Modern processed food may be common, but to our bodies, the modern diet is an extraterrestrial encounter.
In humanity’s 200,000 year history, farming is an suprisingly new development. About11,000 years ago, agriculture started popping up around the globe in a few disconnected areas: Asia, South America, Europe and the Middle East (“The Fertile Crescent” in modern day Iraq and Syria). What this means is that for more than 90% of our development as a species, humans were not eating grains or or any modern farmed foods. Processed foods with refined sugars, refined grains, preservatives, artificial flavors, etc. are only 50-75 years old. This means that, at most, 99.3% of humanity’s evolution was apart from any processed food.
I read this in a Medscape article while I was, literally, drinking my morning coffee. California law is awomely aggressive about how any carcinogen in a consumer product must be labled. The unsettling fact is that consuming coffee does pose some increased cancer risk due to the acrylamide that is made in small but significant amounts when coffee beans are roasted.
Separately, drinking coffee upregulates phase I liver enzymes (primarily CYP1A2) which activates other cancer-causing agents we modern folks are exposed ot every day including: aromatic heterocyclic amines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and aflatoxin.
Acrylamide and the CYP1A2 issues are even more problematic when the body’s slower and more metabolically costly Phase II detox systems can’t handle the increased load of our modern toxin-loaded lives.
Honestly, I am more concerned about the chemicals used to line the inside of paper cups: PFCs or polyethylene plastics. Plastic lids from disposable cups are highly suspect too. They have Polystyrene: a known carcinogen and a neurotoxin, especially when HEATED. (Zoiks!!)
I finished my coffee while researching this post, and I’m going to continue drinking it–at home, in ceramic or stainless steel mugs. That’s because I take care of my liver with a high-vegetable diet with ample fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. I also hydrate well and take extra liver and phase II support: NAC, selenium, milk thistle, Vitamin C ,Vitamin E, methylation support (methyl-folate, methyl-B12, B6-P5P) and whey protien. I also take probiotics to help ensure that my body is more effective at eliminating the toxic chemicals I inevitably encounter in today’s world.
The take-home point is that is you are a coffee drinker, DO NOT USE DISPOSABLE CUPS–for all kinds of environmental and health reasons and also be sure to take care of your vital liver and gut function. These simple steps will help reduce your risk of serious chrionic illnesses including diabetes, cancer, thyroid problems and autoimmune conditions. Also, buy a couple stainless steel travel mugs to prevent adding to… this.
I consult with patients in the Seattle area and worldwide through remote consultations. If you are interested in maintaining your optimal health, or if you are suffering from a chronic illness that that conventional medicine alone could not fix, I invite you to check out my services and reach out for a consultation.
One in ten Americans are now taking antidepressants. Is this at all shocking? Hardly. I think increasing levels of depression and anxiety are a natural response to the increasingly bizarre and unhealthy environment modern humanity is living in.
Check it out. We have: a global population bursting at the seams, increasingly stressful & sedentary jobs, personal debt at an all time high, piles of nutrient-poor processed food, skyrocketing synthetic chemical exposures, relentless electronic stimulation, rampant corruption in political and religious leadership, and we are all basically being born into a society of psychological and economic slavery that is difficult to perceive, let alone escape. In this environment, feeling anxious and/or depressed may be the sign of a normal and healthy reaction to the situation at hand.
Like all animals, human behavior is largely based on responding to immediate needs to reduce perceived discomfort. So it is not at all surprising that people suffering from anxiety and depression are turning to drugs (prescribed and otherwise), and indulging in foods, alcohol, and other distractions that provide easy distraction and relief. Continue reading “A Sane Response to Anxiety & Depression”
Whether you are already well or dealing with a chronic illness or injury, finding and maintaining our optimal health today is a personal journey. It is also often one of personal evolution as we learn how to better align our strengths and weaknesses with our modern lives. For these reasons, I call my practice the “Human Evolution Project.”I became a naturopathic doctor and took additional training from the Institute for Functional Medicine to help guide people into greater alignment with themselves, their communities, and our amazing biosphere. My practice blends the best of a conventional medical approach with time honored traditional medicine and the very latest in nutritional, genetic and lifestyle medicine. In practice, I seek to partner with motivated patients who are ready to examine their habits and take charge of their own health as we aim to avoid and reverse illness—and promote optimal health. You can read learn more my philosophy and experience here.
I look forward to serving you, and may we all be well!
Dr. T.R. Morris is a licensed naturopathic medical doctor (ND). He is currently serving as faculty and consultant to the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM). The IFM mission is to revolutionize medicine by teaching the latest genetic, nutritional, hormonal and other biochemically-based integrative medicine techniques to MDs and other practitioners looking for new tools to prevent and treat chronic disease. In the past, T.R. served as the medical director of a large integrative clinic and taught (genetics, physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, cellular & molecular biology) for 10 years for various medical programs in the Puget Sound. He sees patients in person (or long-distance via Skype consultations) from his home office in Seattle. Contact Dr. Morris