"You are what you eat."
These few words have been passed around for generations, maybe even centuries. Although we may grant their truth, how much attention do we pay to them? Do our buying, cooking, and eating habits suggest belief in this old adage? No one - except maybe the medical profession, which even in recent times is a little more alert in this area - really questions that the foods we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe and the other things we consume produce the bodies we inhabit.
The basics of healthy eating are really fairly simple to delineate. Yet, they are not so easy to carry out in present times with the abundance of prepared, processed, devitaminized foods which line supermarket shelves and flow from fast food outlets.
Nonetheless, we can say that a diet accentuating fruits and vegetables, moderating whole grains and dairy products, and limiting meats will for most people support improved health and resistance to illness. Fruits and vegetables used when as fresh as possible should optimally provide three quarters or more of a person's diet.
Eating in such manner will provide numerous nutritional and health benefits including:
1) High potassium - supporting nerve and general cell function.
2) High fiber (roughage) - promoting proper eliminations.
3) High water - aiding eliminations and general metabolism.
4) Low fat and cholesterol - preventing arteriosclerosis.
5) Alkaline reserve - producing acid-base equilibrium.
6) Little refining - maintaining vitamin content.
7) Optimum vitality - sustaining qualities of life not yet measured.
Potassium and sodium are the major intra- and extra-cellular ionic minerals. It is well known that potassium is required in proper quantities to maintain the integrity of cells and that excess sodium produces water retention and contributes to hypertension.
Fiber is not technically a nutrient because it is indigestible and passes through the body. This is the reason for its value. Roughage absorbs water in the large intestine and helps the colon push wastes through for timely explusion and excretion. Untimely elimination can lead to constipation, hemorrhoids, reabsorption of poisons and all manner of toxic symptoms.
Water is vital to all physical bodily processes. Without sufficient fluid intake, the body is taxed to conserve water. Ample fluids aid innumerable intracellular functions and bodily activities, chief among them being secretion and elimination. Beyond drinking several glasses of water each day, when we eat water-rich fruits and vegetables we help the body purify its internal oceans, rivers, and streams.
With a few notable exceptions, fruits and vegetables contain little or no fats and cholesterol. The fats of which they are composed are generally low in saturates. A "veggie" diet is promoted by many researchers and clinicians for the treatment of high blood pressure, heart disease, and the like.
Acid-alkaline balance is a simple, yet little recognized requirement of all living tissues. The planet itself demands an alkaline reserve (acid rains are very detrimental to her) as does the human body. Our blood pH must be maintained in the range of 7.35 to 7.45 else serious illness ensues. Proper eating of fruits and vegetables helps to assure sufficient alkaline ash to keep the tissues and blood at this alkaline (basic) level.
Fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains are naturally high in vitamins. When they are refined and processed, often with the nutrient-rich residue made into supplements for livestock, they become less valuable for human nutrition.
Living foods are best suited to build healthy, living human tissue. Foods fresh from the garden and grove, field and farm are according to common sense - and scientific study - most nutritious, most valuable, and most supportive of healthy living.