British chef Dale Pinnock, who also has degrees in nutrition and herbal medicine has written a recipe book, Medicinal Cookery (Right Way), which contains meals he claims can make you feel better by treating the symptoms of an illness.
"Good nutrition in itself can be therapeutic, but what I’m doing is purely focused on the pharmacological effects of foods,” he says.
Pinnock says many of the pharmacologically active chemicals, or phytochemicals, found in medicinal plants and used in herbal medicine are also present in culinary plants.
These, he explains, can help manage inflammation, affect circulation and have anti-viral properties.
For example, studies have shown the health benefits of foods such as garlic and onions for heart disease and beetroot for preventing cancer.
BELOW IS ONE OF DALE'S RECIPES TO HELP WITH ARTHRITIS
1 tbs olive oil
2 red onions, thinly sliced
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
2 green chillies, thinly sliced
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 heaped tsp turmeric
800g sweet potato, diced with skins left on
375ml vegetable stock
150g spinach, coarsely chopped
Large handful fresh coriander leaves, coarsely torn
1 tbs flaked almonds, toasted
Heat oil in a large saucepan on high. Sauté onion, garlic, ginger and chilli until onion softens.
Add spices and cook until fragrant. Add sweet potato and stock and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until sweet potato is soft. Add spinach and cook until wilted.
Top with coriander leaves and flaked almonds and serve.