Poverty and Malnutrition - Nenah Sylver

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Poverty and


Virtually every disease condition is either caused or perpetuated by improper diet. This is of particular concern to women because more than 80% of single-parent families are headed by women; and of these, the vast majority live below the poverty level. As public assistance is reduced to the point of being eliminated, women are struggling harder than ever to feed themselves and their children. Unfortunately, what many of them eat does not nourish them. Those women who do recognize the superior quality of food that can be obtained in a health food store may not always be able to afford it. Virtually everything from a supermarket contains preservatives and dyes, which are shown to cause irritation of the skin, eyes and respiratory tract, hyperactivity in children, digestive disturbances, mental and emotional problems, muscle weakness, joint pain, kidney damage, and even tumors. Also, most food is so processed that it no longer resembles the whole food from which it was derived (such as white flour processed from the whole wheat berry); and when the body is fed only empty calories, it cannot rid of wastes properly or build healthy tissue. Once this dynamic is established, sudden-onset illness and chronic, degenerative conditions inevitably result. Nutrition, which is vital for a healthy bodymind, is not usually taught in medical school. Even when it is included in the curriculum, the information is suspect, because the drug companies that donate badly needed funds to colleges also manufacture the same preservatives, dyes, pesticides, and other chemicals that routinely go into our food.

The Standard American Diet (SAD) consists largely of processed carbohydrates, sugars, caffeine, and the wrong kinds of fats (artificial—such as margarine—and often rancid). This diet, along with not enough fruits and especially vegetables, creates digestive upsets and slows down the assimilation of food. The less efficient the digestive tract, the less easily the body absorbs nutrients, which then disables its ability to fight the infections and degenerative diseases that arise. If the body is deprived of vital nutrients, it cannot maintain itself and function optimally. Following is a tiny sample of what can happen when the body does not receive the nutrition that it needs.


Specific Related Health Condition

  • Digestive Disorders. This can include constipation, diarrhea, bloating, stomach upset, even nausea and vomiting. Poor nutrition can ultimately produce a major fungal infestation (see "Candida Albicans" directly following).

  • Restorative Strategies: You can’t get away from this: a better diet (see "Dietary Support" and "Cleansing"). Eliminate gluten from the diet, which can cause intestinal damage and even autoimmune disorders. For optimal results, see a holistic health care provider for a customized program of nutrition and supplementation.

  • Candida Albicans and other Fungal/Yeast Infections. In a healthy and well-nourished individual, the friendly flora that normally live in our intestinal tract and help us digest our food, successfully compete with the native fungus population for space. However, the ingestion of fried foods, concentrated sugars, refined carbohydrates and other empty-calorie foods feeds the fungal and yeast forms, which then proliferate and reduce the numbers of beneficial intestinal flora. The fungi and yeast, which thrive on sugars and fermented foods, then cause the person to crave sugar and overeat—which then further feeds them, in a vicious cycle. Because of the enormous number of poisonous waste materials that the candida and yeast are constantly excreting into the system, systemic yeast overgrowth causes many symptoms, including digestive disturbances, emotional upset, an inability to concentrate, fatigue, and susceptibility to infection. Sometimes the yeast infection is localized in the vagina.

  • Restorative Strategies: Go on a high protein diet and avoid sugars and refined carbohydrates. Take a supplement of acidophilus, bulgaricus and other friendly flora, available from the health food store. A naturopath or herbalist will be able to suggest herbs to combat the fungal overgrowth. Allopathic drugs to kill the yeast should be used only as a last resort. If a proper diet is not followed, the yeast will return.

  • Food Allergies. An allergy is the body’s reaction to a foreign substance that becomes an irritant because the body cannot adequately break it down. Allergens are proteins that either migrate into the bloodstream as undigested food particles, or gain passage through the respiratory tract as chemical or pollen irritants. Food and other allergies can manifest in many ways: digestive disorders, headaches, skin rashes, inability to focus, moodiness, difficulty in breathing.

  • Restorative Strategies: First, avoid the allergen, if you know what it is. But this is an intermediary measure while you are healing the over-reactive parts of the body. A good herbalist or naturopath can suggest natural substances to support and strengthen the system. Many people find that the amino acid L-Cysteine, or certain forms of glutathione that survive the stomach acid, help to detoxify the liver, which as a major purification organ in the body is sure to be on overload. The allergy elimination technique N.A.E.T. eliminates processing errors in the body caused by foods, chemicals, environmental toxins, and even emotions, that unbalance the acupuncture meridians which then cause malfunctions in glands, organs, the nervous system, and muscles. Also see "Dietary Support" and "Cleansing."


For much more detailed information
on what has been discussed here,
including a wide variety of other health-related topics,
see The Rife Handbook of Frequency Therapy
by this author.



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