Is it necessary to consume specific foods to obtain specific nutrients?

People often inquire, “What foods should I consume to treat my illness?” and “What foods should I consume to meet my nutritional needs?” Which foods should I consume for optimal health? and so forth. My response to such questions will be, “Ask me how to eat, not what to eat.” Instead of knowing what to eat, learn how to eat food properly. If you eat it right, your body will get all the nutrients it needs from any food after digestion.

This example is meant to show how the human digestive system works. Imagine a poor woman from a rural village who has never consumed nutrient-rich food and has only ever consumed plain rice daily. One day, she got married. Can she conceive and bear a child? If she gives birth to a child, will it have eyes, ears, a mouth, a nose, and all internal organs?

Will the body of this infant contain bones, skin, and teeth, and will this child grow up normally? Will that child have all the vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and immune system that it needs? Isn’t the answer to all of the above questions “yes”? Whatever nutrients are present in a child born to wealthy parents will also be present in a child born to poor parents.

There is no difference between the anatomical structure of a child from a wealthy family and a child from a poor family. Children from poor families may be healthier than those from wealthy families. Because a poor child consumes less food, his body can perfectly digest it. Actually, proper digestion is more important than nutrient-dense foods.

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