e.g. Heart spasms are not primarily caused by bloodclots, but by a combination of stress, poor physical fitness, and poor nutrition (deficiency of magnesium, excess of sugar, fat, protein, and salt).
Your diet is more important than most people think. Have balanced meals, to include: Fresh fruit and vegetables (for vitamins, minerals and roughage), carbohydrates (for energy), proteins (for cell replacement) and a little oil (no fat).
Today, whole new forms of medecine are being developed based on the principles of 'prevention' by taking the 'whole human being' in consideration,with the emphasis on lifestyle and nutrition. These 'Alternative Medicins' are therefore holistic, and in direct contradiction with 'Traditional Medicin', which is based on treatment by drugs and operation, essentially independent of a person's lifestyle, environment, or eating habits. These two types of medicin are at loggerheads and call each other 'Quacks'. Yet, both of them have good results, as they are really complementary.
It is almost inconceivable that we allow ourselves to breath in air contaminated with so many pollutants: acids, nitrous oxides, lead, sulphur dioxide, smoke, just to name a few. That is even discounting the pollutants we used to permit workers to inhale, such as asbestos, silica, and a host of other industrial emissions.
We don't take care of our car exhausts, our chimney exhausts, and voluntarily inhale primary or secondary tobacco smoke. We don't think anything of it, until we or our children develop asthma, or emphysema, or when the doctor come to tell us that we have only six more months to live. When our Quality of Life is being diminished because of the poor air we have been breathing for too long, and it is too late to set the clock back.
Another air problem that has been brought to light in the past 15-20 years is the fact that we usually breath too shallowly. Especially when we are stressed or concentrated on our work. Working on computers has made us aware of the need to take a break every hour, at least, and take some deep breaths. Aerobic exercise has been found essential to provide that air we need to manage good combustion of our food. Poor combustion least to free radicals, which are partially oxidised molecules that are linked to cancer. We will explore exercise more in the next chapter.
Almost all said about air goes for water. Our main sources of drinking water are polluted. Most of them have carcinogenic substances in them that will accumulate in the liver of unsuspecting people. Unlike the waters polluted with faecal matter as in many underdeveloped countries, we cannot get away from it by replacing water with beer, since beer is made from the same water.
Water is needed to keep everything in our body moving that includes the nutrients as well as the intoxicants. We need to drink enough water per day to keep out kidneys flushed and to prevent build up of salts, causing kidney stones and other illnesses. Dehydration causes headaches and can be fatal. e.g. Especially when exercising heavily and when drinking alcoholic beverages we need to drink a lot of water.
Today, the average North American (including Canadians!!!) consumes over a 100 pounds of sugar per year. A hundred years ago that was only 10 pounds, and 500 years ago, that was less than a pound, and only for the rich people. Our bodies are not designed to digest such large quantities of sugar.
When we eat sugar it will break down into one molecule of fructose and one molecule of glucose. The latter calls immediately for large quantities of insuline. This disturbs the insulin balance. Therefore, we should count all 'simple sugars' doing the same, such as: brown sugar, honey (which are both saccharose), maltose (in beer), lactose (in milk). Also recognize that the sugars in some fruits that are high in saccharose or glucose, while others are high in fructose.
If, on the other hand, we eat 'complex carbohydrates', such as starches, grain products (bread, pasta, cereals), potatoes, corn, these will break down very slowly, and release only small quantities of glucose at one time. These foods do not disturb the insulin balance, because they provide glucose continuously in only small quantities. One word of caution: 'Cereals' does not mean 'breakfast cereals', because the latter are processed foods which contain as much as 60% pure white sugar!!!
If we overload the system with white sugar, we will get an overload of insulin. The body cannot regulate it so precisely and usually overshoots, i.e. puts too much insulin in the blood stream. This has two major effects: It causes the blood sugar level to drop below normal, and it causes fats to be stored instead of burned. The first effect may cause mood swings and headaches, the second may cause obesity.
A third effect is long term: If we keep overworking our insulin production, the hormone gland will enlarge, and eventually quit working. When that happens we have what is called 'diabetes'. When that happens our blood sugar level will go up upon eating sweets, and stay up, causing a variety of symptoms, which if not controlled may spell death.
Blood sugar levels, today, are easy to measure, using a test kit purchased in the drugstore. Warning: It does require 'drawing blood'. The test requires blood sugar levels to be measured over a period of 6 hours. Initially every half hour, then every full hour. The sugar level is then plotted, and the diagnosis made. Unless the gland is destroyed, no insulin is produced, and the blood sugar level stays up after eating sugar, the curve can be controlled by eliminating sugar in the diet.
To me the safest is to cut out the sugar, never mind the testing!
Animal fats also contain cholesterol. This has a very complex molecule, very similar to many hormones. Physically, it is a solid fatty substance.
Solid fats are believed to clog the arteries, therefore cause high blood pressure. The latter is hard on the heart, which gets tired of pumping against these clogged arteries and gives out. Clogging is also helped by milk and sugar, which creates a sticky substance, not unlike ice-cream, that coats the artery walls and traps the fats.
When not burned, fats will also accumulate under the skin, resulting in obesity. This gives excess weight and an additional load on the heart.
If sufficient amounts of complex carbohydrates are present fats will be burned, but if refined sugars are present, fats will be stored (See above).
Oils in small quantities do not seem to be problematic. Olive oil and especially fish oils are very healthy. The latter has been reported as helping to clean out the arteries from animal fats. Oils tend to keep the skin supple, but only in the absence of sugar and hard fats.
Magnesium also provides the conductivity needed for the nerves. This helps to prevent irregular heartbeat and fibrillation.
Most of us know that vitamin A is needed for good vision. Few know that excess vitamin A is toxic. The same is true for many minerals and vitamins. Therefore, it is wise to stick to the standard amounts. The only exception maybe vitamin C. This is an anti-oxidant and very useful when under stress.
Iron has recently been quoted as combining with glucose and precipitating as ferricgluconate in the arteries. According to some a major hazard, contributing to hardening of the arteries. However, ferrous iron may be all-right, provided it is in small quantities. Remember, there is a lot of ferric iron in meat and blood. I don't know how serious this is, but it is worthwhile considering.
Apples and vegetable also provide roughage, bulk. This is needed to keep your bowels moving.
Vegetables can be classified in 5 categories:
Some aminoacids can be made inside our body, but there are 8 essential aminoacids that our body cannot make and must come from food. If one wants to avoid animal products, it is critical that a full complement of essential aminoacids be consumed. Most of these can be found in 'legumes', i.e. beans and peas. Two of them are sulphur containing proteins that are hard to find in vegetable products.
One egg a day will provide all the proteins you need, yet will not screw up your blood pressure, unless you are a beef eater. The egg yellow has many essential nutrients and sulphur containing amino acids. Its cholesterol does not cause high blood cholesterol readings, instead it helps to provide building blocks for our hormones.
In general, it is best to take it easy on meat. Preferably, eat little or none. Beef contains a large percentage of hard fat (lard), and a large amount of ferric iron. Both are contributors to high blood pressure. Beef can also contribute to obesity. Recently, beef has been implicated in 'Mad Cow Disease' as a deadly illness that has affected people in the UK. English beef has been exported to most European countries. Well done beef and especially charred beef has been implicated in colon cancer.
Fish is a much better choice, especially when lightly broiled. Tofu is another good vegetarian source of protein. When over 22 years of age, avoid drinking milk. Take yoghurt instead. Many people have a lactose intolerance, but in all of us, lactose will change into glucose when broken down in the body. Obese people should avoid excess protein. That includes milk, milk products, and meat.
The quantity of protein needed varies from person to person, but in most cases 50-100 grams per day is plenty. Excess protein should be avoided, since the excess aminoacids will break down further into urea and uric acid. These must be eliminated through the kidneys and are likely to result in bladder or kidney stones. They also deposit on the joints, causing a form of arthritis. Excess protein may also result in allergic sensitivity to some specific high protein foods.
Excess protein may be noticed by high alkalinity (pH) of the urine. Vegetables bring the pH down. Therefore, low vegetables tend to raise the pH also, while more vegetables can help balancing the pH.
High blood pressure leads to aneurysms which may burst or blood clots, which may cause strokes or heart failure. All burned products are carcinogenic: that includes toast, burnt steak, and caramel colouring in coke and other products.
Sleeping pills and tranquilizers may lower your resistance by affecting your REM sleep. Excess alcohol must also be avoided as it not only affects your REM sleep, but also destroys your liver and brain cells. Reduced REM sleep becomes evident by excessive dreaming and a hang-over feeling. Excess is considered anything over ounce of hard liquor/day, the equivalent of one 16 ozs beer or one 4 ozs wine.
Next, is to eat balanced meals. That means plenty of complex carbohydrates, vegetables, and fruits, together with small amounts of protein and oil. Every meal should be balanced and complete. Not one with carbohydrates, another with protein, and another with vegetables. If you take vitamins and minerals, these should be taken just after the meal, as they digest faster and need to be available when the food is digested, not before.
Don't burn or overcook the food. Burned food is carcinogenic, and overcooked vegetables are hard to digest and have lost all the vitamins. Remember to take it easy on proteins and especially on red meat and milk. Substitute with vegetable proteins and small amounts of fish.
Finally, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" is still valid today. They also give you tons of vitamins and minerals.
Please, do keep up-to-date with health literature, it will teach you more than I could possible paste up here. Also remember there are many different opinions out there, many contradicting each other. If you don't learn, you can easily get swayed to the side of the least resistance.