Is There a Shortcut to Health? - Blog # 54
Hello Everyone! Welcome back to another Friday blog. With so many diets, weight-loss recommendations and magic bullets out there, I wanted to look at health from a different perspective. We can be totally overwhelmed with what nutrients need to be supplemented, what diet should we be on, what foods to avoid, what foods to eat and what to do when we are so busy in our lives. So, is it possible to shortcut our way there?
First, I have to share that I was inspired with this concept listening to a podcast interview with Marcus du Sautoy, a British mathematician. As a young elementary school math student, his teacher gave the class a math problem that he felt would take them the whole class period to solve. Here’s the problem: “Add all numbers from 1 through 100.” The students got busy: 1+2 =3, 3+3=6. 6+4 = 10…A few moments later, Marcus wrote the answer on his paper and took it to the teacher. The teacher, feeling he was being insolent, started to protest and accuse that there’s no way he could have solved the problem so fast. Then he saw he had written the correct answer! The teacher just had to know how he reached the correct answer so fast! Marcus told him, everyone is starting at the beginning of the problem. I skipped to the end. How? He explained how he took the beginning and end, 1+100=101, 2+99=101, 3+98=101. So, there are 50 pairs of numbers that = 101. So, the answer is 5,050. Brilliant!!!! He postulates that this math symmetry concept can be applied to nearly every problem in life.
“There is probably no scientific field in which applied mathematics has not made its necessary presence. On the other hand, symmetry is about identification and use invariants to any of various transformations for any paired dataset and characterizations associated with. Inside applied mathematics, symmetry may work as a powerful tool for problems reduction and solving. Applications include probability theory (all probabilistic reasoning is ultimately based on judgments of symmetry), fractals (geometry), supersymmetry (physics), nanostructures (chemistry), taxonomy (biology), bilateral symmetry (medicine), and the list can go on.”
Shortcuts allow us to skip tedious and time-wasting steps and solve the problem, which then frees us to begin to solve even bigger problems. Bacteria and viruses do this all the time. It allows them to “jump species” to further their propagation in the world. Our bodies are highly symmetric. We can draw a line down the center and have a mirror image of one half of our body. When we want to enhance function to one side that is injured, we can target and treat the opposite side without actually touching the injured side.
Okay, taking this concept and looking at HEALTH as the outcome or end result, we can simplify the problem. Food is medicine. When you go to the store, think of it as a pharmacy for health. You want to gather and add all the foods that will impact your body to promote health, while avoiding or subtracting foods that will impact your body to promote disease. In other words, here is the formula. Jump to the end to see the outcome. It leads you back to the beginning so you can literally manipulate the outcome.
- Nutrient-dense food + impact to body = Health.
- Nutrient-poor food + impact to body = Disease.
Now, obviously this is oversimplified. But really, is it? Now, when we look at these equations, the underlying common thread is impact on the body. This happens in our digestive tract. We eat food that contains its own set of microorganisms and natural chemicals that protect the plant. By choosing nutrient-dense foods, we populate our intestines with the good microbes! Our bodies can function in harmony and promote health throughout our lifetime. When we choose nutrient-poor foods, typically they have been modified, don’t provide us with good microbes, promote the bad microbes! (Check out blog # 50).This leads to leaky gut. The lining of our intestines is one-cell-layer thick. That’s all there is to keep the sewage from leaking into the rest of the body. This starts with inflammation in our gut. The bad microbes then can leak out of our intestine and migrate to other areas of the body. It typically leads to all the other diseases we are labeling patients with. Depending on our individual genetics, when we give bad medicine (nutrient-poor food) to our bodies, we may end up with cardiovascular disease, T2D (type 2 diabetes), fatty liver disease, dementia, Alzheimer’s or even cancer!
It’s important to realize that our cravings are actually driven by our gut microbiome. When we crave sugar, understand it is the bad microbes demanding to get fed. By changing our food choices, we can literally starve the bad guys out and repopulate our gut microbiome with the good guys. When we look at “functional foods”, that is foods that impact our bodies in a positive way in addition to the nutrition it provides, it gets us closer to our goal of health. (Check out blog # 51). So, learning what these foods are gives us the tools with which to achieve our desired outcome. Fix your intestines and you’ll see so many other issues go away.
One of the healthiest, functional foods on the planet is EVOO. The higher the polyphenol count the better! Including this amazing fat in our diet is key to promoting health.
- HP-EVOO - high polyphenol extra-virgin olive oil
- Organic or wild harvested colorful fruits and vegetables - these plants have to work harder to grow and produce more phytochemicals to protect themselves from the environment. When we eat them, we get the benefit!
- Pasture-raised poultry and eggs - chickens get to exercise, roam and eat bugs. Eggs and chickens are more nutrient-dense: 1/3 less cholesterol, 1/4 less saturated fat, 2/3 more vitamin A, 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids, 3 times more vitamin E, 7 times more beta carotene.
- Grass-fed beef and dairy - lower in fat and calories, tastes better, higher in healthy fats, higher in nutrients, antibiotic free, no added hormones, heart healthy, fights cancer, less contaminated by staph and other bacteria, better for environment and we get the benefit of vitamin K2 (they converted for us). This helps to prevent calcium deposits on arteries.
- nuts and seeds that provide Omega 3 fatty acids and zinc and other trace minerals needed for many enzymatic reactions.
- wild-caught fatty fish - rich in omega 3s.
- Use Himalayan sea salt (formed before the invention of plastics), full of trace minerals.
This is not a complete list, but you get the idea. Eat real food. Before you put it in your basket, ask yourself is it processed? Is it GMO? Is it full of pesticides? Does this food get me closer to my goal of HEALTH? Or does it take me on the road to DISEASE? Food for thought, no pun intended. We all want health throughout a long life with quick brain function, strong body and muscles and never require a nursing home or hospital.
You can get very creative in making a desert for example. Try using EVOO or grass-fed organic butter and ground almonds to make a crust. Filling: organic grass-fed Greek yogurt, ricotta, lemon zest, lemon juice, little local honey. Top with fresh berries and fresh organic grass-fed whipped cream! This is actually good for you and you won’t even miss the sugary pies. Your microbes will be happy.
So, until next time my friends, drink, drizzle, digest HP-EVOO, eat wild-caught fatty fish rich in Omega 3s, eat organic or wild, get plenty of sunshine + supplement zinc and vitamin D, get your trace minerals and electrolytes, eat foods high in lutein, drink lots of water, get a good pre/probiotic, exercise your body and mind, add a few minutes of mindful meditation to your day to combat stress, get plenty of sleep and...turn off the light!! #EVOO
HEALTHY HOLIDAYS TO YOU AND YOURS FROM EVERYONE AT THE VIRGIN OLIVE OILER!!!