You Are What You Eat

Do you know what you actually put into your body when you eat or drink? Or even what your body can assimilate?

Learn more about how to improve health through diet here.

Nutrition Overview

Every living thing needs sustenance – fuel- to grow and survive. All plants and animals depend on some external energy/nutrition source to maintain the life force. For us humans, the fuel we put into our bodies has a direct effect on our bodily functions and overall health - from breathing, to moving, to metabolizing, and even our moods and thoughts.

Plants convert energy from the sun, animals consume the plants or other animals, and humans get energy from consuming both plants and animals. Everything is connected in a perfect system of recycling wastes to replenish the nutrients in the soil. But modern society has created a weakness in the chain. By introducing chemical fertilizers, life killing pesticides, antibiotics and other drugs for animal mass production, and food processing, synthetic additives and irradiation to put back the flavor and nutrients and increase shelf life, our food is less flavorful, less nutritious, and yes, toxic. The technology to make more food available, faster-and-cheaper has had a major downside. Plain and simple, this approach goes against the laws of nature and our health and this planet are suffering the consequences.

Food Definition

What exactly should be considered “food?” The dictionary definition is any nutritious substance that people or animals eat or drink, or that plants absorb, in order to maintain life and growth. The key word is nutritious. Simply capable of being ingested and not making you acutely ill at the time, is not the same as a nutritious food. Hunger or energy may be satisfied, but ultimately what the body needs is not met and in time, health can deteriorate.

How would you know if the food you are eating is nourishing? The key is becoming more aware of nutrition. What does the label tell you? Where does your food come from? How is it processed, stored, and prepared? Should you care? Only if you are interested in staying healthy.

Nourishing Definition

Going back to the dictionary, “nourishing” is a term which means containing substances necessary for growth, health, and good condition. Our ancestors who were able to survive when food was scarce, could never imagine starvation where food was abundant. We’re overweight and undernourished. The cells that make up our bodies are suffering from vitamin deficiencies, metabolic inefficiency, and toxic overloads. Fatigue, pain, and moodiness seem to be the accepted norm.

Ask yourself, “Am I being well nourished?”

The Shift Away from Safe and Healthy Food

The people who grew up before WWII were raised on organically grown foods, natural fertilizers, fewer chemicals and no genetic modifications. Their lifespan is in the 80s and 90s. Today younger people are getting more chronic health conditions and the jury is out on lifespan. Peek at how our food has evolved and the coincidence of rising illnesses.

  • 1950s - Fast foods came on the scene, changing the way Americans ate
  • 1960s - Artificial sweeteners were being introduced and used regularly
  • 1970s - Microwaves as a food heating tool were introduced into the household
  • 1980s - High fructose corn syrup replaced sugar in processed foods and beverages
  • 1990s - Low fat diets became an American craze

We are so used to buying conventionally grown produce and meats from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) that we are unaware of the toxins, medications, and pathogenic organisms that can enter and take up residence in our body, affecting the immune system, digestion, pH balance, energy, endurance, and well-being.

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) have artificially increased crop yield, but leaving a path of destruction to pollinating bees and increased the amounts of toxins in the foods. An entire generation now shows sensitivity to gluten. How come our ancestors thrived on bread, but now the wheat is causing all kinds of medical symptoms?

Impact of Nutritional Deficiency

Millions of people are purchasing supplements to replace the vitamins and minerals missing from our food. Digestive disorders are on the rise, from leaky gut, to irritable bowel, to GERD, to constipation. There are more people suffering with allergies, headaches, fatigue, depression, infertility, and cancers. And we’re overweight! Could this have something to do with our food intake?

Here are some troubling trends:

  • Obesity rates have tripled since the 1950s according to the US government
  • The incidence of chronic disease has steadily increased along with the rise in obesity
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What You Can Do

If we are what we eat is a truism then that is one reason why so many people are seeing the benefits of consuming a diet of foods that are unprocessed, unrefined, and free of chemicals, concentrating on whole foods that are organic and locally grown preserving their vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.

When eating animal flesh, dairy, and eggs, ensure the animals are humanely treated, graze on pastures or were fed a natural organic diet, and do not receive antibiotics.

When it comes to fish, don’t eat farm raised, only those that are wild caught.

Avoid artificial sweeteners.

Read labels and determine that each and every ingredient in your food is not genetically modified. How will you know? The label won’t tell you if ingredients are genetically modified, but health-conscious food labels will inform you that the food does NOT contain GMOs

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