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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkVallarta Living | Archives

A Search for Health
Susan Wichterman

In the previous article, we made a good argument to avoid foods that may be potentially harmful to the body, which include red meat (mad cow and foot and mouth disease notwithstanding), dairy foods, eggs, and refined carbohydrates. One may rightly question if there is anything left to eat?

In researching this query, I first wanted an historical perspective. Popular belief has it that modern man is much healthier than in the past. Indeed he may live longer, thanks to the miracles of science, but it seems he is also plagued with degenerative ills that appear to be epidemic in our present culture, such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and cancer.

Explorers in centuries past often commented on the health and beauty of natives, young and old, which they encountered on their travels. The first European explorer who came to Tahiti wrote, "Their vigor and agility, even in old men, surpass those of our young folk." A contemporary dentist who carries out extensive studies of dental health and its relationship to diet, noted that among skulls of primitive Peruvian Indians, close to 100% of their teeth were free of caries or faulty position.

Dr. Price's documented work verifies that with traditional, local diets devoid of civilized foods such as sugar, canned vegetables, and white flour products, people were longer lived, handsomer, and healthier than their modern counterparts. As soon as processed foods entered the native diet, problems such as tooth decay, TB, structural defects in children, and difficulties with childbearing emerged as the first symptoms.

In recent years, nutritional studies have been made of ancient peoples who have been found to be exceedingly healthy and long-lived. In studying the traditional Maori of New Zealand, the Sikhs of Northern India, the migratory Indians from the American High Sierras, ancient Peruvians, natives of the Outer Hebrides near Scotland, and the early Greeks, it was found that despite geographical variances, their diets stressed a greater use of fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and a return to the consumption of unrefined cereals, beans, and other complex carbohydrates. Another factor to contemplate is that these peoples ate in accordance with their immediate environment, thus enabling them to maintain natural physiological balance with the local climate.

It is noteworthy that whole cereal grains constituted humanity's staple food for hundreds of thousands of years, and up until recent times, they were eaten as a primary food throughout the world. For example, rice was eaten in the Orient, wheat in Europe and Asia, buckwheat in Central Europe, and corn in the Americas.

Now that we have a viewpoint from an archival context as to what might be the appropriate food for man, I next looked at the human body itself for more clues.

Our permanent teeth show the biological history of man. Of the 32 teeth, we have twenty molars used primarily for grinding grain, as well as eight incisors most effective for cutting vegetables. The four canine teeth can be used for tearing flesh or animal foods. Thus, twenty-eight teeth are suited for vegetable quality foods, while the four canines are for animal food. As a seven to one ratio, could this mean we are to eat seven times more vegetable quality than animal food?

The structure and function of our intestines give us another indication of what direction to take. Vegetable foods do not easily putrefy and therefore do not disrupt the beneficial functioning of intestinal bacteria. Animal protein, on the other hand, begins to decompose as soon as the animal has been killed.

Refrigeration will temporarily slow the process, but when it enters the warm, dark, and very long intestinal tract, putrescence speeds up. If there is an unpleasant odor to bowel movements, this is an indication of an unhealthy intestinal environment. Be aware that carnivorous (flesh eating) animals, unlike humans, have short intestines. Thus, food digests quickly and is rapidly eliminated.

A small correction from my previous article: Animals, like humans, do indeed have brains. We are not exclusive in this regard.

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