Thursday, May 29, 2014

How to Have a Healthy Strong Body, and Healthy Teeth

Kids On Family Beach Vacation 2Would you like to have you and your kids described as beautiful, strong, and energetic?  A well nourished body can be all of these things and more!

We're all familiar with the truly sad type of malnutrition that involves a person dying because they don't get enough food to eat, but did you know that there's another type of malnutrition?  A type that could be happening in your own family right now?

Children and adults who are under weight, a healthy weight, or even over weight, can be malnourished.

"But how can that be?" you may ask.  "If you're getting plenty of calories how can you be malnourished!?"

Malnutrition occurs when a person eats too much of foods that are nutritionally empty, and the food doesn't have what's needed to keep the body healthy.

Eating unhealthy foods leaves a person deficient in the vital vitamins and minerals we need to stay healthy both mentally and physically.  


Processed food lacks the nutrition our bodies need to stay healthy.  Think potato chips, donuts, ramen noodles, fast food, etc.  That kind of food is usually empty of the vitamins, minerals and healthy fats we need to be healthy.  The body is often burdened even further by being fed food that is full of preservatives and other chemicals that slow us down and can make us sick.

When someone is malnourished it can show up as:

Hospital Hand
Learning Disabilities
Heart Disease
Weakened Immune System
Mental Illness

Dr. Weston A. Price (1870-1948) was a dentist who was the head of research for the National Dental Association.  He had the good fortune to be able to travel all over the world visiting lots of different cultures and observing the health of their teeth and bodies.

It all started in his home town of Cleveland, Ohio where he started to notice a connection between what people ate and the health of their teeth.  What was even more interesting is that he noticed that their teeth seemed to be a reflection of the person's overall health.

Product DetailsTo keep this reasonably brief I need to summarize a great deal of what he found.  The longer version explaining his finds can be found in his book "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration" by Dr. Price, as well as in a short video make by the foundation that supports and teaches about his research called the Weston A. Price foundation.  The video is 20 minutes long and can be found here.  There's also an older video by Dr. Price that's very cool to watch and shows additional cultures that he visited and the results he found.

As Dr. Price visited the many different cultures he made careful study of what the different people groups where eating.

In short what he found was that the people who were eating traditional diets almost always had healthy, straight, beautiful white teeth and healthy bodies to match.  They usually didn't have tooth brushes or dentists to aid this.

The people groups who were eating a more modern diet of items like sugar, canned food and milk, vegetable oil, and white flour had terrible teeth and health to match it.  In the first few years of a store bringing in these types of food to an area the dental carries would go up to 1 in 3 people.  After a generation of eating this type of food there were severe amounts of dental problems including cavities, over bites, crowded teeth, and narrow jaw and pallet formation.  What was even worse was they also had lots of modern diseases.  

So what did the "traditional" diet of the healthy teeth and healthy bodied people look like?  

It varied a bit from region to region, but had one major factor in common.  It was all real, properly prepared, unprocessed food.  

Dr. Price described the people of many different cultures and regions who all ate traditional diets as:

Old Family Picture
Photo by Marina Avila
  • having beautiful, straight, white teeth
  • having few or no issues of sickness and disease
  • the women were known for their beauty
  • the men were known for their strength 
  • the children were hearty, playing in freezing streams in bare feet
  • the children were attentive and engaged
  • energetic by day and slept at night
  • broad well formed faces
  • strong immune systems
  • didn't experience childhood illness or allergies
  • stable, cheerful and optimistic disposition

Wow!  I want to be like that, and have my kids be like that too!  Don't you?

So what did they eat that was such a big factor in all of this?  (Keeping in mind what they didn't eat, sugar and white flour, etc.)

As I mentioned the traditional foods varied a bit from region to region so here's the break down...

A village in Switzerland
All the food was grown in the village. (local)
Lot's of raw milk was consumed, along with cheese, cream and butter from the milk.
Athletes drank bowls of cream.
Sourdough rye bread.
Ate meat about 1 time a week.
Ate the whole animal including the organ meat.
They boiled the bones and drank the broth.
Ate vegetables.

The biggest parts of their diets were the raw milk products and the sourdough rye bread.  At the time tuberculosis was a huge problem in Switzerland, and it was being blamed on raw milk.  However, the villagers never had any tuberculosis in spite of many of them traveling outside of the village for work, and consuming large amounts of raw milk products.

Australian Aborigines
Aboriginal Boy
Photo by Marcus Stepin
Birds, game animals, fish
Fat insects

The teeth of these people (who had no dentists or toothbrushes) were so perfect that Dr. Price describes them as looking false.  They never ate lean meat, always waiting till an animal was fat to eat it, and would even discard an animal if it was too lean.  The grains and legumes were soaked, dried, ground and then cooked.

3 Tribes in Africa:

Cattle Herders
Raw milk
The blood of animals

The warriors drank lots of the raw milk leading to the equivalent of 3/4 lb. of butter fat per day.  They had low cholesterol and no heart disease.  I believe the inflammation that causes our bodies to produce more cholesterol and cause heart disease, actually comes from the change we've caused in the quality of our meat supply.  Read more on that here.
Native Architecture In Kenya 2
Photo by Krzysztof Szkurlatowski

Hunted Game and Fished
Grains properly soaked and prepared
Wild game 

They ate lots of liver, both raw and cooked.  They had NO tooth decay what so ever.  Dr. Price determined this to be the healthiest way of eating out of the 3 groups.

Plant food diet
10% of the diet was termites

This group had about 6% tooth decay, and some elderly were toothless.  They had a shorter stature than the other groups, were heavier and not as robust.  They were however healthier than the American's Dr. Price was used to seeing.

For healthy teeth and bodies they ate fat from traditionally raised animals (ie. grass fed beef, etc.), grains and legumes that have been soaked and properly prepared, organic fruits and vegetables, and raw milk from grass fed animals.  The raw milk provides probiotics that strengthen the immune system.  That's the ideal.

There were no antibiotics, hormones, preservatives, GMO's, food colorings, processed sugar, etc..  Just real food.

Raw milk isn't something most of us have easy access to.  I would substitute that for healthy fats like those from properly raised animals, eggs, avocados, walnuts, coconut oil, and wild caught salmon.  

Beef Steak With VegetablesThe probiotic benefits of the raw milk can be largely substituted with a good milk kefir, water kefir, or some fermented vegetables. 

Milk kefir is available at many grocery stores.  For more on probiotic foods click here.

Many of the traditional cultures also consumed Fermented Cod liver oil, which is a great source of healthy fat, as well as vitamins A and D (which are found in meat like grass fed beef).  It seems to work even better when consumed with butter from a grass fed cow. 

Every positive food choice to eat real food makes us healthier, and can help make our families healthier as well.  Take it one step at a time and before you know it you'll be at a place where you're happy with both your food and your health! 

Enjoy what you eat!  

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*Disclaimer- This article and site are for educational purposes only.  It is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.  Use common sense or stop reading this blog.  You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.  If you need medical advice contact a medical professional.

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