This just in — food is medicine.

Plus: It’s time to get outside.

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“Either you run the day or the day runs you.”

— Jim Rohn

The Daily Tonic is a two to five minute read sharing science backed health news and tips, all while getting you to crack a smile or even lol on occasion.

Thursday. In case you haven’t heard, artificial intelligence (AI) is getting pretty weird. So before the plot for The Matrix becomes real life, the U.S. Commerce Department is asking the public for feedback on how to make AI systems “legal, effective, ethical, safe, and otherwise trustworthy.” Maybe we should have thought about these regulations BEFORE we developed these AI systems. That seems pretty obvious, but what do we know? Here is something else that seems obvious and grossly overdue — realizing that food is, indeed, medicine. Let’s dive in.

An Obvious Solution

For you — the Daily Tonic reader — this may seem fairly obvious. Food isn’t just a pretty picture for your Instagram account. Food is so much more than that. The foods you eat can prevent and reverse many serious health conditions because, as the saying goes, food is medicine.

The U.S. government is finally realizing this fact and has begun exploring the concept of “food as medicine.” Some researchers believe this could save the healthcare industry billions of dollars each year.

Last September, the Biden administration released the National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, which outlined plans to expand access to medically tailored meal programs. These meals are specifically designed by a registered dietician nutritionist to meet the medical needs of the person receiving them.

Of course, you can’t just waltz into your local hospital and ask for a medically tailored meal. You need a referral from a healthcare professional and a medical condition that makes it impossible for you to shop or cook for yourself.

But, here’s the good news — following pilot programs in a few states, the Biden administration began approving requests in February for states to use Medicaid dollars to buy food and nutritional counseling. Private payers are also starting to test similar programs.

Food insecurity is a significant problem in the US, with over 10% of households experiencing it in 2020. And according to the CDC, food insecurity leads to $77 billion in unnecessary healthcare spending each year. By investing in medically tailored meal programs, we could save billions of dollars and prevent 1.6 million hospitalizations every year.

A study by Tufts University estimated that medically tailored meal programs could save the US $13.6 billion per year, mostly within Medicare and Medicaid. The study found that among adults with diet-sensitive diseases, these programs lowered annual healthcare spending by 19.7% and hospitalizations by 47%.

The key takeaway? The foods we eat can have a powerful impact on our health and well-being. That might seem obvious to us, but the concept of “food as medicine” is finally gaining recognition, with the U.S. government exploring ways to expand access to medically tailored meal programs.

Investing in these programs could save billions of dollars in healthcare spending and prevent millions of hospitalizations every year. As individuals, we should also be mindful of our diet and choose foods that promote good health. If we make the right choices, the foods we eat can keep us healthy and out of the hospital.

Together with Hello Fresh

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Another Reason To Get Outside!

Exercise is good, but it turns out that exercising outdoors is even better.

If you’re looking for a way to boost your memory and concentration, the answer might be as simple as taking a walk outside. According to a new study, a short walk outside can improve your cognitive abilities much more than an indoor walk.

Not only that but being outdoors can also make exercise feel easier. The natural environment helps us relax, allowing our attention to reset and making concentrating easier. So next time you need a mental or physical boost, consider taking a stroll outside – your brain (and body) will thank you!

Tonic Shots

    • We’ve been hunting down some new recipes — even experimenting by switching up some of the beloved classics. Here’s one we like: croissants for a grilled cheese sandwich. Amazing. View Recipe.

    • Sleep is essential for physical and mental health, but how do some people manage with just 4-hours of sleep? Turns out, 1-3% of the actually can. Read more.

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