How to eat healthy to breathe and feel better?
Excessive rain creates a flood. An absence of rain creates drought. Both are natural disasters. Nature is healthy only when all elements essential for its survival are proportionate and in synergy with each other. The human organism is not that different from the organism of a lake, meadow or mountain. Health is balance! When the balance is not present in a human body, we call it a disease.
Dr. Buteyko believed that a “disease-free” state is normal if humans follow their original design. When it comes to food, we – like all other creatures on Earth – are supposed to eat only natural food, which Mother Nature created for our consumption. What happens if you put diesel into a car that runs on gasoline? The engine will break, right? By putting incorrect food in your stomach, you break your body. Unfortunately, the majority of the population is more pragmatic about their cars than their bodies.
In today’s world, food has fallen prey to marketing. Every year, a myriad of new products are heavily promoted in advertisements. As a result of this ongoing war for the consumers’ money, the answer to the question “What to eat?” has become incredibly complicated. For the moment, I suggest un-learning all the scientific, medical, artistic, and otherwise persuasive information our brains have been bombarded with by commercial media. Then, the answer to the question “What to eat?” becomes simple again. God’s food! I use this term to describe natural products, not modified by anyone, the type humans have been eating since the beginning of our existence.
Last winter, I grew sprouts on a windowsill. I threw seeds in an elongated box filled with local soil, and in a couple of weeks -Voila! – my garden was ready. During my first harvest, I picked up a sunflower shoot and gazed at it for a while. It looked like a country boy with dirt stuck to his simple cotton clothes; he was lean and robust, full of energy, and ready to experience life. In my mind, I compared it to a tomato from a supermarket. To me, the tomato looked like a tired woman with a large cup of coffee in her hand. She was wearing an eye-catching, elegant dress, covering her body with make-up, breast implants, and botox injections. No doubts that health-wise, the little sunflower had more to offer compared to this lifeless lady. A whole team of experts could examine the bodies of these two organisms, making precise lists of their pros and cons, but honestly, I don’t care. Scientists cannot detect the divine spark, the irreplaceable power to live and live well.
In America, the world headquarters of over-consumption, people commonly believe that “more is better.” The idea of producing more groceries at more affordable prices became the basis for developing non-organic, genetically engineered, and processed food. Today, it is obvious that this trend leads to a dead end, since this type of food greatly lacks nutritional value, contains chemicals, has unsustainable genes, and often combines incompatible ingredients into one product. In short, conventional food lacks natural balance, essential for our wellbeing.
Turning away from mainstream produce, people often start purchasing new health products, but are they really better? I am sure most of them are but not all.
During a recent visit to a health food store, my attention was drawn to a beautiful bottle of almond milk. Its label sparked with seals: “organic,” “non-GMO”, “vegan”, “gluten-free” and more. In addition, it displayed creative texts indicating that the developers of this product belonged to the “club” of health-conscious people. I was slightly hesitant to purchase this bottle (almond milk is still processed food, besides the cost was almost seven dollars) but was, in the end, persuaded by its marketing. For a few days, I enjoyed the unusually fresh taste of this drink and then, out of curiosity, looked at the label again. The product contained a high percentage of vitamins! Are almonds that rich in vitamins? It did not seem possible. Further examination revealed a small print informing that vitamins (together with gum) were added to this product. I put the beautiful bottle aside and won’t ever buy it again.
Health food markets are, unfortunately, not excepted from the “more is better” capitalist philosophy. Compensating for nutritional shortage in non-organic food, developers of health products often fill their inventions with the maximum amount of vitamins and minerals. To their advantage, most consumers perceive this unnatural abundance as a benefit. But let me ask you: What happens if your body already has enough vitamins? Jane Brody, a medical correspondent for The New York Times, answered this question in one of her articles: “Those who think that if a little vitamin C is good, more must be better should think again, says a team of British researchers, who found that a supplement of 500 milligrams a day could damage people’s genes. Many Americans take that much, or more, in hopes of preventing colds and reaping the widely celebrated antioxidant benefits of vitamin C”. According to other sources of medical research, excessive amounts of vitamin A may result in altered metabolism; B6 can cause nerve damage; vitamin D can create a buildup of calcium in the blood. Iron overload can lead to premature aging and diseases such as arthritis, cancer, cataracts, diabetes, osteoporosis, liver and brain disorders. Excessive quantities of various vitamins and minerals increase the risk of cancer.”
Many years ago, Dr. Buteyko warned the medical community about the casual use of vitamins and minerals, stating that they could be harmful to the delicate balance of the human body. He determined that a reasonable shortage of nutrients is far less dangerous than excessive amounts. Look at life in nature: wild animals often experience a lack of nutrients, especially during winter, and yet they don’t seem to suffer from asthma, diabetes or allergies. While the nutritional deficit is normal in nature, its overload is uncommon: if a bear eats too many berries, diarrhea will take care of unneeded vitamins. When people consume vitamins and minerals in artificial forms, their bodies might accept them even if they are not needed. It takes many years for a biological organism to develop a defense mechanism against a health threat, but vitamin drinks and health bars are the new kids on the block. No matter how many wonderful ingredients some health products contain, many of them still lack a natural balance and therefore don’t support longevity.
Not everything in this world is measurable, seeable, and detectable. In attempts to eat right, some individuals calculate calories, vitamins, and minerals, utilizing innovative dietary formulas. Eating can become as stressful as a high school exam, and yet it does not generate wellness. My approach is to get back to basics. I suggest eating God’s food – simple, well-balanced, and safe.