The human body of cells must have both organic nutrients and inorganic chemical compounds to function properly:
- Organic nutrients are nourishing components that occur naturally in food and include amino acids (the body uses amino acids to make human proteins), carbohydrates, essential fatty acids (fats), and vitamins.
- Inorganic chemical compounds such as dietary minerals, water, and oxygen are also nutrients needed by cells.
If we become malnourished because the food we are eating does not supply all the nutrients that our body cells consistently require to function properly, then health abnormalities and disease start to develop. It's like a slow starvation.
Toxins can build-up in the body when cells and organs can't keep up with digestion and detoxification because they become overtaxed. This in-turn has a negative effect on all bodily processes.
Think of a house plant. When it gets adequate water and nutrients from its soil, the plant is green and vibrant. If it does not get enough (or too much) water and its soil is barren of nutrients, the plant loses its color, its leaves, it turns brown and becomes a stick that is dead.
EATING MINDFULLY: LIVE FOODS VERSUS DEAD FOODS
Eating for our cells first by making mindful and prudent food choices really helps to avoid over-eating and craving ultra-processed, enriched and synthetically fortified foods. Looking at fueling the body's cells with the nutrients they require, there is just no comparison between which type of eating is healthiest when analyzing synthetically manufactured-foods versus naturally grown whole-foods. ("whole-foods" means as close to their natural state as possible and minimally processed.) Living cells can thrive on live foods but must strive to keep up and ail on dead foods.
Many people feel they are eating a healthy diet, yet any type of food that comes in a package, wrapper, can, carton, etc. can contain synthetic chemicals, preservatives, additives and food dyes--all of these are widely used today by food manufacturers giving their food-products addicting flavorings and extended shelf lives. You may be gaining weight and harming your cellular health unknowingly, if you regularly ingest too much of these types of foods. Ultra-processed foods can get stripped of natural nutrients during the manufacturing process and are frequently enriched or re-fortified with synthetic vitamins.
The convenience of preparing packaged microwave foods in just a few minutes or picking up dinner from a nearby fast food restaurant can be appealing when hungry and short on time. But, regularly consuming an overload of these types of foods and sugary beverages, such as sodas, can overwhelm cells and organs. Especially the liver, which filters and detoxes everything that comes in and out of the body. Over time, the body becomes sluggish, malnourished, and physical breakdowns can start to occur affecting our moods and mental health.
Whole natural plant foods contain soluble fiber that slows the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream. And, that's just one of the advantages of eating plant-based which includes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, seeds, and nuts. This type of food is nutrient rich, and it is the type of food that body cells thrive on most. Cautiously, now-a-days we do have to consider consuming organically-grown produce and grains versus the standard fare to avoid ingesting dangerous pesticides, vastly sprayed on farm crops, that leave residues in the plants.
Buying organic can up the cost of the grocery bill since organic foods are generally more expensive. Sadly, that's another reason population of people end up eating so much ultra-processed foods. They are inexpensive and convenient. Still, there is no comparison between eating naturally grown whole foods versus synthetically manufactured foods! Article link: The Clean Eating Lifestyle
NUTRIENT ROBBERS: WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR IN PROCESSED-PACKAGED FOODS
Read ingredient labels diligently and watch out for these nutrient robbers that can overwork and starve body cells:
- Preservatives- To give their food products longer shelf lives, adding preservatives becomes economically valuable to manufacturers and supermarkets because it gives them more time to sell before the food spoils or reaches its expiration date. The most common preservatives--and possibly the most dangerous in your body--are hydrogenated oils, or trans fats. These are oils that have been solidified with hydrogen and then added to food to preserve it. When you eat processed foods that have been preserved this way, you are eating this fat. Trans fats (hydrogenated oils) are among the worst kind of fat to consume as your body cannot easily digest them. Trans fats have been linked not only to obesity, but also to a variety of health issues. Alternatively, natural whole-foods do not contain trans fats.
- Additives- Two of the biggest causes of food addiction, weight imbalances and disruption to healthy body cells when it comes to food additives are high fructose corn syrup and refined sugars. Refined sugars are used to enhance the flavor of most all packaged processed-foods and drinks, from soda to ketchup, jellies, syrups, and pretty much any other sweet condiment or sauce that is not organic (having limited synthetic input). The body cannot break down high fructose corn syrup and refined sugar as effectively as simple-natural sugars (found in real fruit). Refined sugars are devoid of any fiber or nutrients that body cells require, yet still must be digested and eliminated. Because this takes cellular energy, other tissues in the body may be robbed of nutrients the cells need in order to metabolize it. Just two tablespoons (6-teaspoons) of refined sugar can have a destabilizing effect biochemically in the body for hours. Eating refined sugars at every meal--breakfast, lunch and dinner--is extremely detrimental. Today, the average American consumes about 17-teaspoons (71.14 grams) everyday! See more statistics about sugar: https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/resources/DGA_Cut-Down-On-Added-Sugars.pdf
- Food colorings and artificial dyes- Food manufacturers color foods for a host of reasons. To make food more attractive, appealing, appetizing; to correct natural variations in color, or provide color to colorless foods; and to offset color loss due to light and air exposures, moisture, temperature extremes, and storage conditions. They can use natural colorings derived from plants, animals, and other organic materials, or artificial (synthetic) colors made in a lab with chemicals derived from petroleum (a crude oil product, which also happens to be used in gasoline, diesel fuel, asphalt and tar). Artificial dyes can be mass-produced at a lower cost than that of gathering and processing the materials used to make the natural colorings. They can be longer-lasting than natural ones also adding shelf life. Food colorings and dyes may cause allergic reactions in some people and hyperactivity in sensitive children. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, an independent, science-based consumer advocacy organization: Commonly used food dyes, such as Yellow 5 and Yellow 6, and Red 40, pose risks including hyperactivity in children. Some also pose a risk of cancer (like Red 3) and allergic reactions. cspinet.org/eating-healthy/ingredients-concern/food-dyes
- Enriched Flours- Almost all bread, pasta and baked goods are made with white flour, or highly processed flours- a derivative of what was once a wheat grain. When wheat is ground up and processed into white flour, it is no longer the same wheat physically or nutritionally. Almost all nutrients once contained in wheat are lost in the process of creating white flour. In 1941, severe nutritional problems prompted our U.S. government to pass legislation requiring certain nutrients be added back into the flour. Therefore, the flour has to be "enriched" during the processing to add some, but not all the stripped nutrients lost back in synthetically. Eating this kind of flour is like an anti-nutrient in the body causing lacking nutrients to be leached from body tissues by cells during digestion--similar to what happens when consuming refined sugars. Lack of ample nutrition can lead to serious health issues.
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies, low intake of fatty acids and omega-3 (a type of fatty acid) can contribute to altered moods and mimic various mental health issues. Scientific research shows that eating healthy foods can drastically improve our moods. It does so by helping to avoid fluctuations in blood sugar and food allergies that can have a great effect on one's mood.
“The body is your temple. Keep it pure and clean for the soul to reside in.” -B.K.S. Iyengar
By Judith Garner, Certified Health Coach
Helping people stay healthy inside & out!