HEALING AND FOOD – HOW THE FOOD YOU CHOOSE AFFECTS YOUR HEALTH
The topics of healing and food are closely connected. In his book, Never Be Sick Again, Raymond Francis talks about the six pathways that lead to cellular malfunction (i.e., disease): nutrition, toxin, psychological, physical, genetic, and medical. It is not insignificant that the first two, nutrition and toxin, both relate to food. The type of food we eat, including source, freshness, and other factors, has a direct bearing on the level of health we enjoy.
Healing and Whole Food
One key consideration is how close a food item is to its natural state. Whole foods are more nutritious than fragmented foods. Foods that are refined have seen some of their nutrients and fiber removed, with unhealthy components often added in. Phytonutrients, including carotenoids such as beta carotene, are absorbed best when part of whole foods such as yams and carrots. Another consideration in looking at the natural state of food is raw vs. cooked: raw food is thought to preserve enzymes better than cooked food (especially when the temperature reaches above 116 degrees F), so including a strong proportion of raw food in one’s diet is an important step in maintaining one’s health.
Healing and Organic Foods
Organic foods have the obvious advantage of minimizing exposure to toxins such as pesticides. The human body has a marvelous system of detoxification, but the body can only do so much. Whatever we can do to minimize our exposure to toxins will provide relief to the body system and will allow the body to work more efficiently and effectively in the removal of toxins. So to promote healing, eating organic food can go a long way.
Healing and Power Foods
What are some power foods that are especially good at healing the body? There are so many choices that it would be impossible to mention them all here, but the following list is a sampling that can help guide you to a great start in using food as a source for healing.
- Kelp, kale, and spinach can help those with low thyroid levels to maintain a healthy level of iodine intake and thereby overcome sluggishness and weight gain.
- Ginger is not only a delicious cooking spice, but it aids digestion and helps to reduce nausea. In fact, cruise ships will often carry ginger capsules as an antidote to seasickness.
- Mushrooms are believed to boost the immune system and may even help to fight cancer, as the compound lentinan is thought to negate the growth of tumors. Mushrooms such as the chaga mushroom have been used for their energy-enhancing benefits.
- For years the media has reported that fats are bad for you, that they cause weight gain and a rise in cholesterol. Well, according to the latest research it turns out that some fats are essential for good health. Fatty fish, avocado, and walnuts are just a few examples of excellent sources of healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
- Probiotics, as found in yogurt and kefir, are “good” bacterial that are believed to provide support against IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and skin infections, as well as a host of other conditions.
Eating quality fresh food can be one of the most effective components of anyone’s quest for excellent health. Healing and food are strongly connected, and we are all well-advised to continually educate ourselves about the nutritional qualities of food.