Defensive Nutrition: The Concept, The Definition, and The Significance. .
I. The Concept of Defensive Nutrition.
I remember it very well. It was on 23rd May, 2011(my 60th birthday) that I saw it. A "road safety" warning in an Abuja highway, sponsored by Julius Berger, the foremost road construction giant in Nigeria. Just one short sentence, namely: "Your first accident might be your last - DRIVE DEFENSIVELY"
Defensive Driving! For both new and old vehicles? For both sick and healthy vehicles? For everybody, everyday and at all times?
Since the answers to each of these posers must remain an unequivocal "Yes", then defensive driving should be very vital to both the human entities and those rusty contraptions which these humans sometimes ride in.
But, what of the biological " contraption" which we ride in not just sometimes but at all times?
Should we care for it the same way whether it is young or old, whether it is sick or healthy, and at all times?
Yes!, Yes!!, and Yes!!!
It is the above unequivocally positive responses that birthed the concept, "DEFENSIVE NUTRITION"!
II. The Definition of Defensive Nutrition.
Defensive Nutrition" implies making the right nutrients available to our cells, at all times not only to quench our hunger but, more so ,to prevent and cure all our illnesses. It is hence akin to "Defensive Driving"
Since "Diet" is the foods we put into our mouths, and “Nutrition” is the entire process that enables our body cells to harvest the “Nutrients” (Carbohydrates, Protein, Fats, Vitamins, Minerals, Drugs, etc.) from the diet, then, defensive Nutrition implies simply selecting foods that WORK WITH YOUR BODY ‘s metabolic chemistry instead of those that go against it, and doing so EVERYDAY.
DR Michael EADES,MD puts this in a razor-sharp perspective when he said that .." By eating the correct balance of foods, we can almost medicinally alter what goes on inside us in a healthful way; contrariwise, by eating the wrong foods, we can precipitate health disasters. We can so easily dig our grave with fork and spoon than with a shovel" ..
Another professional touch here was delivered by the trailblazing Canadian nutritional guru and author, Dr. Lesile Beck, RD. when she said that ", nutrition is all the good we get from the foods we eat, that keeps our bodies healthy"
To her, "Nutrition is a three-point process by which we use foods to nourish our bodies.
First, we consume the food, then, our body breaks down that food into individual nutrients.
Finally, those nutrients travel in the blood stream to different parts of the body where they are used for energy., cell growth, tissue maintainance, and, to fight disease.
And, zeroing in on the use of food for disease-fighting which,
effectively, is "Defensive Nutrition", she almost waxed lyrical when she posited that " when it comes to fighting disease the foods you include in your diet are just as important as the ones you exclude"
III. The Significance of Defensive Nutrition
Why is "Defensive Nutrition"so important,?
Hear the Masters, Ancient & Modern:
i) “Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine your food... All illnesses start from the gut.... The human body is its own best healer, provided it gets good nutrition, good rest.....” --- Hippocrates of Cos, Father of Medicine.
ii). “The doctors of tomorrow will give no medicine, but interest his patients in the care of the body frame, in diets, in the cause and prevention of diseases" —Thomas Edison.
iii) “The human body is very amazing! If you can give it what it needs, it can fight off almost everything before it becomes a problem.”- - Dr Lorraine Shonebek, MD.
iv) ‘’ Diet is responsible for about 30-70% of all forms of cancers’’
– Sir Richard Dell" The World Cancer Research Fund.
v) ..‘’there is a significant protection from cancers of Oesophagus Larynx, Oral cavity, Pancreas in those people with a high Vit C index, obtained from EATING Fruits& Veg high in Vit C’’ Am J Clin Nutr.Jan.1991;53(1 Supplement)
vi) ) A major study of post-menopausal women showed that those who eat a diet RICH IN Vit. A have a 62% LOWER than average risk of dying from heart disease. But the vitamin was protective only when TAKEN AS FOODS _ not Supplements....they work in TANDRM with some other, mostly yet unidentified food-borne substances.’’-
Dr Jeffery Blumberg, a TUFTS University Nutritionist.
vii) Sir William A Lane, England’s foremost abdominal surgeon: ‘’Cancer is caused by poisons created in our bodies by the food we eat. We have been studying germs when we should have been studying diet and drainage... medicine has been on a wrong track....”
viii) ). Dr James Bradley, MD:
“70 to 80 % of Americans currently suffering from chronic medical disorders of unknown cause, who have proven poorly responsive to conventional medical interventions, are suffering from delayed-onset food allergies"
ix) Dr Emerson: ‘’ The nutritionists of today will be the doctors of tomorro