A few years ago, I read the book Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food by Catherine Shanahan, MD . This was one of the most interesting and influential books I have read. Dr. Shanahan gives a powerful description of how the foods we eat (nutrition) directly effect gene expression, appearance, and degenerative diseases of both ourselves and our children. Much of what she presents correlates closely with the writings of Dr. Weston A. Price, in his book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.
The book begins by describing how nutrition impacts beauty. It never occurred to me that facial structure and symmetry could be directly influenced by nutrition. Dr. Shanahan offers a persuasive case for good facial and jaw structure, as well as symmetry, being directly influenced by nutrition, not only fed to the child, but also of the mother, dad, and even grandparents. How my mom and I nourished our bodies directly influenced the lives, health, and appearance of my children. Wow! Now that is a new concept!
This book also goes far deeper than facial beauty. It discusses the way what we eat impacts how our genes are expressed. This gene expression is important to long-term health and preventing degenerative disease. Is it possible that by eating healthy food I can keep the genes for Alzheimer’s disease from expressing themselves? Could this also be true for some of the most common diseases of our society, such as diabetes and obesity? This book convinced me that nutrition probably is one of the most importing things we can do to prevent these problems, even though they may have a strong genetic correlation.
The four keys to good nutrition and health presented in this book are as follows. They strongly correlate with Dr. Weston Price’s conclusions.
- Grass fed meat on the bone
- Organ meats from grass fed animals
- Fermented and sprouted foods
- Fresh ingredients such as vegetables, fruits and herbs
Sadly, our modern diet rarely includes these foods. We are all too quick to get boneless/skinless meats. Additionally, most people wouldn’t dream of eating healthy organ meats such as liver and kidney. Most Americans don’t even know what sprouted or fermented foods are, much less want to eat them. Lastly, although we know eating produce is one of the keys to good health, it often plays a minor role in our meals.
When I talk with families at the market or in our CSA, who are specifically searching out real food for their families, I can’t help but smile. I know they are not only giving their families a good meal, they are changing the direction of their lives! They are giving a huge gift to not only their children, but even their grandchildren who are not even born yet! Maybe these kids, and even their kids (to come!) won’t suffer from the plethora of degenerative disease that seems to plague our society. Maybe they will have normal weight, guts that work well, and clear minds. Maybe they won’t have cancer. Maybe they won’t have diabetes. All of these terrible problems have a thread of nutrition that run though them. Only wish I had known sooner, so I could have taken better care of myself during my child bearing years, as well as fed my kids better. It must be true that wisdom comes with age.
Eat your veggies,