Thursday, April 26, 2012

Whole Food Whole Life

A broad principle of good health involves the function of the gastrointestinal tract.  This means that in order to be healthy, you must eat good food, digest that food, absorb the nutrients provided and eliminate waste.  If any one of these does not occur then your health can be greatly impacted.  Most chronic illness starts in the gut.

Food choices are often individualized.  Blood type diets(1) can be helpful, but I find there are subtypes of these.  It is not likely that we can completely categorize the world’s population into 4 diets.  Hereditary impact is an important factor.  The diet of an individual in the tropics varies greatly from those in Scandinavian countries.   Switching diets for those individuals could result in health problems.  We can also factor in the changes in our foods from large farming and food processing.  Our food production and distribution systems are amazing as they provide food for the world’s populations and our have it now society.  You can get any seasonal food year round. 

The other side of this coin is that we are no longer eating foods the way they were offered in nature.  Fruits and vegetables are picked before their peak ripeness, irradiated, gassed and shipped all over the world.  Real food will spoil.  Have you noticed how long bread will last? 

This whole food concept is simple: if you can’t pick it or kill it then don’t eat it.  We have devolved to eat foods high in calories and low in nutrients.  We also used to eat seasonally.  Most of our ancestors did not sit down to the bountiful spread of meat, vegetables, fruits, breads and desserts that we enjoy.  Ideally, each food requires different digestive environments.  Watery fruits are easier to digest than a steak. 

Fresh garden food is wonderful, especially raw.  These vegetables have enzymes and bacteria that aid in digestion.  Rinse these foods properly and eat the skin.  For gardeners, it makes no sense to have a nice garden only to dust your vegetables with Sevin.  Use a liquid soap in a sprayer to keep bugs away. 

It is becoming easier to get good protein in the form of beef, chicken and fish as there is a movement to provide these locally.  Avoid all farm raised fish.  Also avoid processed meats including lunch meats, hot dogs, and sausage.  Pork is delicious but not considered healthy.  Eggs have gotten a bad rap due to the over focused cholesterol industry.  Eggs are a wonderful whole food that should not be overlooked. 

We typically eat the same thing for breakfast, lunch and supper.  It is much better to rotate your foods so that you don’t eat the same things more often than every 4 days.  Each type of food requires a different digestive environment.  Fruit is best eaten by itself or 15 minutes before a meal.  Other digestion friendly food combinations include meat with vegetables and vegetables with starches. 

1. “Eat Right for Your Type”

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