image of nuts and seeds
Elson Haas, MD
written by
Elson Haas, MD

Apr 05, 2017

Article Tags: Nutrition | 5 Keys

Natural Foods in a Balanced Diet

 We have more potential control over what we eat than in any other area of our lives, so this is a good place to begin, even though it can be a challenge. Our Diet is what we eat and Nutrition is comprised of the many nutrients our body can digest and assimilate from our foods. Food can bring us much pleasure and sustenance and it’s certainly part of sharing our lives with others. Plus, our food choices influence our health directly in positive and negative ways. We are challenged and tempted early in our lives with all the tasty, sweetened, quick snacks available and advertised to us. Do we need to eat the hippest foods to fit in, or can we enjoy the basics of nature to nourish ourselves fully? Of course, nutrition is a complex subject and in my career as an author and teacher, I have explored this topic more than any other, in my books Staying Healthy with Nutrition, The False Fat Diet, and The Detox Diet. You can learn more from these sources and my website.

Our bodies have more than a hundred different cell types requiring millions of biochemical reactions to work properly helping our bodies to thrive optimally. When we do not eat a sufficiently nutritious diet, nor have good digestion and assimilation to deliver the nutrients to our cells, our bodies (and minds) cannot be running at 100%. When we expose our cells to more toxins than our body can readily detoxify and eliminate, our cellular and tissue functions may be undermined. Over time, this can lead to many acute and chronic symptoms, as well as a myriad of diseases. The key here is to eat healthy, nourishing foods, especially vegetables, proteins, and fruits, and to avoid toxins whenever possible. Another part of this Key is to learn how food and supplements help us recover and heal when symptoms or illness occur. This may involve habit changes and detoxification/elimination diets as a start. These simple changes in our lifestyle habits can correct many underlying health problems.


Over the last 40 years I have found that one of the best ways to begin and continue the journey to optimal health is with a natural cleansing and detoxification program. Detoxification can be as simple as avoiding certain foods for a period of time, like with a juice fast, or involve specific cleansing programs and various detoxification herbs and supplements. An elimination diet mainly involves avoiding certain foods for some time to see how your body reacts to them. This is often the first step in assessing food allergies, sensitivities, or any adverse food reactions. Ideally, at the very least, we should take an occasional break from sugar, caffeine, alcohol, as well as dairy and wheat products and see how we feel. I truly believe that if our entire nation did this for three weeks, half of people’s symptoms and medical conditions would be lessened. If you want to try this for yourself, you can learn more from my book The Detox Diet.