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ESL Worksheets: Let Food Be Your Medicine

Level: ESL High-Intermediate
Objectives: talk about health benefits and healing properties of foods; learn words with the prefix anti- meaning ‘against’/‘counteracting’
Teacher Notes:
Write ‘Let Food Be Your Medicine and Let Medicine Be Your Food’ (said by Hippocrates) on the board and discuss what it means (food can treat and prevent health problems).
Put students in pairs/small groups and ask them to discuss the following questions:
-Why is a nutritional, well-balanced diet important?
-What can a poor diet lead to?

-What’s immune system? (a system in the body that protects against diseases) Can diet boost/suppress one’s immune system?

-Can foods ease cold/flu symptoms, for example? Can foods fight off viruses?

-Can foods help prevent illnesses? Can a healthy diet ward off chronic diseases (e.g.: diabetes, heart disease, obesity, cancer, high blood pressure)?
Take up the answers and introduce the prefix ‘anti-’ that means ‘against’, ‘opposing’, ‘counteracting’ as in:
Some foods (e.g.: honey) have anti-bacterial
Other foods (e.g.: garlic) are anti-viral.
Fruit and vegetables contain antioxidants that may prevent disease.
Herbs and spices are anti-inflammatory.
Encourage to think of more examples e.g.: antibiotic, antihistamine, anti-bacterial, antiseptic.
Hand out the worksheet. Learners match column A to column B to explain 10 words with prefix anti-.
Go over the verbs that talk about health benefits of foods (fights, improves, relieves, prevents, soothes, detoxifies etc.) in The Health Benefits of Foods (a).
Put learners in groups to share their knowledge of foods beneficial to human health.
For example:
Yogurt aids digestion.
Walnuts protect against heart disease.
Review minor ailments (colds and flus, sunburn, constipation, migraines etc.). In small groups ask learners to brainstorm foods that might cure these conditions in The Health Benefits of Foods (b).
For example:
Coconut oil can soothe a sunburn.
Fermented foods help reduce heartburn.
Discuss the meanings of common health related sayings:
You are what you eat.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Prevention is better than cure.
Student Handout

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ESL Worksheet Let Food Be Your Medicine.pdf

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