Thanks to David who asked me a great set of questions, I will answer those questions in this article to offer you some more credible information and practical understanding of how your system works versus how you were brought up to believe it works and how society would have you believe it works.
There are many, many areas for us to still talk about when it comes to proper health and nutrition that is based on unbiased, credible and reliable advice, and through your feedback I am delighted to expand upon these topics. Hence I call this article “Health and Nutrition Myths – Part 1″. And who knows, this might even turn into a regular series on Evolving Wellness. I am hoping you will have many more comments and questions where the topic of your health and nutrition is concerned and so this is part 1 of many!
Health and Nutrition Questions and Answers
I feel like my body is supposed to be able to deal with unhealthy stuff but don’t overdo it. Isn’t that what we do from an early age?
I have heard so many such comments from so many people. Most of us do believe that our body can “deal with” or “handle” many harmful substances we put in it, especially in moderation.
Well the answer is very simple – because the very first people we looked at as examples were our parents. As young kids most of us have seen our parents do at least one of the following: smoke, drink, overeat, or eat poorly (fast food, skipped meals, etc.)
And for the most part, nothing – they still survived, they did not drop dead on the spot, in fact most of the time they did not even get sick at that moment. So our human brain made a very quick association. “This stuff seems to be ok”.
Now the fact that mom and dad got unexplained headaches, the fact they got indigestion or other digestive problems, the fact that they got high blood pressure or had heart problems never really got linked to what they ate or drank. This is especially true for anyone who grew up in the 80′s or before. People correlated headaches and blood pressure to such things as the weather, cancers and heart disease to worn out bodies or old age and that was that.
Well today we have a different story. Science and medicine has been making leaps and bounds in terms of discoveries. Today we can link so much of what happens to us down the road to what we ate, drank or put into our system earlier on in life, at a consistent rate.
And so for most people out there, the correlation that “everything I put into my system will affect me in a positive or a negative way, quickly or long term” does NOT exist. We have just seen too many people “be okay” after they would eat and drink lots of stuff we are today being told is bad and should be avoided.
I did talk quite a bit about this in a previous article I wrote entitled “Everything in moderation…not quite!“, which can fill in more details on this subject.
And so I stress again: just because our body CAN handle unfavorable substances does NOT mean it wants to. And you truly do become what you eat as food is used to make and fuel our cells that make up your tissues, organs and ultimately – you!
What each of us has to ask ourselves is simply this “how good of health do I want?” It is not one answer serves all. Really, I know many people who will say answers like “average” or “good enough”. And so ask yourself the following:
“Am I okay with getting the average headache, indigestion, cold, flu, etc.?” If yes, then some substances that are harmful or not really meant to be consumed by the body, when taken in small amounts will serve you just fine.
“Am I okay with cancers and heart disease as a possible future outcome on top of small regular ailments, etc.?” If yes, then consume anything you like in any amount you like.
If however you answered no to the above two questions, and if your goal is optimal health and prevention of any and all diseases then you have to understand that you cannot put any harmful substances into your body in any amount. This way you are creating the most optimal environment for your body to function and hence offer you protection when need arises.
What about all these different germs out there? We can’t live in a bubble. This world is not a healthy place.
When it comes to “germs”, it might shock most people a lot to find out that in fact about 95% of bacteria out there are beneficial and necessary for us to survive and the environment. This is obviously NOT what the chemical cleaning companies want you to believe. We live today in a world where we are trying to eliminate 99.99% of germs but nobody stops to ask is this really beneficial. All we get constantly is scare tactics of diseases we can get from all these “germs”. And in fact what we are doing is making the harmful bacteria stronger than ever using all these chemicals.
Well the truth is about 100 years ago, heck not even, 50 years ago, people lived in conditions that were not even half as sanitary as we have today and many kids and adults were healthier than ever. No allergies, no asthmas, etc.
The other truth is, yes there are some bacteria and viruses that do cause disease BUT and ready for this one…if you have an optimally working system your risk of these “bugs” ever causing a disease in you drops drastically and in perfect cases even disappears.
So no, we definitely cannot live in a bubble, but the best part is we do not need to. A lot of the hype and hysteria that comes out of the media and big corporations though, will have you believe otherwise.
I personally love the topic of bacteria and viruses and will thoroughly enjoy talking more about this in future articles.
As far as the world being a healthy or not healthy place, well that is up for debate depending on what aspect of it you are considering. Yes, the quality of water and air has deteriorated and yes it is harder than ever to find whole, healthy foods. But that does not mean they do not exist. Call me an optimist, but there are still lots of healthy and amazing things about the world today.
We are tough little organisms!
Yes, we are! Our human body was constructed in such magnificent ways that most doctors and scientists still can’t wrap their minds around it. We still know so little when it comes to the ins and outs of our body. But we have made amazing progress.
And it is our bodies amazing resilience that gives a lot of people the wrong impression about what the body can and cannot take. As I mentioned above, very seldom do we see quick correlations between cause of something we took in and effect. Our body is so good at covering things up and trying to deal with things, that that is why it usually takes years for something more serious to become prominent.
In the meantime as we throw in harmful substances body cleans them out and neutralizes them and does whatever it needs not to upset the delicate balance in which it has to operate. But as any “machine” with enough stress on it, things start to break down. And hence nutrition can greatly hurt or help the body do what it is supposed to.
What about prescription meds? Do they cause liver disease too?
Depending on what type of medication you are taking and in what amounts, one can definitely sustain liver damage from taking prescription meds. This can turn into liver disease again depending on the drug(s) and length of time taking them on top of the consumption of other substances like alcohol and bad food.
The liver has to detoxify (a.k.a clean) anything and I mean everything that is foreign or harmful to the body. And since prescription meds are “drugs” just like alcohol is a “drug”, and for those not comfortable with that term, we can use the term “chemicals” (not that that is any better), they too need to be dealt with by the liver.
This is why just a simple over the counter medicine like Tylenol has to be used cautiously as taking too many of those pills at once can cause liver damage or worse. And let us all think how many people in our society pop those like candy at the sight of the slightest pain.
Ultimately for a healthy liver, just like fast food should be avoided so should as much medicine (drugs) as possible. I am not telling you to drop you medication without a doctor’s approval but simply to know the facts that yes drugs, any drugs, do put stress on and eventually can cause liver damage. This is obviously not what the big drug companies want you to focus on, but it is an unavoidable truth.
Hence I am a big, and I mean big believer of prevention to avoid treatment in the future, usually because the health gets to a point where drug intervention is needed to help the person function and this is good in one way but damaging in another. If there already exists a problem I would therefore recommend a good naturopath whose philosophy is also about prevention not one who will push supplements onto you in place of pharmaceutical drugs.
As I have mentioned many times before, learning together is fantastic! So as you bring me your questions and concerns I love explaining how the body functions and doing my own research in areas I need to fill in on. This way we can all grow, learn and become even more aware of attaining optimal health and wellness. And so I look forward to many more questions to come!