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Our body: a working machine


Fruits and veggies/

“...Thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread...” (Genesis 3:18-19)

To labor in the field so that we may eat is a principle of self-reliance. Using herbs and living off nature’s bounties is a prime concern for those who practice natural health and use alternative medicine.

While we take time this Labor day to honor those who work, may we also consider how hard our body works to keep us functioning properly. Our body is a working machine. A Nature's Sunshine Co. training video from several years ago, "The Body and the City" (now out of circulation) likened the body to a city. 

The Circulatory system is our mail carrier. It carries oxygen to the cells and picks up waste from the cells. The heart, which is part of the circulatory system, pumps the vital life-source of blood throughout our body.

The Digestive system is like a city’s power plant. It supplies the spark of life as it burns fuel and supplies energy as well as the spark that causes the fuel to ignite. It breaks down nutrients which are then distributed throughout the body.

The Glandular system is the body’s thermostat regulating it’s temperature. It also releases hormones which communicate with the body in an effort to keep us in a balanced state. It accounts for our emotions as well as much of our physiological function.

The Immune system is our body’s security system providing defense against invading organisms.

The Intestinal system is our waste disposal plant. It absorbs waste products and excretes them out of the body.

The Nervous system is a huge communication network. With our brain acting as the central computer, it receives and sends signals from what we see, hear, smell, touch and taste. Our nervous system then provides a vital communication link between the external world and the internal world of our body so that our organs and glands may function properly.

The Respiratory system supplies oxygen. Our cells rely upon oxygen to break down carbohydrates and fats into energy. The body uses a quarter million tons of oxygen per year.

The Skin and hair. The skin is the largest organ of the body. It is the first to feel pain or to respond to touch. It is the body’s air conditioning system as it cools the body and helps regulate internal body temperature. The hair has a protective coating which is capable of trapping waste by-products such as toxic metals. It could therefore be called the body’s garbage can.

The Structural system provides the framework for the body helping us withstand stress and strain. Consisting of bones, muscle and connective tissue it gives us the ability to move and gives form. It also houses our other organs and glands protecting them from the external environment.

The Urinary system is our internal water treatment plant. It filters out harmful chemicals and helps us maintain a clean supply of fluids. It also helps to maintain the necessary electrolyte balance between potassium and sodium.

By understanding a little about each of the body systems, we recognize the important connection between plants and man. Carbon dioxide, which is a waste by-product of a human, is necessary for plant respiration. A plant’s waste product is oxygen which is necessary for human beings.

Vegetation and plants suitable for food have been on this earth since the beginning of time. We have been given vegetables and fruits in season and should use them prudently. Eating raw fruits and vegetables provide enzymes which are essential to proper digestion. Grains are considered “the staff of life” for mankind. If we eat meat, it should be used sparingly.  By following these simple guidelines we may enjoy good health.

Whether we are one who tills the ground, plants a garden and labors in the field, or whether our labor is elsewhere; year after year we continue to be supplied with fresh fruits, vegetables and grain by the efforts of those who take time to plant gardens and harvest the fields.

Next time we bite into a juicy apple, nibble on our next carrot stick, enjoy a little bit of jam on our piece of toast, or bite into that juicy steak, let us be reminded of two things. One, the labor that has been put into supplying our needs. Second, how our body is going to labor as it functions to provide our cells with the essential nutrients it needs. And, may we ask, have I labored in my efforts enough to deserve the portion of food I am about to partake of?