Do you know what I do when I hear a health claim on TV or read an article about “The Next Best Thing!” when it comes to food choices, diets, or macro/micronutrients? I ignore it! Well, partially. To be fair, I give it a chance. I question its credibility, the extent of solid evidence behind it (I’m talking evidence based, randomized controlled studies- not just epidemiological studies) and then ultimately, I ask myself: “Would Mother Nature roll with this?”
Organic Truth #2:
Mother Nature is the Real Deal.
Mother Nature just isn’t getting enough credit.
Working in Medicine / Surgery has been so humbling for me over the past 5 years. The body is ridiculously intricate. There’s still so much left to discover and understand about the complexity of how our body works.
This is why I hesitate when a new health fad / pill / micronutrient pops up in the public that claims to be the missing piece that has it “all figured out.”
I call BS.
We’re not smarter than our bodies. We don’t even have a full understanding of it yet!
While headlines and advertisements are loudly pushing their products, Mother Nature is quietly working behind the scenes in complex ways.
To better illustrate this, here is an example:
Let’s say I’ve just finished eating dinner on a warm summer day. The sun is shining and it looks gorgeous outside. I have an inner instinct to get outdoors to go for a walk.
If I were to take a magnifying glass on one thing in my body, say- my bones- for instance, here’s what Mother Nature would be up to on my body as I begin my walk outside:
- The act of movement would induce physical loading on my bones
- This would increase signals in my body to maintain bone mass
- As a pre-menopausal woman, the estrogen in my body (through a complex mechanism) would be preventing my bones from being broken down
- As I look at the trees, feel the breeze, and listen to the birds chirping, my stress hormone (cortisol) would decrease
- This works to prevent my bones from being broken down.
- After having eaten my meal, my hormone signal Leptin (the “I’m full” signal) would be released from my fat cells
- Leptin has recently been discovered to act directly on the “bone builders” in our bodies to increase bone formation
- In addition, other hormones released from my gut and pancreas would be working to prevent my bone from being broken down
- This would start within 20 minutes of my meal and last up to a few hours
- Now add in absorption of Vitamin D from the sun, calcium, parathyroid hormones, our kidneys, endocrine feedback loops…
And I just throw my hands up and give Mother Nature a double high five:
Here she is, quietly behind the scenes making magic happen.
She flaunts sunlight, signals birds to chirp, and sends us the voice in our head that says:
Get outside! Enjoy what I have to offer you.”
Meanwhile, she’s smiling because our bones are building, our stress levels are lowering, we’re acquiring vital nutrients, and so on and so on and so on.
So when it comes to food claims and “This Just In!” hot food topics, I go back to my Organic Truth:
Where is Mother Nature in all of this?
- Can I find (this product) on a farm?
- Can I grow it in my backyard?
- Are there only a few ingredients on the nutrition label (that I can pronounce)?
If the answer is “No” to any/ all of these questions, the food is probably stripped of its most powerful nutrients and has been factory made and processed.
A big “Thumbs Down.”
And out of Respect for Mother Nature- because I truly believe She knows what’s best for me, and she knows the inner workings of my body at the highest, most complex level- I respectfully reject the idea that (Big New Health Claim Here) is the key to my everlasting health.
Mother Nature has my back.
Photography by Lemon Drops Photography (https://www.lemondropsphotos.com)
Walsh, Jennifer S. “Normal Bone Physiology, Remodelling and Its Hormonal Regulation.” Surgery, Elsevier, www.surgeryjournal.co.uk/article/S0263-9319(14)00225-7/pdf.
From the Surgery Journal Website:
- Surgery is an authoritative, comprehensive collection of educational reviews that present the current knowledge and practice of surgery
- Surgery also indicates recent advances that improve the understanding of disease and the safe and effective treatment of patients
- It comprises concise and systematically updated contributions that are produced over a three-year cycle.
- Surgery is an excellent didactic tool to help consultant surgeons train their junior staff to become safe and competent surgeons.