Nutrition & the Body is about avoiding Junk
At least in the present day it is.
For most of our past, going back millions of years, good nutrition meant just getting enough to eat. If your tribe caught a buffalo and feasted on it, they were “nourished” with every nutrient they needed and usually had enough of those needed nutrients too.
At least for a time.
But as soon as food became scarce, they were “malnourished.”
Today, when we think of nutrition we think of this:
Super foods that are loaded with antioxidants and phytonutrients etc. The reason for that is because for most of us, most of our nutrient needs can be met with meat or fortified grains and legumes. So taking in these extra foods like spinach, blueberries, broccoli, greens etc, give our nutrition profiles a boost and make us a bit healthier.
Just a Bit Though …
Eating these super foods makes us healthier, but they don’t have nearly the same impact on our health as keeping junk out does. If your diet is poor and filled with processed and sweet foods then eating 10 servings of spinach isn’t going to do a thing to improve your body’s health. That diet consumed over long periods will inevitably lead to disease.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the fish bowl theory which states that the best way to give your fish the healthiest environment (the water in his bowl) is to make sure it’s always kept clean. That means changing the water often and keeping anything that is not water, out.
For us that would equate to drinking adequate water and making sure our insides are not polluted with substances it doesn’t need, and are harmful or stressful to us.
The reason I bring this up is because when it comes to our health (nutritionally), or focus lately has been on the newest, most exotic super foods. We hope that they will detoxify our bodies, build immunity and cure cancer. This is all well and good and it is a good thing generally to eat the foods I mentioned above and reap the benefits.
But they only benefit you to the degree that you are already eating clean. If you’re not, then your focus needs to shift and prioritize clean eating.
You see this type of thinking often. I think it was Jerry Seinfeld’s wife Jessica, who created a cookbook that became very popular. The book was filled with recipes for baked desserts that had vegetables in them and was marketed as a way for moms to get their kids to eat veggies without them even knowing it.
If you’re going to feed your children a dessert here and there then adding veggies is fine. But it is FAR WORSE for the children’s health to have sugar, white flour and oil, just to eat a bit of kale. It would be much BETTER for them if they didn’t have that baked good at all.
The math doesn’t add up otherwise.
I’m not trying to criticize the super food craze because we should all be striving to eat foods that have high levels of nutrition in them. Nor am I saying that we can’t eat the foods we love from time to time.
What I am saying is that we have to shift SOME of OUR FOCUS, and allocate just as much time or more to what really will make a big difference in our health (keeping junk out), as we do to find healthier and healthier foods.