How do we define healthy foods? I define foods as healthy if they cause no net decrease in our health. These foods must support our health and build us up in such a way as to provide sufficient energy and nutrients to maintain our internal systems. Our internal systems require a certain level of energy to function properly. If those requirements are not met, our health begins to suffer.
The confusing issue is that these requirements are largely unique to the individual. Compounding the confusion is the fact that our social and commercial definition of what is healthful changes over time.
We know what we feel like when we are healthy and when we are sick, but most of us, at one time or another, don’t have the faintest clue as to whether something is healthful or not. At first, somebody must tell us the difference—and herein lies the big problem. Most of our ancestral information on how and what to eat and how to live our lives in a healthy way has been run over by the fast-paced and prepackaged life we live. We have lost touch with the earth and what is naturally healthy; we can’t even get that individual information from our intuition or experiences anymore, as our taste preferences have been trained to crave health-damaging, even deadly, foods.
So, we are left to figure it out on our own, reading this or that report, claiming health benefits for all types of products. Additionally, what’s healthy for one person may not be healthy for another. If we eliminate the questions of quality and nutrients, what remains is the individual energy requirement of each person. We can buy the finest quality organic, locally sourced, family-farm-raised, grass-fed beef, confident that it is perfectly healthful. If our energy pattern is such that we need the high energy of beef, then we will thrive on it. However, if our energy pattern clashes with beef, if the beef gives us too much energy, then it will not be healthy for us. Food is healthy if it a) harmoniously meshes with our energy pattern, b) is minimally processed and free of health-harming additives and chemicals, and c) provides the nutrients our body needs.
We can begin to build our personal database of what is healthy or not by observing the early warning symptoms that our body and mind exhibit, and by attempting to correlate the symptoms with our recent consumptive habits. These symptoms (body odor, runny nose, aches and pains, skin issues, infections, constipation, diarrhea, gas, impatience, anger, depression, etc.) alert us to imbalances or deficiencies that can be addressed in a timely manner to avoid illness and disease in the future.