By Tom Fisher, RN, BA
When there is a health challenge, Hippocrates recommends moving to a raw and living foods diet quickly. When one is healthy, she/he can add raw and living foods into their life to support optimal health. I recommend starting by adding sprouts into one’s diet. Some sprouts, are ten to thirty times more nutritious than your most nutritious vegetables. This includes sprouts such as pea and sunflower sprouts. Sprouts can be easy to grow and growing them hydroponically in sprout jars is one of the easiest ways to start. You need only seeds, water, sprouting or Mason jar and a little time. Sprouting is also highly economical and sustainable, for example, leafy green sprouts such as broccoli can yield ten pounds of food per pound of seed.
Raw and living foods really pack nutrition. They are high in fiber, enzymes, antioxidants, chlorophyll, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals. Fiber helps with elimination of waste and heathy cholesterol levels. Fiber also acts as a pre-biotic which helps beneficial bacteria in the gut to support the immune and gastro-intestinal functions. Enzymes are protein molecules that initiate biochemical reactions in all living things, plants and animals alike. Antioxidants counteract the damaging effects of “free radicals.” A free radical can be defined as any molecular species capable of independent existence that contains an unpaired electron in an atomic orbital. Free radicals attack important macromolecules leading to cell damage and homeostatic disruption. Chlorophyll is the green coloring in plants and is a great blood builder. Phytonutrients contain protective, disease-preventing compounds that interact with other plant nutrients to produce a synergy that can help fight many diseases.
When it comes to juicing, Hippocrates recommends the auger type juicers, such as the omega juicer. These juicers help to keep more of the nutrients from being oxidized. When juicing, we do not recommend adding fruit, carrot or beet into the juice due to the high sugar content. Sugar has the ability to feed viruses, bacteria and cancer cells. Green juices are recommended with the ingredients of organic cucumber, celery, pea sprouts and sunflower sprouts. Sunflower sprouts contain a full spectrum of amino acids (the building blocks of all protein) and they supply vitamin D. These sprouts contain an abundance of sun-energy and chlorophyll; they constitute “a complete protein.” Pea sprouts contain significant amounts of bioactive lecithin and are an excellent source of chlorophyll and protein.
Hippocrates also recommends juicing wheatgrass because of its many nutritional benefits. Wheatgrass is one of the richest sources of vitamins A and C. It contains a full, balanced spectrum of readily-assimilated B vitamins, including laetrile (B-17). It contains high-quality organic calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, sodium, and potassium in a balanced ratio. It provides organic iron to the blood to improve circulation and is also a complete protein.
When one is eliminating bad food-related habits, start with the following:
- Eliminate sugars such as refined sugar, organic sugar, soda, honey, maple syrup and juices made from fruits’
- Use stevia as a sweetener.
- Eliminate fried foods; they decrease oxygen availability, thereby creating an inviting environment for disease development and viral growth. Avoid microwaved food, which causes denaturing and loss of nutrients. If you must heat your food, dehydrating, steaming, baking, toasting, and convection oven heating are, at times, acceptable.
- Eliminate processed foods, boxed foods, prepared mixes, etc.
- Eliminate refined vegetables oils, including canola, soybean oil, margarine, safflower, and peanut oils.
- Eliminate artificial sweeteners – Such as aspartame.
- Eliminate excitotoxins – Such as MSG, cysteine, hydrolyzed protein, and aspartic acid.
- Eliminate animal meat – It is acidic and hard on the digestive system.
Increasing raw and living foods in your diet helps to provide:
• More energy
• Greater overall well-being
• An abundance of nutrients
• Weight normalization over time
• Avoidance of hunger and deprivation
It’s not just another diet, but a healthful, delicious, and – most importantly – sustainable way of changing your eating habits that you can happily maintain for a lifetime!