Discover the role of food in health, apply nutrition science and explore how food can be used as medicine for you and your family.

222,278 enrolled on this course

Food as Medicine

How can we use food as medicine?

Are you interested in learning how food can be used as medicine? If you want to understand the power of nutrition, this 3-week course will teach you about the role of food in improving health.

You will explore how food can be important both in preventative health and as an aid in the management of certain chronic diseases today, in the past and in the future.

Why macronutrients and antioxidants are special

To begin, you’ll learn about what food contains and what makes it special. From macronutrients and micronutrients to antioxidants, you’ll discover how each element contributes to your overall health and wellbeing.

We’ll explore how food was used as medicine in the past and the role food plays in disease prevention and treatment. You’ll also learn how we can make food a part of medicine in the future.

The importance of nutrition for your brain and gut

In your second week, you’ll investigate the different relationships between food and the gut, brain, appetite and genes. You’ll also gain an understanding of how food affects fertility and pregnancy.

You’ll study examples of food as medicine, including the FODMAP diet for IBS and probiotics for gut health. Find out how your body controls your appetite and learn more about the eating pattern known as ‘food addiction’.

Mindful eating and the future of food

Finally, we’ll discuss the complexities of nutrition science, how it’s evolving, and how nutrition misinformation may end up as fact. Then you’ll learn to apply mindfulness to the way you engage with your food.

The future of food is exciting, so we’ll explore how food may be used as medicine in the future, and the potential role food will play in your health and wellbeing.

What topics will you cover?

  • History of food as medicine
  • Food and its role in prevention and treatment
  • Macronutrients, micronutrients, phytochemicals and antioxidants
  • Nutrition complexities and controversies, and the importance of evidence
  • Food and the gut
  • Food and the brain
  • Foods, fertility and pregnancy
  • Food and weight
  • Food and our genome
  • Public health nutrition guidelines

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Describe what is meant by the term ‘food as medicine’ and list a number of examples of how foods have been used as medicine in the past.
  • Identify how and which types of foods are essential for health and wellbeing, and play an important role in treating/preventing disease.
  • Identify current evidenced based, nutrition related public health guidelines and apply these to improve personal eating habits and nutritional intake.
  • Identify foods/components of food that have an effect on different body systems, weight and appetite, fertility and pregnancy, and the genome.

Who is the course for?

This course will have broad general interest appeal to everyone interested in food, nutrition and health. But it will be of particular interest to healthcare professionals who are looking to have more evidenced-based information, to assist them in providing food-based recommendations to their patients.

AfN Certified Course

This course has been certified by the Association for Nutrition. It meets AfN standards for nutrition training of individuals working at Level 1 on the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF).

What does AfN Certification say about this course - please visit the Association for Nutrition website.

Please note completion of this course does not lead to registration on the UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists nor does it equip any individual to practice ethically as a nutritionist.

BDA Endorsed Course

BDA endorsement applies only to the educational content of the learning activity. Completion of this course does not provide you with qualifications to practice as a nutritionist or dietitian.

What do people say about this course?

"I researched what FutureLearn had to offer through a recommendation from a friend who has done a few Future Learn courses and found them very useful. I am a homoeopath and was interested in knowing more about nutrition to assist my practice; the Food as Medicine course offered by Monash University seemed to completely fit the bill. The academic staff are very successful in simplifying and demystifying an area which can otherwise be very confusing due to information overload. Their approach helps you cut through the multitude of myths and misinformation regarding food and nutrition, to get to the basics of what the body needs to function at its best. I would recommend the course to anyone who is interested in health, whether they have a background in this area or not. "

Who will you learn with?

Gary is Professor and Head of Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food at Monash University. He is interested in dietary phytochemicals and health.

Melissa is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutritionist involved in research and teaching at Monash, along with working in private practice. She specialises in nutritional genomics.

Who developed the course?

Monash University

Monash University is one of Australia’s leading universities, ranked in the world’s top 1% by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. It was established in Melbourne in 1958.

  • Established

    1958
  • Location

    Melbourne, Australia
  • World ranking

    Top 60Source: QS World University Rankings 2021

Endorsed by

endorsed by

Association for Nutrition

endorsed by

BDA

Learning on FutureLearn

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Map your progress

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  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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