The human body is composed of trillions and trillions of individual cells. These cells are organized into organ systems, which do all of the work necessary to maintain life. Each day approximately five hundred billion of these cells grow old, die and have to be replaced. Approximately every cell in your body is replaced every 7 years; you are literally a new person.
But where do the cells of your body get the necessary building blocks to manufacture these new cells? From the foods we eat and the fluids we drink and, of course, what can be salvaged from the cells that have died. These ingredients are literally the “staff of life”. It does not require a great deal of intelligence to see that the quality of foods we consume is essential to the creation of healthy cells for healthy organs to carry on a healthy existence. The environment certainly plays a role in our health, but how much control do we have over the environment? Genetics also plays a role in our health and again you may think that we have little control. However, recent research supports the view that our genetics can be altered during our life time by our environment, including the foods/liquids we consume, and that those changes can and will be passed on to future generations. This is even truer of our internal environment, where the cells are located. Inside the cells exists the genes of our existence. Therefore, it is extremely important to provide for the replication of cells so that the replication of the genes themselves will not be compromised.
Through eons of time, the human race has developed the capacity to extract the nutrients necessary for the maintenance of life from the foods we eat and the fluids we drink. The quality of what is extracted depends wholly on the quality of what we consume. It’s kind of like the old computer adage-garbage in/garbage out. If we do not consume high quality food products, we cannot possibly obtain the nutrients we need to maintain a healthy existence. If we consume “food-like” products we have imperfect health.
A small example - look at what has happened to wheat. It is processed down to a product not even able to sustain life without “fortification”, but is that “fortification” even close to what was taken out of the original organic wholesome food product? Not even close. All this so manufacturers can make a “food-like” substance that has a longer shelf life and a “prettier” product appearance to help it sell. Take a carrot for instance, with no processing. Did you know that the whole food carrot has over 200 known (more are being found every year) concentrated nutrients important to human nutrition and health? The same could be said for every vegetable, fruit and meat source known to man. Are you going to trust “food scientists” to replace what they take out of real food so it can last longer on the shelf, look better, be produced in mass quantities and sold cheaply? We think not. For what is their bottom line? Is it not profits? Agri-business has taken over and displaced the farmer who grew whole foods. There is hardly a food that has not undergone some form of “processing” of one kind or the other. What about the meats we buy? We all know of the daily antibiotics and other “medications” given to animals so they can be housed and grown under squalid conditions in massive quantities. Even after the animal is killed, it can still undergo further “processing”.
Who is the loser here? Not agri-business! Not Big-Pharma! Not the manufacturers who bombard us with an ever increasing array of “food-like” substances for even greater and greater profits. We have seen diabetes triple since 1958 and it is still increasing annually. Obesity has become so pervasive that the cost of medical care for the adverse medical effects of this obesity threatens to wreak havoc on our health care delivery system, as well as our health care dollar. Although billions and billions of dollars have been put into the “fight against cancer”, heart disease, diabetes and many other diseases, we are not gaining---we are losing. Compare our national health with the rest of the world; especially where people still consume real, whole, unadulterated, unprocessed food!
The World Health Organization publication in 2000 outlined data on the health systems of the 191 member countries. The only place the U.S. was “first” was in “responsiveness”. Why? Because it was by far the most expensive, requiring the most resources; in fact, over twice the median average of the other countries. Did all those dollars buy better health? Not even close! The U.S. ranking of 26th in infant mortality among industrialized countries and a very low 24th on disability-adjusted life expectancy is just appalling.
We have to ask ourselves - WHY???????? Could we be over medicated and malnourished? It’s very possible. We all know of the “French Paradox”. That is, the French eat lots of butter, cheeses, eggs, high fat sauces etc, but yet they have one of the lowest percentages of cardiovascular disease. They are slim. No-it’s not “just” the wine, although they drink a lot of it. A team of scientists from the U.S. studied this phenomenon some years ago. What was their conclusion? The French eat a wide variety of food--real food. They eat home baked bread with a hard crust. They consume many kinds of cheese. Americans tend to eat the same old diet week in and week out without variety, which is a diet full of “food-like” substances, not real food. Although we like it cheap, simple and easy, this kind of thinking may be killing us.
Over the past ten years or more, hundreds of books have been written about eating healthy. Every diet book we pick up says to eat more fruits and vegetables. We all know this, but we have been lulled into complacency by the “food scientists”, the advertising dollar of the food manufacturers, “fast food” companies, the FDA, Big-Pharma, and even the medical profession into thinking all is well because they profit by this illusion. This is true foolishness on our part.
So---what can we do about it? Buy good wholesome foods locally when you can and avoid all the center aisles in the grocery store where the “processed” food reigns supreme. Did you know that even today food manufacturers spray the inside of all canned goods with the same plastic under investigation for BPA toxicity, which was banned in Japan years ago? Since it is difficult to know who we can trust, we need to try to eat plain food as much as possible. If you can, grow your own! If not, buy 100% organic. Buy the food your grandmother would recognize and read the label. If it contains anything but real, recognizable food, don’t eat it. Buy good whole food and cook it yourself so you will know the ingredients going into your body.
If you just cannot or will not eat whole foods and feel you must “supplement” your diet with “vitamins and minerals”, do your best to use supplements prepared from WHOLE FOODS. However, don’t be fooled twice. If we cannot trust the “food scientists” to “fortify” the foods they have processed down to a “food-like” substance---do you really think we can trust them to “make” a vitamin/mineral compound any better? They cannot. In fact, scientists who have studied “nutrition” in real depth are appalled by the hypocrisy of what is being sold. For instance: Did you know that alpha tocopherol is NOT Vitamin E (synthetic or otherwise), nor is Vitamin C just ascorbic acid. This is just what the government has decreed it to be (by advice of the “food scientists”). In fact Vitamin E is a composite of a number of tocopherols and ascorbic acid is just the anti-oxidant fraction of vitamin C complex. If this weren’t enough, when we buy a “natural” vitamin—the law says it can be called natural if only 10% of it comes from “natural” sources. Be sure to read the labels. If the label reads it’s just a bunch of chemical substances (synthesized in a laboratory) and does not read of real foods that you can recognize, don’t buy it and don’t take it. You are just wasting your money and may even be harming your health.
There are good companies existing for over 100 years that do not “make” vitamins/minerals. They grow crops on land tested to be complete in minerals, which have never had a pesticide, fertilizer or other chemical contamination and they have developed and patented cold processes to capture all the natural enzymes and nutrients of the whole food from which their supplements are derived. In addition, you will not have to worry about getting MEGA doses of these vitamins/minerals with which your body has to struggle to use. Instead the dosages will be consistent with what you would have consumed with the whole food. Are there circumstances when MEGA doses may be indicated? Of course, but you need a well informed Doctor to advise you when those times exist.
You can find these Doctors, who have been trained in the use of these supplements, to help you determine just what nutrients your diet may have been missing. What have you got to lose? Just your health and maybe your life! Now is the time to decide what is really important! (From an article by R. L. Slaughter, M.Sc., DC who has 45 years of study and practice).