Updated: Jun 15, 2020
It has long been observed that our food choices affect our health. Ancient Greek doctor and physician Hippocrates was the first who formulated the thesis: You are what you eat.
UK scientists confirmed the well-known saying of the Greek physician. They have proven the fact that we are what we eat. Yes, we are what we eat, but that doesn’t mean we can’t change. Our cells are dying and being replaced all the time. A change in a diet will inevitably improve the quality of the newly made cells.
When a child is born, its first instinct is to suckle. As human beings, we are hardwired to look for food even before we explore the world around us. Food plays a vital role in our lives and as expected, it has substantial effects on our health. The statement “We are what we eat” is so very true.
I have learned a great deal about the intricate workings of our body and it’s different systems. The miracle of engineering that is occurring in our body every day is truly amazing. It runs on the fuel that we consume but the big question is, what quality is the food that we consume and what effect is it having on us?
Never has there been a time in history more than now when the world population has been plagued with chronic life diseases. Diseases such as cancer, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease are the world’s leading killers. Obesity has skyrocketed in the last few decades, especially among children and young adults, who are supposed to be the most active and productive members of society. What has brought about this avalanche of disease today? Research has shown that food is playing a very significant role in the ailing world of today.
At every corner, we are guaranteed to find a fast food shop that sells convenience junk food. Because of the busy lifestyles our Western society leads, such places have been the preferred sources of food for many people, with little or no nutrient value. Supermarkets sell processed and packaged foods which are quick and easy to pop in the microwave. Most food on the shelves have an ingredient list we don’t even glance at or even recognise. Preservatives, additives- so many are in today’s food we buy without giving them a second thought. After all, if they were dangerous they wouldn’t be on the shelves right? So many children are on medication for ADHD and behavioural problems, which have suddenly emerged in abundance. Yet these children are eating toxins and chemicals that are actually causing this. Instead of medicating them we should be changing their eating habits.
We are told that all our health problems can be solved by throwing money at scientists so that they can discover yet another pill that will mask our symptoms. Another large profit for the billion dollar pharmaceutical companies. The drug companies and cancer societies rely on our suffering to make a profit. We think we are running for a cure for cancer, but we are actually running away from the cause. Our body is a product of what we consume and the food we eat is designed purely for profit. We fill ourselves with toxic chemicals and the bodies of animals infested with antibiotics, growth hormones and diseases, which have suffered from the moment of their birth to the moment of their painful, undignified death. The vegetables that were once so healthy no longer have the nutrients they used to have because of intensive farming and depleted soil. Modern industrial crops are grown for a high yield and fast growth, rather than for nutrient content. As a result, nutrients have declined in our food supply, since crops today often have fewer nutrients than their older counterparts. There have also been decreases in protein, iron, potassium, calcium, riboflavin, ascorbic acid, zinc, selenium, and other essential nutrients in many conventionally grown fruits, vegetables, and grains. Pesticides used in the production and processing of conventionally grown fruit, vegetables, and grains (and are heavily sprayed on meat to ward away parasites) are a significant health concern. Pesticides have been linked to a number of health problems, including neurologic and psychological problems, cancer, and other diseases. Many GMO crops are grown now to address problems that arise from large-scale industrial crop production. There is much debate about GMO’s as the main body of proof that they are safe comes from the big corporations, such as Monsanto, that are responsible for them and raking in the profit. Some studies indicate that GMO feed may cause toxic effects, especially in the renal and hepatic systems. Some countries have chosen to apply the precautionary principle to GMOs - in the absence of scientific proof that GMOs are safe, they are assumed to be unsafe until proven otherwise. Those who want to become better educated on the food they eat have to search for information, as the small group of corporations that own the media do not want us to know and surround us with a fantasy we are told is reality. Food, water and land, the very elements we need to survive are owned by corporations, who are only interested in profit.
So we are consuming vast amounts of these toxic and unhealthy products, which settle into our bodies and cause irreversible damage to our cells, vital organs and our body systems fail us. Diseases emerge and instead of scrutinising what we are putting into our body that is doing the damage, we then start on medication prescribed to us to mask our symptoms and put more toxicity in our bodies to fund yet more greedy corporations, without curing the problem.
In so many cases we can self-cure by changing the unhealthy fuel we bombard our bodies with daily. A balanced healthy organic diet does not only prevent so many of these diseases and weight problems, it can reverse them, even serious ones such as heart disease, diabetes and even cancer. The European Union funded study found that organic fruit and vegetables have up to 50% more antioxidants which ward off cancer. They have more vitamins and minerals, such as iron and zinc and those listed previously. People who eat organic food have improved immune system, better sleeping habits and are less likely to be overweight than when eating conventional foods. An organic vegetarian diet has countless benefits to the human body. A lot of research has been done into the effects such a diet, and the results have been astounding. Contrary to popular opinion, a balanced vegetarian diet does not lack all the nutrients that are essential to the optimum performance of cells. While the diet does exclude meat, and in some instances, all animal products, all the nutrients we need can be obtained from a healthy, balanced organic, vegetarian diet, including protein!
Because we are what we eat, a vegetarian diet will ensure that only body building nutrients enter our body. The diet eliminates unhealthy fats that settle around vital organs that not only contribute to weight gain but also endanger our lives. A balanced vegetarian diet also helps combat diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease. While some of these diseases may be genetic, (the FDA has now stated that most come from our lifestyles) the vegetarian diet enables people to effectively combat the onset of such disease as it contributes to the immune system of the individual. A vegetarian diet is also packed with energy. Unlike sugars and unhealthy fats that tend to lower energy levels and increase lethargy, fruits and vegetables boosts energy and prolongs the feeling of fullness. Thus, one does not feel the need to binge unnecessarily, unlike refined sugars that give a ‘high’ only to leave us deflated and devoid of energy quickly. The role of food in our lives cannot be emphasised enough. Food is essential because it gives our bodies the information and materials it requires to function properly. We cannot live or survive without it and the type of food we eat contributes to the quality of life we live. If we pump our bodies with foods full of hormones, chemicals and unhealthy fats, we should then expect to have unhealthy lives that are full of exhaustion, obesity, chronic disease that eventually is cut short. As an ancient Ayurvedic quote says “ When a diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct medicine is of no need”. Food acts as medicine, as it maintains health, prevents and treats disease, but only if we get it right. To be healthy in mind and spirit we must eat a healthy and balanced diet of nourishing foods. Next time you put something in your shopping basket read the label. Ask yourself, how did it get here? Do I recognise the ingredients? How much sugar is in it? Are there chemicals in it? Opt for organic foods when you can, especially meat if you eat it. After all, we are, and we will continue to be, what we eat. Choose wisely.
Brilliant 14 minute talk by Heather Crawford.