Chiu-Nan Lai, Ph.D.
Improving your health through diet is one of the earlier concepts formed by the Chinese. In fact, it is a very specialized knowledge. However, traditionally, when we talk about nourishing food, the first thing that comes to our mind would be chicken meat, wild game, or seafood. We only have to look at the royal menu to know what this means.
It is precisely because of this concept of nourishment of the Chinese that many wild animals are extinct or on the verge of extinction. Bears without their paws, snakes without their galls, tigers without their bones, monkeys without their brains. Where have all these body parts gone to? Down the throats into men stomachs, that is where they have gone.
The thing is, after consuming all these “nutrition”, does man get any healthier or live a longer life? If wild game and seafood are really as nutritious as they are claimed to be, then should be the emperors not have lived a life of longevity and good health? However, fact has shown that most emperors were short-lived. On the contrary, farmers and common people who fed on just plain vegetables and rice lived longer. Those who lived in the mountains, practiced chi gong, and sought the path to enlighten enjoyed better health and lived longer than the emperor and his men in palace. Today, we have practical research results to show us just what can be called truly nutritious food, and just what food feed heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
The greatest obstacle to good health is in no doubt “habit”. Mental and emotional habits, as well as those in our daily life, can be the cause of ill health. Ironically, change is also the hardest. Eating is further a support for us, emotionally. What we ate when we were children, we like when we are adults, we think of this as only natural. Unless they are struck with a severe illness, most people will not even consider changing their diet.
I have changed my diet patterns for almost thirty years and have been recommending a healthy diet to others for just as long. Initially, practically no one was willing to accept this concept of eating because it is too far from one’s usual habit. Gradually, as cases of cancer, heart disease, and chronic disease increase on a continuous basis, people start to try out this new diet concept. Perhaps the results were really good, more and more people were willing to change their old habits. The usual case is that one person will start the change first, and the rest of the family will follow suit. Today, practically everyone would have at least had contact with this new form of food nutrition. And everyone will know when the time arrives that they are ready to change.
Now, what precisely is this “new” form of food nutrition? Simply put, it is just our own natural food – grains, vegetables & fruits, seeds, nuts, beans, and sea plants. If our natural food are chicken, pigs, goats, meat, fish, wild game, and seafood, it would mean that when we see live animals, we would start to salivate with hunger like carnivores such as tigers & lions. Which three or five-years old child, when he set his eyes on a chicken or a live fish, would grab and put it straight into his mouth?
On the contrary, every child who has grown up in tropical parts of Asia would remember that he had once set eyes upon ripe yellow mangoes or juicy, red lychees, and salivated. Those who grew up in Southeast Asia would have had similar experience with durians!
Too many reports on medical research had shown that plant products are most suitable for human consumption. Those who are suffering from heart disease, cancer and other illness will enjoy a better state of health if they can just alter their unnatural diet. From the human digestive system we can once again ascertain that we are definitely herbivores.