I chose to talk about poor nutrition and chronic disease because I wanted to talk about Hawthorn seminar I listened to recently called “Aging with Vitality.” The guest, Raymond Francis, worded the process of aging in a way very similar to another nutrition resource of mine, Sean Croxton, and the implications are huge.
What Francis argued was that there are only two causes of disease. The first is that the cells don’t have everything that they need to operate effectively, and the second is that there are toxins in the cells that impede with effective operation. What a simple and wonderful way to surmise the conundrum of health.
The way I look at it, the human body is designed to be healthy. Our body contains all of the systems necessary to fix problems, prevent cancer, avoid diabetes, have enough energy, etc. When one of these systems fail, it is likely the result of cells who are struggling either because they don’t have what they need or because they have something they don’t. Cells are the building blocks of these systems.
So what do cells need? What do they need to stay nourished and to build more healthy cells? Water, fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes are all needed, and they work synergisticly. Without these, cells will not be able to function optimally, and diseases can come about.
Though the theory is simple, the implications are huge. If we aren’t getting enough raw foods in our diets, how can we get enough enzymes to facilitate cell processes? If we aren’t getting enough fat in our diet, how can we have enough fat soluble vitamins (let alone all of the fatty acids our cells need)? If we aren’t eating organic food, how are we supposed to get enough vitamins and minerals from nutrient depleted soils? If we ingest extreme amounts of toxins, how are our cells to do anything other than struggle to detoxify all day?
Of course, this theory does not explain the complex internal events which lead to the development of diseases like type 2 diabetes, cancer, or heart disease. Still, what I like about this explanation is that it really gets to the heart of a lot of the problems with Western medicine. When our cells don’t have everything we need, we will get some symptom; when we go to the doctor, we will be labeled as having some disease. When we take medications, we treat the symptoms; when we only treat the system, we never solve the problem. But at the end of the day, cells don’t have pharmaceutical deficiencies; they have nutrient deficiencies. And what is more antithetical to disease than functioning internal systems.