Culinary Medicine: A Roadmap to Health and Wellness

November 2022

By WEforum Editors


What small steps can a family take at home to introduce concepts of culinary medicine into their daily menu? Each month, WEforum will offer tips, tricks, and recipes that will make it easy to add elements of culinary medicine into your life. Food as medicine is not a new construct.

So, what is culinary medicine? The ancient Greeks and Eastern Chinese medicine practitioners applied the wisdom of the ages to cure and revive the human body. In the modern sense, culinary medicine is an umbrella term that accomplishes two goals: It helps prevent illness and disease and maintain health and wellness. Its precepts are very straightforward:

  1. Eat nutrient-dense whole foods
  2. Cultivate excellent and consistent eating habits
  3. Make wise shopping choices
  4. Implement good meal-prep hacks
  5. Adhere to basic food safety and storage rules
  6. Employ basic food science techniques in cooking

The shift to culinary medicine represents a lifestyle shift toward caring for the whole person. This shift also represents a rejection of the old paradigm, a preoccupation with:

  • Sick care, which waits for a disease to diagnose and treat;
  • The continuous loop of the American dieting hellscape that never seems to work; and,
  • The convenience of ultra-processed foods, which reward excess and only benefit corporate profit margins.

Good health means blending science, good nutrition, and basic culinary techniques to achieve good mental and physiological wellness. While most of us are neither scientists, dietitians, nor professional chefs, there are many ways we can add simple nutrient-dense recipes to our repertoire that even small children will love and can help to prepare.

As we head into the holiday season, here’s a yummy nutrient-dense energy bite that will put you in the holiday spirit. Each plant-based bite combines sweet potatoes, beets, dates, and a bit of dark chocolate to keep you properly fueled through the holiday season.