Guest writer for Wake Up World
If in ancient times a woman gave birth to a baby with health problems, people used their common sense, careful observation and wisdom to understand and make the connection that certain foods were missing from the mother’s diet. They were actually “designing” babies using special feeding before conception, aiming for healthy, bright, happy babies, all necessary traits to the community long-term survival. Mothers were also advised to have children 3 to 4 years apart, in order to let their body replenish all the necessary nutrients before the next conception. Babies were breastfed for about two years.
But today, we are taught by mainstream media and conventional medicine that beautiful and healthy people are just a matter of luck and genetic chance. In reality, healthy, beautiful babies don’t happen by “accident“. In reality, what we eat and what we are exposed to in our environment directly affects our DNA and its expression. Epigenetic factors (“beyond the control of the gene”) are directly and indirectly influenced by the presence or absence of key nutrients in the diet, as well as exposures to toxins, chemicals, pathogens and other environmental factors.
The “genetic material” a mother transmits to her baby is made up of very complex factors, but they all come down to the answers to these simple questions: What did the mom eat? What was her lifestyle? What were her health problems?
For example, heavy metals which are very disruptive to the body since they displace “good” minerals and generate a wide range of imbalances ARE passed down to the baby. Mercury, strontium, uranium, arsenic and many more which are COMMON in most people these days, are transmitted to the baby.
Gut health: since babies are born with a sterile gut flora, the mother esentially “downloads” her gut health / flora into the baby through breastfeeding. No wonder why digestive problems are usually shown to get worse with each generation! There are also mass problems with food assimilation and breathing difficulties continually on the rise. Processed foods and antibiotics are two primary factors for a poor gut flora.
Lack of healthy fats: big brains require brain-building fats like cholesterol, lecithin, choline, saturated fat and long chain polyunsaturated fats. These are found in highest concentrations in organ meats, cold-water fish and fish eggs. How many mothers-to-be today are still consuming these to ensure their babies will have healthy brain cells and nerves?? And how many times have you heard conventional medical doctors tell you to stay away from saturated fat and cholesterol? Hmm..Food for thought…
For centuries, many ancient cultures have consumed foods that are striking us as bizzare or make our stomachs turn these days: seal, lichen (the Netsilik Eskimo), fat grubs of giant flies, lizards, pounded sago palm hearts (the Kombai), forage for insects, millet, goat meat (the Mofu). But believe it or not, these foods’ nutritional content is very familiar to your body, it is REAL food that your body can process. Corn hot dogs, vegetable oil, aspartame, GMO foods and pasteurized dairy? Now THESE are some weird Franken-foods your body will never be able to process and recognize, but stock up as toxic build up instead. Which is again, passed down to your child…
Solution? No, you wouldn’t have to eat giant flies to have beautiful, healthy babies. Instead, here are four major “secrets” to consider, especially before conception, while pregnant and during baby’s growing years:
1. BONES and CARTILAGE
“Science validates what our grandmothers knew (…). Stock contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily—not just calcium but also magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals. It contains the broken down material from cartilage and tendons–stuff like chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, now sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain.
Fish stock, according to traditional lore, helps boys grow up into strong men, makes childbirth easy and cures fatigue. (…) Broth and soup made with fishheads and carcasses provide iodine and thyroid-strengtheningsubstances.” (from “Broth is Beautiful” by Sally Fallon)
Why did bones disappear from the stores’ shelves? Let’s think: convenience and fast food? Yes. But also aesthetics, like it was revealed to me a while ago when shopping for bones at Whole Foods. I asked the worker there why did they have to bring the bones from their storage, since they never have them on display. He said : “People don’t really like to see the bones on display, it’s not a nice view…”
Well, I suggest we all gather our courage and face the bones, since the gelatin you obtain from them is so precious! You do want strong bones and joints for yourself and your growing baby. Here is a recipe that will ensure all the vital nutrients are obtained:
Organ meats are just nutritional powerhouses like no other foods out there. If you have a Greek grandmother, you probably remember how she used to chase you in your childhood with a spoon full of lamb tongue and eyes soup, yelling “It’s good for you, makes you grow strong!” Well, she was right. Most cultures have a long tradition of cooking offal (organ) dishes of all kinds. If you learn how to prepare them and acquire a taste for them, you’ll notice a difference in your and your baby’s health one day.
Remember though that not all metabolisms can tolerate high purine foods like organ meats. There are metabolisms that thrive on higher carbohydrate quantities and lean protein and these foods will actually work against them. To find out how your metabolism works and what kind of foods it needs, check out more information about Metabolic Typing Testing.
For those that can indulge in rich organ meats dishes, here is my favorite recipe to cook chicken liver:
Liver is very high in vitamin A, folate, B vitamins, iron, selenium and magnesium and contains many other nutrients as well. All of these are essential for a mother-to-be and a growing child.
3. RAW FOODS and DAIRY
Raw vegetables and fruits might not surprise you that much since you’ve probably heard already they are good for you. They contain lots of unaltered vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Unfortunately, many people have very poor digestion these days and a wide range of gastrointestinal problems. Although fresh veggies and fruits eaten every day are ideal, they can further irritate an already sick gut. Gut healing prior to raw food consumption is again key.
RAW DAIRY – hot topic these days…This is one of the most important foods a mother-to-be can do for her and her child. Raw organic milk from grass fed cows has very high conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) levels, biodiverse beneficial bacteria, intact active enzymes, that are required for absorption of minerals and effective digestion. It provides a source of lactase producing beneficial bacteria, reducing or eliminating lactose intolerance and it increases immunity to infection; 100 kinds of beneficial bacteria are found in raw milk at very low levels. Yogurt has only four or five!
It’s been continuously proven through historical evidence and recent scientific studies, that raw dairy helps with asthma and allergies by reducing symptoms and even eliminates them altogether. Having kids that struggle with asthma and allergies is NOT normal and it CAN be prevented.
Here is my recipe for an Immunity Boosting Shake using raw milk that your kid will enjoy and also keep him/her strong and healthy.
4. SPROUTING, FERMENTING
By loosing our ancestral heritage of food preparation, we also lost our health. The bread of today is nothing like the bread people used to eat in the past, made out of ground, germinated grains and seeds.
Grains, nuts, seeds and beans all contain phytic acid that interferes with mineral absorption and also inhibits enzymes that we need to digest our food. Soaking reduces some of the phytic acid but not all of it. After soaking you can place the seeds / grains / beans in a jar covered with cheesecloth and in about 3-4 days you’ll see them germinate. What can be more simple than that? For detailed instructions about sprouting you can check out SproutPeople or Sprouting. There are also plenty of recipes on the web about using sprouts in various meals. No time to do that? You can find organic, sprouted breads as well as sprouted nuts, seeds and grains bars and snacks at health food stores. You can also buy sprouted flour from To Your Health Sprouted Flour.
Fermented foods are natural and healthy sources of beneficial probiotics for your body. People stopped fermenting foods, relying instead on processed, mostly unhealthy food and so bringing the levels of good bacteria in the gut even lower down. If your kids like sour, they will love this recipe of fermented veggies. Tell them a story of how in the past century, the famous Captain Cook kept his entire crew healthy by eating sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) that has high levels of vitamin C. It will be even more fun to enjoy!
So, if you take your health seriously, I suggest you find out how to go back to your origins, find out what foods your grandparents and great-grandparents used to eat back in the days. They knew exactly how important these were to keep them healthy and make beautiful, healthy babies. You can do it too.
Healthexcel System of Metabolic Typing
S.K. Duckett et al, Journal of Animal Science, (published online) June 2009, “Effects of winter stocker growth rate and finishing system on: III. Tissue proximate, fatty acid, vitamin and cholesterol content.”
British Journal of Nutrition (vol. 105, issue 01)
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, online August 29, 2011.
About the Author
Raluca Schachter is a passionate Nutritionist and Metabolic Typing Advisor®, with a background in both nutrition and communication/PR. She believes in traditional, unaltered food, ancestral wisdom, sustainable farming and living. Raluca was able to naturally reverse chronic health conditions she was struggling with most of her life, and now uses her knowledge to help as many people as possible do the same. Her health programs and diet plans offer a very unique and comprehensive approach to health, where individual nutritional and biochemical requirements are firstly met using specific nutrients and foods that each metabolism thrives on. This approach reveals why and how ‘one diet/herb doesn’t fit all’ and why ‘one man’s food is another one’s poison.’ Raluca currently resides in Garden Grove, CA and offers her services for local and distance clientele. For more information visit her website and blog guide2health.net or join Raluca on Facebook