Your health is your greatest asset, second only to your reputation.
So why do so many choose to disrespect themselves by disregarding their health?
After years of grappling with this question, I've finally decided that it's lack of awareness and understanding, not lack of willpower or commitment.
For the most part, the pinnacle of the commoditized modern lifestyle is maximum convenience and short-term gratification and marketers know how to capitalize on that.
As a result, all of us who live in modern Western, industrialized communities have been sold the bill of goods that says packaged, manufactured convenience “foods” are just as nutritious as whole fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, meat, poultry and dairy products.
We've also been brainwashed into believing that sitting beats standing and riding beats walking.
The reality is that convenience is actually killing “us.” As in the royal we. Some of us still prefer the “inconvenience” of preparing real, whole foods at home and moving rather than sitting.
This post isn't meant to be judgmental or condescending. The reality is that most people do not realize the effect that food has on physical and mental well-being. Poor quality food, low in real nutrients, will rapidly affect mental concentration, blood sugar, triglyceride levels and trigger inflammation.
If our brain doesn't receive proper nutrients, including adequate amounts of the right kinds of fats (like Omega 3 fatty acids) it can't function properly. What you eat, or don't eat, can lead to depression, anxiety, lack of focus (a/k/a attention deficit disorder).
On a longer term basis, the food you eat will play a key role in whether or not you develop diabetes, thyroid disorders, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's or some other dementia. Diet has been directly implicated in the development of autoimmune diseases.
On the other hand, food is one of the three keys to great health. If you choose the right foods you will feel better on a day-to-day basis, have more energy and reduce the possibility of developing chronic diseases, autoimmune diseases or succumbing to the ravages of environmentally-triggered illnesses like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and cancer.
In my own life, I've experienced a remarkable run of great health and energy in the 10 years since I gave up fast food and vastly decreased my intake of manufactured food-like substances. I can't prove that not eating industrial food has kept me well, but I can show a definitel correlation, in my experience, in what I eat, how much I sleep, and my ability to fend off the colds and other annoying minor illnesses that others seem to deal with on a regular basis.
The relationship between food and health is a topic I'll be exploring in-depth over at The Ben Franklin Follies: Your Path to Health, Wealth and Wisdom as that site gets re-launched in early December.
In the meantime, I hope this post will inspire you to consider what you eat and the impact it has, or will eventually have, on your health. Just because it's sold in the grocery store doesn't mean it's good for us to eat.
Have you experienced health issues related to food? I'd love to hear your success stories or challenges related to food and health. Leave me a comment below and let's start a conversation.