Someone asked me once on a television interview what my definition of true health was- my answer, albeit too simplified for the scientific scholar was, “The absence of disease on all levels – meaning physical, mental, emotional and even spiritual.” I happen to believe that every person can improve their level of health by making better choices.
My number one rule to living a healthier life is to make a daily effort to choose a path toward wellness and away from disease. Choose a journey that brings joy. Be with people you adore, don’t participate in conversations that bring others down, be honest, hold onto the highest of integrity. Share your gifts and talents. Participate in hobbies and activities that enrich your life and the lives of others whenever possible. Allow yourself to be truly loved and allow yourself to love someone completely. Love can be a grand healer.
Do things that feed your spirit…listen to someone who inspires you. Perhaps you might attend a concert, seminar, go dancing, take a tour, go for a bike ride, walk in the woods, travel, meditate, practice yoga…your choice. On top of these things start to learn what it is that really keeps your body in top condition. Once you understand how nature works you will not be ill as often. If you give your body what it needs to do its job, it generally will!
So let’s talk about FOOD HEALING.
This may be surprising to you, but the human body is composed of about 15 main biochemical elements with added trace elements to small to mention. Here is the breakdown:The human body is comprised of up to 70% water. Every three or four minutes with the aid of the beating heart, the body’s blood goes through the lungs. The blood stream carries carbonic acid waste to the lungs to be oxidized by the oxygen and exhaled. Oxidation produces heat. By this fact it is possible to burn food in a laboratory to determine the amount of heat or calories it produces.
In chemistry we know that there is an atomic weight and innate wisdom principles within the body that send these chemical compounds to certain structures of our bodies.We have hard teeth, soft colon, tough tendons, malleable fingernails, a red heart, yellow bile, perhaps purple, blue, green in the eyes, blonde, red, or brown hair. Some people have glowing or sparkling eyes, others have eyes that are more dull. All elements have their specific scope of action and characteristics and so do we. We are all human but with unique biochemical makeups that give us variety or what I call “the spice of life!” Life, with all of its intracacies and nuances is surely miraculous.
Let us use Nature’s remedies…our bodies are built from the elements of nature. Disease then most begins in the diet with poor choices, or inadequate food supplies, from there we must consider the mind and emotions of a person.. Sometimes we take too much of one element and it causes an imbalance and other times we take too little and imbalance occurs. This happens physically, mentally and emotionally as well. Too much of a good thing may detract from life.
For example, when we do not have enough organic sodium in the diet it leads to stomach trouble but too much sodium can lead to heart disease. A low iron diet leads to anemia and yet inorganic iron can produce constipation. The right amount of lovemaking can improve one’s state of health but too much can make you go blind! NO NO NO – I’m just kidding, just wanting to keep you on your toes! But truly, using your mind in your daily occupation is important for continued mental acuity, but watching television all day may detract from your mental fortitude. Enough exercise will keep your body nimble and strong, overworking a muscle may cause injury. So you see we must choose balance.
I have found that there are seven bad habits one must break in order to be healthier: Eating too often, eating too much, talking about sickness, losses and diseases, eating fried foods, smoking, and worrying about what is yet to come. These things bring one into a very acid state of life where disease seems to breed.For me, prevention is the best answer, although I have found that many people must be one step short of dying to take their health seriously. Even if you are not in tip top shape you can improve in some way so that life is more enjoyable.
There are clues in nature and within our own bodies that can help guide us to better health. Just as we can watch the birds in nature make correct choices to sustain their little bodies in flight, we must look at the human frame to determine what is best for us. Our taste buds register four different sensations, sweet, salty, bitter and sour. The back of the tongue is more sensitive to bitter, the sides react more to sour and salty and the tip to sweet. That’s another biological clue that we are to eat a variety of foods. Our teeth are also a clue; we have teeth that grind and teeth that rip and tear.
In food chemistry we know that we should apply the Acid/Alkaline food theory for perfect health. The dietary ratio should be 80 % akaline foods and 20% acid forming foods. Biochemistry divides foods into these two basic categories, and rest assured we need some of both for the spark of life to occur. One must “strike” the flint to make fire. Before any food is digested it takes the presence of ENZYMES. Enzymes are the body’s catalysts that make biochemical processes possible. For instance the first enzyme is ptyalin found in the saliva. Ptyain converts starches into maltose for further digestion by the enzyme called amylase produced by the pancreas. This enzyme splits maltose into polysacharides or multiple sugars and still more intestinal enzymes change these to simple sugars which are absorbed through the walls of the small intestine The liver stores sugars for later use in the form of glycogen. Okay enough chemistry–let’s get back to food. But one more thing, if you really have poor digestion try eating one type of food at a time…then your enzymatic activity won’t get confused by the multiple food forms and complete digestion can occur. If not possible take the best enzyme formula on the market -I suggest AbsorbAid Platinum because it has been clinically tested and written about int he New England Journal of Medicine.
In general the acid/alkaline balance is not only reflected in the state of physical health one displays but in the mental and emotional states as well. When the sun is up we are causing acid building due to mental activities, but when the night is upon us it is the alkalizing moon that causes us to rest and establish balance. negative thoughts and attitudes such as fear, hate, gossip, unhappiness, anger, selfishness, jealousy, lack of love all build acids as does overwork and late hours and pollution. Rest, sleep, fresh air, sunshine, laughter, good companionship, love happiness, joy satisfaction and a positive philosophy encourages alkalinity. we have alkaline fruits and slightly acid fruits. We have alkaline vegetables and slightly acid vegetables. For example:
Highly Alkaline fruits include:
Apples, apricots, avocados, speckled bananas, all berries, cactus, cantaloupe, cherries, currants, dates, figs, grapes, grapefruit, guavas, kumquats, ripe lemons and limes, mangoes, all melons, nectarines, olives only sundried, oranges, papaya, pears, persimmons, plums, prunes, quince, raisins, tamarind, tangerines, tomatoes.
Slightly acid fruits include: all preserved fruits, sugared fruits or dried fruits, sulphured fruits, sugared fruits, pickled fruits and fruits that are not ripened yet–all “green” fruits.
Highly Alkaline vegetables include vine ripened:
Asparagus, bamboo shoots, beans, green, lima, string, sprouts, beets and tops, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, celery, cauliflower, chard, chayotes, chickory, chives, collards, cucumber, dandelion, dill, dulse, eggplant, endive, escarole, garlic, horseradish, jerusalem artichoke, kale, kohlrabi, leek, legumes, lettuces, mushrooms, okra, onions, parsley, parsnips, peppers, potatoes, pumpkin, radish, rutabaga, salsify, sauerkraut, sorrel, soybeans, spinach, squash, turnips, water chestnut,m watercress.
Slight acid vegetables include: artichokes, white asparagus tips, all dried beans, brussael sprouts, garbanzos, lentils and rhubarb.
There are some alkaline dairy products such as acidophilus cultured milks, buttermilk, whey, yogurt, clabbered milk and kefirs. And acid-forming dairy products such as butter, cheese, cottage cheese, cream, ice cream, sherbert, custards, all milk that is pasteurized, dried or canned.
Here is something interesting to remember…there are NO alkaline flesh foods! that means that beef, lamb, pork, chicken, goose, venison, fish, turkey, quail…are acid forming foods. The closest alkalizing element in the family of flesh foods is their bones and their blood! So, when you eat whole fish such as in sardines and chew those little bones it is a good balance as long as you soak the salt away first.
All alcoholic beverages are acid, and 99% of the grains are acid as well. On the chemical scale the most alkaline of the grains is buckwheat and the most alkaline nut is a raw almond..and I nearly forgot – coconut if it is fresh.r
The neutral foods on earth are:water, naturally occurring oils such as unrefined and cold pressed olive, corn, cotton, soy, sesame and other fats.
If we know how to use foods as medicine we can change the body chemistry and improve health tremendously. We are meant to enjoy good health not suffer in sickness and misery. I remember Dr. Garnett Cheney in San Francisco telling a story having treated 100 patients with the juice of raw cabbage which gave the fastest relief as cure for uncomplicated peptic ulcers. Symptoms disappeared in the first few days and he proved by x-ray exam that the ulcers themselves disappeared in as brief a time as a week. No medicine or other diet was employed. Now that is powerful food medicine.
As we move to the plant kingdom we find where most all medicines of the world are derived. Herbs such as ginseng as researched by the Russians, increases the body’s resistance to disease and stress. Physical and mental efficiencies are increased, blood sugar is reduced in diabetes and blood pressure normalized. Panax Ginseng was the type used in the Russian study. There are other forms that promote different responses, and it is not wise to take any herbal formula, by the way, without consulting your physician and or/pharmacist. French researchers showed thaht elderly persons troubled with memory lapses, slow thinking showed improvement after a week of taking ginseng and remarkable improvement after two months. However, add to this vitamin and minerals supplements were given.
Some of my favorite life-givers are the super greens of the world. Things such as chlorophyll, the pigment that makes plants green and allows them to synthesize food using the energy from the sunshine. This is a powerful cleanser for the body. All green leafy vegetables are a good source of chlorophyll. Interesting that it porphyrin molecule is almost identical to the hemoglobin molecule of the blood.
Two other super green foods are spirulina and chlorella, both green microalgaie available today from many health food stores in powder or capsules or tablets. It is rich in protein, chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals and biochemical elements. Spirulina gets its name from the spiral shape which shows up under the microscope. Chlorella is a single-celled microalgae round in shape.
Evening primrose is one of the most fascinating and useful of the herbal remedies. The whole plant is edible and oil taken from its seeds can be used for skin rashes and other skin problems. It is also highly useful in women’s health. I won’t go on about the thousands of herbal plants that feed us well…but I will mention one lastly here – and that is:
Milk Thistle is a brilliant plant that actually works on the liver to help support and rebuild it. It is one of the finest plants to help detoxify poisons especially from the liver. Go slowly with this one as it is powerful. there are many companies that sell Milk Thistle – also called sylimarin, so check with your health food store expert for the best one available today.
Today we have discovered that there are many plants which give support to hormonal production and sometimes these plants can act as well as prescriptive medications. I know that natural medicine provides for phyto estrogens and progersterones such as those derived from Black Cohosh, Wild Yam, Fennel, and Fennugreek. More are in research. We find that Velvet Deer Antlers (tissue before it becomes a horn or hardened) are helpful to the male and female because they are rich in every nutrient known to sustain life. Again when you look at the place on the deer’s body – this is a “protruding” structure and one would imagine that likes curing likes – it would be beneficial to our “protruding” parts, male and female. Makes sense to me!
Here are some fun facts: People from various parts of the world enjoy strange foods: Vindaloo, is a Burmese savory dish of fish which has been buried in the earth for three weeks! Eskimos eat rotten fish and meat with no ill effect! Connoisseurs in Britain will not eat meat unless it has been “hung” for several days. Herman Almquist of the University of Cal years ago found that chick bleeding could be cured by using putrid fish meal which is high in vitamin K, the coagulative vitramin. And in European pharmacopeioas there is a prescription of an “elixir of long life,” the formula being a compound of aloes and other purgatives.By the way if you are constipated Aloe Vera is a wonderful aid to irregularity. You can find 100% natural aloe suitable for ingestion in liquid or capsule form. A plant called Senna is also a very powerful bowel stimulant but should not be used regularly because one could get “hooked” on its incredible power.
And now just a bit of how certain foods can become your medicines:
Keep a jar of raw honey handy incase you cut yourself, or get a sore throat – raw honey contains natural antibiotic and antiseptic properties. But I will emphasize that the honey must be in a RAW state – the way it exists in nature and before some companies heat it. As chemists know, heating elements in nature or in the lab changes the chemical compound. Somtimes it is a benefit and other times not. Eating RAW honey is the superior way to go!
Beet tops are wonderful blood purifiers and putting these leaves in the bottom of a stainless steel pan prevents burning your food. In European countries celery was used to rejuvenate Olympic athletes with great results. It is the most cooling thing you can have in the body after arduous competitive games. If you want to stay cool in the summer mix celery and pineapple juices for it replaces the salts lost in perspiration on an extremely hot day. Cucumbers are also a cooling food because they are high in organic sodium just like celery…and will help you stay “cool as a cucumber.”
Leeks are good because of their powerful effect in russian store driving out various forms of germ life in the body, not dissimilar from garlic’s ability to kill bugs. Onions are also great for ridding the body of catarrh. Onion packs have been used for centuries for chest conditions, just like hot mustard packs grew in popularity for their ability to heat the body.
Lemon Juice is nature’s most powerful antiseptic use it internally and externally. you can apply it to corns, on your scalp, on sores, use it for an eyewash or gargle…People in various countries known these things because they are far from medical hospitals or doctors and must know the value of the plants to survive.
Lettuce – there is not much nourishment in head lettuce – but juicing it up will make you sleep soundly at night because it contains an opium-like by product that also slows digestion.
Mushrooms -such as Shitake, Maitake, and Reishi are used today in various formulas to prevent disease because they are rich in germanium which increases the amount of oxygen in each cell. Where there is an oxygen rich environment disease is scant.
Nuts- raw nuts are best – to work as nerve elements also high in manganese and zinc which feed glands such as the prostate. Walnuts when cracked open look like a brain – get a clue there.
Papaya is very good for stomach troubles and helps to digest food. It helps to breakdown toxic protein deposits all over the body. LIke pineapple, papaya contains protease, an enzymes that helps to metabolize proteins. Infact, leave some papaya tablets or slices of raw pineapple on meat overnight and in the morning you will find a mound of mush! I know this to be true I’ve ruined some holiday hams forgetting not to add fresh pineapple while crockpotting. I’ve suggested chewing papaya tablets for mouth troubles to many people over the years and the result is always positive.
Pumpkin seeds are terrific protein and help to eliminate certain critters in the body while supporting the prostate gland as well
Radishes are good for gallbladder or catarrhal conditions. Try some of the Korean radish dishes and you are sure to start sweating…horseradish is great on the tip of the tongue to clear a stuffy nose. Hold it for 30 seconds and you will start to clear your sinuses
Red foods are usually blood builders and glandular foods. All of the berries are powerful anti-oxidants and are deep red in color. Nature is kind to us by giving us so many clues. Simply foods that are shaped like glands support glandular health, foods that are green keep us clean internally (help to eliminate toxins), foods that are golden/orange take care of skin conditions, as well as, bowel conditions. If you slice a carrot you will see that it mimicks the human eye – you’ve heard how good carrots are for night blindness because they are rich in Vitmain A-in the form of Beta Carotene. When you have too much Beta Carotene in the blood your skin turns oranage!
A tomato has four chambers like the human heart (clue) and contains lycopene found to reduce the damage by LDL in two months.In fact the medication called Ateronon contains lycopene. In fact, a neurovascular surgeon by the name of Peter Kirkpatrick at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge researched lycopene and concluded that it protected the arteries, heart and the brain!
Cherries: are rich in iron and help prevent anemia
Squash is rich in betacarotene and good for the skin and eyes – a form of vitamin a
Taro Root is a good remedy in case of intestinal distress or colitis and is easily digested. native to the Hawaiin Islands they know how good it is.
Turnips are great for those who suffer with lung, bronchial, sinus troubles because they contain both sulphur (which drives blood upward) and Vitamin A which products the mucous membrane.
Black Cherry Juice Concentrate is FABULOUS remedy for GOUT! I’ve had so many people over the years thank me for just that little tip. It will also help to get rid of the crystals in your joints people – so gets some concentrated (unsweetened) cherry juice at your health food store and take a teaspoon in 8 oz of water between meals to help reduce the symptoms of gout from too many purines in the blood.
FlaxSeeds –(a yellow food) terrific for constipation and to keep the bowel regular. Also contains high amounts of essential fatty acids Omegas 3,6,9
Apple juice, raw apple juice is a good drink for summer and filled with many of the electrolytes needed to rejuvenate the body during overheating.
Deep yellow foods help constipation–so apricots, figs, prunes (yellow meat inside), corn, etc are all good, rich in magnesium and vitamin a to sooth the lining of the colon.
Now you know some of the secrets that nature has provided for us and how to use them. Remember to eat organic foods whenever possible, or from your own garden because we want to stay away from poisonous herbicides and pesticides.
Be sure to eat the outer coverings of fruits and vegetables. Did you know that you can eat the entire Kiwi, orange skins, cucumbers (unless you are sensitive), apples of course, and even banana peels? There are so many foods that we can and should be eating whole but we have become a nation living life away from the land in most cases.
Please don’t cook foods that you can eat raw whenever possible.Take enzymes if you have trouble eating certain foods. Try mashing foods like we do for babies so it begins the breakdown prior to ingestion if you have a sensitive stomach.
Overall, aim to eliminate as much of what man has done “to” food and your life will be healthier. Cut down on processed and preserved foods, fried foods, salted foods, candied foods and all lifeless food such as candy and soda.
And by the way, to stay really well–eliminate those things (people, places, foods, habits, things, ideas, etc) that do not support your total wellness.
If something is detracting from your life it is killing you slowly – so re-evaluate your choices at least once per month on every level and you will be healthier. Take steps starting right now that will bring you to a healthier place and more enjoyable life – you owe it to yourself and you certainly deserve to be Totally Well.