Most people find eating to be one of life’s greatest pleasures, and eating the appropriate foods can prevent many chronic diseases. The correct food can be a natural cure and remedy for many health conditions, not to mention its importance in preventing chronic disease. However, we know through the rising obesity rates that many people in developed countries prefer a take away meal such as fish and chips or hamburgers as it is often cheaper than a home-cooked meal, or a bottle of freshly squeezed fruit juice is more expensive that a carbonated beverage. Thus, if takeaways are a treat, cheaper and less time-consuming, then this explains why a majority of people do not follow a healthy lifestyle. This view point seems to be reflected in a recent Australian Health Survey which found that:
- 58 % percent of Australians spent on ‘unhealthy’ foods
- 35% bought low nutritional foods
- 14 % bought takeaways and;
- 4% sugar-sweetened beverages
Remarkably, the survey also found that, although healthy diets cost 15 percent less than current ‘unhealthy’ diets and people from low-income groups still need to spend around a third of their disposable income to eat a healthy diet. The Australian government is considering adding GST to fresh foods like vegetables, but this would be fool hardy as it will make healthy food unaffordable for lower socio-economic families.
We need to follow our parent’s and/or grandparent’s lifestyle; eating more fresh foods which can also act as natural remedies for many ailments or assist in preventing chronic health conditions. The meal was always freshly prepared e.g. meat/ fish/ vegetarian meals freshly cooked each day.
Eating fresh food according to the season is a key principle according to Ayurveda, the sister science of yoga and meditation. For example, in the cold, drying winter climate Ayurveda recommends eating warm, heavy and grounded foods such as squashes, beets, carrots, potatoes, and sweet potatoes, nuts, seeds, meat, yoghurt, eggs and warming spices. Therefore, a hearty casserole in winter is warming, better digested and nutritious.
In addition to eating according to the season, ancient healing systems like, Ayurveda and Yoga suggest that we eat what is present in our surrounding nature. Thus, a natural food remedy is eating fresh local produce i.e. what grows in your back-yard, rather than the genetically modified and processed foods which are found in most supermarkets.
Governments need to find a way to make this more affordable for families and reduce the healthcare burden. The ‘fresh-food is best’ strategy is much more beneficial to health. Remember the old adage Prime Minister, ‘Prevention is better than cure!’