REAL Foods: The Most Effective Way To Fight Disease And Stay Healthy

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

It seems these days everyone is looking for some quick fix or “life-hack” to grant them health without making any diet or lifestyle changes. Multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical and supplement industries have resulted from this. But a growing body of evidence is proving what our grandparents and great-great grandparents knew all along: Eating your fruits and vegetables is enough to get most of the vitamins you need and keep you healthy.

Millions of people, particularly elderly individuals, are taking multiple prescription medications each day. Many people wrongly believe that maladies like high blood pressure, arthritis, and heart disease are just normal parts getting older. Decades of drug-based remedies aimed at treating symptoms rather than root causes of illness have led to these misconceptions about health, nutrition, and aging. The truth is that most of these afflictions we see as inevitable are caused by a poor diet.

The nutrients our bodies require are meant to be consumed in a simple, natural form. When vitamins are removed from their naturally occurring contexts, they are often not as beneficial or cannot be absorbed as easily by the body. Synthetic drugs are a whole different animal altogether. Vegetables and fruits in their natural, whole-food forms contain huge amounts of vitamins and minerals. The evidence is overwhelming — a primarily plant-based, whole food diet is ideal for preventing most illnesses and quickly treating others.

Of course, after a lifetime of taking pills every time we have a headache, it can be easy to forget that our bodies are designed to heal themselves. Getting essential vitamins from whole foods provides the body with the resources it needs to fight free radicals, reduce inflammation, and combat all manner of illness, including cancer.

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Another reason why whole foods should be your first choice for meeting your nutrition needs is that certain vitamins and minerals work synergistically with one another and must be kept in balanced ratios in the body. For example, Potassium and Sodium are one combination that must remain balanced at certain levels. Another is Vitamin D and Calcium. If you are supplementing with an individual nutrient, there is a chance you can throw off these delicate chemical ratios in your body, since it’s very easy to take too much.

There is also the possibility of overdose. Vitamin A, for instance, is an essential vitamin found in foods like spinach, kale and beef liver. In high enough doses, however, Vitamin A can actually cause serious health problems or even death. With supplements, a careless user could easily take too much of a given vitamin or mineral and cause unintended complications.

Conversely, it simply isn’t possible to overdose on Vitamin A from eating too much salad or too many juiced veggies. When you consume a vegetable or fruit in itsnatural form, you get just the right amount of a given nutrient.

The purpose here is not to make you swear off all medications or supplements forever. Prescription and over-the-counter drugs certainly have their place. Supplements are useful or even necessary for treating a serious vitamin deficiency. Mega-dosing with specific ones like Vitamin C can indeed be very effective against certain diseases.

But barring any critical health issues, it’s just a better overall philosophy to get most of your vitamins from natural foods and prevent most health problems from occurring at all. Many drugs simply mask the symptoms of an illness rather than eliminating the disease itself, and some supplements have only been on the market for a few years. These have not had adequate testing done on them, and the long-term effects of taking these supplements or combinations is unknown.

Equally important but rarely discussed is the importance of NOT eating unhealthy, processed foods. The typical American diet is loaded with complex carbohydrates, corn syrup and refined sugars. Replacing this diet with healthy, vitamin-rich whole foods will do far more good than neglecting your health and later having to get treated for diabetes.

 

READ ALSO: Do You Choose Healthy Foods? Infographic

 

The bottom line is that people only take medicine or supplements to treat a disease or compensate for a nutrient deficiency. But it you’re eating a diet rich in REAL foods, it’s unlikely you’d experience illness or deficiency in the first place. Switch to a whole food diet and save yourself from illness and malnutrition (and probably lot of money on healthcare too)!

References:

www.huffingtonpost.com

www.dailymail.co.uk