printable article

Originally published February 23 2006

Health folklore: We really are what we eat

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

A lot of truths about food and health are readily found in folklore. You've all heard phrases like, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away," or "You are what you eat." Both of these phrases have a foundation in reality. For example, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" suggests that people should eat fresh produce and raw foods. An apple is a raw, living food. This phrase also suggests that an apple should be consumed every single day. In other words, we should live on these foods. They should be a regular part of our lifestyle. Therefore, the saying can be expanded to mean, as one interpretation, that eating raw foods on a regular basis will keep you healthy and keep you from being sick. This advice, of course, is absolutely true.

What about the phrase, "You are what you eat"? What does that mean? It means you become what you ingest. You become what you put into your mouth, and I believe this saying operates on many different levels.

If you eat healthy foods, then you're physically healthy, whereas if you eat unhealthy foods, you're diseased and unhealthy. However, you are also emotionally and mentally what you eat. If you eat happy plant foods raised with clean water, healthy soil and natural sunlight, you will tend to be happy and joyous and mentally healthy. On the other hand, if you eat foods that are angry, depressed and oppressed -- like meat from cows that have been conventionally raised (and deprived of access to clean air, water and pasture) -- these foods are going to make you angry, depressed and imbalanced. It's going to affect your mental health as much as your physical health.

"You are what you eat" is a phrase of much wisdom. For example, if you eat processed factory foods, then guess what? You become a processed factory person. What does that mean? "Processed" means you're not natural anymore. You have imbalances. You have too much of some things and not enough of other things, and that's what we see in the mental capacity of people raised on processed foods.

We see kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, people with manic depression and people who are bipolar. What is bipolar? It's too much of one thing and not enough of another. It's a state of imbalance, because they are what they are eating, and they're eating imbalanced foods -- high-glycemic foods, in many cases -- and foods that lack nutritional balance and the essential minerals that should be found in foods.

If you eat processed, manufactured and artificial foods, then guess what? You are also processed, artificial and lacking in clarity. However, if you eat natural foods raised organically in the fresh air and sunshine, without pesticides and herbicides, then you're going to be clean and purified. Even your mental state will achieve higher levels of clarity.

Your roadmap to outstanding health

"You are what you eat" is not just some old wives' tale. It is a powerful phrase that reflects the truth in the relationship between food and health. "You are what you eat" is a map, and it can be a guide to help you choose your foods carefully. When you go to the grocery store and you're shopping, whatever you put in your shopping cart is what you will become. It's what your physical health will reflect, what your emotional health will reflect and what your mental health and thought processes will reflect. This is a fundamental truth of nutrition. If you want to be natural, if you want to be nutrient-rich, if you want to operate at peak performance and if you want to be resistant to viruses, fungi and parasites -- that is, if you truly wish to be a healthy individual -- you must consume foods that are healthy.

But what is it that most people actually put into their mouths? Dead foods: Foods that have been cooked, processed, milled, refined, homogenized or hydrogenated. These are all dead foods, and so, of course, what will these people become? They become dead. They die slowly, one organ at a time. Their liver fails, their heart fails and their brain function degrades by the month. They become what they eat. We all do.

I find it interesting that folklore recognized these truths long ago. It just shows that an understanding of the fundamentals of nutrition has existed for a very long time and, in fact, precedes the relatively recent discovery by the western world that food is medicine.

All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing LLC takes sole responsibility for all content. Truth Publishing sells no hard products and earns no money from the recommendation of products. is presented for educational and commentary purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice from any licensed practitioner. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. For the full terms of usage of this material, visit