Hybrid grains, vegetables and fruits have increased in popularity. These hybrid seeds boast big, luscious products that are more resistant to diseases. The nutrient content of hybrids, however, is significantly less than that of their natural counterparts.
Farmers nowadays are more interested in quantity than quality. The driving force is now profit! The food industry is not left out. Special transportation and storage techniques makes it possible to have a wide variety of fruits and vegetables available in the shops and markets nationwide. The practice of “green harvesting” means picking fruits and vegetables before they are mature.
Shipping food over long distances requires cold storage and other preservation measures which allow for the depletion of vital nutrients. A lot of our foods are highly processed. For example, the refinement process of our flour from wheat to create white bread and pastries, removes more than 23 essential nutrients, magnesium being one of the most important.
Did you know?
Fresh cut vegetables, salads and fruits lose more than 40 to 50 percent of their value, if they sit for more than three hours.
The processing of our meats removes 50 to 70 per cent of Vitamin B6.
Cold storage removes up to 50 per cent of vitamin C from tangerines and oranges.
Storage of vegetables like asparagus for just one week can deplete 90 per cent of its Vitamin C.
The second level of how we prepare our foods is even more critical. Overcooking, delay in preparing fresh foods, freezing and refreezing foods are some of the reasons our foods lose nutritional value.
In Nigeria, our love for frying chicken, meats and fish, especially for party cooking, is legendary. Our love for heavy carbohydrates meals with very little or no vegetables and fruits is also very significant.
Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA) vs optimal levels
RDAs started in the early 1920s and 1930s as minimum requirements of ten essential nutrients that could help avoid acute deficiency diseases. Diseases like scurvy (deficiency of Vitamin C), rickets (deficiency of Vitamin D), and pellagra (deficiency of niacin). The occurrences of these diseases have effectively been eradicated!
RDAs have, since the early 1950s, been expanded to include the amounts of nutrients needed for normal growth and development.
Chronic degenerative diseases
Physicians are disease-oriented. They study disease. They look for disease and are medically trained to treat disease.
Physicians know about drugs and do not hesitate to prescribe them. It would make better sense however to maintain good health, rather than to try to regain it after it has been lost.
This is why awareness is being created for all to learn about how to prevent disease rather than pushing for “early detection” and cure. Emphasis should now be helping people understand the lifestyle changes that are necessary to actually protect their health.
Sadly, so many physicians still do not know or believe in nutritional supplements.
What causes degenerative diseases?
While physicians simply wait until patients develop diseases and then begin to treat with drugs developed by the pharmaceutical companies, it is instructive to note that God has equipped our bodies with the best defence against developing chronic degenerative diseases.
Because of the respect people have for doctors, they erroneously assume they are experts on all health-related issues, including nutrition and vitamins. The harsh reality is that many people, physicians included, are currently suffering from chronic degenerative diseases!
Dr Kenneth Cooper, through his book, The Antioxidant Revolution (Thomas Nelson, 1994), explains a process called “oxidative stress”. He indicates that this is the underlying cause of chronic degenerative diseases – the health problems plaguing humanity today!
While oxygen is essential for life itself, oxygen is also inherently dangerous to our existence. This is called the oxygen paradox. Scientific research has established, beyond any shadow of doubt, that oxidative stress, or cell damage by free radicals, is the root cause of more than 70 chronic degenerative diseases.
The same process that causes iron to rust or a cut apple or tuber of yam to turn brown is the underlying initiator of diseases like coronary artery disease, cancer, strokes, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, dementia and macular degeneration.
Oxidative stress is behind the ageing process, in addition to an army of pollutants in our air, food and water.
Our stress-filled lifestyles also take a heavy toll, resulting in cell deterioration and, ultimately, disease.
In the concluding part of this article, we will examine and learn how the taking of high quality antioxidants, also called nutritional supplements, may help to combat and control the above-mentioned diseases, and others.
When you understand the tremendous damage that oxidative stress inflicts during normal daily life on the human body, you will realise how important it is to optimise your own natural defence systems!
Nutritional supplements do not treat diseases; they simply help to supply nutrients to the body at optimal levels that ensure excellent health.
This approach is called cellular nutrition.
(Continues next edition).
Mrs Chima Ejimofor is the lead partner of Infinite Health Consult, and is available for the purchase of Forever Living Nutritional Supplements, Health Talks and Wellness Seminars. She is based in Lagos, Nigeria. Telephone/WhatsApp: 07033179632, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Medically reviewed by Miho Hatanaka, RDN, L.D. — By Jenna Fletcher on August 22, 2019
(Medical News Today)
What your Doctor doesn’t know about nutritional medicine may be killing you – Ray D. Strand MD.