Last week I was reminded of what encouraged me to more deeply understand what healthy eating truly is. The impetus was cancer.
There’s an entire array of reasons people get cancer. There’s also a plethora of mystery that still surrounds the causes. However, scientific research tells us that a healthy diet and good exercise habits can help us build our defenses against cancer. The basics are easy to remember.
1) Eat foods from every color on the rainbow. This is an easy way to ensure you’re getting a wide range of nutrients.
2) Prepare meals using fresh fruits and vegetables rather than processed foods. Processing foods adds preservatives, like salt, that might not benefit you. The process of commercially packaging foods can also remove nutrients.
3) When possible, eat locally raised foods and organic foods. Foods grow and develop thanks to the soil that feeds them. Because organic soils are high in nutrients, their plants are, also.
4) Eat whole grains, like oats and whole wheat flour. When buying bread in the store, look to see if the package says, “Whole” wheat, not just “wheat.”
5) Diminish refined sugar in your diet. Studies have shown that eating refined sugar immediately diminishes the immune system’s abilities. Most recipes that call for a significant amount of sugar will still be good with a little less. And you can try substitutes, like organic grade B maple syrup, unrefined sugar, honey or blue agave nectar.
Of course, even if you do all of this, there’s no guarantee cancer or another devastating disease won’t hit, but you will be preparing your body to ward off harmful invaders.
My friend Carrie embraces these ideas, but she’s still been diagnosed with cancer a second time. If you are a person of prayer, please remember her.