Ezra Taft Benson said it well...
"To a great extent we are physically what we eat. Most of us are acquainted with some of the prohibitions, such as no tea, coffee, tobacco, or alcohol. What need additional emphasis are the positive aspects--the need for vegetables, fruits, and grains, particularly wheat. In most cases, the closer these can be, when eaten, to their natural state-- without overrefinement and processing--the healthier we will be. To a significant degree, we are an overfed and undernourished nation digging an early grave with our teeth, and lacking the energy that could be ours because we overindulge in junk foods."
I have several friends that have lived for a month or so on ONLY "raw" unprocessed foods. When they tell you of their experience...they paint a picture of going through withdrawals for a time...much like a drug addict....and say things like..."I thought I was going to die drinking only my green shakes and other veggies. I would have killed for a Snickers bar or a cheeseburger!!!" After passing through this torturous detoxification process...they tell how they "Never felt healthier" and "...had so much energy". They also often tell of how they had a noticeable increase in clarity of thought!
When asked the naturally following question "Then are you still doing it?" They respond "No". Then when asked "Why would you stop if you felt that great?" they tell of how hard it is to exist in our society eating only raw and unprocessed foods. "I couldn't be normal at any public function. I'd rather be able to sit down and enjoy some fried chicken and cheesecake with my family than feel super healthy". Or they tell of how they gradually drifted back into their old diet a few bites at a time...and now just try to incorporate more unprocessed and raw foods into their regular diet.
While I am not seeking to judge such people harshly (as I would be a major hypocrite!!!) it is an interesting thing that most of us know what is good for us and what is not...and if we consume the good we know it will will make us feel great...and yet still choose to eat that which keeps us in those "mists of darkness" with regards to health. Food "mists of darkness" that can cloud our spiritual perceptions as well. We're like those animals that lap up anti-freeze because "It tastes so sweet". A sweetness that will either make us ill...or ultimately kill us.
Many or perhaps most of the health ills that we are plagued with can be traced back to the poor nutrition from eating unhealthy. Here is a trailer for a video that serves to prove that point... that tells the story of a group of diabetics that were "cured" of their diabetes after a short period by changing their diet.
In order to increase the shelf lives of our food...to make it's appearance without blemish...and to enhance it's fluffiness or other attributes...the US the food industry has largely stripped our foods of what our bodies need. "Evils and designs do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days" and it's evidence can be found on our food labels.
Not only have the nutritional values of our foods been comprised through over-refinement...but they have also been putting all kinds of preservatives and other miscellaneous ingredients into our foods. I'm sure that this is not news to you...but it should cause some alarm that the ingredients we might consume have names that are too long to pronounce... and have unknown origins. It's kind of like my saying to you "Open your mouth and close your eyes...and you will get a big surprise!!!" It could be a yummy strawberry...or maybe some earwax!! Gross! We have so much blind faith as a nation in the people that oversee the quality of the food we consume to choose what can and can't be put into our foods. If food is the best medicine...do you know the side effects of the medicine you are eating? Chances are if you actually knew what those ingredients were...you would think twice about putting them into your bodies.
Here is a book that from A-Z let's you know what the additives are in your foods.
Here is a review of the book from amazon that could gross you out pretty good...
"What am I eating? This book answers that question by describing more than 8,000 ingredients found in foods. The dictionary format lets you look up an ingredient alphabetically and learn what it is, how and why it's used, and the benefits and risks. You can decode an ingredient from a food label--haven't you always wondered just what "guar gum" is?--or just skim for interesting facts. For example, the entry on "civet, absolute" explains that this essential oil used as a flavoring is "derived from the unctuous secretions from the receptacles between the anus and genitalia of both the male and female civet cat." Not very appetizing! You'll find this ingredient in raspberry, butter, caramel, grape, and rum flavorings in beverages, desserts, and chewing gum. This book also explains commonly used (but poorly understood) food-label terms like "lite" and "low fat," what counts as a serving for different food groups, and various ways of processing food. There's a helpful chart of food storage guidelines, and resources (including Web sites) for people with food allergies or sensitivities. Ruth Winter, an award-winning science writer, is also the author of A Consumer's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients and several other books. --Joan Price"
Here is a book that goes in depth tracing back the source of those additives. I heard an interview with the author that was fascinating.
One food that you may not have considered as being full of nutrients or even "good for you"...is salt. Unrefined salt has a remarkable amount of minerals in it that your body may be yearning for due to deprivation in your current diet.
I was going to write up a big article on salt...but hey...someone already wrote what I would have put together! Read this article to learn about the differences between refined and unrefined salt. Make sure that this important nutritional ingredient is found in your storage!
You may also consider eating "whole foods" and shopping at stores that offer foods closer to their "natural state"!