The old expression, “You are what you eat.” has more significance today than perhaps ever before. From birth to old age, diet is a primary determiner in not only your level of physical health but also your life expectancy. Unfortunately, the news is not good. For both developing and developed countries, the gradual transition from a diet based primarily on plant-based foods to one heavy with animal products has introduced increased health risks.
According to the World Health Organization, the most common causes of death around the world are all diet-related. Chronic and potentially life-threatening diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and dental disease are, in many cases, directly related to the quality of diet and lifestyle of individuals. In North America and Western Europe, these chronic conditions are much more prevalent than in developing countries with less fatty food options. Of course, in areas of famine or starvation, lack of healthy nutrients also becomes a life-threatening issue. Even before birth, the developing fetus may suffer irreparable damage from the lack of micronutrients available to its malnourished mother.
In developed regions such as North America, research is proving that a diet with too few whole grains, vegetables and fruits and too many refined carbohydrates, energy-dense foods, animal products and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils is a recipe for poor health. The recent rapid increase in chronic diseases is explained, at least in part, by these modern dietary changes. However, the good news is that choosing healthy, nutrient-rich foods can prevent or at least moderate the onset of these conditions. Even severe terminal illnesses such as mesothelioma and AIDS can be positively affected by careful dietary considerations.
Until recently, the Recommended Daily Allowances for minerals such as calcium and magnesium, certain vitamins, folate and beta-carotene were assumed to be adequate and present in accurate amounts in the packaged and processed foods that Americans and Europeans have come to love. No longer can we assume that the food we eat is as good for us as it might once have been.
Newer research indicates, however, that current RDAs may be too low to counter the development of chronic and terminal diseases. In such cases, orthomolecular therapy, the introduction of high doses of specific nutrients may help the body to fight off disease by strengthening the immune system. Even mental and neurological conditions appear to respond to a nutrient-rich diet. Learning to eat wisely and nutritiously has never been more important. It has become evident that your health and life expectancy depend, to a great extent, upon your diet.
By: Melanie Bowen
Melanie Bowen is an awareness advocate for natural health and holistic therapies for cancer patients. You will often find her highlighting the great benefits of different nutritional, emotional, and physical treatments on those with illness in her efforts to increase attentiveness and responsiveness on like topics at Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog
Have a yogaful day!