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Choose High Quality Whole Foods For Optimal Health

Each time you sit down to a meal, you are making life and death decisions. The effect of the food you eat on your body is making the difference between developing chronic disease or living a vigorous extended life. Food is our bodies’ fuel and is used for everything that our body is capable of.

Humans are originally (and still biologically) a hunter-gatherer type of species. We originally hunted animals and gathered fruits, vegetables, nuts etc. This is the natural way that our bodies have been nourished for thousands of centuries. Hunter-gatherers ate whole foods- foods that are in their pure, whole form the way they are found in nature.

It has only been in the last 100 years that our farming and food preservation and creation methods have become industrialized. During that time 10,000 chemicals and non-foods have been added to our food supply. Our crops have been doused in chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and insecticides. Animals are being grown and raised in unnatural settings and fed food they don’t naturally eat such as corn and soy. Animals are given medicines and antibiotics to keep them “healthy” for human consumption. Food is being engineered, processed, and genetically modified. When we eat any of this un-natural, foreign food, we are eating substances that require detoxification by our liver. These foreign substances enter our bloodstream causing our immune system to fight the invaders. This can lead to chronic fatigue and many other disease processes related to inefficient body function. A good rule of thumb is if the food wasn’t here 100 years ago- don’t eat it!

The next time you go to the grocery store, walk up and down the aisles and think about what your great grandmother or even your great, great grandmother would have been able to buy. She certainly wouldn’t have seen the rows and rows of packaged, processed foods. She would have found whole foods as they are found in nature. Whole foods contain flavor and ingredients as nature intended. They are free of artificial flavors and colors as well as added chemicals that are used to increase the shelf life of processed foods. Since whole foods have been minimally processed, they provide more natural ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, and fiber. A good example of a whole food is an apple in its pure state. It can then become processed and turned into apple juice with added high fructose corn syrup, apple sauce with preservatives, more processed into apple pie filling in a can, and then unrecognizable at all in the form of apple candy. The healthy choice is to just buy the apple and then eat it as is or prepare it the way you want to.

The quality of the food we are eating is just as important as what we are eating. More and more scientific studies are confirming that organic food or food raised on organic principles is more nutrient dense. Organic food has not been treated with pesticides, insecticides, fungicides, or synthetic fertilizers some of which have been proven to cause cancer, Parkinson’s disease, miscarriages, and birth defects. Organic food is also not genetically modified and animals that are organically raised have not been given antibiotics or growth hormones.

Besides the fact that organic food is more nutritious, it tastes better! We are lucky to have a farmer’s market in town that can supply us with local, fresh produce. Not all farmers can afford the expense and time involved in organic certification. Talk to your grower and find out if they farm through organic methods. If so, this is the best place at this time of year to get the highest quality fruits and vegetables. We also have a number of farmers in the area who raise their animals organically with access to pasture and grass and who don’t treat their animals with antibiotics or growth hormones. For more information please contact Kristine Battey, (208) 946-7072.

Kristine Battey is a licensed physical therapist, a certified athletic trainer, a certified strength and conditioning specialist (personal trainer) and a holistic lifestyle coach. She owns Divine Health & Fitness,, and can be reached at (208) 946-7072.

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