What You Eat Defines Who You Are

What you eat defines who you are – that is a strong statement, but also very true.  The question is . . . who are you?

What you eat defines who you are
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Health professionals and nutritionists around the world concur that there is a strong connection between nutrition and health. One of the primary factors is the importance of vitamins and minerals in the diet. In fact, many doctors today include blood tests that check for vitamin deficiencies as part of annual physical checkups.

With the easy availability of food in the vast majority of countries – especially first world countries, it is unfortunate that there is concern about nutritional deficiencies among general populations, but there is. Because of the incredibly fast pace at which everyone lives, coupled with the fast-food lifestyle, many people are overfed and under-nourished – and don’t even realize it.

Efforts are being made to spotlight the importance to the body of eating healthy foods. Kudos should be given to TV shows like Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, where he tried to complete a healthy make-over of America’s school lunch programs, and HLN’s “Cook Your Ass Off.” Hopefully, such efforts to educate the public about this vital issue will continue.

The stark reality is – most illnesses in modern societies are the result of unhealthy eating habits. The big killers – heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, obesity, and some cancers, plus other health issues such as type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, tooth decay, and even depression can be traced to eating meals that are calorie-filled, additive-loaded, and essentially lacking in necessary nutrients. There is also mounting evidence that autoimmune illnesses such as Fibromyalgia are linked to a deficiency of vitamin D (Pain Medicine, Volume 13, Issue 3, Pages 452-458).

The human body is amazingly resilient, thank goodness, but why do we continue to force it to work overtime to keep us healthy, when we make little or no effort to assist it in the process.

When people take the time to learn about the importance of nutrition and how it affects their health, they are more likely to make the necessary changes in their food choices. When those changes are made, the results are often dramatic and astounding.

The best part of all is that it is not difficult to eat well and live well. In fact, it is very simple and can be summed up in a few sentences: Eat as close to nature as possible – mostly plants, hormone-free meat, cage-free eggs, drink lots of water, exercise (don’t be a couch potato), go outside often – get plenty of fresh air and sunshine. Avoid all prepackaged foods, fast foods, and anything with additives. Supplement with vitamins, etc., only when truly necessary.

A vegan lifestyle is a choice that many people make, but you can also choose to follow the formula above and eat everything in moderation. When you choose to eat healthy, you will automatically be increasing your nutritional quotient, improving your health dramatically, and taking critical steps in disease prevention.

In addition it helps to know where (and how much) fat, fiber, protein, and the various vitamins and minerals come from. Due to the commercialization of food and corporations lobbying the government, our information is tainted, the answers may surprise you.

Food Allergies and Intolerances

Thankfully, true food allergies are rare. However, food intolerances are more common and people who suffer with them should avoid the problem foods whenever possible. The number of people suffering from food allergies and intolerances seems to be growing every year.

Food intolerances can sometimes evolve into an actual disease. For example, Celiac Disease has been forefront in the press recently. This is a condition where the body loses the ability to properly digest gluten and makes eating gluten dangerous for the individual. The rise of this disease in part is due to heavily processed foods that contain gluten.

The intolerance causes a reaction which can actually damage the lining of the stomach which prevents it from absorbing nutrients from food. If the condition is not diagnosed quickly enough it can be life threatening. The good news is that there are many gluten-free foods available today for people with this condition and maintaining a completely nutritious diet is not a problem.

The weird thing is (at least I think it is weird) – it is quite “fashionable” to eat as if you have a food issue even when you do not. My question is – Why would you do that? The only thing that is being accomplished is limiting the ways to get all the proper nutrients needed for good health. There is absolutely no reason to pretend there is a problem that doesn’t exist. It is important to eat a wide variety of “living” food, mostly plants to get the necessary nutrients to be healthy, feel good, and avoid diseases as much as possible.

If you believe you may have a food intolerance or food allergy talk to a healthcare professional about concerns, have the necessary tests run, and discuss your options if the tests are positive.

Join us again for the next post in the series to learn more about the relationship between nutrition and your health.

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