Regardless of what health condition you are dealing with, the bottom line for improving or building good mental, physical and spiritual health lies in two places – the food that you eat and your exposure to toxins.
Yes, there may be many other strategies or healing modalities that you will add to your foundation. However, if these first two bricks are not in place, the rest of your structure will be weak and vulnerable, and therefore you are not likely to see many effective or long-standing improvements regardless of what you do.
As it is so beautifully explained in End Your Addiction Now, by Dr’s. Gant and Lewis, the human brain and body need two things in order to function properly:
- proper nutrition
- the absence of toxins
Every organ and system in the human body, including your brain, has a set amount and type of nutrients it needs on a daily basis in order to perform its functions. If you are not eating the foods that will provide your body with these nutrients, then it is incapable of carrying out its duties.
If this goes on for an extended period of time, then systems and organs will begin to break down and malfunction, and this is when psychiatric and medical symptoms and conditions begin to appear.
For example, your detoxification system needs B5, zinc, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, cysteine, glycine, sulfur, glutathione, taurine, vitamin C and many others.
Your pancreas, which is in charge of handling your blood sugar levels, needs chromium, magnesium, zinc and molybdenum.
Your brain, which is the commander of the ship, needs all your amino acids, folic acid, B12, B6, B3, B1, iron, copper, magnesium, zinc, choline, antioxidants and fatty acids to name just a few.
Your immune system needs an abundance of amino acids, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D, vitamin C, omega-3s and a variety of minerals like zinc, selenium and iron.
Your Krebs cycle, also known as citric acid cycle, which is what produces all your cellular energy, needs carnitine, cysteine, tyrosine, aspartate, Acetyl CoA, B1, B2, B3, B5, iron, glutamine, CoQ10 and many more.
We could go on and on, but you should get the picture now; nutrients are absolutely vital for every aspect of health.
The problem lies in the fact that most of the population is not consuming the right foods that will provide their mind and body with the nutrients it needs to run efficiently. A diet that consists of sugar, refined foods, processed foods, and low-fat items is completely void of any nutritional value.
Additionally, in order for sugar to be metabolized, it must pull from your nutrients, so it provides a double whammy by not only being absent of nutrients, but also draining out whatever nutrients you may have in reserve.
However, many people are under the impression that eating whole grains and complex carbohydrates like potatoes and legumes is healthy, when in reality, these foods promote poor physical, emotional and spiritual health as well and perpetuate the vicious cycle.
All starchy foods break down into sugar, which means they promote an insulin response, fat storage, inflammation, neurotransmitter depletion, overstimulation to the autonomic nervous system and a long list of degenerative health conditions like autoimmune disorders, insulin resistance, heart disease, candida overgrowth, type 2 diabetes, obesity, depression, anxiety, adrenal disorders, eating disorders, addiction, cancer and much more.
Not only that, grains and legumes also contain lectins, protease inhibitors and phytates, which lead to even more nutritional deficiencies, as well as leaky gut and autoimmune disorders. Protease inhibitors impair your ability to digest proteins. Phytates are substances that bind to minerals and lectins bind to cells in your GI tract. All of which impairs your ability to absorb nutrients.
On the flip side, a lot of people avoid animal protein because they falsely believe these foods are not good for them. Animal protein and fat are vital to provide the body and brain with the nutrients it needs. As a matter of fact, many nutrients simply cannot be found in plant based foods in sufficient numbers or proper form.
The diet that will provide the brain and the body with all the nutrients that it needs to function most optimally, and be void of all the disease promoting substances, is the Paleolithic diet. This is the diet that promotes healthy cholesterol and triglycerides, is best for the immune system and regulating blood sugar, is rich in the nutrients that all organs and systems need, provides the brain with all the nutrients required for adequate neurotransmitter production and function, promotes healthy weight, joints, skin, liver, etc. The Paleolithic diet will address each and every issue you can think of, be it cardiovascular, immune, psychiatric, metabolic, gastrointestinal, neurological, endocrine, etc., because it is the diet that nature intended for you to eat in the first place.
Toxins in your food, water and your environment, like food additives and preservatives, artificial flavorings and dyes, chlorine, pesticides, fluoride, fungicides, herbicides, heavy metals, perfume and cologne, cosmetics, laundry care products, household cleaning supplies, air fresheners etc., overload the body’s organs and detoxification system, which creates a greater demand for a higher levels of nutrients in order to eliminate them. The more toxins one is exposed to, the more nutrients they need; and most of the population is exposed to a sea of toxins on a daily basis.
Furthermore, toxins may become lodged in the gastrointestinal system, where they cause damage and impair your ability to absorb the nutrients you need from your food.
All kinds of toxins can increase oxidative stress and inflammation, impair neurotransmitter production and function, mimic or impair hormones and incite an immune response and set off our stress response system, which leads to dysfunction in the autonomic nervous system and a wide array of debilitating psychological and physiological symptoms and conditions.
This is why it is critical that you eat an organic diet and live an environmentally friendly lifestyle.
No matter what health issue you are facing, the bottom line is that you must eat foods that are rich in the proper type and ratio of nutrients that are needed for your organs and systems on a daily basis, and reduce your exposure to environmental toxins. With these two steps alone, significant improvements in physical, mental and spiritual health can be achieved in a short amount of time. This should be the first step in all health care plans. You cannot build a house if you do not first lay down a solid foundation.