Rejuvenate Your Body and Soul
BY Advocate Contributors
December 31 2010 2:00 PM ET
Eat Foods Grown Locally and in Season
If you were to go into the produce section of a supermarket, you would likely see an immense variety of fruits and vegetables. You might get strawberries from Chile in February or have year-round access to bananas from who knows what tropical environment. It has become a staple of our culture to have access to many different types of fruits and vegetables at all times. How, though, do these items find their way to our local supermarket? Between the time they have been grown in another part of the country or world and the time they arrive at your local supermarket, they have been harvested, packaged, shipped by boat or plane, transported by truck or train, and delivered on a flat along with other items. This arduous process subjects the foods to many different kinds of environments and makes it less nutritionally potent. As produce has to arrive on our plates looking good, it is picked prematurely, before it has ripened, and does not contain the potency of fresh products. It is like taking a baby away from its mother before it has all it needs to take care of itself. Hence, we have to overeat to receive the proper amount of nutrition from food.
Eating this type of food is toxic to the body, as our systems are not acclimated to the weather in the region where the food originated. For example, eating tropical fruits in the dead of winter puts unnecessary pressure on the digestive power. If, in addition to that pressure, we were to also have the flu, then the body’s inability to support the ailment while also digesting difficult foods would lead to disease.
Visit local farmers’ markets and other organic venues to buy your produce and other types of foods. This means that you might not have the same variety of foods at your disposal year-round, but you will ensure that the foods you do put in your body don’t build up toxins and increase the risk of serious illnesses like cancer.
Avoid Processed Foods
For thousands of years, humanity lived on fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, and various animal proteins. People hunted, gathered, and grew everything they ate. Many survived on only fruits. They ate what they needed to survive and spent much of their time procuring that food. Humanity developed technology to aid the growing and harvesting of the various foods that were eaten and found ways to minimize the amount of time required to grow enough sustenance for all.
Then, humanity invented cheese doodles.
Humanity also invented chocolate chip cookies. And ice cream. And chocolate bars. And macaroni and cheese that can be microwaved in under a minute. And yogurt that fits into a tube so that a child can eat it while running off to a friend’s house to try out the latest video game console. The list goes on. Since the industrial revolution, we have developed new and different ways to process our foods to make them more immediately gratifying and easier to prepare regardless of their nutritional value. Instead of following natural habits, we are making artificial and convenient junk food so we can continue living our ego-driven excessive lifestyles. We are bringing children into the world and feeding them this junk and wondering why they have behavioral problems. Many snacks can have up to twenty ingredients that are hard to pronounce, and some bags of potato chips don’t even list potatoes as the first ingredient. As so many books and magazine articles have already stated, processed foods are detrimental to our health and should be avoided as much as possible.
This is not to say that junk food is evil. It simply isn’t food. It is only a gap filler, lacking the nutrition to sustain a natural and healthy life. Because it is devoid of natural nutrition, we need to eat a lot more of it to survive. If we eat in excess, then we tax our systems and can’t live in balance. We must therefore work toward eating foods with no more than four or five ingredients, as having more than that increases the chance that the food isn’t natural. Also, avoid frozen food, leftovers, food prepared in the microwave, canned food, and other foods that have a diminished or nonexistent nutritional value. Food should be eaten not just for survival but for living a healthy and prosperous life.