Diet: Natural Foods, Natural Living

Natural Awakenings Magazine article by Craig

Healthy food makes a healthy human

“Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.” Hippocrates

Air, water, food and exercise: There are four things that humans cannot survive without–clean air, pure water, nutritious food and rigorous exercise. Without these, the body soon becomes unhealthy, tired and diseased. For optimal health, we must choose to eat healthy food every time we eat. It is impossible to maintain a healthy body without sufficient nutritious food. (1)

Raw and natural foods

Natural foods are best eaten straight out of the ground or picked fresh off the tree or vine. Eating an apple that is alive and vibrant with enzymes, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients brings with it the sustenance necessary for proper digestion, cellular support, a healthy immune system and even good neurological function. (2)

Unfortunately, natural food choices in America today are somewhat limited. “Natural foods” are organic foods that are unprocessed and untampered with by production farming techniques. Natural foods contain no processing additives such as artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. Typically the fresh produce, fresh meats and dairy products are on the outer edges of the grocery store while the highly processed foods dominate the center aisles.

In the Patagonia of Argentina, the fruit is so healthy that they do not need to use pesticides to protect crops from pests. This is because bugs and parasites there prey mainly on weak and damaged fruit. I was in the Patagonia in the early 2000s at the same time that a US government agriculture research team was there investigating the natural immunity of the local fruit and its effect on the local population. When native Argentineans eat this healthy fruit that has natural resistance to insects, the immunity and resistance properties in the fruit are transferred to the person eating it.

Organic food

However, organic farms and organically-grown gardens in America do have problems with pests. In order to remain organic no man-made and chemical products are permitted in raising animals or growing fruits and vegetables. When pest problem arise some of the natural solutions for insect control on plants and animals include applying diatomaceous earth. To protect the garden and orchard boiled cedar tree limb spray, applying organic milk as a fungicide and other natural remedies can be used. This prevents man-made chemicals and toxins from entering the food chain.

Buying or growing, preparing and eating healthy foods is a commitment to healthy living as we daily make different choices from the standard fare. Preparation of natural snacks and meals takes more forethought and planning than running to the local Burger Barn for today’s ubiquitous fast food. Insuring optimal freshness and nutrition requires extra trips to the store and knowledge of preservation techniques.

Healthy living gets easier

The good news is that once we’ve established better habits of health eating with natural foods, it becomes about as easy to eat healthily as to eat unhealthily. It’s more about opening your eyes to seasonal and creative choices.

For in between meal snacking, for example, bulk dehydrated fruits are a good choice. Keeping bowls of apples, oranges, bananas and other favorite fruits handy for snacking also prevents reaching for the packaged snacks. Other options include hard-boiled eggs kept in the refrigerator and a supply of various raw veggies, hummus and yogurt dips and nuts. All of these are easy to have on hand.

In the end, eating natural foods is worth it. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal3 over 95% of all medical expenses (over 2 trillion dollars annually) is spent on disease after it has already occurred. In September 2004 The Lancet mentions studies in 52 countries of men and women on six continents and found that, among other things, changing lifestyles with diet, exercise and stress reduction could prevent at least 90% of all heart disease, the number one killer in America.(4)

Montaigne, the French philosopher said, “Man does not die, he kills himself.”

Study after study by from institutions like John’s Hopkins University, Duke University, Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and many others show that eating natural foods can translate into a healthier body and immune system, disease prevention, enhanced ability for the body to make repairs on already damaged systems, fewer trips to the doctor’s office, more energy, external vibrance and clearer thinking. Combining natural food with clean air, pure water and exercise can help bring optimal health and an inner sense of well-being.

As I have always said, “The best time to seek your health is while you still have it!”

1) http://www.foodreference.com/html/artfoodforahealthybody.html Hrayr Berberoglu, a Professor Emeritus of Hospitality and Tourism Management specializing in Food and Beverage
2) http://nutrition.suite101.com/article.cfm/feed_your_brain, http://www.thedietchannel.com/Food-For-Thought.htm, http://www.askdrsears.com/html/4/T040400.asp, http://facweb.northseattle.edu/sbusch/Diet_Mind.pdf
3) http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123146318996466585.html
4) http://www.acofp.org/resources/publications/archives/0408/0408_2.html

Authored by Cancer Nutritionist Craig Stellpflug NDC, CNC, Dayspring Cancer Clinic Scottsdale, AZ
Copyright 2009 Craig Stellpflug© Permission is hereby granted to copy and distribute this article but only in its entirety

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