Now picture yourself on a sandy beach, under a palm tree, listening to the waves of the ocean. Out in pristine nature, your thirsty, so you cut open a coconut and drink its rich sweet juice. You decide to compliment the coconut with a banana, straight from the tree. It’s sweet, mellow, and refreshing. Your hunger and thirst are perfectly satisfied, and your body reaps the beneficial nutrients. It does not get fresher or more local than this.
I bet you feel like hopping a plane and going on a vacation right about now. Well, I’ll ask you, what does vacation mean to you? Does it signify peace and tranquility, the oneness of nature, the pleasure of escaping the responsibilities of your everyday city life? Maybe? Or maybe it’s just getting close to a cottage up in the hills, beside a lake with the family, to enjoy togetherness.
I think it’s this togetherness that we miss, though we’re seldom alone every day in city life. The point is together with whom, or with what? Nature! And our natural environment that produces the bounty to health.
Obligations and the burdens of our societal pressures aside, when did we start to lose this connection? Why, when we think of a break, we favor something that rejuvenates our senses, rests our weary body, and makes us feel good, like a tropical or country sojourn? The natural world beckons journey towards her.
In The Roots of Medicine, I emphasized the work of Daphne Miller a bit. In her book The Jungle Effect, she was motivated to help one of her patients, whom she referred to as Angela. A young overweight girl, who went to live close to her native land in Brazil, and by eating local food, such as fish soup, taro, beans, and fruit, successfully lost weight that she had tried to lose back in the USA and couldn’t. When she went to live in the city, she gained weight again from her place near the rainforest. Returning to America, her weight gain continues, despite all efforts at eating healthy and dieting sensibly.
This phenomenon triggered Daphne Miller to rise above the norm of your conventional physician to explore deeper. She volunteered in a small Peruvian village not far from the Amazon basin, which coincidentally was close to the village where Angela had stayed when she lost the weight. Here she observed that people from this section of the Amazon were not getting chronic illness. They did not suffer from diabetes nor hypertension. She further found a correlation between the recipes of the food from the land that evolved together with its’ people. The food they ate tasted good and kept people healthy.
Miller pondered that places with intact indigenous diets have healthier people. She started to research picking places that mirrored healthy people and referred to them as cold spots, places where there are low rates of chronic disease. She was concentrating on ailments such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, depression, and obesity. This is where she formulated her observations to write her book, The Jungle Effect. Her findings are intriguing and have since paved the way for new ventures, such as presenting to organizations dedicated to natural health and Food and Agriculture worldwide. Miller notes the power of native diets and astutely highlights how some recipes have been modified through modernization. She points out that her grandmother’s simple recipe for healthy borscht soup, originally made from simple ingredients like chicken broth, fresh grated beets, salt, pepper with a dash of yogurt, mutated to canned sweetened beets, dollops of sour cream, and store-bought chicken broth served with bread.
Our modern diets deviate from our authentic, natural, unprocessed food into more processed and additive ridden foods with artificial flavor enhancers. The chemistry is wrong for our innate human biology. The alterations in the food have a causal effect on the alterations to our clothes and health included.
She visited other countries such as Iceland, and they do not suffer from depression there. They eat the most fish possible, some lamb, wild game, milk, and berries. The animals eat mostly the Tundra’s vegetation, and it appears they get their vitamins from the berries and potatoes. They also acquire secondhand vegetation from their protein sources because the Icelandic people claim they really don’t care for vegetables much. Overall, people are in good health.
The same goes for Cameroon, which she noticed has low rates of colon cancer. They eat many vegetables, nuts, spices, grain, and little protein. In Okinawa, the same. They have low cancer rates, and they eat the rainbow of vegetables fresh from their local market. The nutritional lessons learned from Daphne Miller’s journey was that people need to embrace the local nourishment from the land, use the traditional recipes of their forefathers, and perpetuate their food-related rituals from their ancestors.
We learn a good lesson from our Conscientious physician’s work, which is truly humbling. The simplicity of nature provides for us and is good for us. It’s not a vacation, but it’s the trip we should all be taking if we want to be fit and healthy.
- To read more about Dr. Daphne Miller, you can visit her site: https://www.drdaphne.com/health-from-the-soil-up
- The theme she’s exploring is the connection between Farm biodiversity and human health.
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