Nutrition for Optimal Health

What is Nutrition for Optimal Health?

What is Nutrition?

Nutrition is the essential ingredients that our body needs to function. If it doesn’t get even one of those essentials, problems will develop.

If what we swallow is not part of the solution, it is part of the problem.

Vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, amino acids, essential fatty acids and sugars (carbohydrates) are the Building Blocks of complete nutrition.

The nutrition our body gets depends on the food decisions we make every day at the supermarket, restaurants, and in our kitchens. Healthy eating doesn’t happen accidentally.

The French author and moralist, La Rochefoucald, put it very nicely when he said “To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.”

Health is the result of a series of choices we make every day. The number one, most important choice we make on a daily basis is what we put in our mouth.

Eating Intelligently

I know you’ve heard “You are what you eat” a million times and by now it’s one of those trite phrases that goes in one ear and out the other. But guess what? It’s true.

Let’s examine “eating intelligently” and see how simple choices we make in our food selection, preparation methods and meal timing can either extend our lives or shorten them considerably.

Good Nutrition…

It’s Getting Harder to Come By!

If we eat our four to five or even six to eight servings of fruit and vegetables a day, we should be getting all the nutrition we need, right? Well, no. Or at least, it depends.

Long Distribution Channels

Over the last 40 or 50 years, the nutritional value of commercially farmed produces has dropped dramatically. Our country’s farms have to feed a lot of people today and they aren’t making any new farm lands.

People don’t live near the farms anymore, they live in Metro-cities. It’s a long way from farm to supermarket shelf.

Food Processing

Most foods we buy today have gone through some type of processing. If that processing involves heat, chances are a large portion of the nutrients have been destroyed.

In addition to the heat, preservatives tend to degrade many nutrients. Of course, the justification is in having a longer shelf life.

Depleted Soils and Farmland

This means that old farmlands are depleted of trace minerals. The main fertilizers that are added back to the soil consists of NPK; that is, Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium.

It makes the produce look pretty but it is severely lacking in the trace minerals and vital micronutrients.

Green Harvesting: Green harvesting should not be allowed

Product has to be picked before it is fully ripened so it doesn’t spoil on its journey to the store. Nutritional development in fruit and vegetables cease the moment they are separated from the plant.

Thus, a “green harvested” food doesn’t have the same nutrient value as a fully ripened one.

Pesticides and Fertilizers

Commercially grown product is generally sprayed with pesticides and fertilized with the basic three chemicals, NPK.

After the product is picked before it’s ready (green harvested), transported, and gassed to make it look appetizing. We end up with fruit and vegetables that are full of water, short on fiber, short on taste, and very depleted in nutrients. Remember the term, “empty calories“? This is it!

Empty Calories

Go to your local farmer’s market or stop at a farmer’s roadside stand and buy a tomato. Compare the taste of that one to the one you bought at your supermarket. I guarantee there will be no comparison.

One really tastes like a tomato; the other has no taste. That’s because it has very little lycopene (a carotenoid phytochemical), the stuff that makes the tomato red and carries the nutritional value.

You can do this experiment with just about any fruit or vegetable and the results will be very similar. Nutrients are vastly reduced or missing entirely in most of our high-volume, commercially grown produce.

Animal Factories

The topics covered so far have all dealt with fruits and vegetables. When we consider the nutritional value of meat, poultry, dairy products, eggs and even fish from the typical supermarket, a very disturbing picture emerges.

Most of the animal products flow from huge industrial farm factories known as concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs.

The norm is extremely crowding, limited movement, small cages or pens, fouled air, extreme buildup of animal manure, disease, and unnatural diets of corn, soybeans and animal waste.

The use of growth hormones is to accelerate weight gain is typical and extreme overuse of antibiotics is rampant, without which most of the animals would not live long enough to be slaughtered. Is this supposed to pass as healthy food? You be the judge.