Nutrition - in a page or so!

by Tony Copple

Is this the single most important word in the language? Sometimes I think so. In my experience, if you want to improve your life in the most dramatic way, nutrition will give you more leverage than money, exercise, meditation, and stress reduction.

Think, for a moment, of the body as a machine that takes in food, drink and air as fuel to perform the greatest feats of human endeavour. Now reduce the quality of that intake, or add damaging additives like fat and nicotine, and no wonder the body and brain will fail to perform optimally. It would be like watering down the gas you put in your car or adding sand.

It has been known for more than 50 years that rats, fish, rodents and dogs live longer if fed half as much. Recent studies on primates are not yet conclusive but there is reason to believe that 30% less food would increase our longevity. Problem is, there's no fun in that! It appears people don't want to live longer if they can't eat so much.

Giving your body the right fuel rather than polluting it with too much fat and sugar is one of the best ways to prevent disease and promote wellness. It turns out that poor diet is even more damaging than tobacco smoke in the causes of lung cancer, as reported in a recent study.

Athletes strive for the limits of their capabilities. The Sport Medicine and Science Council of Canada offer support and advice to athletes on nutrition. All of us can benefit from this advice.

In times past, one could obtain all necessary nutrition from a normal diet. In today's toxic environment, this is no longer possible. Eating the many helpings of veg, fruit, grains etc. recommended in Canada's Food Guide is too great a task for most of us, though this will probably be the advice of your doctor. So what's left? Supplementation. That's what.

Not only do nutritional supplements give you all the nutrients you need, and are almost certainly not getting, they can also provide protection against free radicals.

Free radicals are molecules with missing electrons which have been created by other free radicals stealing electrons in a chain reaction, and originating from radiation, pollution and natural metabolism. Free radicals are now known to promote cancer, arterial plaque (they thrive in fat), the aging process, and a hundred or so other diseases.

Free radicals can be quenched by antioxidants, and this goes on in the body all the time with the body's natural antioxidants. But the body fights a losing battle in today's world, and needs external help. That's where antioxidant supplements come in. These are high dose vitamins A, C and E, plus about 15 minerals and phytonutrients. These donate surplus electrons to neutralize the free radicals. You can see it happening if you squirt lemon juice (Vitamin C) on a browning apple; the browning (free radical damage) reduces. It would be impossible to achieve sufficient free radical protection for today's environment just from a balanced diet.

Until recently the measurement of free radical activity in the body was an expensive and time-consuming activity. This has now changed since Pharmanex introduced the BioPhotonic Scanner for measuring an individual's exposure to free radicals, using a simple procedure that can be carried out by non-medically qualified persons.

The conversion of food to energy in the body is catalyzed by minerals such as selenium, iron and chromium. Most people are deficient in the essential minerals, through soil depletion and reduced mineral content in vegetables and fruit. Replacing these missing wonders in supplements gives you back the energy so many of us lack today. Chromium has a particular significance, being a co-factor of insulin, necessary to metabolize fat (and other food). If you are deficient in chromium (as are 90% of the north American and European population, more of the fat ends up on the rump and belly instead of as energy. Sugar depletes chromium from the body (that's why we all lack this nutrient).

Where do you get supplements? You'll get thousands of them and a lot of confusion in the average health food store. Faced with the variety of products of varying quality, how can anyone make good choices? If you want a targeted nutrition supplement program, you're going to need personal advice. We supplements from Pharmanex, and as a distributor I provide the advice. Their products contain the right cocktail of vitamins and minerals for an average consumer, to which additions can be made for special individual needs. Dr. Elie Klein has also tackled this problem of too much cloice in the area of heart health, and has designed a supplement program which is described here.

It seems that in the field of nutrition, this generation is ignoring what has been discovered over centuries and substituting poor alternatives. A prime example is the incredible benefit of apple cider vinegar, used for 3000 years for a variety of cures, and one of the best cures for arthritis. Dr. Patricia Bragg is one of today's foremost experts on this wonder-nutrient.

Anti-nutrition, or how to destroy your health: go to a typical North American hospital cafetaria for lunch.

Selected North American Nutrition sites

Ottawa Good Food Box - for organic and locally grown fruit and vegetables at wholesale prices. ProSoya - palatable soy milk, engineered in Ottawa
Center for Sience in the Public Interest
Dr Elie Klein's healthy heart site
American Dietetic Association
Dietitians of Canada
Forever Healthy Cooking School - Sheila Morrow, teacher, speaker, 613-723-3333 - Ottawa - don't be gullible!
Health Canada - Nutrition - including Canada's Food Guide
Mayo Health Oasis
Safe, natural cures from drinking apple cider vinegar


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