Food is truly the most powerful natural medicine there is. Sound nutrition is your greatest guarantee of health.
If we regularly get enough good quality food, the benefits are awful. Our cells (which make up every part of our physical bodies) are plump, nourished and healthy. We have a steady reserve of energy to draw on through the day, and extra reserves to help us cope with pressures. Our natural detox and elimination systems are scrubbed clean of accumulated glug and toxins, and our brains get all the oxygen and nourishment that they need to help us think clearly, remember, and be positive.
If, on the other hand, we get too little or too much food, or eat mostly the wrong kinds of food, our health can swiftly decline. In addition to leaving us without energy and causing us to age faster than we should, poor nutrition can lead to, or worsen significant health conditions such as adrenal fatigue, a very common but under-diagnosed condition that leaves us chronically exhausted, spiritless, and struggling to cope.
You are also at higher risk of hormonal imbalance, which can affect your weight, moods, and memory, and cause breast or prostate cancer; allergies, which depletes the body of nutrients, and depression or anxiety. In children, nutrient deficiencies, food additives and sugar can lead to hyperactive disorders, partly due to inflammation in the nervous system.
But What To Eat?
Some experts steer you away from dairy, and others tell you to get more of it ….. TV ads promote the benefits of eating red meat, while your health practitioner may encourage you to eat less of it … Sugar is a natural food and can not harm you, or you should completely steer clear of it.
Are you confused by all the conflicting information about food? You do not have to be. The same few simple guidelines have been advocated by health practitioners from as far back as ancient India to the Greek physician Hippocrates and now by modern holistic health practitioners. Follow them, or take steps along these lines and you'll notice how your health and energy levels improve.
- Eat most of your food in as natural a state as possible. Choose wholemeal bread and cereals and brown rice, at least most of the time. Limit your intake of processed and packaged foods, and eat most of your vegetables, fruits and nuts raw.
- Eat food as free of contaminants as you are able. Organic food is the best option, but you do not have to go altogether organic to reap the benefits. When you buy foods, look for seasonal, locally grown food that is less likely be irradiated or chemically treated for easy transport over long distance, or to prolong shelf life. Instead of eating lots of chemically treated meats, eat less meat and make as much of it as you can organic.
- Avoid over-cooking food. Sometimes, a warm, hearty stew or soup is just what you need and very nutritious, but many scrumptious meals can be prepared with minimal cooking. Cooking destroys the enzymes in foods that aid digestion, and also destroys many of the essential vitamins and minerals. You can steam vegetables, chicken or fish until they are just cooked (the best vegetables are 'al dente' anyway) or stir fry wonderful combinations of protein and vegetables for superb meals that are packed with nutrients, full of color, and only take moments to prepare.
- Eat animal flesh moderately, if at all. If you have a choice, eat more fish or chicken than red meat, though a good beef broth is very valuable for building up the blood after prolonged illness. You can get excellent protein from eggs, lentil / bean / whole grain combinations, nuts and tofu. Check out a good vegetarian cookbook for ideas.
- Create a relaxed, pleasant atmosphere for your meals. Food eat under stress or in a rush is poorly digested, so you do not get the full benefit of nutrients from it anyway, and it can even harm you. Enjoy your meals, chew well and appreciate what you're eating.
- Drink pure water. Tap water is often so polluted that even chlorine can not control the harmful microbes, and the chlorine is toxic to your body. If you can not get a good water filter or bottled water, at least boil your water thoroughly and let it cool down before drinking. If you're lucky enough to live near a natural spring, well, you've been blessed.
Now that's not so hard, is it? What's more, even just a few steps in this direction will benefit you. I have patients who have experienced remarkable improvements in their health and well being just by including more raw foods into their diet. Every little bit helps.