Chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes have consumed western culture, but remain at bay in less-industrialized communities around the world. So how can we alter our lifestyles to glean the health benefits of these longevity-prone countries? Nick Delgado, PhD, has a few ideas.
In general, the main factors in unhealthy western lifestyles are a decline in organically grown high-fiber plant foods, and an increase in toxic chemical and pesticide exposure. Therefore, the path to healing can be broken down into two simple steps:
Step 1: Load Up on Fiber
- While the daily-recommended amounts are currently 35 grams for men, and 23 for women, research shows our ancestors consumed around 100 grams of fiber daily.
- Regulates bowel movements, better expelling toxins and waste from the body in a timely manner, limiting reabsorption of waste and keeping digestive organs healthy.
- Makes you feel full longer, which helps in weight loss
- Protects the heart by reducing unhealthy cholesterol levels and lowering inflammation.
- Nourishes healthy bacteria in the stomach, allowing them to flourish and benefit your brain, organs, and reduce risk for a variety of diseases.
- Where to Find It:
- Beans, whole grains, brown rice, popcorn, nuts, baked potatoes with the skin, berries, bran cereal, oatmeal, and vegetables (the crunchier, the better).
Step 2: Limit Exposure to Toxic Pesticides
- Those who regularly handle pesticides have been afflicted with abdominal pain, dizziness, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and skin and eye problems.
- Pesticides have also been linked to an increased risk for several types of cancer, neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and dementia, endocrine disorders, ADHD, autism, birth defects, low birth rate and fetal death, infertility, obesity, diabetes, dermatitis, depression, memory problems, and respiratory problems such as asthma.
- Where Pesticides Hide:
- Conventionally grown fruits and vegetables
- Butter, dairy and eggs
- How to Avoid Consumption
- Buy organic fruits and vegetables
- Eat fruits and vegetables with protective outer layer
- Bananas, cantaloupe, avocados, etc.
- Thoroughly wash those with outer layer before consumption
- Apples, celery, tomatoes, berries, etc.
- Avoid eating meat, butter, eggs or other dairy products
- Animals subsisting on pesticide-ridden plants acquire these pesticides through a process known as bio magnification, where it gets stored in their fat.
While it may seem daunting to have to regulate these two factors in your daily diet, the healthy benefits may be well worth the hassle. In increasing the intake of fiber and avoiding harmful chemicals, we can drastically improve the chemical makeup in our bodies and best equip ourselves for a long, healthy life.