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May 4, 2014

Nutritional link between cellular health and environmental factors

by Helene van den Berg

Food and nutrition policy is, at the same time, environmental policy.

The nutritional status of populations depends to a great extent on environmental conditions. Environment (soil degradation, global warming, waste disposal and other factors) was depicted as an important causal factor for disease, leading to malnutrition. Lead toxicity and iron status is a classical example of the relation between micronutrient deficiencies and pollution. Food insecurity, especially in an age of urbanization in developing countries, places new strains on food availability (production) and accessibility (pricing). Modern agriculture and technological solutions to food and nutritional problems must be balanced against environmental costs.

The degradation in Africa – soil erosion, loss of soil fertility and deforestation- is the consequence of traditional agricultural practices. Upgrading the infrastructure to more modern and intensive farming, will reverse the environmental degradation involved with producing human food in Africa. Demand for animal source protein (high in middle income countries), will continue to accelerate throughout the developing world as incomes rise. Diet choices have a strong impact on the environment.

Dietary intake and health status have an immediate impact on nutrition. Increased food access will not necessarily improve food utilization, when factors such as health or social environment are not favorable. Appropriate care for mothers and children, access to health services and a healthy environment (e.g. sanitation facilities, potable water, health care) are often missing for adequate nutrition on individual level or at households. Household access to food depends on home production, household income and food prices. The enormous increase of the urban population (3.4 billion in 2020), demands strategies to secure access to food in cities. The world’s growing population will continue to exert pressure on food supplies. Developing countries will account for about 85% of the 690 million ton increase in the global demand for cereals between 1995 and 2020. Six to seven million hectares of agricultural land in developing countries become unproductive due to soil erosion each year. Irrigation damage

(e.g. waterlogging) account for another 1.5 million hectares. In Central America, nearly one third of all land is seriously degraded. Supporting poor farmers in food production and concerns about excessive dependence on fertilizers, pesticides and irrigation water, has stimulated interest in an “agroecological approach”.

Adding an environmental dimension to food and nutrition security would help:

  • Soil health care, water harvesting and management, conservation of biodiversity and improved post harvest technology
  • Environmental hygiene (e.g. sanitation, access to safe water and access to qualified health service)
  • Adequate care for women and children
  • Education

Large food corporations are interested in big profits – not your health!. In their marketing and advertising campaign, they will distort the truth to get your money!. They use glamorous models, famous personalities, even children – to endorse their products.

We have the choice to be misled or be our own “informed” watchdogs – to read labels, looking out for additives (flavorings, coloring matter, preservatives etc) on products to avoid putting harmful chemicals in our bodies. (“The Code breaker” – a useful book on additives). Of the thousands of chemicals used in food processing , just over a half are considered safe!. Even after a series of complaints are lodged officially, their removal is not spontaneous (takes considerable time). The laws governing additives in foods are archaic and does little to protect us. Therefore by cutting out foods containing harmful chemical additives , we give our bodies a better chance of survival.

The delicate chemical balance of the body is easily disturbed by deficiencies of important nutrients and excesses of toxic chemicals. This leads to the gradual breakdown of the body and the onset of chronic diseases (e.g. cancer affects not only the old , but young as well).

Maintaining harmony in all body processes (homeostasis) through balanced and correct nutrition, we promote better health and longevity and ensure the absence of diseases.

Environmental exposure to toxins and food processing methods (harmful, chemical additives), produce poor quality foods, which is detrimental for the CELLULAR HEALTHof our bodies:

  • MEAT – grass-fed meat is 5-10% carcass fat ( grain-fed is 30% carcass fat, plus drug and hormones). Meat contains iron, vitamin B12 and fats, which are not readily available from plant sources. Fats should not be excluded from the diet. Fat is the best source of energy (supplies 9 calories/gram energy) and it spares the body’s proteins from being used as fuel. Unsaturated fats (essential fatty acids) are involved in vital cell construction and maintenance and necessary for the brain and nervous system.

Cooking (mild heat) will increase the digestibility of some proteins (navy beans) and liberates certain amino acids.

 NOTE: Processed meats (frankfurters, bacon, ham, salami, sausages, ) contain up to 15% non-meat ingredients (spleen, stomach, tripe, lungs) and artificial coloring, flavorings, preservatives. Bacon has the highest concentrations of nitrites. Nitrites act on red blood cells, causing severe poisoning and form nitrosamines (nitrites plus amines) in the stomach, which is one of the most formidable carcinogens (cancer causing). A deadly recipe: ham or salami (nitrites) and beer or wine (amines)!.

  • SOYBEANS AND TOFU – soybeans are a high-quality, low-cost protein with B vitamins, minerals, unsaturated fatty acids and have anti-carcinogenic properties (beneficial for menopausal women.

Tofu (soy curd) is inexpensive, high in quality protein; easy to digest; high in iron, phosphorus, potassium; low in calories, saturated fats and cholesterol; when solidified with calcium chloride, it has more calcium by weight than dairy milk.

NOTE: Genetic modification of soyabeans, is a cause for much concern. Allergies to soy products are not uncommon. Soya beans are high in copper– overconsumption could lead to zinc deficiency and immunity problems.

  • NUTS AND SEEDS– are high sources of protein , minerals (magnesium), B-vitamins and unsaturated fatty acids

NOTE – preserved or canned foods are sterilized, therefore devitalized food , with very little nutrient value; not to mention the salt, sugar, coloring and preservatives added to it. Frozen foods are better than canned foods. The best foods are those in their raw state or lightly cooked/steamed at low temperatures for a short time.

  • WHOLE GRAINS – To the vegetarians, grains are their staple food. Most of the B vitamins, vitamin E, unsaturated fatty acids and quality proteins are found in whole grains (buckwheat, millet, oats, rye, rice etc.).

NOTE: With refined grains, all the nutrients are removed. In enriched foods, only a few vitamins and iron are replaced. White bleached flour is purely endosperm (starch), with all the bran and germ removed and a loss of 80% of the essential nutrients of wheat and the bleaching destroys the vitamin E.

Wheat is the top ranking allergy food.

Rice is among the most heavily chemicalized food crops.

  • BEANS ( LEGUMES) – beans are an inexpensive source of protein, minerals and vitamins. (chick peas, lentils, mung beans etc.)

NOTE: Beans are susceptible to mould (aflotoxin b), which is a very toxic substance: it is toxic to the liver, inhibits energy and fat metabolism and is associated with cancer.

  • MILK – raw milk (unpasteurized) is the perfect food; it has lactin, which has an antibacterial action against streptococcus. This antibody is completely destroyed in the pasteurization process. Friendly bacteria (acidophilus and lactobacillus) in raw milk are completely destroyed by pasteurization as well. Pasteurized milk also contains hormones and pesticides. The enzyme lactase, which digest lactose in milk, is lost as we grow. Therefore lactose intolerance is common in adults (especially women), causing discomfort and allergies, which increases the risk of ovarian cancer, inhibits fertility and produce defective children. Raw milk contains the Wulgen factor and has been used therapeutically in reduction of pain from stiffness in arthritics. It is also a source of Vitamin C, but it is destroyed by pasteurization. Milk contains the ten essential amino acids. Before pasteurization, the fat in milk is polyunsaturated, but pasteurization saturates the fat. Dried milk has most of the fat removed, but all the fat-soluble vitamins (vitamin A,D, E, K) are also removed. The pasteurization also destroys all the enzyme (phosphatase), which is necessary for calcium and phosphorous assimilation, half the 24 other trace minerals contained in milk, nearly all the vitamin C and alters 42% of the protein molecules, so that the protein can no longer be assimilated and utilized by the body (causes mucus in the throat). Raw milk and goats milk does not cause mucus. Radioactive iodine used in the pasteurizing plant finds it’s way into the milk and can’t be eradicated!!.

THEREFORE, those who can tolerate milk, should obtain fresh raw milk or goats milk from a reliable source. Milk is a food and not a beverage, so it needs to be chewed and salivate it, as if it were a solid, to improve assimilation and prevent mucous building.

Processed cheese has dangerous chemicals in the form of dyes, colorings, preservatives, thickening agents, acids etc. Ricotta is the best cheese choice.

  • EGGS – fresh, free range eggs are the most perfect source of protein and is an important source of vitamins A, E, K, D and vitamin B12 , fatty acids, iron, phosphorous. They have high nutrient density, few calories (81.5 cal/egg) and they are easy to digest. The egg yolk contains most of the calories, fat, vitamin A, calcium, half of the protein and riboflavin of the whole egg. Thin egg shells indicate poor quality. Additives (antioxidants) in the feed are used to improve yolk pigmentation. Blotchy, unevenly colored yolks, may come from hens fed estrogenic hormones and disease controlling chemicals. To extend the shelf life of eggs, they are washed with sanitizers and detergents, which passes through the pores and contaminate them and then they are coated with oil. Never use eggs that are cracked and old (mottled and flat yolk). They contain a good amount of HDL cholesterol; for good health 4-6 eggs a week, is a good balance. Commercial raised-chicken, may contain a high concentration of a form of arsenic in their feed, which could contaminate the liver of the chicken.
  • BUTTER – it contains 80.6% fat. It takes nearly 9 liters of whole milk to make one 500 grams of butter!. Manufacturers use stale cream, add bleaches, antioxidants, preservatives to prolong shelf life. Cheap coal-tar (carcinogenic) dyes are used to keep the yellow color pigment constant. Salt is added to retard the growth of moulds and lengthen shelf life. Unsalted butter has a shorter shelf life, is sold quicker and has few additives.
  • MARGARINE – is not a dairy product and is not a natural product!. Hydrogenation destroys many vitamins and minerals and alters the protein structure; destroys or alters the essential fatty acids into an unhealthy form (hydrogenated oil bears no resemblance to the original unsaturated vegetable oil). It is bleached, filtered, and deodorized into white odorless and tasteless fat, which is further processed into margarine or lard. Margarine is a hydrogenated fat with stabilizers (sodium benzoate, citric acid), all chemicals causing severe reactions in certain people.
  • YOGHURT – yoghurt made from raw milk or goat milk, is highly nutritious, a natural antibiotic (lactobacillus); aids digestion (especially for the elderly) and replace the healthy intestinal flora destroyed by antibiotics.

Avoid the sweetened yoghurt with colorants.

  • ICE CREAM – it has become a reservoir of additives – with more than 1200 different chemical stabilizers, artificial colors and flavors, emulsifiers!. Manufacturers are not required to declare the presence of artificial colorings – many of those are coal-tar dyes (carcinogenics). Strawberry ice cream does not even contain strawberries!. Diethylene glucol, a cheap chemical substituted for egg as an emulsifier, is the same chemical used in antifreeze and paint remover. Butyraldehyde (nutty flavor) is a common ingredient of rubber cement. Not to mention the sugar!!
  • SUGAR – it’s value to the body is based on it’s calorie content and as a valuable energy source. Natural sources of sugar (milk, sugar cane, fruits, honey, raw sugar) is balanced and has valuable vitamins, minerals and trace elements. White sugar (processed sucrose) is a chemical, devoid of all minerals, vitamins and other nutrients and has a harmful effect on the body- this includes brown sugar and crystal sugar.

Sugar substitutes (aspartame, equal) are derivatives of saccharin, a coal tar product (carcinogenic). NOTE – includes Coke, Coke-zero etc.

Sweets and sweet drinks (plus refined carbohydrates) are the biggest contributers to dental decay, hypoglycemia and metabolic disturbances, because of the dyes, colorings, preservatives, anti-oxidants and stabilizers it contains. The overworked organs like the pancreas and spleen break down and this overload is passed to the kidneys and then the entire nervous system deteriorates from the internal stress. This result in the complete physiological and mental breakdown of children as young as 10 years (biologically 50-60 years). They are the sugaraholics, coca-cola addicts who are not able to cope with life. No wonder we have breakdowns, suicides, schizophrenics etc!.

  • CALCIUM – PHOSPHORUS RATIO – this ratio is normally 2 ½ to 1. With refined sugar this ratio is upset radically and calcium is leeched from the bones causing osteoporosis in later life. Sugar is a robber food: it robs foods of nutrients like calcium, vitamin C and vitamin D. Degenerative diseases (arthritis, cardiovascular diseases) are triggered by long overuse of refined sugar. The use of natural sugars like honey, maple syrup (best!), sun-dried fruits, carob (bean) and stevia (herb), would be better choices.
  • SALTSea salt and rock salt (1/2 tsp/day) and vegetable salt (best!), is essential to the body and contain calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, silicon, manganese, chlorine etc.

Table salt / sodium chloride is a refined, harmful product to the body. It is an irritant to the stomach, intestinal, heart and blood vessels; causes retention of water in the tissues; hardens the tissues; hardening of the arterial (salt ring in iris of eye), leading to high blood pressure; dry skin (add silicon to diet). Excess sodium chloride upsets the sodium-potassium pump by causing a depression of potassium levels and excess water accumulates causing oedema, kidney breakdown, high blood pressure. Use Schussler’s tissue salts (vegetable salt). Celery and zucchini are rich in sodium, NOT sodium chloride!. Kelp is rich in iodine (thyroid gland). Natural salt is a antihistamine (allergic reactions) and the best diuretic, provided the balance of ½ tsp of natural salt and 6-8 ounce glasses of water /day is maintained.

  • WATER – dehydration is the most common deficiency in Western society and impoverished nations. Chronic water shortage in the body leads to most diseases (drugs and chemicals are dispensed, instead of assuaging these body function signals with water). Beverages, like tea, coffee, soft drinks are not water and should not be used as a replacement for water (cause of ill health and diseases). Non infectious, recurring chronic pains are indicators of body thirst e.g. rheumatoid arthritis pain, low back pain, migraine, hangover headaches, colitis, constipation etc. The body needs 6-8 ounce glasses of water/day. Urine should be colorless to light yellow, not dark. In most countries water supplies are polluted by chemicals like chlorine, mercury, lead, aluminium, lime, sulphuric acid and iodine. Authorities have been adding fluoride to drinking water to protect children against dental decay ; fortunately it is now banned in all preparations in U.S.A… not in all countries!. It is 15 times more toxic than arsenic; it is accumulative (not eliminated) in the body and deposited in bones, kidneys aorta and arteries; cause for 100% increase in Mongoloid births and pre-disposing cause of cancer!. NOTE: boiling water is worse than taking it straight from the tap (bottom of kettle). Use an ion exchange- filter (other filters can’t remove the extremely soluble, sodium fluoride).
  • BEVERAGES – tea and coffee contain caffeine, which is a powerful drug. Caffeine predisposes to stomach ulcers (sustained stimulation of hydrochloric acid in the stomach); heart and blood pressure disorders (“whipping a tired horse”); cancer (roasted coffee produces tars); birth defects; thyroid problems. Herbal teas, like Green tea and Rooibos tea, is rich in minerals and Vitamin C and is completely caffeine-free and free of harmful alkaloids. Therefore Rooibos tea is recommended to people suffering from nervous tension, allergies, indigestion and insomnia. Rooibos tea does not deteriorate with standing or reheating – it retains it’s flavor and health properties.

Coke/Diet Coke contain aspartame (chemical sweetener), which is damaging to your brain.

Alcohol abuse causes liver, gastro-intestinal, neurological damage; cancer of the mouth, throat, stomach; destroys the intestinal flora; deprives the body of vit B1; deprivation of food; fetal deformities when pregnant women drink (esp. in the 1st trimester) etc.

Money drives commerce, therefore there is a need for greater awareness and knowledge and enough people should demand quality, to change the methods and means of production.

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