Why should we eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans and seeds? They taste awful.
The glorious human body requires a few essential things to thrive. Sleep/rest, adequate nutrition, and the occasional stressful event. This stressful event may take the form of physical exercise such as running away from a sabre tooth tiger or beating the hell out of a punching bag, as long as it is followed by long luscious periods of rest. With our busy lives, most of us ignore at least one of the above stated categories but the human body in all its amazing glory can actually compensate for the absence of any one of these pillars of good health for a surprisingly long time. There is a limit however to how much abuse the human body will put up with before it starts to tell you of your negligence. The human body is divine and therefore very respectful… It won’t “yell” at you unless it has to. It will begin warning you with small cryptic signals: catching the common cold more than once a year, dizzy spells, rashes, acne outbursts, heartburn, or like in my case, migraine headaches and frequent muscle strains. It is important to note here that your body isn’t the enemy. The pain it is strategically delivering is actually good for you. Your body is merely trying to get your attention ina way that you cannot ignore in the hopes that your spirit will wise the fuck up and change something. Most of us are too detached from the beautiful instrument that houses our souls to heed these warning signals. If the signs continue to go unheeded, the body will eventually lose its temper and ratchet up the intensity of the pain signals it delivers. Very often, this culminates in a catastrophic event which leaves you no choice but to do something.
My ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tear was the catastrophic event that precipitated a change in my ways. It forced me to deeply consider the needs of my body and realize I was sorely lacking in the department of good nutrition. Through all my study, I came to realize that the true purpose of the food we humans consume is to build and repair the body in a very concrete way. Let me explain… Your body is always in a constant state of flux. Your cells are cons
tantly dying and being replaced by new ones… such is the natural ebb and flow of life. This cellular turnover requires many raw materials such as simple sugars, minerals, vitamins, fats, proteins, water etc. Your mother likely gave you a nice storehouse of these materials by lovingly breastfeeding you through your infancy. Breast milk is one of the most nutrient dense sources of food in the entire world provided the mother delivering it is well nourished. This divine storehouse of nutrients accrued in early childhood in addition to the general robustness of a younger body keeps you in rude health through your teens and twenties barring any unfortunate accidents. We can think of this storehouse of nutrients as a bank account that you take “energy money” out of each year to play basketball games, swim, think, dance, put up with your in-laws etc. And just like a bank account, if you continue to draw “energy money” out of it without replenishing it with readily absorbable high quality nutrition, you will eventually overdraw and be subject to a torn ligament, multiple sclerosis, cancer, and a whole host of other debilitating and/or life threatening health problems.
I had squandered my storehouse of good nutrition in my teens and twenties and generally scoffed at the idea of replenishing any of it. I ate food all the time, but the food I ate was devoid of the divine life force. It was dead food that came in mostly two colors… brown and white. The more dead food I ate, the less life force I had in me. I kept getting weaker on the inside until a simple self directed deceleration event severed my anterior cruciate ligament. That turning point converted me into a religious consumer of fruit and vegetable smoothies, salads, vitamin supplements, and a whole host of other healthy foods. I have come to attain a great level of appreciation and admiration for the human body. It facilitates many pleasures in life. It allows us to think about and solve problems, make tools, enjoy the intricate dance of sex in the house of the pelvic truth, paint glorious masterpieces, play an awe inspiring guitar or piano solo, write great books, see wonderful things, create engineering marvels etc. All it asks in return is that you feed it properly, exercise it every once in a while, and rest it when it asks you to. Pay attention to your body before it has to yell at you. Learn from my past neglect and heed its warning signs before it stops you dead in your tracks.
Oyolu B.C. Ph.D.