The Wise Traditions diet, which is a varied diet based on the findings of Dr. Weston A. Price, is always the diet of choice for those who like to heal with food – but, especially for those with hormonal and mental challenges.
Iodine is critical, especially for thyroid function. Adequate iodine is essential to optimal health. Eat wild fish and wild seafood and sea vegetables. Use unrefined Celtic sea salt. Avoid bromide. Bromide interferes with utilization of iodine in the body (in glandular tissues like the thyroid, breasts, ovaries, uterus, prostate). Bromide competes with iodine receptors, displacing iodine. Receptors will bind with bromide in its presence. Bromide is found in commercial breads, pasta and refined cereals. Avoid pool treatments that utilize bromine, as well as pesticides.
Selenium is probably the second most important mineral for thyroid function. It is a vital component of the enzymes needed to remove iodine molecules from T4 when converting it into the more active form, T3. Selenium is also an antioxidant, protecting the thyroid gland and immune system. The best dietary source of selenium is Brazil nuts. One to two Brazil nuts daily will provide one with plenty of selenium.
Sulfur (MSM) also provides major support for the thyroid and liver and is involved in the liver’s conversion of T4 to T3, the most biologically active thyroid hormone. Sulfur-rich foods include whole eggs, garlic, onions, leeks and others.
Zinc is necessary in order to make enough active thyroid hormone. It is also necessary for proper conversion of T4 to T3. Oysters are a delicious source of zinc, as is red meat. Copper and manganese help protect the thyroid from free radicals.
Vitamin D is required for the conversion of T4 to T3 and is needed for TSH production in the pituitary. Sunshine, lard from pastured pigs, raw milk and unrefined cod liver oil are excellent sources of vitamin D. Vitamin E is another antioxidant important for optimal thyroid function, protecting the thyroid from cellular damage.
Vitamin A helps to balance the correct levels of thyroid hormones. Adequate vitamin A levels are needed for proper thyroid and liver function. Vitamin A is found only in animal fats (butter, egg yolks, raw cream, liver, ghee, oysters, unrefined cod liver oil, fish skin, poultry skin, etc.) which are a vital part of the Wise Traditions diet.
Magnesium is another mineral essential for thyroid function and the regulation of conversion of T4 to T3. Cooked dark leafy green vegetables should be included on a very regular basis. The vitamins niacin and riboflavin regulate thyroid activity and contribute to the prevention of either an overactive or under active thyroid. Niacin additionally works as an antioxidant.
Rediscovering Ways to Enjoy Ancient Traditional Wisdom
Wild fish, liver, and bone marrow are a few examples of sacred foods honored by traditional cultures around the world, for nourishing not only babies, but mothers-to-be and growing children as well. We know from the travels of Weston A. Price that these sacred foods are undeniably nourishing, offering high levels of minerals and fat-soluble activators to support optimal development. For adults, these foods provide similar benefits, allowing efficient nutrient absorption and protection against disease. Granted, sacred foods are not your typical, everyday fare found in today’s urban homes, and perhaps they do not appeal to everyone’s taste buds—еspecially at first bite. But with some suave kitchen moves and an open mind, you may find them better received than you expected, and nutritionally they can’t be beat!
SACRED FOODS ARE REVERED FOODS
The dictionary defines sacred as “reverently dedicated to some purpose. . . regarded with reverence. . . ” Imagine a group of indigenous people living off their native land and thriving on their native foods. Elders of the group impart their wisdom to young men and women about to be married, to married couples and pregnant women, and to young mothers raising their infants and children. They will talk about specific foods needed to properly nourish their bodies during these critical periods. This counsel is not questioned or perceived as mere suggestion: these truths are revered.
What Weston A. Price discovered when evaluating these revered foods was that they were rich in minerals and extremely high in what he called “fat-soluble activators.” Minerals are the nutrients most people are familiar with—such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and iodine—that play many roles in building a beautiful, fully-developed body and maintaining its function throughout life. On the other hand, the “fat soluble activators” are less understood and were a mystery even to Dr. Price when he first began his work. But what science has uncovered is the fact that these “activators” are the animal forms of vitamins A (retinol isomers), D (vitamin D3 and isomers) and K (vitamin K2).
The role of “fat-soluble activators” is best described by Dr. Price himself: “A question arises as to the efficiency of the human body in removing all of the minerals from the ingested foods. Extensive laboratory determinations have shown that most people cannot absorb more than half of the calcium and phosphorus from the foods eaten. The amounts utilized depend directly on the presence of other substances, particularly fat-soluble vitamins. It is probably at this point that the greatest breakdown in our modern diet takes place, namely, in the ingestion and utilization of adequate amounts of the special activating substances, including the vitamins [A, D and K2] needed for rendering the minerals in the food available to the human system. It is possible to starve for minerals that are abundant in the foods eaten because they cannot be utilized without an adequate quantity of the fat-soluble activators”.
If we compare the body to a house built of bricks and mortar, think of the minerals as the bricks and fat-soluble activators as the mortar. In other words, we can consume a certain diet of fantastically nutrient-dense foods, but the value of such a diet comes down to what is actually absorbed. Without fat-soluble activator nutrients— namely vitamins A, D3, and K2—our efforts to consume the “right” foods will be futile.
This is just a small overview of nutrients what can be present in a traditional, healing diet. Food is so much more than filling our bellies – food must nourish us and keep us healthy and happy to live our lives to the fullest.