a single cell the miracle begins. Dividing and multiplying again
and again, it soon forms the 75 trillion cells making up the human
body. Concealed in the nucleus of each one is a DNA blueprint
which determines the unique function of that particular cell.
Brain, muscle, bone, skin, lung, and liver cells—over 200 types
working together to create you! What a miracle. What a gift!
As a newborn, you had brand new cells. When they became damaged
and aged they were replaced by one of the billions of fresh replacement
cells formed daily. The process still continues. Your body is
a phenomenal building project. The work crews never quit! Red
blood cells live and do their job for about four months when they
are dismantled and new red blood cells take their place. White
blood cells are replaced daily, while stomach lining cells are
replaced every two days and colon cells, every four days. Every
three to four weeks you get a whole new skin and even your bones
are in a continual recycling process. Approximately every 25 years
you have a new skeleton!
Just as a carpenter needs precision tools and quality building
materials to produce a solid structure, your body needs a steady
supply of proper nutrients to build healthy tissue. Making billions
of new cells every day is an enormous task for your internal construction
crew. If you provide quality building materials and the right
tools to do the job, your newly formed cells will be strong and
healthy just like your original cells. Supplies for this remarkable
project are chosen and delivered to the construction site several
times each day by the food that goes into your mouth.
into natural foods are the very best building materials or “macronutrients”
that God has created — nourishing carbohydrates, wholesome proteins
and beneficial fats. Rich in fiber, essential vitamins, minerals
and phytonutrients, natural foods also contain the tools or “micronutrients”
needed to produce strong, healthy cells. Although our builders are
amazingly adaptable, they are dependent on the building supplies
we choose. We have the option of providing top quality resources
or inferior, damaged or depleted materials. For example, providing
lots of hydrogenated and saturated fats to the construction site
results in cell membranes that are stiff and rigid, contributing
to disease. When we choose unsaturated fats, those same cell membranes
become fluid and flexible — a healthy, normal condition.
Refined and processed foods have been stripped of most of their
valuable “micronutrients.” Consuming too much white flour, white
rice, white sugar, make up the majority of pre-packaged convenience
foods, causes us to be overfed and undernourished. Hampered by poor
quality, it’s as if our internal construction crews have to use
Styrofoam for bricks, masking tape instead of nails and plastic
knives in place of power saws. Sooner or later the project falls
apart. Immune systems that should be strong to ward off disease
begin to let germs come in and take over. Arteries that are normally
flexible become hardened and clogged. Bones crumble with osteoporosis.
We age faster. We wear out sooner.But who would construct
a building with masking tape instead of nails? Who would use tissue
paper instead of solid timbers? You might be surprised! It has a
lot to do with what we have for dinner, along with the rest of our
lifestyle habits. While our choices each day over a lifetime can
CONTRIBUTE to disease, the good news is that our choices day by
day over a lifetime can also help PREVENT illness.
Bursting with vital nutrients, The Total Vegetarian Cookbook contains
recipes carefully designed using a wide variety of natural foods.
These are the high quality tools and building materials your body’s
construction crews crave! Have fun as you discover how delicious
wholesome eating can be — and in the long run, enjoy the sparkle
of “well constructed” vitality.
May you prosper and be in health,
Jane Kurtz, RN, RD, MPH