The Power of Food© Lumeria Maui, Hawaii

The Power of Food

by Samantha Gowing - Clinical Nutritionist, founder of Gowings Food Health Wealth

A vital formula for dealing with ill-health and promoting and maintaining wellness is eating an abundance of fresh, organic, whole foods. The fewer preserved, processed, and fragmented foods consumed, the more the body will flourish.

In the Western world, we have become accustomed to consuming preservative rich produce that we have forgotten the taste of real food. Modern science, fuelled by economic pressure, has made fruit and vegetables available throughout the year. However, nature has intended us to eat seasonally. Combine this with a preference for highly refined carbohydrates, battery hens, and nutritionally unsustainable supermarket convenience foods, and the cause of our poor state of health becomes blatantly obvious.

There is an undoubted link between industrial processing of food and degenerative diseases. In countries where there is less industrialization and the staple diet predominantly consists of mainly whole foods: nuts, seeds, legumes, fresh fruit, and vegetables, research indicates that there is a lower risk of refined diet-related illnesses, which include Diabetes mellitus II and cancer. The cancer-preventative-and-ameliorating role of vegetables has proven consistent, especially one rich in dark green leafy and cruciferous vegetables.

All structures of the body—organs, glands, bones, circulatory system, etc., although specialized in function, are designed to work in concert. When one begins to deteriorate a note of disharmony is sounded, not only to the brain, but also to all other parts of the body via changes in the blood, alterations in glandular secretions, and nerve conduction. As the metabolism shifts in response to an organ malfunction, every cell in the body is alerted to this. Maintaining homeostasis, or balance, underlies the principle objectives of many ancient and traditional cultures. The foundations of the Chinese principles of Yin and Yang, and the Ayurvedic practices of the Indian subcontinent, rest in the solid wisdom of the power of food as a healing, nurturing, and life-enhancing medicine. They believe that without this balance, the vital force known by the Chinese as “qi” (pronounced “chi”) or “prana” (the Sanskrit word) will be blocked, thus causing imbalance within the body.

The Western world has been slow in embracing the fact that such a vital energy force does exist in the human body and in the foods it needs to live healthily, but, as we become more interconnected globally, the wisdom of the East may marry that of the West. Our conventional medical equivalent is homeostasis—a state when the body exists in an ideal chemical balance. No longer can the individual afford to be ignorant about, or ignore, the harmful effects of processed, preserved foodstuffs and unhealthy cooking techniques— let alone the myriad of other food facts which need to be understood if people are to prevent unnecessary illness and live healthy, happy, fulfilling lives.

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published: 02/14/2014