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As many of you know, I have been studying holistic nutrition and learning much about what we Americans eat and how our food choices affect our health.  Serious illnesses are on the rise often affecting children.  As parents we are seeing increased incidents of allergies, skin rashes, asthma, bronchial conditions, hyperactivity, learning challenges, earaches, colds, and flu.  Oftentimes food sensitivities are the culprits of many of these conditions.

So much of our foods are filled with chemical ingredients that are not “food” but rather are elements meant to maintain food color and texture, fill up containers, and add shelf life.  Some of these additives come from poor quality sources that our bodies do not recognize and therefore add no benefit as nutrition.  What our bodies do recognize is the “foreignness” of these ingredients and sends our immune system to the rescue to eliminate them.  This takes our storehouse of good nutrients to detoxify the interlopers further depleting our healthy reserves.

It is important to constantly supply our bodies with healthy food sources, nutrient rich fruits, vegetables, legumes (peas and beans), whole grains such as wheat, rye, barley, quinoa, millet, spelt, and kamut, and lots of fresh pure water.  We are inundated with toxins everyday by air and water pollution, food additives in the form of antibiotics, dyes, artificial flavorings, growth hormones, and genetically modified products.  Many foods now are undergoing irradiation to further shelf life with the guise of killing pathogens.  Yet these processes, often using high heat, kill the living nutrient force of the foods in the processing.  White flour products are stripped of their nutrient rich husks and brans that provide fiber and essential vitamins and minerals that then get added back under the designation of “fortified.”  Many forms of these fortified nutrients are of poor and cheap quality, often unusable by our bodies.

Choosing whole foods in the forms of fresh fruits, vegetables, grass fed animal meat, and wild deep cold water fish becomes a must for maintaining healthy bodies.  I urge everyone to read labels carefully and to begin switching away from all processed foods.  Our bodies accumulate these toxic ingredients in our organs and tissues challenging our cells to function in the mess of what we ingest in the form of processed foods, and such a backlog in our systems is contributing to illness, fatigue, brain fog, and myriad aches and pains.  Once we begin to reduce this toxic load, we begin to recover and function more efficiently.

As well, by beginning to eliminate household cleaning products and personal care products full of ingredients that coat our skin, clog our pores, and contaminate our household air will be a strong step in the direction of assisting our bodies to recover and maintain health.

Krystle Shapiro is the founding member of The Sandpoint Wellness Council, owns Touchstone Massage Therapies and can be reached at 208/290-6760.

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