Dr. Terry Wahls is a physician who reversed her multiple sclerosis using mostly a proper, nutrient-rich diet. In a 1 year period, she went from confined to a wheelchair to walking with a cane to fully active. This passage was taken from her book “Minding My Mitochondria” :
Although there is considerable interest in the genetic causes of disease, I have found that environmental factors, particularly the micronutrient content of the diet, are the primary cause of most chronic diseases. It is the deficient diet that turns genes off and on, often leading to activation of genes associated with cleft lip, crooked teeth, learning disabilities, diabetes, obesity and heart disease (among others).
Dr. Weston Price, a dentist, analyzed the diets of 14 different primitive peoples from 5 continents in the early 20th Century. Because there are very few cultures now that have not been Westernized, researchers would have a very difficult time conducting a similar type of study today. He studied individuals who were still eating the traditional foods for that culture, and the first and second generation of individuals who had adopted a Westernized diet. His team analyzed the nutritional contents of the primitive and Westernized diets, and conducted physical assessments, mental assessments, dental x-rays, and assessments of bone densities. His book “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration” was first published in 1936.
His findings demonstrated that there was considerable variation in the local foodstuffs, as the diets accommodated what was locally available. In spite of the variation, the primitive diets were consistently very rich in vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids. The Westernized diets were consistently lacking in vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids. The individuals who were eating traditional, primitive diets had straight teeth without cavities, while the individuals with a Westernized diet had crooked teeth filled with cavities. Furthermore, the individuals eating a primitive diet had superior physical and mental assessments as compared to those who ate a Westernized diet.
His conclusion was that lack of micronutrients led to physical degeneration. He believed that diets deficient in micronutrients activated certain genes, which led to stunted growth of the mid-face, decreased intelligence, and emotional instability, as well as lower mineral content in bones and lower muscle mass. More recent studies have confirmed diets deficient in omega-3 fatty acids are associated with numerous health and dental problems, including mal-aligned teeth and higher rates of orthodontic dental problems, learning disabilities, depression, and excessive aggression. Diets lower in fruits and vegetables (antioxidants) are associated with higher rates of cancers, cataracts, macular degeneration, diabetes, high blood pressures, heart disease, and autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis. It has been empirically proven that what we do and do not eat affects the functions of our cells and, therefore, our overall health.
Many authors have studied primitive diets, or “Paleo diets,” concluding that traditional diets were much richer in vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and other important phytonutrients (plant based nutrients) and were associated with greater health. The standard American diet leaves over 90% of Americans over the age of two with inadequate intake of essential fats, vitamins, and minerals, due to its emphasis on white flour, sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, seeds high in omega-6 fats instead of greens high in omega-3 fats, and animals fed seeds like corn instead of grass. This diet is strongly associated with autoimmune and chronic degenerative disease and a return to the Paleolithic diet reduces many of the symptoms of our modern autoimmune and chronic degenerative diseases. Additionally, many modern diets are low in iodine and trace minerals, which have significant implications for health of our brains and our mitochondria. What we have learned from those studies is that people can eat a wide variety of foodstuffs and retain our health. There were some foods that were consistently associated with poor dental, mental, and physical health. Those were sugar, white flour, white potatoes, and a grain-rich diet – the mainstay of the American diet.
NO WONDER WE ARE PROGRESSIVELY LESS WELL.
I consider this mandatory reading for anyone suffering from chronic illness, mental, cancer, autoimmune and all chronic disease. It could change your life: