Good Health is Our Greatest Asset
by Ms. Judy Gray
Good health is our greatest asset. Life can be a challenge even when everything is running smoothly. However, if serious health issues arise, every facet of existence becomes even more daunting. Thus, we must take control of our own bodies and be responsible for their care. The medical industry is happy to provide drugs, vaccinations, surgeries, and draconian intervention, yet proper daily care of the body is usually the best treatment for sustained good health. Science proves that even genetic issues can be overcome with the right care of the body, mind, and spirit.
What should we know, do, or change to create personal health improvements that are long lasting? With a Master’s of Science Degree in Nutrition, personal research around the world, and many years of study and consulting, I have found the following to be true.
American food is contaminated with multiple toxic substances to include over 9000 environmental chemicals such as food additives, colorings, flavorings, emulsifiers, plasticizers and food packaging chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, chemical fertilizers, radiation, and more.
Testing of the safety of the chemicals/components in food are left to the companies producing the finished products. Even harmful substances like phthalates and glyphosate are overlooked by government agencies, since they say small amounts ingested may be harmless. However, these poisons are cumulative over time, and dreaded diseases such as cancer is increasing. In the 1960s one out of six people developed cancer. Today one out of two people with cancer is occurring.
Since the beginning of 2023 deadly poisons have been liberated into our environment through multiple railroad and truck disasters across the United States. Scientists have measured at least nine deadly chemicals in the air from the New Palestine, Ohio debacle alone. These chemicals include vinyl chloride, butyl acrylate, benzene residue, glycol monobutyl ether, ethylhexyl acrylate, isobutylene, acrolein, butadiene, naphthalene, o-Xylene, and trichloroethane….all deadly toxins that don’t just harmlessly dissipate with time. This planet is an enclosed biosphere, so every toxic chemical spill, nuclear disaster, and poisoning of the land, sea, and air affect every one of us and our good Mother Earth. Because of these extreme challenges, it is even more important to take personal care very seriously.
Before focusing on what we must add to our lives to protect ourselves, let’s look at what is commonly consumed/used every day that is adversely affecting health and wellbeing.
Sugar is the number one timebomb. Many crave sugar because of fungal infestations and blood sugar swings. Both issues develop because of the unnecessary addition of sugar to almost every refined or packaged food product in the marketplace. Not only is sugar in some form added to commercial food, but it is also an ingredient in cigarettes and most soft drinks to make them addictive. Most people consume sugar every day and may not even know it.
Sugar is more addictive than heroin and cocaine. Studies show it releases opioids and dopamine and, thus, increases addiction potential. In short, all forms of refined sugar ultimately make us sick and/or fat. The brief sugar high just isn’t worth it. Unfortunately, the United States is the most sugar addicted country in the world. However, our sugar-laden products and attitudes are rapidly invading other countries around the world, and they are becoming addicted to bad food/drink habits as well.
So many people say “Oh, I don’t eat sugar.” I guess they believe that means they don’t sit down with a big bag of white refined sugar and chug it down. Yet, some form of sugar is added to almost all packaged or canned foods on grocery shelves today. White sugar is refined and completely without nourishment. Also, consuming it causes B vitamins, especially, to be stollen from vital functions necessary for the body to survive and may also lead to depression. Even dementia is possibly related to the glycation process in the brain. White sugar is derived from GMO plants such as sugar cane and sugar beets and may also be sprayed with glyphosate poison. Corn syrup is also made from GMO plants which are usually sprayed with poisonous chemicals during the growing season. Further, there is NO nutritional value to create better health.
Corn syrup and glucose syrup are commonly used in most manufactured food. It’s cheap, easy, and addictive, and it sounds so innocuous or safe. Any word on a label that ends with “ose” is a form of sugar. Further, alcohol sugars like xylitol, erythritol, maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol, and isomalt are now commonly used in many manufactured foods, toothpastes, mouthwashes, and drinks. People use these alcohol sugars with abandon, because most believe they are not fattening. Yet, they can cause weight gain and digestive upset to include gas, IBS, and diarrhea.
It’s not easy to break the sugar habit once established. Staying with a whole food organic diet with fresh raw plant food, good protein sources, and avoiding even naturally super sweet or starchy foods for as long as it takes to get the body accustomed to a better way of eating will pay great dividends. Big belly fat, headaches, stretch marks, eczema, indigestion, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and so many bad health dilemmas are a fact of life when a healthy diet and lifestyle are ignored.
Bad fats are also a contributor to bad health. While there is an ongoing myth that we must remove all or most fats from our diets, this is not true. Examples of good fat sources are avocados, olives, butter, nuts, and seeds, and they are a must. Without the healthy fats and fat-soluble vitamins cells could not remain viable or soft and pliable. The body stores fat as a potential fuel to help us survive famine or even taxing exercise routines. However, common refined fats and synthetics found in most processed foods are not health giving. Symptoms such as steatorrhea or greasy stools, high cholesterol, or rough and hardened skin especially on the arms, hands, and feet which easily cracks open are examples of ingesting bad fats. Margarine, for example, is a refined, hydrogenated oil similar to plastic that was created to replace butter. Studies showed when it was first invented during the last world war that all rats died that were fed margarine. But dairy products were rationed, so people turned to margarine as a supposedly safe alternative.
Can this really be true? Modern industry is extremely rich and powerful, so don’t believe that if it is available in a store it must be safe to eat/drink, or rub on. Government agencies do not ban that which is toxic. Pass up those deep-fried foods, doughnuts, and hydrogenated oil infested snacks. Stick with organic as much as possible and focus on real Extra Virgin Olive oil (cheap brands may be a mixture of refined vegetable oil or worse), real grass-fed cow, sheep, or goat butter, cold pressed oils such as avocado oil, and nut and seed oils. Further, I personally choose not to use Canola oil. It is derived from rape seed which is an inedible seed. To make it into a “useable” oil, it must be highly refined. Stick to food and drink that is as close to God-made as possible, with an unaltered origin (non-GMO), and grown as clean as possible without toxic chemicals. That is about as safe as you can get in our ever-increasing toxic world today.
Remember that fat is our greatest source of energy. It also has a high satiety value, or, in other words, fat makes you feel full and satisfied for a prolonged time. It acts as protection for the vital organs within us. Healthy fat makes our skin soft and supple and our hair shiny. Around 60 per cent of the brain is made up of fat. The essential fatty acids are also vital for all normal functions of our bodies. Further, hormones are produced from essential fatty acids, and they regulate the immune system and central nervous system. Without good fat we cannot survive. Yet, bad fats will ultimately kill us. Be careful with your choices. Your life and health depend on that.
Protein as amino acids is vital for bodily functions such as digestion, oxygenation, the repair and building of cells for skin, hair, muscles, bones, cartilage, organs, hormones, immune structure/antibodies, enzymes, and so much more. The body produces amino acids from the good protein foods that we consume. However, there are 9 amino acids that must be ingested, since the body is unable to make them. This includes histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.
Protein is found to some degree in most all fresh meat, fish, eggs, dairy, and plant foods. The quantity and quality of amino acids will vary according to one’s food choices and their preparation. If the body is short-changed on quantity and the quality is lacking, muscle tissue will be broken down and utilized to keep bodily functions operational. Eggs supply 20 amino acids required by the body, and each has its own unique role to play. They are the ideal food to build lean muscle mass and strength, promote fat loss, and a quicker recovery time during major exercise expenditures. Foods such as quinoa, funio, turkey, cottage cheese, mushrooms, fish, legumes, and beans are among the best sources of dietary amino acids.
When muscle mass decreases due to protein deficiency, this is known as sarcopenia. Sarcopenia is a sign of aging, but the signs can begin as early as 30 years of age and even younger in protein deprived areas. Usual symptoms are muscle weakness, falling, low muscle and high fat ratio, muscle wasting, slow walking ability, inability to climb stairs, and difficulty accomplishing daily activities. Only exercise and progressive-resistance strength training plus a healthy diet with appropriate amino acids can reduce the devastation of sarcopenia.
The problem with junk food diets is that healthy calories are decreased because of filling up on useless, obesity-causing empty calories. A growing number of people in America are major examples of victims of bad processed food and poor health. England is following close behind. Our “civilized” fast foods are causing major diseases and early death.
For years a high carb diet has been touted as preferable. Yet, this vast human experiment across our nation proves that this is a great fallacy. Statistics don’t lie. Cardiovascular disease has skyrocketed, more than 100 million people have prediabetes or diabetes, and cancer is now plaguing 1 in 2 people.
All carbohydrates are not created equal. The low carb plant foods are usually nourishing and supply high fiber to our diets. The only caveat is…. are they full of pesticides, herbicides, toxic chemicals from recent disasters, or GMOs? While the highest carb ingredients are in most all refined packaged foods, they are the least healthy, the most depleting, and terribly fattening. Plus, refined carbs leave one feeling underfed, hungry, and undernourished. While large quantities of so-called foods are available to fill the gut in this country, the quality continues to decline. The old mantra that you get all you need from a balanced diet is a fairytale for most people. The person who eats a truly balanced diet today is rare indeed.
The best carbohydrates to include in your daily diet include rolled oats, quinoa, buckwheat, chickpeas, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, celery, cucumbers, radishes, Jerusalem artichoke, artichokes, asparagus, carrots, green beans, peas, celeriac, lettuce, etc. Wise individuals choose whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans that are unprocessed and eaten raw whenever possible.
Carbohydrates supply the body with needed glucose. Also the best carbohydrate rich foods are full of fiber for the digestive system and bowel function, much needed vitamins and minerals for all bodily functions, and the very important phytonutrients for strengthening the immune system, reducing inflammation, regulating hormones, and preventing DNA damage and helping to repair damaged cells. Therefore, it makes sense to eat the best carbohydrates that are free of toxins, poisons, and processing.
Food choices will make you strong and healthy or they can kill you over time. In Uganda we at North American Herb and Spice support 167 children, mostly orphans, and provide a school, food, shelter, and land to grow wholesome food. At first they were only eating white rice and maize meal. I have encouraged them to grow and eat a wide variety of wholesome foods for better health. Thus, they are now eating a wide range of fruits and vegetables such as sweet potatoes, beans, peanuts, bananas, pineapples, watermelon, papaya, plantain, sugarcane full of nutrients, (not sugar) and honey from wild bees. For Easter they had fresh milk and boiled eggs, since I am encouraging more protein in their diet. They are also raising goats, some chickens and ducks, and in time this will expand.
At first on the white rice and corn diet, they were frequently sick and had bone fractures. Now they are growing stronger and healthier and learning to become self-sufficient. It’s a joy to know these homeless, helpless children are now thriving, learning, and building a better future. They are examples of how good care and feeding can change the world. That’s why I encourage everyone to heal their lives with good food, caring for oneself and others, and loving God and one another. One step at a time we can make our world a better place.