It’s important to remember one key principle: we are what we eat! The food and water we take into our body is broken down during the digestion process and travels throughout our body to feed our cells. Cellular biologists tell us there are thousands of metabolic processes taking place inside each cell. An excellent readable book on this complex subject is by Dr. Sondra Barrett, Secrets of Your Cells: Discovering Your Body’s Inner Intelligence. She explains the structure of our cells and how they function. This is helpful background information for understanding why optimizing our nutrition is absolutely critical for optimizing our health and wellness. The metabolic processes taking place inside each cell require specific nutrients, especially minerals, to feed their activity. Commercially grown fruit and vegetables provided by large agribusiness are often deficient in the minerals needed to optimize our body’s cellular functions. Choosing food grown in fertile, mineral rich soil enhanced with compost and natural chemical free additives is an important basis for optimizing wellness.
It is generally better to avoid processed, packaged and canned foods because they have been depleted of nutrients in the processing and may contain contaminants. A variety of chemicals are added as preservatives and to enhance flavor and nutrient content. Avoid processed food that contains high fructose corn syrup. This single ingredient may be the most significant contributor to obesity and diabetes. Canned food can leech chemicals from the metal container into the food. These chemicals can be harmful to the body over the long term. For an extensive online database that evaluates more than 80,000 foods, check out the Environmental Working Group’s food scores for making better choices when you go shopping at the grocery store.
Food Sources & Preparation
Research indicates the following are useful food source guidelines when optimizing our health and wellness. There are multiple health risks that can arise from our choices about food sources. Is it GMO? Were pesticides and herbicides used in growing it? If animal, was it fed antibiotics and hormones? Was its food or water polluted with chemicals? Was the animal confined in a cage [CAFO] and slaughtered brutally? It is generally better to avoid food produced under any of these conditions. Each of these negative factors can be harmful to our health over the long term.
Locally sourced fruit and vegetables are generally better because they are more likely to be fresh and you may be able to talk directly to the producer, as in a farmer’s market. The safest approach is to eat fresh, local, pesticide free, fruit and vegetables. Animals are best when they are allowed to grow free range, with no antibiotics or hormones. Lean meat is better than fatty meat, especially if the meat source has been fed antibiotics and hormones, because these substances tend to collect in the animals’ fatty tissue. When we eat meat from animals grown with antibiotics and hormones, the same substances collect in our fatty tissue. Over time, the animal’s antibiotics reduce our own response to medical antibiotics when we need them. These chemicals, hormones and pollutants collect in our bodies and increase inflammation. Inflammation contributes to cancer and a host of degenerative diseases, such as heart disease and arthritis.
Vegetables are better for us when they are raw, steamed or baked, rather than deep fat fried. Stir frying can be harmful if done over high heat, because oil can become carcinogenic at high temperature or if it is re-used.
An excellent non-commercial source of science based information on nutrition and food is http://www.nutritionfacts.org. This site has a searchable database of past articles that can be used to look up specific foods and health conditions. The site offers a free newsletter that delivers periodic articles and videos that can be read or watched in less than five minutes for each article. It is a good way to become more informed about food and nutrition.
Water Sources, Treatment & Mineral Replacement
Water is essential for our cells, organs and joints to function properly. Most of us do not drink enough water on a daily basis. If we increase our physical activity by using the R4B Method, we need to drink more water to avoid dehydration, but from where should we get the water? Bottled water varies considerably in its quality, taste and contaminants. EWG has published an extensive report on more than 170 brands of bottled water. According to the report, “the bottled water industry routinely fails to provide information to consumers about the water’s specific geographic source, purification methods and
the results of purity testing.” EWG recommends we drink filtered tap water instead. It’s cheaper and safer, depending on the type of filtration used. A variety of sources recommend carbon filtration to remove heavy metals and other contaminants, as well as improve taste.
Most filtration methods remove the minerals we need for proper cellular function, so these need to be replaced. There are a variety of ways to accomplish that. Here’s a practical tip on one of the ways to get these minerals back into your filtered water. Try using Himalayan Pink Salt, because it contains the same 84 trace minerals and elements that are found in the human body. Put a couple of tablespoons of the salt in a glass or jar, add water and stir briskly. Let it sit for a day or two until the water has become clear because what has not gone into solution has settled at the bottom. Using an eye dropper, draw the dissolved salt solution into the dropper and put 2 drops per 12 ounce cup. You can cover the salt solution container and use it for months to replace the minerals removed by your carbon filter.