Follow these food guidelines to stay healthy because the foods we eat today are not the same as those our grandparents ate. Major changes in farming, food production, and processing have occurred over the past 50 years.
Eliminate Pesticides and Fertilizers
Today, most high yield farms use toxic pesticides and nitrogen fertilizers, known causes of cancer and immune suppression. Previously, crops were rotated to replenish the soil with nutrients, and sprayed only when predators threatened production.
Now, as standard practice, farmers fertilize to chemically add “nutrients”, and spray plants twice: when they begin to flower, and again once they have bloomed. The pesticides thus grow into the plants, and no amount of rinsing can remove them.
Buy organic. Even better: buy from a local farmer at organic farmers’ markets. Then you not only ensure that the food is pesticide free, but you support family farms, regional water sources, and the local economy.
Beware of Wheat and Dairy Products
Wonder why bowel and celiac diseases are on the rise? Farmers are using viruses and bacteria to produce genetically modified (GMO) wheat, corn, and other food products for higher yield and better toxin toleration. This process destroys the original DNA, resulting in foods our bodies do not recognize.
Pasteurization kills not only bacteria in dairy products, but natural digestive enzymes that help break down milk proteins and sugars, as well.
Try ancient grains and raw dairy products. For those not concerned about the peptide effect from gluten and casein, spelt and kamut are healthy grains similar to original wheat, before it was genetically modified. They DO HAVE GLUTEN, and when grown organically, are loaded with nutrition. Other choices include organic amaranth, quinoa, teff, and rice, as well as wild rice, for those who cannot tolerate white or brown rice.
Say “NO” to Soy
Soy is not the “perfect food”. It blocks fertility, decreases libido, and inhibits the enzyme protease, making digestion difficult, and flatulence inevitable. It is an incomplete protein, contributing to the lack of proper amino acids for many vegetarians who obtain much of their protein from soy. It can cause estrogen dominance, hormonal, digestive, and behavior problems.
Eat only natural and fermented soy products, such as miso and tempeh. Avoid soy protein and soybean oil, frequently found in fast foods. Read Kaayla Daniel’s The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America‘s Favorite Health Food.
Be Careful with Corn and Sugar
Farmers in the United States grew hundreds of varieties of corn a century ago. Genetic modification has left only a handful of types and has robbed corn’s flavor and health benefits. Corn and sugar, especially high fructose corn syrup, harbor the nasty bacteria that live in our digestive tracts and can also be a contributing factor to diabetes, insulin resistance and adrenal fatigue. They suppress the immune system, feed yeast, thus causing an imbalance of gut flora, move into the liver, and eventually into the rest of the body.
Eat only organically grown corn and natural sweeteners such as agave, rice and tapioca syrup, and stevia in limited amounts.
Watch for Eggs
Eggs are a great source of protein, and can be tremendously healthy, but not for children with egg allergies or sensitivities. Try an egg elimination diet for 10 days. Possible behavioral issues, pain or physical stress issues should be apparent when eggs are reintroduced if an egg sensitivity or intolerance is present.
Eat only eggs from pastured chickens.
Know That Garbage in Equals Garbage out
Research proves that preservatives, artificial colors, flavorings and flavor enhancers cause behavioral problems in children. Food colorings are derivatives of strong petrochemicals and coal tar. MSG, sodium nitrates, and artificial sweeteners, especially aspartame, are strong neurotoxins. Splenda®, which campaigns as the “natural side” of this sweetener, fails to tell you that sucralose is little more than bleached sugar. If you can’t pronounce it, or if it didn’t exist 100 years ago, eliminate it.
Eat only natural foods. Read Russell Blaylock MD’s Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills
All three meals must include deep green colors, essential to get minerals, and keep an alkaline pH in the stomach. Including something green for breakfast (lime Jell-O® doesn’t count!), makes the tummy feel good all day. Try Donna Gates’ “Breakfast Soup” in The Body Ecology Diet.
Most green vegetables don’t feed gut bacteria. Limit the nightshade family, including peppers, eggplant, potatoes, and tomatoes (a fruit), which fuel protozoa and other harmful parasites. If you choose to juice your green, drink immediately, because oxidation destroys antioxidants rapidly.
Protein foods are especially important for growing children who desperately need amino acids to feed their neurotransmitters. Legumes and nuts are protein alternatives to animal foods. Replace peanut butter (a mold carrier) with other nut and seed butters. Almond, pumpkin, sesame and sunflower butters are all delicious. Sprinkle seeds onto salads and nutritionally weak foods such as cookies or cereal.
Rotate protein sources, with different meats, beans, nuts, and seeds each day to vary nutrients.
Choose Only Organic or Pastured Chicken and Grass-Fed Beef
Most conventional chickens contain arsenic. Stick to healthier meats, including turkey, ostrich, buffalo, and lamb. Eat only grass-fed beef, which is as much as 70 times more nutritious than grain-fed beef, which exposes the meat to deadly harmful bacteria, such as that of mad cow disease and E. coli.
Make Food a Priority
- Shop, cook and dine with family and friends
- Plant a vegetable garden
- Show kids which foods are fresh
- Give kids jobs in the kitchen
- Buy foods in their whole forms: heads of lettuce and cauliflower, whole potatoes, carrots with tops, and meat on the bone
- Invest in quality herbs and spices, and add them yourself, instead of buying pre-seasoned products that are high in MSG, dextrose, and preservatives
- Turn off the television and don’t answer the telephone during meals
- Turn on classical music as a background for conversation.
By making family meals a goal you will find that everyone will look forward uninterrupted time together.
Betsy Hicks is a diet counselor, and mother of a son with autism. She and her husband John run Pathways Medical Advocates in Southern Wisconsin, with 6 offices nationwide.
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