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Nutrition for Optimum Health
20 July

Nutrition for Optimum Health

This month I would like to give you more than just a herb and some recipes. I would like to introduce you to a diet for optimum health and well-being. I will come back to herbs in later issues, but this topic is close to my heart and I get asked frequently about it so it seems important for many other people as well.

The saying: "You are what you eat" is so true. Our bodies are designed to a diet quite different to the one most of us are using now. We are made up of the particles we eat and food can either poison us slowly or make us strong and healthy. 
"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food."
Hippocrates considered illness a natural phenomenon that forced people to discover the imbalances in their health. He strongly believed in good food and related the course of any ailment to poor nutrition and bad eating habits. 
I really like this concept and as a family we are trying to maintain our health through the food we eat. We follow the guidelines of the Weston A. Price Foundation as it makes total sense for me. Dr. Price was a dentist and he observed dental decay and physical degradation in his practice. He travelled the world and researched the health and eating habits of isolated traditional societies. Almost without exception the groups he studied ate liberally of seafood or other animal proteins and fats. They ate fats, meats, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains in their whole, unrefined state. Almost every member of the tribe or village enjoyed superb health. They were free of chronic disease, dental decay and mental illness; they were strong, sturdy and produced healthy children. 
The "civilised", western food contains refined grains, canned food, pasteurised milk, devitalised oils and sugar. In these people he found tooth decay, infectious diseases, degenerative illness and infertility.
I would like to give you some food preparation techniques that traditional, non-industrialised peoples are using to make nutrients in food more available and are beneficial for the intestinal tract. I will use techniques that are easy to do and no matter how busy you are, you will be able to manage it easily.
This month I start with the most important meal of the day: Breakfast
A lot of Kiwis eat porridge in the morning and even if you don't you might want to give this recipe a go. It is highly nutritious and provides especially for hungry children a great start in the day. Both my kids love it!
All grains contain phytic acid in the outer layer or bran. Untreated phytic acid can combine with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc in the intestinal tract and block their absorption. "This is why a diet high in unfermented grains (i.e. quick-rise bread) may lead to serious mineral deficiencies and bone loss. You think you are doing something good to your children by giving them wholegrain bread, but you are actually mislead." (quote from Nourishing Traditions)

Further reading:
Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
Primal Body, Primal Mind - Beyond the Paleo Diet for Tatal Health and a Longer Life by Nora T. Gedgaudas
Deep Nutrition - Why your Genes Need Traditional Food by Catherine and Luke Shanahan

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