When we talk about a healthy diet, what comes straight into your mind, natural foods? Does a healthy diet mean you must consume only natural foods? Not really. Many of us are becoming more health-conscious today, some of us started to practice only natural foods’ diet, it literally means no processed food will be eaten but does “natural” refer to “non-toxic”? To be frank, natural does not mean 100% safe, does not mean 100% nutritious, and does not mean they are 100% hygienic. The keys to determining the level of nutrients are soil, water, air, and fertilizer used in farming. Of course, if the process of farming, harvesting, and storage are not done under the stringent procedures, it will be even more difficult to ensure the safe consumption of fruits and vegetables.
Our body is losing nutrients every day, for instance, our eyes are losing lutein when we stare at the phone screen, our daily activities are causing the depletion of collagen and lactic acid bacteria. When the replenish of nutrients is not as fast as the depletion in our body, our cells will be losing the nutrients it needed and degeneration will then occur, hence, result in various diseases. However, will it be sufficient if we only depend on natural foods for nutrients that our body needs?
According to researches conducted by field experts over the years, the result shown that we are unable to obtain sufficient nutrients that our body needs merely from our daily diet, mainly caused by imbalanced diet, not eating on time, lack of exercise and poor lifestyle, all these factors may increase the depletion of nutrients in our body. Although lacking of certain nutrients may not directly reflect on our health, but if you encounter minor symptoms such as heatiness, dizziness and indigestion that might be caused by the lacking of vitamin B, gum bleeding and anemia that might be caused by the lacking of vitamin C, but you choose to ignore these symptoms, it will then become a bigger threat to your health.
You must be having a lot of doubts in you in regards to natural foods after reading content above, let’s debunk the myths about natural foods!
Myth #1: Natural foods contain the richest nutrients.
Some people are not willing to take any health supplement, because they think that eating fruits and vegetables as well as ensuring a balanced diet is sufficient to ensure the daily replenish of nutrients. However, what we have neglected is the origin and safety of the natural foods that we consume. After the second world war, most of the crops are using chemical fertilizers instead of natural ones, which causes the loses of minerals in the soil, the soil became less fertile now and eventually reduce the nutrient level of fruits and vegetables these days. In other words, fruits and vegetables are not as nutritious as before, and there may also be the residue of pesticides and other harmful substances. According to a shocking experiment done in Japan: during the year 1948, 100 grams of spinach contain 150mg of vitamin C, but in the year 2000, there is only 13mg of vitamin C left in 100 grams of spinach! It shows that the issue of soil infertility is strongly affecting the nutrient content in fruits and vegetables!
The variety of cooking methods such as frying and grilling are indeed enhancing the taste and flavor of foods, but will also destroy the nutrients. Try to look back at the foods that you ate yesterday, how much nutrients do they actually contain? Moreover, everyone has their very own digestive system with different levels of absorption, hence, we may not be able to absorb all the nutrients that are present in foods that we consume.
Myth #2: Organic fruits and vegetables are healthier.
Pesticide is one of the main concerns that we are looking into while buying fruits and vegetables, therefore, some would rather spend double or even triple extra for the organic ones. Indeed, organic fruits and vegetables are very attractive in terms of its colors, most of the time they are small in size but full and juicy. Does organic actually mean healthier? So far, there is no scientific study show that organic fruits and vegetables are more nutritious than the conventional ones, but the residue of pesticides are indeed less significant. What? Isn’t organic farming involving no pesticide? That’s actually a myth. Organic farmers are using the qualified and recognized organic pesticides which derived from natural sources, whereas conventional farming are mostly using synthetic chemical pesticides. According to the guideline provided by US Consumer Attorneys, organic foods cannot promote themselves as “no pesticide residues”, it literally means that organic farmers are agreeing that low content of pesticide residues are inevitable.
Consuming organic foods is a great way to support the environment, but in terms of its nutrients, there might not be a clear answer to it. The fertilizer used, the soil, water and environment can also affect the nutrient content of fruits and vegetables, some might be higher than the conventional foods but some might be lower.
Myth #3: Our ancestors are only eating natural foods, we can just follow their diet.
This is a controversial opinion, the food we eat and the environment we live in today are very different from our ancestors, therefore, we have no way to practice a diet like theirs. Moreover, our digestive systems have also evolved throughout the years, following the lifestyle of ancestors does not really benefit us. As compared to the natural foods and unpolluted water that our ancestors ate and drank, their foods were indeed much healthier and more nutritious than the foods that we eat today.
If you really wish to compare, our ancestors were hunting for food every day, planting their own vegetables and fruits on the fertile soil, living in the unpolluted environment, their lifestyle and diet were so much healthier than us. The lacking of exercises transforms the energy store in our body into fats, hence, causing obesity and lead to various chronic diseases.
We must always remember, other than diseases that caused by virus and bacteria, most of the diseases are developed overtime. The occurrence of diseases mainly started with insufficient of nutrients in body, and they usually become more serious when we chose to neglect the minor health issues. Instead of rejecting health supplement, we may try to understand the benefits of these health supplement, especially those who are practicing certain dietary habits such as vegetarian. However, health supplements are not medicine, it mainly helps to provide the daily need of nutrients that our body requires. Eating health supplement right can help to delay body ageing, if ageing is a natural process that we must undergo, why don’t we age healthily?