Nutrition for Life!
Nutrition, The Key to Energy
by Ken Adachi
The value of proper nutrition cannot be emphasized enough. Your body's health is directly related to what you put into it. Modern supermarket food is devitalized due to contaminants and processing by food manufacturers. Organic, fresh, raw foods possess forms of energy not currently understood by orthodox science. Some of these esoteric energies can be measured and detected, however. There is an instrument available today that can measure the "vital force" of food. A simpler method, but no less accurate, is to use a dowsing pendulum to determine this vital force on a scale of 1-10 for instance.
Raw foods also contain digestive enzymes that cooked and processed foods lack. The digestive enzymes that Nature provides with the raw fruit, vegetable, or meat is the perfect match for that particular food. If you don't get the digestive enzymes in the foods that you eat, your body has to make them. That requires energy and nutrients that's depleting of your energy resources. Many researchers who study those elements that contribute to longevity feel that the human body has a limited capacity and store of enzyme production over a lifetime. When your enzyme producing capacity expires, you expire!
Vitamins and minerals are most bio-available if they are in the form provided by Nature. Once you process food and strip away the vitamins, for example; merely adding denatured vitamins back into the food through fortification will not give you the equivalent quality or bioactivity of vitamins as originally provided by Nature. This is the biggest error made by dietitians, the nutritional arm of orthodox medicine. In considering the makeup of foods, they look only at the raw elements themselves (calcium, phosphorus, etc.) and assume that as long as the element can be measured in the food or added to the food, you are getting the equivalent nutrition and bioactivity as provided by Nature in the original, raw food state. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Despite the abundance of food in the United States, nutritional deficiency is quite common. It is important to understand this because Americans are often lulled into believing that foods are fortified with needed nutrients. It's like computers, "Garbage in, Garbage out".
I've been talking to people for a long time about understanding the nature of health and disease. Whenever I chat with someone with health problems and we're trying to figure out why, the last thing he will consider is his diet. It's stress. It's genes. It's the job. It's the wife. It's the mother-in-law, etc. It's everything but the diet. Folks, ...it's usually the diet.
Since nutrition is a rather large topic, I'll start with a few important subjects and add to the list as time permits. For more information on nutrition, please see our suggested reading list at the bottom of this page.
Anti nutrients are substances to which we are all exposed through food and water that antagonize nutrients needed for health. Some anti nutrients bind to other nutrients, making them useless. Others tie up enzymes needed in digestion and other body functions. Some cause problems by creating a greater need for certain nutrients. Others cause nutrients to be excreted more rapidly from the body. In our world of high technology, the level of anti nutrients to which we are exposed is surprisingly high. Many of the anti nutrients have either a direct or indirect effect on immune function. Anything you can do to reduce exposure to anti nutrients will be helpful in preventing recurrent illness.
Sugar, food coloring, processed fats, additives like BHT, and most of the 3,000 or so food additives allowed in the United States often act as anti nutrients. For example, in 1985 it was reported that American agriculture uses 1 billion pounds of pesticides each year. That is 4.5 pounds for every man, woman and child in the country. These chemicals have many adverse effects, and are more of a problem than most would imagine. Caffeine is another serious problem that most people don't fully understand.
Pharmaceutical drugs constitute another important category of anti nutrients. If drug therapy is short, the effects are usually not especially severe. However, if one takes a drug for months or years, the nutritional effects of the drugs must be taken into account. If you are on medication, it is important that you discuss this with your doctor. If your doctor prescribes medication but fails to address the nutrient effects of the medication, it may be wise to seek a doctor who will take this into account. Below is just a sample of the nutrients adversely affected by drugs.
Drug Clinical Condition Nutrient Affected Antibiotics bacterial infection Vit.. K, A, B12, Mg, folic acid, C, K+ Aspirin pain, fever B1, Vit.. C, K+ Cortisone inflammation, allergy Zn, K+, folate, B6, Vit.. C, D, Ca Ritalin hyperactivity, ADD suppresses appetite Phenobarbital seizure disorders Vit.. C, D, Ca, Mg, folic acid Tetracycline infection Zn, Ca, Fe, Mg, Vit.. K, B2, B3, C, folate
Simply stated, sugar lowers immunity. In 1951, Benjamin Sandler, M.D., a physician from Northern Carolina, wrote a book entitled Diet Prevents Polio. Dr. Sandler's work with rabbits and monkeys convinced him that high amounts of sugar in the diet made one more susceptible to polio. During the polio epidemic of 1948-49, he appeared on an Asheville radio station urging parents not to feed their children refined sugar or foods containing sugar such as ice cream, candy, and soft drinks. His admonitions also ran in local newspapers. In 1948, the incidence of polio in Northern Carolina was 2,402 cases. In 1949, after adopting the "Sandler diet," the rate had fallen to 214 cases. During this time, the national incidence of polio (39 states) had risen.
Was it a coincidence that the rate of polio dropped as the rate of sugar consumption decreased in this state? Did removal of sugar from the diet improve resistance to polio? You can come to your own conclusion, but there is good reason to believe that sugar consumption lowers immunity. In a report published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 100 grams of sugar from glucose, fructose, sucrose, honey or orange juice caused a significant decrease in the ability of white blood cells to engulf and destroy bacteria. This decrease in immune function was still present five hours after sugar was consumed.
There are numerous other studies that show decreases in immune function following sugar consumption. It is probably not significant when one only consumes sugar on occasion. However, on a daily basis it can wreak havoc on your immune system. The problem is sugar creeps into virtually every aspect of our diet, often without our awareness. This is because sugar is added to almost every packaged food sold today. The average adult American consumes more than 150 pounds of sugar each year (teenagers can consume over 200 pounds) ! This is 14 times more than was ingested only 100 years ago. It's far too much for our bodies to handle.
To help illustrate the harmful effects of sugar, let's use breakfast cereals as an example. Many of the most popular children's cereals contain almost 50 percent of their calories as sugar. The presence of large amounts of sugar in the diet causes a gradual depletion of zinc in the body. As zinc levels decline, the sense of taste declines as well. As taste perception declines, there is a greater need to flavor the food in order to make it "taste good." Usually this means adding more sugar. This leads to a further reduction in body zinc levels, which further lowers the taste perception. As a result, a child heaps more sugar on top of his cereal. The cycle goes on and on.
In his book Fighting the Food Giants, biochemist Paul A. Stitt says that it is no accident that children's cereals are highly sugared. Food manufacturers were the first to discover that sugar consumption leads to a gradual loss of zinc, which in turn leads to a loss of taste perception. By marketing cereal high in sugar, they were able to create virtual addicts to their products. What parent has not heard screams of a toddler in the grocery store demanding his breakfast treat!
It you want to have sweets, it's better to get it from fresh fruit. Not canned fruit, not dried fruit, but fresh fruit. A little honey is OK here and there, but don't delude yourself into thinking that natural forms of sugar like honey or maple syrup is good while refined sugar is bad. Sugar is sugar. Fruit provides a form of sugar called fructose. Because it's a natural monosaccharide, it's handled differently by the body than table sugar (sucrose) which is a disaccharide. There is one form of partly refined sugar that I do recommend for non diabetics to be consumed on a routine basis, but in a relatively modest amount. I'm talking about organic Black strap Molasses. The nutritional advantages of bio-available iron and sulfur (and other minerals) offered by black strap molasses far outweigh its downside as a source of sugar.
Cow's milk is often touted on television as the "perfect food." It is supposedly needed by everyone. "If you don't drink milk, your bones will become brittle from osteoporosis" hint many advertisers and even some physicians. Yet, cow's milk consumption has been shown to contribute to many of the health problems commonly encountered in our society. Excessive consumption of cow's milk is often one of the major factors contributing to susceptibility to common infections.
According to Dr. Schmidt in his book Childhood Ear Infections, simply eliminating dairy products is often all that's required to solve the riddle of recurrent ear problems in children. These sentiments are echoed by Dr. Fred Pullen, an ear, nose and throat specialist in Miami, Florida. Patients are referred to Dr. Pullen for the sole purpose of having tubes surgically implanted in their eardrums. Before undergoing surgery, however, all patients are first placed on a diet that eliminates dairy products. The result: "three fourths [of these children] never need tubes."
If one does even the smallest amount of research, it becomes evident that there is a wealth of information on this topic. One well written book is Principles of Nutrition by Whitman H. Jordan, published by the Macmillan Company of New York in 1912. On page 266 Jordan describes a German study detailing the tie outcome of 49,362 children born in Berlin during 1890. Before the end of one year, 12,623 of those children died. Of those who died, 8,008 were fed on cow's milk. Only 1,588 had been breast fed. Let me quote from this 86 year old book:
"Further statistics show of those fed on mother's milk one in thirteen died, while of those brought up by hand (bottle fed), one out of every two died."
These figures require no comment. Do not think that cow's milk is only harmful to children, though. The problems with cow's milk are so numerous that noted professor of pediatrics at John Hopkins School of Medicine, Dr. Frank Oski, wrote a book entitled Please, Don't Drink Your Milk. The following are health conditions either directly caused by or associated with cow's milk consumption, taken from MILK IS GOOD FOR __________ by Robert M. Kradjian, M.D.:
- "Among children the problems were allergy, ear and tonsil infections, bedwetting, asthma, intestinal bleeding, nephritis, colic, and childhood diabetes."
- "In adults the problems seemed centered more around heart disease, arthritis, allergy, sinusitis, and the more serious questions of leukemia, lymphoma, cancer (colon, lung, prostate, breast, ovarian, and rectal.)"
- "Even multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, and cataracts have been associated with cow's milk consumption."
"Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." -Albert Einstein
A vegetarian menu is a powerful and pleasurable way to achieve good health. The vegetarian eating pattern is based on a wide variety of foods that are satisfying, delicious, and healthful. Vegetarians avoid meat, fish, and poultry (although most of us here at Educate-Yourself do eat fish for protein). Those who include dairy products and eggs in their diets are called lacto-ovo vegetarians. Vegens (pure vegetarians) eat no meat, fish, poultry, eggs, or dairy products. While there is a considerable advantage to a lacto-ovo vegetarian pattern, vegen diets are the healthiest of all, reducing risk of a broad range of health concerns.
Vegetarians have much lower cholesterol levels than meat eaters, and heart disease is uncommon in vegetarians. The reasons are not hard to find. Vegetarian meals are typically low in saturated fat and usually contain little or no cholesterol. Since cholesterol is found only in animal products such as meat, dairy, and eggs, vegens consume a cholesterol free diet. The type of protein in a vegetarian diet may be another important advantage. Many studies show that replacing animal protein with plant protein lowers blood cholesterol levels-even if the amount and type of fat in the diet stays the same. Those studies show that a low fat, vegetarian diet has a clear advantage over other diets.
An impressive number of studies, dating back to the early 1920s, show that vegetarians have lower blood pressure than non vegetarians. In fact, some studies have shown that adding meat to a vegetarian diet raises blood pressure levels rapidly and significantly. The effects of a vegetarian diet occur in addition to the benefits of reducing the sodium content of the diet. When patients with high blood pressure begin a vegetarian diet, many are able to eliminate their need for medication.
This is just a small excerpt from the "Vegetarian Starter Kit."
You might like to know...
Percentage of pesticide residues in the U. S. diet supplied by grains: 1 Percentage of pesticide residues in the U. S. diet supplied by fruits: 4 Percentage of pesticide residues in the U. S. diet supplied by dairy products: 23 Percentage of pesticide residues in the U. S. diet supplied by meat: 55 Pesticide contamination of breast milk from meat eating mothers vs. non meat eating: 35 times higher. What the U.S.D.A. tells us: meat is inspected. Percentage of slaughtered animals inspected for residues of toxic chemicals including dioxin and DDT: less than 0.00004 %
"Medical professionals of today do not understand the vital roles of water in the human body. Medications are palliatives. They are not designed to cure the degenerative diseases of the human body." - Dr. F. Batmanghelidj
Pure and simple, water is an essential part of a healthy diet. And to a much greater extent than most would imagine. While unknown to the orthodox medical community, dehydration is an extraordinarily common cause of an astounding number of diseases. One of the leading researchers in this field, F. Batmanghelidj, M.D., has explained this subject in great detail in his book, Your Body's Many Cries for Water. The following are a few short excerpts from Dr. Batmanghelidj's book, which should help convey the significance of water in one's diet:
"The simple truth is that dehydration can cause disease. Everyone knows that water is "good" for the body. They seem not to know how essential it is to one's well-being. They do not know what happens to the body if it does not receive its daily need of water."
"In advanced societies, thinking that tea, coffee, alcohol, and manufactured beverages are desirable substitutes for the purely natural water needs of the daily 'stressed' body is an elementary but catastrophic mistake. It is true that these beverages contain water, but what else they contain are dehydrating agents. They get rid of the water they are dissolved in plus some more water from the reserves of the body!"
Currently, practitioners of conventional medicine are unaware of the many chemical roles of water in the body. Because dehydration eventually causes loss of some functions, the various sophisticated signals given by operators of the body's water rationing program during severe and lasting dehydration have been translated as indicators of unknown disease conditions of the body. This is the most basic mistake that has deviated clinical medicine. It has prevented medical practitioners from being able to advise preventive measures or offer simple physiologic cures for some major diseases in humans."
"With the appearance of these signals, the body should be provided with water for these rationing systems to distribute. However, medical practitioners have been taught to silence these signals with chemical products. Of course they have zero understanding of the significance of this most gross error. The various signals produced by these water distributors are indicators of regional thirst and drought of the body. At the onset, they can be relieved by an increase of water itself, yet they are improperly dealt with by the use of commercial chemical products until pathology is established and diseases are born."
We urge you to read Dr. Batmanghelidj's book, Your Body's Many Cries for Water, for further information. Dr. Batmanghelidj recommends drinking 8 - 10 glasses of water daily, and more if you are suffering from an illness.
Fiber, or roughage, has been a popular topic in the media of late. While advertisers try to sell us many things we don't need, they're right when they say high fiber cereals are important for good health. Lack of fiber has been implicated in the development of colon disease, heart disease and numerous other conditions. Dr. Denis Burkitt was the first to advance the idea of fiber as an important contributor to health. He based his beliefs on his research of African tribes. Dr. Burkitt found that African tribal residents suffered from almost none of the modern diseases of the West such as colon cancer and heart disease. However, when the Africans moved to the West and adopted our eating habits, they quickly succumbed to our most common illnesses.
Dietary fiber is as important to children as it is to adults. Foods high in fiber are high in vitamins, trace minerals and essential fatty acids. Take wheat for example. Almost all of the essential nutrients are bound in the germ portion of the grain. During milling, the germ is separated from the endosperm. The germ is sold separately as wheat germ (long known as a high nutrient food) while the endosperm is further milled to make flour. Milling of whole grain to make refined flour results in loss of 85 percent of the magnesium, 86 percent of the manganese, 40 percent of the chromium, 78 percent of the zinc, 89 percent of the cobalt, 48 percent of the molybdenum and 68 percent of the copper, in addition to comparable losses of selenium, vitamin E and essential fatty acids. Moreover, heavy metals such as cadmium (which are concentrated in the endosperm) remain in the flour. (Unfortunately, the body's antagonist to cadmium--zinc--has been removed.) Since nutrients are required to properly utilize all calories we consume, the intake of refined food leads to a gradual deficiency of nutrients. This is a strong argument for the use of whole-grain products.
The real test of the value of refined (fortified) foods would be to put a group of lab animals on a diet of white bread and compare them to a group fed a diet of whole-grain bread. In one such experiment, two thirds of rats kept on a diet of enriched white bread died before the experiment was finished.
Fiber is also important because it helps keep the intestinal contents moving through to their ultimate fate--elimination as stool. If the intestinal contents move too slowly, toxic by-products of digestion and bacterial fermentation remain in the bowel too long and are reabsorbed back into the body. Over time, this can contribute to illness.
When one consumes a diet low in fiber, attachment of parasites such as Giardia lamblia is easier. When fiber is present in the diet, the intestinal contents move through more quickly and prevent the attachment of such parasites. Recall that G. lambilia is one of the most common parasites found in the United States. It contributes to immune suppression, poor digestion, food allergies and numerous other problems. The ability to decrease the likelihood of infection by this parasite by simply increasing the intake of fiber is significant.
While fiber is necessary for children and adults, too much fiber can be a problem as well, since excessive fiber can cause nutrients to be leached out of the digestive tract. The problems for most of us, however, is not too much fiber, but too little. (Never put a child on a high fiber diet without consulting a health care professional.) Good sources of fiber include fruit, vegetables, legumes and grains (oats, wheat, rice, barley, etc.).
Juicing, and the benefits of a juicing program have long been recognized around the world. Since the early part of this century, researchers such as Norman Walker, D.Sc., and Dr. Bernard Jensen have investigated the effects of juice as part of the daily diet. Their studies show that juice can provide all the basics of human nutrition, including carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals.
Juicing adds to the benefits of vegetables and fruits. By juicing, rather than eating the produce whole, the important nutrients and phytochemicals found in plants are absorbed more easily by our bodies--sometimes within minutes--without too much effort on the part of the digestive system. In addition to this, more of the nutrients are absorbed.
Fresh vegetable juices are also rich in enzymes. Enzymes spark the hundreds of thousands of chemical reactions that occur throughout the body; enzymes are essential for digestion and absorption of food, for conversion of food into body tissue, and for the production of energy at the cellular level. In fact, enzymes are essential for most of the building and rebuilding that goes on in the body every day. When foods are cooked, enzymes can be destroyed; that is why raw foods and juices are so important. They provide an excellent source of all-important enzymes.
- Carrot's beta carotene and the ellagic acid found in fresh apple juice are clinically proven anti-cancer agents.
- Limonene from lemon's white pith is recognized as a potent anti-cancer nutrient and is also effective in dissolving gallstones.
- Apple's soluble fiber, ellagic acid and vitamin C, combined with celery's healthy dose of minerals and electrolytes can cleanse and rebalance your system.
- Digestive enzymes found in honeydew, papaya, and pineapple reduce inflammation and energize the body.
An advantage of juicing over buying commercial juice is that when you make your own juice you know exactly what it contains. You can be sure to avoid adding sugar, sweeteners, and other additives. Also many commercial juices are heat treated to extend shelf life, which can destroy nutrients.
For those of you looking for a suggested diet, we recommend the following:
- Consume a diet that focuses on whole, unprocessed foods (whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, seeds, etc.)
- Reduce (or eliminate, if possible) your intake of refined sugar.
- Drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water daily.
- Avoid animal products, with the possible exception of cold water fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, halibut, etc.).
- Eliminate dairy products, caffeine, and alcohol.
- Eliminate coffee (besides caffeine, there are a host of other chemicals poisoning your body). Try the many varieties of herbal tea available.
- Avoid soft drinks completely.
- Avoid white bread and refined flour products. They are devoid of essential nutrients, including omega-3 essential fatty acids and others.
- Avoid margarine and all commercial cooking oils. Use Butter and Organic cold pressed Olive oil instead.
- Consume organic Flax Seed Oil and cold fish oil (MAX EPA) daily.
- Consume Miso soup, kelp, and shitake mushrooms regularly.
- Brown Rice is better than white rice.
- Buy organic foods (especially produce) whenever possible.
- Get regular exercise.
- Perform a relaxation exercise (deep/focused breathing, meditation, tai chi, visualization, prayer, etc.) 10 to 15 minutes each day.
For more information on nutrition, we recommend the following books:
- Diet for a Poisoned Planet, David Steinman
- Diet for a New America, John Robbins
- Your Body's Many Cries for Water, F. Batmanghelidj, M.D.
- The McDougall Program, John A. McDougall
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