We are chemical beings and what we eat matters. Our bodies and minds thrive or sicken from the chemicals in our food and drink. At what point is enough enough and you switch off the foods destroying you in favor of foods that bring health and vitality?
Many people have a tipping point in life that causes them to change their behavior for the better. What will it take to make you act? Is it getting heartburn? Having diverticulitis? Being told you’re pre-diabetic? When you’re diagnosed with cancer or heart disease? When you develop an autoimmune disease? When your child gets a preventable yet all too common illness like diabetes, an anxiety disorder, or immune problems? What will it take to act rather than ignoring that you’re a chemical being and what you eat and drink matters?
The Good Health Formula
Good health is relatively easy. With the advent of proper sanitation controls, most modern illnesses these days revolve around poor diets and are highly preventable. Even many “genetic” diseases can be prevented or their symptoms lessened by proper nutrition. After all, the chemical messengers that switch off and on gene expression are highly influenced by the chemical composition of our diets (1, 2).
Good health really revolves around two actions:
- Eat foods that help rebuild, repair and maintain our body and mind in optimal condition; and
- Eliminate, avoid and minimize foods and drink that do not contribute to our health and which actively work against our body’s ability to repair, rebuild and maintain itself.
You only have to look to blue zones to see these principles in actions. Blue zones are cultures where 1 in 3 of its members regularly live into their 90s. For instance, the Seventh Day Adventists of Loma Linda, CA are a blue zone culture that live on average 10 years longer than the rest of Americans. Like other blue zones, this group’s lifestyle revolves around whole foods, supported by other factors like a sense of community belonging and engagement, exercise, spirituality and time to relax. These blue zone populations also experience better quality of life into old age and have far fewer cases of serious illnesses and diseases.
This all means illness, disease and senior years spent in ill health do not have to be the norm. They can be the exception.
The Writing Is On the Wall
Study after study comes out every year showing that many modern illnesses are highly preventable and have their roots in unhealthy eating patterns like the standard American diet, which is high in processed foods and low in quality whole foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds and tubers. We need real food for real health, not a diet that revolves around white wheat flour, sugar, processed fats and very little else.
For instance, diabetes is highly linked to poor diets. Over 100 million Americans are diabetic or pre-diabetic out of a population of 327 million (1). On top of that, Alzheimer’s is often called type-3 diabetes. Yet we’d rather go on medications with their side effects and risk our health and ruin our quality of life than change our diets.
Meanwhile, the link is fairly clear at this point between many cancers and diet (see Gary Taubes’ incredible work The Case Against Sugar). Whole foods have a protective element to them while sugar has been found to pretty much feed cancer like a high octane gas for the disease. Two hundred years ago we only consumed 2 pounds of sugar per person per year. Today we consume that in less than a week and clock in at 152 pounds of sugar per person per year (2). The rise in consumption has also followed the rise of diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Autoimmune diseases are also popping up everywhere. That’s unsurprising when you realize sugar and salt are preservatives we eat in nearly everything these days in increasing amounts. Preservatives kill bacteria. And yet the gut biome, made up of millions if not trillions of good bacteria, is responsible for various aspects of our immune system operating properly (3). Is it any wonder our beneficial bacteria that is the backbone of our immune heath is being wiped out or crippled by the staggering amount of sugar and salt we consume? And since only 12% of our diet in America is actually life-nurturing whole foods which can feed beneficial bacteria, they aren’t being nourished, just bombarded into extinction.
The gut biome is also heavily involved in the regulation of our nervous system. With the weakening of our gut biota, our nervous system suffers. Studies have linked poor gut flora health to anxiety and depression (4, 5). As we consume over 62% of our food from processed foods and over 42% in low quality carbs, we are devastating our beneficial bacteria community (6, 7). Can it really come as a surprise then that we’re seeing rising rates of anxiety, depression, mental health disorders and suicide?
Again, we are chemical beings and what we eat matters.
Reclaim Your Plate
I could go on with study after study but the writing on the wall is clear to see for anyone with eyes to read. Food and drink can be preventative medicine or toxic drug. It all depends on what you consume.
When will you reach your tipping point and start eating for life and health? Delicious and nutritious food is out there to suit any taste. Join the real food revolution and reclaim your plate and your health.
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