Too often in modern society, we are told the solution to our ailments lies in the form of medication. Prescriptions are considered almost necessary for wellbeing. However, we often forget the most important thing we are told about living a long and healthy life - to eat well and exercise plenty.
It’s no secret that the food we eat in modern society is filled with all the wrong kind of things. Sugars, fats - but often what we overlook is the growth hormones and GMOS that are hugely present in meat and dairy products. Fruit and vegetables aren’t exempt either though - those brought commercially are often sprayed with toxins and preservatives. Now don’t me wrong, whilst the idea of eating chemicals is unappealing, I know that shopping organically is not always realistic. However, I do think we do need to be more aware of what we put into our bodies and how this affects the way we feel. Often we want to blame every everything else for ill health - stress, lack of sleep, weather - than confront the obvious about our diets. To accept to our diets may be causing us more harm than good is to lose our comfort eating lifestyles. But, before we start pumping ourselves with medications, we must start at the root of the problem.
Meat and dairy are filled with hormones and proteins that are difficult for our bodies to naturally digest. The effect of large amounts of consumption of these can be loss of energy and fatigue. When you’ve spend your life living in a fog, it may be difficult to even become of aware of the fact of the fact you lack energy. However, as many vegetarians and vegans will tell you, these is distinctive difference in both mood and energy when cutting these foods out of your diet. When I first switched to vegetarian at age 14, I quickly noticed I felt healthier and much less sluggish. Since then, I have gone through a couple of meat eating periods, and I always notice that my vitality drops. Now, I’m vegetarian but I try and keep my dairy intake to a minimum. Not only can it have the same sluggish, low energy effect as meat but it can also affect my digestive system. Did you know that is only recently that humans have evolved to become tolerant to dairy? Large populations of the world, predominantly in non-European civilisations, still are lactose intolerant. So, if you’re constantly ignoring or waving away bathroom issues or an upset stomach, the issue could definitely be linked to dairy consumption.
Sugars are also known for the way they affect energy levels and also our mood. A huge high of energy directly after consumption, followed by a crash. This can lead to depressive moods and in turn, create more cravings for sugar - a vicious cycle. In fact, many foods can be linked to mental health. While foods like sugar and fats give our brain little stimulation or energy, vitamins shown in vegetables and fruits are shown to boost serotonin. Modern problems like depression and anxiety can be linked to many factors of this society, but a definite one that people ignore is diet. While I’m not saying diet is going to cure low mood, it can definitely be key on the road to increased happiness.
Even for common illnesses such as colds, flu, stomach bugs, the tools we have to combat these can all be found in our food groups. Fruit and vegetables boost immunity hugely - I recommend hugely checking out the book “Vitamins and Minerals” by Sara Rose if you want to find out about how specific foods can be used to combat a host of health issues. Acne, back pain, headaches- all common yet invasive ailments that be treated with vitamins and minerals all found in the veggie garden. Herbs and different plants are known in naturopathy for their huge healing properties- this can be internally through potions and brews, or externally through balms ect.
The tools to feeling happy, healthy and carefree are all in what we put into our bodies. Even the smallest changes into our diet can boost our immunities and decrease the number of pills we take. At the end of the day, health starts from the most simple of forums. For a more in-depth view on this philosophy, I recommend checking out the Netflix documentary “Heal”. There’s some truly amazing stories about people who have truly changed their own health destinies all through the power of diet, exercise and positive thinking.