Eating for happiness

Friday, December 13, 2013 by: Michelle Goldstein
Tags: happiness, organic diet, processed foods

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(NaturalNews) We are what we eat. As Hippocrates stated long ago, "Let food be thy medicine." Each day we have the choice to nourish our bodies with nutrient-dense foods or poison ourselves with processed, empty calories.

Modern research has discovered what endemic cultures knew through their intrinsic wisdom, passed on from generation to generation. New researchers are discovering that traditional diets carry one key to happiness. Weston A. Price, in his meticulous 1930s research, observed that traditional groups knew what foods were needed to ensure the superior health of future generations. These people were happy and healthy. The indigenous groups went to great lengths to obtain foods providing the nutrients required for their optimal physical and mental health. This contrasts greatly with the American fast food culture of easy, processed foods.

Real food versus processed

Raw milk, cheese and butter from pastured animals fed an organic diet are superfoods, full of nutrients and life-giving properties. See Likewise, meat and fat from pastured, organic-fed animals are far superior in nutrients compared to the meat from factory-farmed animals. Nutrients contained in pastured eggs with their rich orange yolks surpasses that found in factory eggs commonly found in our grocery stores. Organic vegetables and fruits contain higher amounts of vitamins compared to conventional produce.

While there is a higher cost paid for better quality foods, this cost will most certainly be repaid and saved in reduced illness and improved health. For those with financial constraints, making simple changes such as replacing processed, boxed cereals with eggs or oatmeal for breakfast can improve health. One can buy butter instead of processed margarine and oils. Substituting fresh vegetables and fruits for chips and "junk food" can enhance nutrition. An excellent health food is home-made broth from meat or fish bones.

100 reasons to avoid processed foods

In the book The Happiness Diet, health journalist Tyler Graham and physician Drew Ramsey provide 100 reasons to avoid processed foods. Reason #36 states: "The FDA allows nineteen maggots and seventy-four mites in a three-and-a-half-ounce can of mushrooms." Reason #45 states: "When you buy processed food, you help fund the ten billion dollars spent every year to market junk foods to kids. Since 1980, obesity has tripled among adolescents." #83 states: "Milk from factory-farmed cows treated with growth hormones often contains pus."

Happiness foods

According to The Happiness Diet, nutrients essential for mental health include vitamins B12, A, D and E, iodine, magnesium, cholesterol, calcium, fiber, folate, omega-3 and iron.

Sources for these critical nutrients: shellfish, sardines, fish, fatty fish, wild salmon, liver, duck, dark chicken meat, grass-fed meat and milk, pastured eggs, egg yolk, cheese, yogurt, butter and lard from pastured animals, seaweed, potato skin, green leaves, whole grains, beans, black beans, black-eyes peas, lentils, sunflower seeds, almonds, pecans, walnuts, blackstrap molasses, mushrooms (exposed to sunlight), kale, cabbage, mustard, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, olives, swiss chard, beet, turnip and collard greens, and fruit.

Graham and Ramsey cite research from well-known journals to support their dietary recommendations. Their dietary suggestions are remarkably similar to the nutrient-dense dietary principles discovered by Weston A. Price in his landmark study.

Guidelines for better quality foods

The following labels can assist in purchasing higher quality foods: U.S. grass-fed, naturally raised, humanely raised, fed an all-vegetarian diet, no rBGH, GMO-free, organic, wild Alaskan and fair-trade. Buying from a local, trusted farmer with no certifications is another good option.

Recalling how our great-grandparents ate is one of the best guidelines. One of my favorite kitchen magnets states: "Try organic food...or as your grandparents called it, 'Food.'"

Sources for this article include:

Graham, Tyler; Ramsey, Drew. The Happiness Diet. 2011. Rodale: NY, NY.

Price, Weston. Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. 8th Edition. La Mesa, CA: the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, 2009. Print.

About the author:
Michelle Goldstein is a mental health therapist who incorporates holistic approaches into her counseling practice. She became passionate about holistic health, healing and politics, after immersing herself into the world of alternative medicine looking for answers to a family member's health crisis. Michelle learned that many standard health care recommendations, which she had long trusted, actually contribute to causing disease. She can be found at the following sites:

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