Nutrition can change you and your children’s lives! Nutrition imbalances can effect your physical and mental health.
As quoted in the publication Prescription for Nutritional Healing, by Dr. James Balch, “good nutrition is the foundation of good health.” Everyone needs the four basic nutrients – water, carbohydrates, proteins and fats – as well as vitamins, minerals and other micro nutrients.To be able to choose the proper foods and to better understand why those foods should be supported with supplements, you need to have a clear idea of the components of a healthy diet.
Water is an essential nutrient that is involved in every function of the body. It helps transport nutrients and waste products, is necessary for all digestive, absorption, circulatory and excretory functions as well as for the utilization of water-soluble vitamins. As a rule of thumb, a person should consume one half of your body weight in pounds in ounces of water daily. For example: If you weigh 150lbs then you should be consuming 75 ounces of water.
Carbohydrates supply the body with the energy it needs to function. They are found almost exclusively in plant foods such as fruits, vegetables and grains. They are the main source of blood glucose, which is a major fuel for all of the body’s cells and the only source of energy for the brain and red blood cells.
When choosing carbohydrate-rich foods for your diet, always select unrefined foods such as fruits, vegetables, peas, beans and whole-grain products as opposed to refined, processed foods such as soft drinks, desserts, candy and sugar. Refined foods offer few, if any, of the vitamins and minerals that are important to your health. In addition, if eaten in excess, especially over a period of many years, refined foods can lead to a number of disorders. Did you know every one teaspoon of sugar reduces your immunity for two hours after it is ingested? A can of pop, for example, can contain up to 12 teaspoons of sugar. Poof goes your immunity for a day.
Fiber is a very important form of carbohydrate. Only a relatively small amount of fiber is digested so most of it moves through the gastrointestinal tract and end up in the stool. A high-fiber diet helps prevent constipation and colon cancer, perhaps by speeding the rate at which wastes pass through the system and by keeping it clean. A high-fiber diet also helps lower blood cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease. In this regard if you eat three to five times a day you should have two to three bowel movements per day to keep the bowel clean.
Protein is essential for growth and development. It provides the body with energy and is needed for the manufacture of hormones, antibodies, enzymes and tissues. It also helps maintain the proper acid-alkali balance of the body. When protein is consumed, the body breaks it down into amino acids, the building blocks of all proteins.
Because of the importance of consuming proteins that provide all of the necessary amino acids, our diets must provide both complete proteins – found in meat, fish, poultry and eggs – and incomplete proteins – found in a variety of foods such as grains, legumes and leafy green vegetables. Although it is important to consume the full range of amino acids, it is not necessary to get them from meat, fish, poultry and other complete-protein foods mainly because of their high fat content as well as the use of antibiotics and other chemicals used in the raising of poultry and cattle. To make sure that you are getting a great enough variety in your diet, add protein-rich foods such as nut butters or add nuts and seeds to salads and vegetables. A combination of any grains, any nuts and seeds, any legumes and a variety of mixed vegetables will make a complete protein. Please avoid peanuts due to the large amount of fungus in them.
The body does need fat – the essential fats. In fact, cutting down on fats gets some people into trouble because when we are short in essential fats our body suffers. Fat is necessary for normal brain development in children. It is essential to provide energy and support growth. It is used in manufacturing antibodies to fight disease and acts as carriers for the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Excessive non-essential fat, however, is a major causative factor in obesity, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease and colon cancer, and has been linked to a number of other disorders as well.
Fats are either saturated or unsaturated; in other words, either solid or liquid. Saturated fats – from animal products and dairy items – are best avoided. These fats raise blood cholesterol and should be consumed as little as possible. Some oils are solidified by being hydrogenated to make margarines and shortening and are found in cereals, snacks, candies, cakes and breads. Hydrogenated oils do much of the damage attributed to fats and must be avoided. Polyunsaturated fats are found in most foods but mainly in fish, nuts, oils from plants, seeds and soybeans. These oils are liquid at room temperature and help to reduce blood cholesterol. Mono-saturated fats are found in most foods as well, but mainly in vegetable and nut oils such as olive and canola oil. These also remain liquid at room temperature and reduce blood cholesterol; however, to remain beneficial to the body these oils should not be heated.
Vitamins, Minerals & Herbs:
Vitamins are organic substances necessary for life, which the body uses for essential body functions. Generally, the body cannot manufacture vitamins, so it must get them from food or supplements. While the body can live without a constant supply of all the vitamins, for optimal health all are necessary.
We do not need to take supplements if:
The food you eat is organically grown in mineral and nutrient rich soil.
The food you eat was mature and ripened on the vines, plants or trees.
The food is consumed within a few days of harvesting.
You eat a wide variety of foods, mostly fresh and raw.
You do not eat processed, deep fried junk food or candy.
You drink at least eight cups of pure water daily.
You are not being exposed to chemicals in food, air or water.
You have only occasional stress.
You get adequate rest in clean fresh air.
You re not exposed to electromagnetic emissions from appliances, TV, etc.
Your body is not exposed to mercury, lead, aluminum or other heavy metals.
You fast or detoxify your body, liver and colon at least twice a year.
If those 12 points describe your lifestyle, then there is no need for you to take supplements. Let’s be honest – who in this world today lives such a lifestyle?
Vitamins contribute to good health by regulating the metabolism and assisting the processes that release energy from digested food. They are considered micro nutrients because the body needs them in relatively small amounts compared with nutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins, fats and water.
Enzymes are essential chemicals that are the foundation of human bodily functions. As coenzymes, vitamins work with enzymes allowing all the activities that occur within the body to be carried out as they should.
Minerals are needed for the proper composition of body fluids, the formation of blood and bone, the maintenance of healthy nerve function and the regulation of muscle tone, including that of the muscles of the cardiovascular system. Like vitamins, minerals function as coenzymes, enabling the body to perform its functions. Because all enzyme activities involve minerals, minerals are essential for the proper utilization of vitamins and other nutrients.
Minerals are often found in multivitamin formulas but it is impossible to put all 74 trace minerals in a multi-vitamin mineral pill, but they can also be found as single supplements. When mineral supplements are taken with a meal, they are usually automatically chelated in the stomach during digestion. This means the minerals are bonded to protein molecules and transported to the bloodstream, thus enhancing their absorption. Minerals are more important to the body than vitamins, as the bone marrow needs minerals to form proper blood cells. Every gland and organ requires minerals to function properly.
Herbs are any plants that are conducive to maintaining or regaining health. All plants were given to man for food or medicine and are amongst nature’s greatest treasures and their medicinal benefits have been known for centuries.
Many herbs contain powerful ingredients that, if used correctly, can help heal the body. They do perform many healing functions, but they must be used appropriately, not indiscriminately. As a general rule, most of the bitter-tasting herbs are medicinal herbs. The pleasant-tasting herbs are potentially less toxic and can be used more often. All plant roots and bark are naturally fungicidal and bactericidal. Certain herbs should be used only for healing purposes and not for extended periods of time.
The use of herbs is a rich part of the legacy of our ancestors and the knowledge and awareness of them should be a part of our responsibility to personal health maintenance.
Clearly a healthy diet must provide a proper balance of the four essential nutrients as well as a rich supply of vitamins, minerals and other micro nutrients. As a guideline:
- Wash ALL foods consumed with non-toxic soap and rinse well.
- Avoid foods that contain additives and artificial ingredients. Additives and artificial ingredients add little or no nutritional value to your food. However, they do pose a proven threat to your health.
- Increase your consumption of RAW produce – fruits and vegetables. The importance here is raw: all enzymes and most vitamins are extremely sensitive to heat and are usually destroyed in the cooking process.
- Avoid overcooking your foods. Browned or burned bread and barbecued foods undergo changes in structure producing carcinogens. By eating produce raw or only lightly cooked, and by greatly limiting your consumption of meat, you will be doing much to decrease your risk of cancer and other disorders.
- Use the proper cooking utensils – only glass, stainless steel or iron pots and pans. Aluminum cookware or utensils have been implicated in Alzheimer’s disease.
- Limit your use of salt. Excessive salt intake can cause fluid to be retained in the tissues which can lead to such things as high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and some forms of kidney disease.
- The avoidance of caffeine, chocolate, and cheese alone can help you ward off free radicals
Quite simply, a healthy diet is one which provides optimum levels of all known nutrients and low levels of food components which are detrimental to health; such as, sugar, saturated fats, cholesterol, salt and additives. It’s one that is rich in whole, natural and unprocessed foods and high in plant foods. It must contain adequate, but not excessive, quantities of protein and good fats. And a healthy diet also includes at least eight glasses of clean water per day.
Did you know that Cancer thrives in an acidic environment, and that red meat is 32 on the pH scale?
Did you know that lemons, limes and tomatoes are actually positive pH.
This information is compiled from traditional and modern herb books, articles and research. This information is summarized for its educational value and should not be used for the diagnosis of disease.