The Healthy Cell Concept - The 5 Pillars of a Healthy Cell and a Disease Free Body
The Healthy Cell Concept proposes that keeping the cell—the basic unit of the body—healthy results in the body being healthy. The body and health are holistic: that is, they are both the greater whole of a number of smaller parts.
The Healthy Cell Concept focuses on five of these smaller parts:
- Cell Food
- Cell Exercise
- Cell Environment
- Cell Protection
- Healthy Mental Attitude
These “parts” are both separate from each other and interrelated. Understanding and practicing the five concepts expressed in the Healthy Cell Concept adds up to the greater whole of a healthier life.
The Importance of Education
Educating yourself on the ideas found in the Healthy Cell Concept is the best thing you can do to improve your quality of life and the lives of those around you. The Healthy Cell Concept is important to understand because first and foremost, it gives you an understanding of the link between diet and health This will help you lead a healthier lifestyle and understand what is truly important.
We will explain each of the five concepts and, more importantly, discuss ways you can incorporate them into your lifestyle and communicate them to others. We will look at the Healthy Cell Concept as a philosophy that will improve quality of life.
When we finish with this series, we hope you have three things: an understanding of the Healthy Cell Concept; ideas on how to communicate this concept to others; and knowledge about how these concepts can merge into your life.
The basic living unit of the body is the cell. Every structure in the body is composed of a collection of many different cells, each performing its function in support of the overall success or failure of the human body. In all, your body contains about 75 trillion cells, each working independently so that as a whole you will be healthy.
Each cell is especially adapted to perform one particular function. For example, the 25 trillion red blood cells in a typical adult body perform the specific function of transporting oxygen from the lungs to the other cells.
All cells are small chemical factories, combing through and separating various elements to create the energy that sustains life. Although these factories—these cells—and their end products often differ considerably from each other, all of them have certain similar characteristics. In all cells, for example, oxygen combines with a carbohydrate, fat, or protein to release the energy required for cells to function. In all cells, the basic way that nutrients are changed into energy remains the same. In all cells, the waste generated is discarded into the fluids that surround it.
Almost all cells have the ability to reproduce themselves, and whenever cells of a particular type are destroyed, the remaining cells will generally divide again and again until the need to replenish themselves has been met.
The Healthy Cell Concept
Life and health are the balanced interaction of all body cells. Cells group to form organs, tissue, bone, and other parts that make up our physical being. Each individual cell consumes fuel, produces energy, and eliminates waste. When given the necessary components of the Healthy Cell Concept—cell food, cell exercise, cell protection, cell environment, and a healthy mental attitude—our body, in the totality of its cells, can maintain a perfect balance of life and health.
For our cells to be healthy, they must have pure, whole, natural, fresh foods. The best foods are raw foods, as their elements remain intact as they are created by nature. Raw foods are not modified by cooking or processes that add to or subtract from the natural substances found in them. If we eat well, we do much toward achieving and maintaining health.
Our cells need exercise to remain healthy. Exercise provides strength, flexibility, and mental alertness. Exercise also provides overall good health.
The environment we live in is also important to our health. We may eat well and exercise, but if we live in polluted areas, we are hurting ourselves. Our cells need clean air and clean water to work well.
Our body’s immune system is our best tool for fighting disease—it provides us with everything we need to stay healthy. If we can maintain our immune system, there will be little need to use pharmaceutical drugs or undergo surgery. We can strengthen our immune systems through rest, stress management, cell food, and a healthy attitude.
Healthy Mental Attitude
How we feel mentally is just as important as how we feel physically. If you maintain a positive attitude on life, you will feel better physically.
Last month, we introduced the Healthy Cell Concept. This month, we would like to continue our examination by looking at cell food.
Cell food is the food we eat. Our bodies take this food, digest it, capture its nutrients, and transport these nutrients to our cells. Our cells use these nutrients to perform all the functions that they do in our bodies. What we eat becomes the cell structure of our bodies, and the cell structure determines our physical—healthy or unhealthy—nature. This is why we should be aware of what we eat. If we eat unhealthy foods, we generate unhealthy and toxic cells, which means that we become unhealthy and toxic.
Our cells need certain nutrients, all of which are found in the foods we eat. These are proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, water, and enzymes. Proteins, carbohydrates, and fats are known as macronutrients because we need a lot of them (“macro” means “large”) to stay healthy.
Proteins are essential to maintaining the structure and function of all life—the word itself is derived from the Greek word protos, meaning “primary” or “first.” Proteins are vital for the growth, repair, and maintenance of muscles, blood, internal organs, skin, hair, and nails. Proteins work by being broken down into smaller components called amino acids and then being rebuilt again where and when they are needed.
Most people think only of meat when considering protein sources, and meat is actually not the best source of protein. Eating too much meat may result in too many purines, which results in too much uric acid, which can result in gout and kidney stones. Meat can also overwork the liver and result in too much ammonia, which can affect DNA and RNA, which affect cell reproduction. Meat contains too much fat, which leads to problems associated with fat: obesity, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, cancer, and other problems.
So, if you cut back on meat, where can you get protein? Bee pollen has two times the amount of protein in beef, and check this out; micro algae superfood spirulina has 12 times more protein than beef! Beans, grains, and sprouted grains are also a great source of protein and other nutrients. Studies now show that vegetarians easily get enough protein.
Of course, for many of us, giving up meat completely is not a viable option. We should, however, make every effort to not make it the center of our diets.
Carbohydrate-rich foods come from plants and are the main source of energy for all body functions. This makes sense, as carbohydrates contain the sun’s radiant energy, as captured in plant life. They are the best energy source we have and keep the digestive system fit and provide nutrients for the brain and nervous system.
There are two types of carbohydrates, simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates are sugars and are found in foods such as carbonated soft drinks, most desserts, candy, jelly and jam, and similar foods. Simple carbohydrates are also a big part of many of the processed foods we eat. Complex carbohydrates (starch and fiber) are found in whole grain breads, spaghetti, noodles, barley, potatoes, and other such foods.
Simple carbohydrates—sugars—are often unhealthy. They provide calories and short-term energy, but no nutrients. They can contribute to obesity and high blood pressure and result in tooth decay. More dangerously, simple sugars can affect our immune systems by decreasing the body’s ability to destroy bacteria and fight infection. Eating too much sugar thus results in a weakened immune system, meaning we cannot fight off disease as effectively as we should be able to.
We should differentiate between the sugar found naturally in fruits and the refined sugar found in snacks. The sugars in fruits are part of a total package; not only do you get sugar, but also water, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Refined sugars (even honey!) contain only sugar. They provide us with nothing more.
Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, provide us with benefits. They are the best energy source we have. Fiber, which is a complex carbohydrate, provides additional benefits, including prevention of constipation and hemorrhoids, improved handling of diabetes, and many gastrointestinal benefits.
Recent research points to new benefits of eating a plant-based diet. Plants contain flavonoids, which are being studied for their possible effects on health. Studies indicate that flavonoids may be integral in helping the body fight different types of degenerative diseases.
This all goes to show that nature knows best. Complex carbohydrates capture the sun’s energy and transfer it to our cells. They are truly a healthy cell food.
Although many North Americans strive to eat a no-fat diet, fat is important to our cells. It is an energy source, makes foods taste good, carries certain nutrients, and insulates our nerves and bones. As is often the case in North America, it is not fat itself that is bad, it is the amount and types of fat we eat that are the problems.
High intake of certain highly processed and toxic fats increases the likelihood of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer. These unhealthy fats are known as trans fats, hydrogenated fats, and fats cooked at high temperatures.
Other types of fat are better for you, and some have health benefits. These are monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, and polyunsaturated fats such as vegetable and fish oils. While the best fats for the human body are hemp oil and flax oil providing a perfect mix of omega 3, 6, and 9 fats which are integral to the health of out bodies.
An easy way to know which type of fat you are eating is simply to observe its form. The more liquid it is, the more unsaturated it is; the more solid it is, the more saturated it is. There is a misconception that vegetable fats are all healthy, and that is simpy not true. This is because we have an imbalance of omega 3 and 6 fats in our diet. The truth is you need both types of fat in your diet—omega-3 AND omega-6. It isn't that one is "good" and the other is "bad." Both perform distinct biological functions and offer their own unique health benefits.
The major challenge is when you have excessive amounts of either one of them. Most experts agree that the omega 6:3 ratio should range from 1:1 to 5:1. The sad reality is that it now ranges from 20 to 50:1 for most Americans. They are getting far too many omega-6 fats, this is especially pernicious as they are getting them in the form of highly processed vegetable oils that exclude most of the original nutrients. The processing also introduced aberrations like trans fats. The final insult is that most of these oils are genetically engineered, like soy, corn and canola that makes them loaded with dangerous antigens and herbicides like glyphosate.
You also need both plant-derived and animal-derived fats for optimal health.
There is no question in my mind that you need to eliminate MUCH of the omega-6 fats in your diet, but the fats you need to eliminate are the processed fats that have been refined and heated and become useless—and even worse, potentially very harmful to your body.
Finally, there is margarine and hydrogenated fats. In order to prevent spoilage of unsaturated fats and make them harder, the unsaturated fats can be “saturated” by adding hydrogen to them. Thus, margarine becomes more of a saturated fat, even if the original fat was unsaturated and derived from plants. When hydrogen is added, some of the unsaturated fat, instead of becoming saturated, changes its shape. This creates unusual fats that, because they are not made by the body or in nature, the body does not know what to do with. This could result in a number of health problems. This type of fat is termed a trans-fatty acid (they have been transformed).
North Americans are correct in trying to eat less fat. They should also be aware of the different types of fat, and eat unsaturated fat when fat is eaten. Our cells do need fat, but you must be careful where it comes from, straight from a whole food is always your best option!