Things We Think Are Normal That Are Not… And That Can Be Fixed Through Food

When you see a young adult with braces, a teen with acne, or a women dealing with debilitating cramps every month, do you even blink an eye?

Or do you just shrug it off as a normal part of life?

If so, perhaps a perspective shift is in order, and for the better.

While there are certainly components of what ails us that may be genetic, the contribution of what we eat is far too tremendous to overlook… especially if you’re suffering.

In modern day tribal societies, many of the sub-clinical illnesses we see regularly do not even exist, nor do the common corrective treatments we do not even bat an eyelash at.

Dental Health
Dental health is directly related to how much we brush and floss, right?

But what if there is more to it than that? The traditional groups that Dr. Weston A. Price (1) visited many years ago did not have wonderful dental hygiene, yet their teeth were perfectly straight and free of decay.

The difference was their diet; they only ate food. These populations were eating a diet devoid of processed foods and extremely rich in minerals and fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and K.

More than sixty years ago, Weston A. Price, a dentist based in Cleveland, was disturbed by what he found when he looked into the mouths of his adult patients: rampant decay, often accompanied by serious problems elsewhere in the body such as arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes, intestinal complaints and chronic fatigue.

But it was his findings in younger patients that gave him most cause for concern: crowded, crooked teeth were becoming more and more common, along with what Price called “facial deformities”–overbites, narrowed faces, underdevelopment of the nose, lack of well-defined cheekbones and pinched nostrils.

Such children invariably suffered from one or more complaints that sound all too familiar to mothers of the 1990s: frequent infections, allergies, anemia, asthma, poor vision, lack of coordination, fatigue and behavioral problems (2).

Price’s book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration (3) is a literal tomb of knowledge, a comparison of the health of those who consumed only local whole foods and those who had begun to include processed foods in their diet.

A must read for a deep dive into the vast impact the diet of the mother has, beginning even in preconception on setting up their baby for optimal health later in life.

Of course, brushing and flossing are important (unless, perhaps, you are following a true Inuit diet and literally eating nothing processed) but they’re only part of the picture.


Acne is the ‘most common skin condition in the US, affecting 50 million Americans annually (4). We chalk it up to hormonal changes, stress or a women’s cycle. All plausible causes… but are any the root cause?

In some less developed areas of our world, call them rural areas, untouched by the influence of the US, and subsequently, other ‘civilized’ nations, acne is not nearly as common, even rare: 5.37% of the population in some villages have acne (5).

In addition, a study published in 2011 in the journal, Human Immunology, the authors asserted, “There are even isolated populations where acne is nonexistent, including the inhabitants of the island of Okinawa before World War II, the Bantus in South Africa, the Eskimos, isolated South American Indians, and Pacific Islanders.” (6)

Our highly refined American diet does not help; high in sugar, it can lead to overproduction of insulin, which in turn may cause excessive growth of skin cells and proteins that contribute to clogging pores. Too much insulin also may result in oily skin: this is because high levels of insulin may increase male sex hormones. High levels of male sex hormones translates into increased sebum (skin oil) production, and clogged pores and greater amounts of sebum contribute to acne formation (7).

You can do an easy experiment yourself if you, or a family member is suffering from acne: cut out the refined foods in your diet for a month and see what happens. Replace all those nutrient-lacking calories with nutrient rich source of abundant organic, local leafy greens, ample natural fats, properly sourced proteins and plenty of clean water and watch your skin transform without harsh medication and chemicals!

Monthly Painful Menstrual Cramps

In the US, More than half of women who menstruate have some pain for 1 to 2 days each month. Usually, the pain is mild. But for some women, the pain is so severe that it keeps them from doing their normal activities for several days a month (8).

Primary menstrual pain refers to the ‘normal’ monthly discomfort many women have while secondary menstrual cramps are caused by an underlying problem deeper than the cramps themselves such as uterine tumors, endometriosis, or fibroid. Any symptom out of the ordinary can be best helped by a check in with your functional medicine doctor.

Eating inflammatory foods, such as those omni present in the Standard American Diet, such as processed ‘lunch meats, foods full of sugars and trans fats, an imbalance of fatty acids (as in too much of the inflammatory Omega 6s which body ultimately breaks them down into arachidonic acid also lowers the body’s pain threshold (9) by increasing the amount of pro-inflammatory prostaglandins that help the uterus contract.

Dietary changes may ease menstrual symptoms and help you stay healthy during your period. For example, eating iron-rich foods can help replenish iron stores when a person is losing blood. Other minerals such as magnesium and zinc may help ease symptoms (10).

Properly sourced protein is essential for your overall health, and it can help you stay full and sated during your period, curbing cravings (11). Focus on wild, local, in season fish with a rich Omega 3 content as well as grass-fed and finished game meats. Omega-3s can reduce the intensity of period pain (12). Subjects who took omega-3 supplements found that their menstrual pain decreased so much that they could reduce the amount of ibuprofen they took.

Three examples of many health concerns which we see all too often in our day to day; things that we assume are just part of life and perhaps things that we cannot do much about other than take a pill to address the symptoms.

No matter what ails you, looking at what you’re eating and where it came from is a crucial part of the healing process and one you can get started upon right away.



(3)Price, Weston. Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. The Price-Pottenger Nutrition, 1970.
(6)Szabó, K. & Kemény, L. Studying the genetic predisposing factors in the pathogenesis of acne vulgaris. Hum Immunol 72, 766 – 773 (2011). (7)
(8) Cordain, L. et al. Acne Vulgaris. Arch Dermatol 138, 1584 – 1590 (2002).