Should we eat plants or animals? Or both? What is the healthiest diet - vegetarian (eat plants only) or omnivore (eat both plants and animal products)? Being such a widely discussed and sometimes hotly debated topic these days, I'd like to shed some light and offer some advice.
Someone once said, it is best to eat mostly wild plants, and I tend to agree. The more wild the plants, the more phytonutrients, minerals, and vitamins they contain, which ultimately affects the genetic expression in our bodies. We truly are what we eat. Whether we grow plants in a garden, buy food from a farmer's market, or harvest wild plants, it is worth the extra effort to add wild plants to our healthy diet.
Hormesis is a technical way of saying that an organism responds to small stressors by becoming stronger in order to adapt to a challenging environment. Ever heard the phrase, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger? So it is with wild plants. Wild plants are considered the edible plant "gold standard" because they have succeeded in surviving the stressors of their natural environment, which makes them nutrient rich. Wild plants, when eaten raw, cause a healthier stress response in our bodies at the genetic expression level. If our gut can handle eating these wild raw plants, it goes a long way toward fighting stress in our bodies for the long term.
A 2010 study determined the top 100 richest foods in polyphenols, and the top 10 are:
Dried Mexican oregano
Dark chocolate (BEFORE sugar is added to it ;)
Personally, I like to include a lot of herbs and plants that were also in the top 100, including sage, rosemary, spearmint, thyme, basil, curry, and coffee (BTW, I'd really only recommend mold-free coffee).
People who have leaky gut or other gut issues may not tolerate a lot of raw food. For example, kale can generally be healthy, but eating too much raw kale can overwhelm a leaky gut. Variety in the plants we consume is very important, as is whether we cook our food or consume it raw. If raw is not tolerated, a good place to begin is by lightly steaming it, or if severe leaky gut, then likely best to make a stew. As our leaky gut heals, we can gradually progress from cooking or steaming it less, toward eating raw food, and therefore reaping the greatest benefits. Too much cold raw food in the winter time also tends to put strain on the body, so that is a good time of year to eat stews and warm our food.
Blue zones are where people live the longest, and there are many blue zones throughout the world. People living in blue zones tend to eat a lot of plants (mostly wild plants), but they do eat some animal products in all but one blue zone. Eggs, cheese, fish, sheep, and goat are fairly common, but they don't consume a lot of red meat animal products on a regular basis. When they do consume animal products, they take a "whole animal" approach, including organ meats, bone broth, bone marrow, etc. (Yes, literally the edible parts of the animal from the nose to the tail!)
Meat quality is very important too. Animals that are grass fed, free range, antibiotic-free, and consume their natural pesticide-free wild diet are the healthiest meat sources and produce the highest quality animal products. On the other hand, meat from your standard local grocery store is totally different than the meat consumed by people in the blue zones. It is what I consider the poorest quality meat out there (and shouldn't even be sold as edible "food" in my opinion) - it is mainly muscle meat and contains almost none of the nutritional benefits or overall nutritional balance gained from the whole wild type animal products.
I hope the information provided here will help you make educated decisions about the foods you eat. Food is information that will cause your genes to express your destiny. Your fork decides your fate :)
Enjoy the video, and as always, please feel free to pass this along!
Medical Disclaimer: Information provided in this article is for informational purposes only. The information is a result of years of practice and experience by Yoshi Rahm, DO. However, this information is NOT intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or another healthcare professional, or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging.
Do not use the information provided in this article for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or another healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read in this email.
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