What Is The Relationship Of Food To Health?

By Atul Shah

According to Nature Cure humans have three aspects to their being :-physical, mental and emotional, and spiritual.
The physical can be further sub divided into four aspects.
These are:-air, water, earth, and fire.
The relative importance of the four aspects can be seen by observing what happens if these are not supplied.

Without Air we have only three minutes before death
Without water we have three days before death.
Without earth (food) we have three months (or thereabouts) before death
Fire comes in two forms:-the fire of the Sun, and the fire of life i.e. the life-force found in raw fresh living food. Without fire we have around three to five years before death.
So or what are the basic rules for food and in terms of health?
To clarify my point I’m going to use an analogy relating to a car.

In order to have a good car we need to have a good design.
The engineers must have done their sums right otherwise it may look good but maybe dangerous, or dysfunctional etc
Now you may have a good design but if the car was to be made from sub-standard materials it will again fail. So we see that the material that the car is made from is also important.

You may have a good design, good materials to make the car from but if the workmen who put the car together did so badly-again you’ll have a poor car.

You may have a good car in terms of design, materials and workmanship but the driver may point it at a tree-trunk or lamp-post in which case the car will have been of no use.

Also using the same Analogy I do not know of a single person in my own life who would put the wrong grade of fuel in their car. Yet these same people expect their own bodies to run on sub-standard feeding!!

The above Relate to human function in the following way:
The design of the car relates to your genetics. There is nothing you can do about that (at least for the foreseeable future).

Just like the car the materials that your body is made from are all-important. The tissues of your body can only come from the food that you consume. If this is deficient you cannot expect optimum health.

The workmanship aspect in terms of humans relates to how we live. The factors such as sleep, rest, mental attitudes, etc

The driver aspect relates to the general direction you have in your life. Having good health is of no use if you are hell-bent on destroying the very earth that you live on, fighting and killing your neighbours etc.


We should consume food in its whole state. This rules out extracts, refined products etc to a great extent ( despite the claims of many such foods to be health promoting)

Food should be fresh and raw to a greater or lesser extent.
It should of course be organic.

In my practice I do however see many people who are having wholefoods and having some raw food etc but still inadequately nourished because the proportions of the different foods they consume are not in accordance with the needs of their body.

Most of you will be aware of the Government’s recommendations of consuming at least five portions of fruit and veg per day. This in my books is a very very modest requirement which is grossly inadequate for most people’s needs. Survey after Survey has revealed that most people struggle even to make five portions a day (and this includes things like fruit juice! From a Nature Cure viewpoint fruit juice does not fit this category)

Every bit of research that has been done whether it is into arthritis, cancer, diabetes, skin health, brain function, heart disease, etc etc has always pointed to the fact that consuming more fruit and vegetables is beneficial for health. Irrespective of the disease the conclusions are that fruit and veg are beneficial.

The Food programme on Radio 4 on 2/ 6/ 02 concluded yet again that food plays an important part for adequate functioning of your brain as well as your body. Many musicians are now finding that for optimum performance they need to eat better. The Nature-cure aspect on food goes far beyond the mechanistic reductionist way of looking at food that is common among scientists today. We have a concept of vitality which goes far beyond the current held notions among the world of science. The whole concept of food and health is based on a philosophy rather than just mere abstract notions.

No wonder the general public is so confused as there are opposing revelations from time to time about what is good for you. One often reads in magazines about how a couple of glasses of red wine are beneficial to health whilst the cancer prevention league announces that any amount of alcohol is bad for cancer. We have television programmes on Health telling us to eat a low fat diet followed by a cookery programme showing us how to make sauces with cream.

In reality were we to have a simple philosophy on which to base our judgments we could always arrive at a right answer that would be good for the whole of you rather than just a bit of you.

Nature-cure has this idea of foods that are cleansing, and foods that are neither cleansing nor toxic, and foods that are toxic to the body. Some foods are more cleansing than others just as some foods are more toxic than others.

The simple rules of thumb are-foods that are from the vegetable kingdom that are naturally rich in water help the body to cleanse itself whereas all other foods are either neutral or add to the sum total of the body’s burdens of toxicity.

Let me clarify this a little bit further for you for example grapes which are from the vegetable kingdom and are naturally rich in water are cleansing but raisins which are dried grapes are not cleansing since they are not naturally rich in water. Also beans or lentils are much less toxic to your system then for example red-meat though both do fall in the non cleansing category.

The idea then is to meet your body’s needs in the best way possible creating the least amount of toxicity in the process.

We do not however recommend that your entire diet is made up of cleansing foods as most of us will need nourishment from some of the other foods.

As a rule of thumb (bearing in mind that we are all individuals we need a slightly different proportions to be at our optimum) we recommend that at least 60 per cent of your food comes from the cleansing category. This is enough for maintenance but were you to be unwell then you may need a much higher proportion ranging from 70 to may be even 80 or 85 for recovery.

In my practice I have dealt with many patients who have done the rounds with osteopaths, chiropractors, physiotherapists, various other alternatives etc and who finally land on my doorstep having had years of pain and discomfort and finally when I say that they have to be willing to change their way of living, they are often puzzled as to what the relationship of things like food, sleep etc is to their pain. They are also often surprised that I say it will take them two and-a-half to three years to make a good recovery (reminding them that they have had their trouble for many years and all the avenues that they have pursued have failed). However these patients are my best adverts! As the body is detoxed it slowly starts to recover.

I also have an excellent track record in helping people to lose weight without dieting. (Click here for Testimonies) For a vast majority of people in Britain the today weight is a secondary problem that comes about with lowered vitality and toxicity.

The increased toxicity in the body necessitates a retention of water to keep the toxins diluted. Further the water cannot be retained in the body without some additional laying down of tissue thus in increase in weight is often seen with an increase in toxicity and detoxing will automatically result in a loss of weight. Many of my patients are surprised to learn that they can actually eat quite an adequate amount of food and still lose weight whereas years of dieting have often resulted in a slow and steady increase in weight over time.

In conclusion I have often said to many of my patients that I don’t make the rules but I’m just the person that has made a study of the rules and who is able to interpret them in different situations for a good recovery in the fastest possible time. Natural law dictates that each one of us has to take responsibility for our own health in terms of our choice of food and lifestyle