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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Janice Norris: Health - Your greatest wealth

  • Sometimes we are just too lazy to do what we know.
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  • “We squander Health
    In search of Wealth. 
    We scheme and toil and save.
    Then squander Wealth
    In search of Health,
    And all we get’s a grave.
    We live and boast of what we own—
    We die and only get a stone.
                We may laugh at this little poem, found in the booklet, “The Miracle of Fresh Raw Juices” but if we are honest, we must admit that it is descriptive of many of us.  The author of this little leaflet, written about 50 years ago, contains undeniable truths.  “Health lies in following Nature’s laws in regard to simple, natural foods, proper rest, sunshine and fresh air—the things which are the least expensive in life and which are the heritage of all.  There is no royal way to radiant health.  It cannot be obtained by pushing a button or by turning a switch.  Nature is no respecter of wealth, and rich and poor alike are punished for disobedience.”
                In a recent talk, I heard a health practitioner say, “If you are sick, you made yourself sick.”  He went on to explain that sometimes we cause it because we don’t know any better—we are ignorant of the laws of nature.  Sometimes we are just too lazy to do what we know.  He went further and said the way we think may be as important as any of the other laws of nature.  If we think sickness, chances are we will be sick.  If we see ourselves as victims that is likely what we will be.  In reality, we are not victims; we do a lot to create our situation by the choices we make.
                Dr. Alexis Carrel, of the Rockefeller Institute of Medical Research once said, “If the doctor of today does not become the dietitian of tomorrow, the dietitian of today will become the doctor of tomorrow.”  At the time, his was a voice in the wilderness of physicians who said it made no difference what we ate—“eat anything you want.”  A host of modern doctors and scientists now agree with Dr. Carrel.  After all these years of most Americans paying little or no attention to what they put into their bodies, and gradual deterioration of the nation’s health, we learn the truth-- that we are what we eat and only through proper diet and lifestyle can we maintain health, vigor, and immunity to disease.
    Page 2 of 3 -             To understand this better, let us examine the human body.  We find it is composed of 60 to 90 trillion cells and they are constantly wearing out and having to be replaced.  There isn’t a cell in the body that lasts over 7 years.  As each cell wears out, it is discarded from the body and nature must have more material to build a new cell to take its place.
                We can observe the old cells of the skin being discarded.  After we soak our feet a while, we can sometimes massage away rolls of dead skin cells.  Our feet, being encased in shoes, cannot get rid of the old skin cells as rapidly as can the rest of the body.
                We can see the new cells of the fingernails pushing the old cells out of the body and we can see new cells of hair pushing out the old hair cells. 
                The inner cells of the body are also being replaced.  The old cells are eliminated through the four organs of elimination (lungs, skin, kidneys, and bowels) and new cells are constantly replacing the old ones.  How strong this new body structure is depends upon the materials which nature has to rebuild.
                The question which arises, then, is “where shall we find these materials?”  In the first place, we find them all in the earth, in an indigestible inorganic form.  Nature has solved this problem and has given to plants the power to take the inorganic minerals out of the soil and, through the action of sunlight, change them into an organic living form so animals can use them as food. 
                It is important that certain substances, which we call vitamins, be present in the diet.  Without them, we cannot use the minerals in the plants.  Minerals are like the gas in our automobile; vitamins are like the spark.  Vitamins are catalysts which allow the body to utilize minerals. 
                The author goes on to explain how when man first discovered fire and learned to cook his food, he began destroying some of its vital nutrients.  From cooking we have “progressed” to the point that about 90 percent of what Americans eat has been refined, chemicals added, nutrients removed (to prolong shelf life), colored, and flavored to the point that the American diet does little to build healthy cells.  Processed and fast foods have become “normal” for most people.  Is it any wonder that disease has become the norm as it has become our biggest, and probably most profitable business? 
    Page 3 of 3 -             It’s a matter of values.  Health in important and many of us don’t realize it until we have lost it. Why not make it a priority.  It is fun to be healthy and health is great wealth!
    (Janice Norris lives in Heber Springs, has a B.S. in home economics from Murray State University, owned and operated health food stores in Illinois and Heber Springs, and wrote a weekly column in Illinois for 15 years. She can be reached at janicenorris34@yahoo.com)

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