Are you in the winter doldrums, with cold and ‘flu’ symptoms wearing you down? Don’t despair local homeopath and naturopath Dawn Keyse explains how to nourish our bodies, healing from the inside out.
• Our diets are so processed now that when asked, 7 out of 10 children thought potatoes grew on trees.
• In 1988, the Surgeon General in the USA concluded that 15 out of 21 deaths involved nutritional deficiencies.
• The 1992 Earth Summit report found that minerals were depleted by up to 76% in European soil.
• We have decreased our consumption of Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) by up to 80% and increased our consumption of damaged fats by over 1200% in one generation.
Don’t despair however! We are turning this around and raising our awareness about what the body needs to not only survive but thrive. What we need is:
• Alive, pure water
• Fresh, unpolluted air
• Bright and clear sunshine, filtered by ozone
• Nutrient rich, alive, whole foods
• Love, hope, compassion and a sense of purpose
So what you can do about that? It might seem like we aren’t in charge of the air we breathe, the quality of the soil our food is grown in, the quality of our water. However by initiating personal changes, altering our mind set and making different choices about how we shop, where we shop and what we shop for we can make a huge impact on our own cellular health. Remember “You Are What You Eat”? That was true then and will remain true forever.
Take water. We are water, each of our 70 trillion cells is 75 to 80% water. Every system in the body is fluid based. The digestive tract is around 10 metres of tubing, mucus lined and needs water to move food and break it down. The immune system is a mobile army. Blood cells are not carried in tea or coffee. The solution to pollution is dilution. How much water (plain, unadulterated water) do you drink in a day? The current recommendation is around 4 pints a day. An unhappy cell (and this means the whole of you because you are your cell and your cell is you) is stagnant with lack of movement. The body becomes gluey, gummed up, sluggish. It is a putrid environment that attracts bacteria. We blame the bacteria instead of taking responsibility for changing the environment. “Flies don’t create dustbins”.
• Drink filtered or bottled water mostly.
• Take 4 weeks to build up to 4 pints daily (in addition to your other liquid intake)
• Drink between meals, not with food (half an hour before eating is good)
• Start the day with one pint of water to break your fast
• Drink your water at room or blood temperature
Though we are conscious of what goes into our mouths (mostly), we sometimes don’t consider the meaning or purpose behind the action. To understand maximum nourishment we must first grasp why we hope to achieve it – why must we strive for optimal nutrition? What will happen if we don’t consume the best foods and take in the proper nutrients?
Why do we eat?
To energise, to grow and develop, to purify and cleanse, to prevent and fight dis-ease, to nurture our outer beauty, to socialise and enjoy.
When we chose to eat living, whole, untainted, unprocessed food as nature intended then we are giving a reassuring message to the body rather than creating internal dehydrating stress which places us into a fight, flee or freeze state.
Acidifying and Alkalizing foods
Good nutritious food makes an environment that attracts and sustains good bowel flora. 80% of our immunity is in our digestive tract “our gut” so it has a knock on effect to the health of every cell (those 70 trillion plus) in the body.
Food in its natural condition helps us alkalise the body and mind. What we are left with after the body metabolises or burns food is either an acid or alkaline ash. Scientists can tell how foods will react inside the body by incinerating the food and analyzing the mineral content of its ash. If the mineral content is highly alkaline, then the food will likely have an alkalizing effect on the body, and vice versa.
In other words, how the body reacts to certain foods is what determines what foods are alkaline-forming and what foods are acid-forming. For example lemons are acidic in nature, but have an alkalizing effect on the body once they are digested. Similarly, milk is alkaline outside the body, but acidic upon digestion.
Ideally if we eat 80% alkalising food then we can manage 20% of food that is acid forming. The western diet has it the other way round. Our cells can’t thrive in an acidic environment.
DECREASE the amount of: Dairy (mucus forming where you don’t want mucus), Wheat (check out grains with less gluten – barley, buckwheat, brown rice, quinoa), Meat (check out wild game, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, wild fish), Salt, Saturated and damaged fat, Sugar, Diuretics (coffee, tea, alcohol), Stimulants, Processed/microwaved foods
INCREASE the amount of: Fruit (fresh, dried then soaked, seasonal, organic, local), Vegetables (seasonal, organic, local, roots, dark green leafy, sprouted seeds), ‘Clean’ (wild, organic) meat and fish, Grains, Fermented foods (tempeh, sauerkraut, yoghurt, kefir), Nuts and seeds (soaked, fresh, ground), Oils, Fresh herbs and spices.