In order to achieve outstanding energy and long-lasting vitality you must eat foods that the body and brain recognise as food.  In other words, foods that provide the building blocks your body requires for sustaining life.  Unfortunately, food companies looking to promote their products frequently use misleading terms, confusing the general public. The terms healthy, natural and organic can be confusing. Below, we take a look at these terms and what to look out for when making a ‘safe’ purchase.

Healthy

This term is appropriate for foodstuffs which provide good quality nutrients that can be utilised by the body for its various and many functions.  They will, by their very nature, be naturally-occurring foods (those that grow on the earth or in the sea).

A variety of foods are sold using the term ‘healthy’ extensively. However, generally, processed foods have vitamins and minerals added to them (called fortified). Any naturally occurring nutrients are stripped  and the added nutrients tend to be added post-processing.  An example of this would be breakfast cereals.

Truly healthy foods are also ‘natural’ foods.

Natural

This term should indicate foods that are completely unadulterated. These are foods such as whole grains, fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, unroasted nuts and seeds, legumes, beans, raw (unpasteurised) dairy and animal proteins.

Just because it says so on the label, don’t be fooled into believing a product is natural.  After all, fruit juice is natural when squeezed manually. Naturally occurring nutrients are destroyed, because the juice is extracted using heat. It has added man-made vitamins. Juice is then stored for weeks in a plastic-lined carton (releasing toxic plasticides into the liquid). You’re not going to get quite the same level of nutrition from it as if it were freshly squeezed.  In fact, you’re getting a product, which is quite toxic and certainly very ‘dead’.

Organic

‘Organic’ refers to foods which have had no chemicals added. This means that food has no chemicals added during its growth span – including the soil in/on where it is grown. In other words, foods do not have pesticides, growth hormones and antibiotics are added at any time. This term should also refer to foods grown in a natural way.  An example would be using permaculture principles (companion planting, as occurs in nature), rather than monoculture principles (single crop growth).

In the case of animal rearing, it should refer to the manner in which the animal lived; not just what it was fed (i.e. free-ranging vs feedlot/cage/barn).  These distinctions are important.  There are plenty of unscrupulous certifying bodies out there that may simply require a few photos and a sum of money in order to give a farmer ‘organic’ status.  Where your food is coming from and what it is subjected to before landing on your plate, therefor becomes necessary for you, as a consumer, to research.

Organic foods that aren’t genetically modified in any way.  This doesn’t mean that organic foods are always healthy or natural, since you may find plenty of processed foodstuffs made with organic ingredients!

In summary

Your diet should be made up of mostly of natural, healthy, organic foods. At least a third of what you eat should also be raw.  You can get this in the form of salads, crudités, fresh vegetable juice, sprouts, nuts, seeds, rare meats and fermented vegetables. Never forget – you are what you eat, digest and assimilate, so take care what you put in your mouth…