The powerful effects of food on your body
Many of us are simply unaware of the role of food and its direct effect on our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing; or for that matter, the best way to maintain an optimum level of health and prevent disease. What we eat, assimilate and absorb affects how we feel, think, perceive and respond to the world around us.
Eating improper food can cause depression, anger, fear, instability, anxiety and other forms of physical and mental dysfunction. Also, someone who is deficient in nutrients may have a variety of other symptoms.
Today we seem to go through life feeling tired, needing a nap after we have eaten or feeling overweight and bloated; with intestinal gas, stomach upset or heartburn; with dull and slow thinking; feeling depressed or highly emotional — the list goes on.
However, if we look at what we are eating and drinking, in many ways, we are affected by what we eat.
The modern diet
Our eating habits have changed dramatically in modern times and although our society tends to be overfed it is undernourished. The foods we eat are far less nutritious than they appear due to intensive farming methods, pesticides, additives and preservatives.
When fruit is picked unripe they are incomplete in their normal nutritional value. Vegetables are lacking in minerals as much of the land today is over worked and the soil cannot replenish itself. Therefore, it is unlikely that the average person’s diet provides sufficient amounts of the necessary nutrients.
Instead, we are consuming excessive amounts of harmful ingredients like food additives and refined sugars. Processed foods and chemical additives have upset our entire body chemistry resulting in food sensitivities. These chemicals trigger a cascade of allergic symptoms that can affect the respiratory system and the skin and can contribute to various conditions such as asthma, eczema andarthritis.
Sugar is implicated in many physical and emotional disorders, including:
- Hyperactivity in children and adults.
- Aggression and violence.
- Inability to think clearly and concentrate.
- Heart disease.
Hyperactive children are especially sensitive to sugar and stimulants. Have you ever noticed your child’s behavior changing shortly after it consumed a soft drink?
Other refined foods can also trigger adverse affects, such as the following:
- Acid-producing refined foods like white flour raise the acidity in the body which can have a significant effect on joints, tissues, muscles and organs.
- High consumption of salt (sodium chloride) can result in weight gain as it causes the body to retain water.
- Some fats are healthy, while others are not, such as saturated fats found in meat, whole-milk dairy products (cheese, margarine, milk, and eggs), and it is this type of fat that raises total blood cholesterol levels.
Food refers to anything that nourishes the body and keeps it healthy. The body uses food for energy, growth and for replacement of tissues. We are interested in food that nourishes and the preparation of food that allows it to remain in its highest state of efficiency; not altered into another state.
Most modern processed and cooked foods are nutritionally deficient. You can take food and prepare it in such a way that it ceases to be food. Although we could live on refined food to a certain point, our capability to fight viruses and infection would be compromised. Therefore we need to eat a balanced and nutritious diet of food that is properly prepared.
So what should we eat?
The rule is to choose foods that are as close to their natural state as possible, as they are most likely to provide the full range of nutrients that the body needs. Most of us assume that we are getting plenty of nutrients from the food we eat, but in reality, we may not be. There are more than 50 essential nutrients in food and no single food can supply all of these nutrients. This is why it is so important to eat a variety of foods.
Food is the fuel that makes us function, that gives us energy, builds the body and repairs it. When nourished properly, it has everything it needs to function properly, destroying invading agents and removing toxins. However, if it is denied of the most essential nutrients, it becomes weak and inefficient, leaving the body vulnerable to attack.
Nature has given us a wide variety of plant foods that are rich in nutritional content. Whole foods (unprocessed), rich in vitamins and minerals are the best choice. Eating these foods, given that they are organically grown, will feed and strengthen your body, allowing it to heal faster, prevent disease and weight problems.