add some flavor to my food.   Back when Deus Ex Machina and I first purchased our home and started landscaping our blank canvas, the rule was that the plants had to be either food or medicine.  I was strongly discouraged from planting anything that was just pretty.  What I found was that a lot of really pretty plants (including flowers) are edible, and most herbs are useful in both the medicine cabinet AND the pantry.

Over the years, we've mostly moved our medicine cabinet into the kitchen, because many of our health remedies also end up seasoning our food.

One herb I didn't know much about until recently was oregano, and I discovered the benefits of this herb when I was looking for a remedy for candida.  Dr. Mercola talks about the health benefits of  Oregano.  Like many herbs, oregano has a plethora of positive health effects, but it's also yummy and it smells divine.

In a separate article, Dr. Mercola shares the benefits of peppers, which come in a huge variety of types and sizes.  I LOVE hot peppers, and I eat them on as many things as I can sneak them into, but I usually add them after, because my family doesn't love hot peppers as much as I do.

Gardening season is upon us.  If you're planning your garden, consider adding some plants that are both delicious and medicinal.  Herbs are a simple, easy-to-grow choice for adding both aesthetics and functionality to one's landscape - and many of them are perennial, which is a huge bonus!  Plant once, and enjoy for years.

And if one has some time, annuals, like peppers, can add some interest and zing to one's summer diet, while also imparting some positive health benefits.  I'm planning to put a few pepper plants in the strawbale garden (with the tomatoes), and a little container garden with some herbs is never a bad thing.

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