Nutrition: The Cornerstone of Good Health
By Riley Cote
Deep inside all of us, lies the ability to self-heal. However, we have recently become very disconnected from the natural world and our inner-beings. While there are many different ways to reconnect with the natural world, nutrition tops my list as the cornerstone of optimum health.
The basic understanding of nutrition and how it relates to human health has rapidly declined in industrialized nations, specifically in the western world. Controversial pesticides, farming and food processing practices have complicated how we as a society view food and how it affects our health. Virtually all chronic disease can be linked back to nutrient deficiency and toxicity within the body. Besides both basic human survival fundamentals of clean drinking water and clean air to breath, the element of nutrition is one of the most important variables in the game of health that can be either working for you or working against you.
Toxicity and deficiency both create an acidic environment in the body. The goal is to minimize toxins and increase nutrients found in plant-based whole foods, which will create a slightly alkaline environment in the body and a balanced state of health. Remember disease cannot live in an alkaline environment. It can only survive in an acidic environment. Let’s explore.
When you sit back and peel away the layers, you’ll find that the idea of optimum nutrition is a very simple concept. However we as a society have been fundamentally misled and the true science of nutrition has become extremely foggy due to business politics. The good news is understanding nutrition can be broken down into simple, easy to understand rules that will help feed the physical body, mind, and spirit. Common sense usually tells us right from wrong, but the problem lies much deeper than that. While discipline is required to make the change in creating a healthier you, the addictive nature of some of these ingredients that flood processed foods are very real. Physical dependence on refined sugar, refined sodium, and trans fat are major contributors to the obesity and heart disease epidemic we face in this country. The healing properties of the organic food provided to us by mother nature are designed to not only to keep us healthy but to help with the prevention of disease. Hippocrates, the father of medicine said it best over 4000 years ago, “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”.
Removing toxic foods is equally as important as increasing nutrient-rich, plant-based whole foods. Our bodies are perfectly created organisms that have the ability to heal and eliminate toxins via sweat, urine, and feces. Unfortunately, most of us consume so much toxicity through our diets that the body’s elimination process simply can’t keep up with. These toxins store in the body, usually fats cells and begin manifesting themselves into different symptoms and diseases.
Mother nature a given us everything we need on this planet to thrive. It is up to us as the world’s most intelligent species to see through the fog and discover the whole foods that can help heal our bodies at a cellular level. We owe it to ourselves to live happy, healthy lives. Seek balance within yourselves. No more counting calories. Count nutrients instead. Focus on micro-nutrients and less on macro-nutrients. Understand that we are all different. There is no one size fits all approach to health. Eat what is in season, support your local organic farmer and reconnect to your food.
The following 5 keys follow the universal laws of nature and are critical in discovering health and the bodies true healing potential.
- Avoid and reduce refined sugar. The food industry has managed to load up our foods with different types of refined sugars, all with different names (don’t be fooled). Unless labeled organic or verified NON-GMO, this sugar is derived from genetically modified (GMO) crops, which are toxic to the body. Sugars consumed through beverages should be eliminated and substituted with clean drinking water.
- Avoid and reduce processed foods. Foods heavily processed should be avoided totally. This includes both animal-based foods and plant-based foods. These foods are nutrient depleted and riddled with toxic chemicals and preservatives. If you can’t pronounce it, you probably shouldn’t consume it and if the ingredient list is a full paragraph long, I urge you to stay clear as well. A little common sense here goes a long way.
- Avoid and reduce factory farmed fish and meat. Have you seen how these poor animals are treated? Besides the terrible environments they live in, they are fed a poor diet of GMO crops like corn and soy and get virtually no exercise. This ends up being a negative energy transfer. Seek sustainably raised meat such as wild caught fish. Wild caught fish can also be loaded with toxins so explore where you are sourcing your fish. These factory farms are not only supplying low-grade meat, they also create a ton of pollution and use up a lot of resources like water and grain to continue these unsustainable animal farming practices. We consume a large amount of animal protein in the western diet and it should be minimized to high-quality sustainable choices.
- Consume unlimited organic whole foods vegetables and fruits. This is what we were meant to eat. These foods offer a ton of nutrition and feed our bodies at the cellular level. It’s pretty safe to say you can eat these all day long with no guilt. Even fruit. Don’t be scared off by fruit. The sugar in the fruit is whole and with the help of the fiber and other compounds, help these fruits digest perfectly in the human body. Unless there is an individualized food allergy.
- Eat consciously. Being conscious of your food choices is the first step transformation and healing process. Incorporate more home cooked meals so you can control the ingredients and know how your food was prepared. Savor every bite, and appreciate the true essence of nature’s abundant varieties of plant-based whole foods.