Last week, while my mom was in town, we watched the documentary Food Matters, after getting it in the mail from Netflix. I had added it to my queue shorty after reading Kristen’s glowing review, and was curious to learn more about how certain foods affect our health!
Here’s a quick overview (from their website) of what this brilliant documentary covers:
Food Matters is a feature length documentary film informing you on the best choices you can make for you and your family’s health. In a collection of interviews with leading Nutritionists, Naturopaths, Scientists, M.D.’s and Medical Journalists you will discover…
- How to use food as medicine
- Who needs vitamins?
- Is organic better?
- How safe is our food?
- Natural treatments for lowering Cholesterol
- Foods that fight Anxiety and Depression
- Natural therapies for Cancer
- Which drugs might do more harm than good?
- The best ways to detox, lose weight and keep it off!
This movie was all that and more! Truly an eye-opener! I’ve been so inspired and motivated to improve the quality of my diet ever since watching this film. I can’t recommend watching it with your friends and loved ones enough!
One point that really stuck with me after watching the film is how important it is that we eat some raw food at EACH meal. In fact, one expert recommended that we eat 51% raw at each meal, in order to ensure that our body processes our food correctly and efficiently! They mentioned a study where the human body was evaluated after eating a meal of cooked food, and how eating cooked food often results in an increase in our white blood cell count– as if the body thinks it’s battling an infection!
For those of you science nerds (who want proof like me!), here are some details of that research:
It was found that after a person eats cooked food, his/her blood responds immediately by increasing the number of white blood cells. This is a well-known phenomena called ‘digestive leukocytosis’, in which there is a rise in the number of leukocytes – white blood cells – after eating.
Since digestive leukocytosis was always observed after a meal, it was considered to be a normal physiological response to eating. No one knew why the number of white cells rises after eating, since this appeared to be a stress response, as if the body was somehow reacting to something harmful such as infection, exposure to toxic chemicals or trauma.
Back in 1930, the Swiss researchers at the institute of Chemical Chemistry made a remarkable discovery. They found that eating raw, unaltered food did not cause a reaction in the blood. In addition, they found that if a food had been heated beyond a certain temperature (unique to each food), or if the food was processed (refined, chemicals added, etc.), this always caused a rise in the number of white cells in the blood.
The researchers renamed this reaction ‘pathological leukocytosis’, since the body was reacting to highly altered food. They tested many different types of foods and found that if the foods were not refined or overheated, they caused no reaction. The body saw them as ‘friendly foods’. However, these same foods, if heated at too high a temperature, caused a negative reaction in the blood, a reaction found only when the body is invaded by a dangerous pathogen or trauma.
The worst offenders of all, whether heated or not, were processed foods which had been refined (such as white flour and white rice), or pasteurized (a process in which milk is flash-heated to high temperatures to kill bacteria), or homogenized (also seen in milk where the fat in milk is subjected to artificial suspension), or preserved (chemicals are added to food to delay spoilage or to enhance texture or taste). [source]
Interesting, huh? I had actually heard of this phenomenon before, but sometimes you need to hear something multiple times before it sticks! This time around, I heard it loud and clear! One thing that the movie points out, however, is that just eating 51% of your meal raw ALSO prevents the rise in white blood cells! So you don’t have to eat ALL raw, just slightly more than half! That’s not too hard, right?
I’ve typically favor more raw meals during the day, then lean towards heavy, cooked meals at night, but I’ve really been trying to make a point of eating a big, raw salad each night at dinner now! I don’t want my poor body to be dealing with more stress than it already has! Eating should be fueling my body, not stressing it out!
There is truly SO MUCH information packed into this film, that I’m not returning it yet! I think I’m going to have to watch it again and take notes! It includes supplement recommendations for beating addictions, fighting disease, depression, anxiety, and so much more! It has actually really made me take a second-look at my view on vitamins and supplements. I’ve always been a bit leery of using daily vitamins and superfoods, but I may have been convinced to give a few of them a try. I’m not saying I’m going to start popping a multi-vitamin any time soon (because I still consider green juice my “vitamin” of choice!), but I am going to be adding Spirulina into my smoothies and see how it goes!
*For more information on Food Matters, as well as more information on supplements, superfoods, and detox, visit their website: FoodMatters.tv