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FOOD, MEDICINE & HEALTH
Your body is equipped with a highly sophisticated metabolic system committed to one single mission ... keeping you alive ... but it needs your help!
Most people have heard it said “You are what you eat”, but how often do we think as we reach for a snack or sit before a plate of food and drink, “Do I really want to incorporate this food into my being”? After all, what's really in it? Is it calories with no nutrients (junk 'food') and full of substances with names that can't possibly be food? Or is it fresh, organic and 'whole food', with high nutrient value?
And how often do we think about why we eat, how our body processes food, or the effects on our organs and systems? Do we consider the quality and health of the plants and animals we consume; farming methods, harvesting and processing; how these foods are prepared or processed; our typical choices; the effect of different cooking methods; our ability to digest, absorb and assimilate nutrients (or lack of nutrients); the health of our organs that process and deliver these nutrients; the health of our cell membranes which are vital for the absorption of nutrients into our trillions of cells in order for them to be able to perform the many miraculous and complex feats that keep us well and in a balanced physical, mental and emotional state?
How we can help ourselves
A healthy diet helps to build a strong foundation. What we consume can create an internal environment that is out of balance and this can lead to any number of health issues ranging from physiological to emotional problems, and nearly always engendering a general lack of energy and vitality.
Balance is the key and the importance of healthy food choices together with efficient digestion cannot be stressed enough. Each system of the body depends on the health and optimum running of each of the other systems of the body. When one is out of balance it has a knock-on effect on the others.
When Food and Medicine doesn't help
We only have to look around to see that we have never been unhealthier and we know that rates of cancer, heart disease and stroke have been rising for some time. More and more people are malnourished and obese, plus there are many new diseases, ones that were unheard of even 50 years ago, not to mention many new drugs (with a host of dangerous side effects) designed to suppress or alter the course of these diseases. We are being medicated - the young, the old and many of those in between - and what was once considered normal or borderline is now designated as needing drug intervention. Did you know that over 100,000 Americans die every year as a result of taking pharmaceutical drugs as prescribed? In the UK in 2007 the Telegraph reported that deaths from adverse reactions to prescription drugs had more than doubled in 10 years and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) revealed that 973 people had died from suspected serious side-effects compared to 382 in 1996.
Unless we select the quality very carefully, we can also be poisoning ourselves with our food choices, and here are some reasons why:
- most fruits and vegetables have been sprayed against pests and moulds with numerous chemicals
- many foods are becoming more likely to contain genetically modified ingredients *
- some foods contain irradiated ingredients **
- most milk, cheese and other dairy produce (very altered from its 'natural' form by the time we consume it) comes from cows that have been medicated with antibiotics and anti-parasitic drugs, and are also fed on an unnatural diet rather than grass fed outdoors
- processed foods contain additives (E-numbers) such as artificial colours, preservatives, artificial flavourings (totally synthetic) and artificial sweeteners - all of these are best avoided because of the possibility of adverse reactions or a negative impact on health (and please think about what's going into a child's mouth with such things as brightly coloured sweets – they are quite the opposite of “treats”!)
- cured meats contain nitrates and nitrites (used as a preservative to maintain colour and inhibit bacteria) and also be aware that “smoked” bacon may have been sprayed with a synthetic flavouring known as “liquid smoke” rather than being smoked over wood.
If you have questions or would like advice regarding diet, or are experiencing digestive or other problems, please contact one of our Our Therapists qualified in Nutrition - Carol Moran, Henrietta Norton, Sheryl Meyer, Sophia Barton or Suzanne Sawyer.
*From the BBC regarding GM Foods http://news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews/hi/find_out/guides/tech/gm_foods/newsid_1746000/1746942.stm
“GM crops have been grown on a few farms in Britain, as an experiment and the government has now said that GM maize can be grown in the UK … But people have become so worried about GM foods that most of the big supermarkets have banned them … Most items should say on the label if they contain genetically modified ingredients - you can decide if you're happy to eat them or not.”
For more information of GM Foods go to http://www.eatwell.gov.uk/healthissues/factsbehindissues/gmfood/
**To find out which categories of foods may be irradiated and sold in the UK go to http://www.food.gov.uk/safereating/rad_in_food/irradfoodqa/
© Carol Moran 2011