The life span of the average person in the United States has significantly increased over that last century. Medical research and medications have made it possible to treat disease and provide longer lives for the sick and elderly. Diagnosis, treatment, and medical coverage have allowed patients to extend their lives, but at what cost?
Long life, does not necessarily mean quality life. Living to the age of 90 or above seems wonderful, unless the last 20 years were at the nursing home with the inability to communicate due to a stroke. No one dreams to be placed in a nursing home. As a matter of fact, we all want to avoid them anyway possible. Even visiting someone in there can be depressing.
Being independent is freedom and brings a certain quality of living we all hope to achieve. So let's talk about having a long health span. If we can achieve both a long life span and health span, then that would be golden. Unfortunately, odds are not in our favor with the current dietary recommendations. With a heavy emphasis on breads and grains, the waists bands will continue to expand along with the diagnosis of disease. Consuming processed and pre-packaged foods is definitely contributing to this epidemic. To lengthen our health span, requires more work in the kitchen and more planning in meal preparation, but the payoff is well worth the effort!
For Christmas, I received a book entitled Eating on the Wild Side, by Jo Robinson. In it, she outlines how our current food industry has transformed away from the nutrition once found in foods into food that is more sweet and less nutritious. Consumer demand has forced food scientists to continue to alter foods that people will buy. What we want is sweeter food. With this demand, plants no longer contain the necessary nutrients to fight off disease.
Many of our wild foods are so nutrient dense, it could prevent and even possibly cure cancer. Still, many of today's food still have the nutrients to fight off disease, but know which one to purchase is key. The other factor is this: once vegetables and fruits are picked, the nutrient content begins to expire. Picking food at its ripest and then consuming it quickly will allow the body to gain the most nutrients possible to stay healthy and achieve a long health span. Pay the farmer or pay the doctor!
Health-bite: the gold metal is achieving health span