Nutrition- The Complete Picture (Part 2)

By Phillip Legge in Health & Fitness

Last month in the Rural Route Magazine we looked at the exciting subject of nutrition, and one of the things we talked about was complementary protein. Combining grains with legumes (pulses or dried beans) makes a complete protein that our bodies can use. For thousands of years, and even today the majority of the world’s population have had their protein needs met by combining grains with legumes. In western societies, many people rely heavily on animal protein from dairy products, eggs, fish and meat to meet their protein needs.

We also talked about enzymes being one of the missing links in people’s nutrition programs. Enzymes from raw vegetables and fruits provide the spark of life, and are often lacking in the diet. Enzymes are essential to the digestive process, and also in preventing and overcoming disease! Raw vegetable salads, and raw vegetable juices are an excellent way to get living enzymes into your body.

Two of the essential super foods are extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), and raw apple cider vinegar (ACV). Olive oil is a foundational part of the ‘Mediterranean Diet’, and raw apple cider vinegar offers many health benefits. A great salad dressing is 4 parts EVOO to 1 part ACV.

Incorporating a ‘cleanse program’ is necessary to help the body to cleanse itself internally and detoxify. The way to improve health and overcome disease is to get to the root of the problem, and not just mask or treat the symptom of the problem. A ‘cleanse day’ is when we reduce or eliminate protein for that day. A popular cleansing program is one ‘cleanse day’ per week, and 3 ‘cleanse days’ in a row once a month. Vegetable broths made from a variety of vegetables, raw vegetable salads, and raw vegetable juices are all highly cleansing, alkaline foods for your cleanse program.

What are the most important nutritional supplements? Many people think of vitamin and mineral supplements. These supplements certainly have their place, but eating nutritious foods can provide nutrients that our bodies can more easily recognize and absorb into the trillions of cells of the body. Another type of supplement to consider are herbal and nutrient combinations that are designed to help bodily systems cleanse and detoxify. These combinations can be in the form of a powder, capsule, tincture, extract or tea. For example, there are formulas for cleansing the digestive system, the liver, the kidneys, the lungs, the lymphatic system, the blood, and other organs and systems in the body. It is usually recommended to work through the systems of the body step by step, starting with the major area of concern. This is an ongoing process, and not something to be completed quickly.

Animal protein from dairy products, eggs, fish and meat provides a complete protein that our bodies can use. Grains on their own, or legumes on their own provide an incomplete protein that our bodies cannot fully utilize. However, combining grains and legumes makes a complete protein. It is interesting that in the tropical climates people do better with grain and legume combinations, because of the high heat. If they ate a lot of animal protein their bodies would over-heat and they would not be able to work. In the extreme northern climates people do better on animal protein to help maintain their body heat. If they relied on grain and legume combinations they would not be able to cope with the intense cold. Where we live in Southern Ontario we can be healthier by having less animal protein in the hot summer months, and more animal protein in the cold winter months. It’s also important to remember that before the Industrial Revolution of the 1800’s, people had no refrigeration and so animal products could not be kept fresh. Dairy products, eggs, fish and poultry could be consumed quickly by a family so refrigeration was not as important. However, beef, lamb and pork were often reserved for special occasions such as weddings, celebrations and family reunions where there would be a lot of people who could eat the meat before it spoiled. This has been the case all down through history, and is still the case in most parts of the world where people usually only consume beef, lamb and pork for special occasions. For some people, there are health concerns associated with heavy and continuous animal protein consumption. Introducing complementary protein into the diet from grains and legumes offers many outstanding health benefits, and reduces our dependence on animal protein. This brings us more in line with the traditional grain and legume diet that humans have had since the beginning of recorded history. Many areas of scientific and medical research support the health benefits of using grain and legume combinations to substitute for some of the animal protein in our diet.

What about a vegetarian diet? This can be very valuable for people who have a serious health concern, because their body can be kept more alkaline which is better than too acidic. People who rely heavily on animal protein can have a body pH that is too acidic. Another thing to consider is that a vegetarian diet is less burdensome on the channels of elimination, which are the liver/bowel, the kidneys, the lungs, the lymphatic system and the skin. By taking the burden off the channels of elimination, the body can cleanse and detoxify, and waste products can be efficiently removed from the trillions of cells in the body. The result is a healthier body! Another application is to eat a vegetarian diet on your ‘cleanse day’. As we talked about earlier in the article, a cleanse day is helpful to give the body a rest from digesting heavy foods. If you refer back to the February 2016 Rural Route Magazine there is an article called ‘Benefits of Natural Health Care’ which goes into this subject in more detail and talks about the 8 categories of nutrition.

Two more super foods that are often over-looked are cayenne and kelp. These foods are very inexpensive and offer many unique nutrients and health benefits. They are both strong in the powder form, but in capsules they are easier to take. Cayenne should always be consumed with a meal, and at a very low dose until the digestive system is conditioned for the heat. Cayenne – In traditional herbal medicine, it is considered a wonderful healer, both internally and externally. Improves circulation, helps normalize blood pressure, builds body resistance, and strengthens the heart. Excellent for fevers, colds, flus, indigestion, and lack of vitality. Rich in zinc, iron, calcium, and potassium. However, when cooked, cayenne becomes an irritant.
Kelp – Excellent source of nutrients and minerals. Contains 43 trace minerals, plus protein, chlorophyll, iodine, essential fatty acids, and vitamins. Helps protect from chemotherapy, radiation, and x-rays.
The best nutrition program in the world means very little if nutrients aren’t absorbed efficiently into the trillions of cells of the body. There are several factors to consider when improving nutrient absorption at a cellular level. Cellular elimination through cleansing and detoxifying the body is the first step. If cells are full of their own metabolic wastes their ability to absorb nutrients from the bloodstream is hindered. So the first step to improve cellular absorption is to improve cellular elimination with a good cleanse program. Another factor to consider is exercise and activity. The body is about 70% fluid, so picture each of the cells in the body as a microscopic ‘water balloon’. Try walking around with a water balloon, or even a bottle of water, and you will see the effect of gravity on the water. If you were to move quickly, or jump or jog, there would be even more movement of water in the balloon or in the bottle of water. The same thing happens in the body. Every time we move our body, the g-force, or gravity force of movement causes the fluid in the cell to change the shape of the cell membrane. This creates a pumping action, and the cell is able to PUSH waste products out, and PULL nutrients in through the cell membrane. We can see from this that a sedentary person will suffer from cellular constipation, and will not be able to eliminate wastes from the cells efficiently, because the cells are not pumping, and the fluid in the cells is stagnant. As a result, they will not have optimum nutrient absorption from their diet. Exercise and activity is essential to create this pumping action in the cells so they can absorb nutrients and eliminate wastes at an optimum level.

As most people know, water is an excellent cleanser and solvent. We don’t wash windows or floors with juice, milk or coffee and expect them to be clean. It is the same with the body. The kidneys need pure water to detoxify the body, and they need a sufficient amount. Depending on levels of perspiration, a person could need about ½ an ounce per pound of body weight. For example, a 140 pound person might need about 70 ounces per day, which is seven 10 ounce glasses.
It is important to use pure water in your nutrition program. Bottled water is not healthy because of toxins absorbed from the plastic, and also detergent residues from cleaning the larger water cooler bottles. The source of the water in the bottles is sometimes questionable as well. Distilled and reverse osmosis systems remove all minerals and trace minerals. Carbon filters can be a breeding ground for bacteria, and pathways can develop in the carbon that reduces the surface area that is in contact with the water. A quality filtering system like the Royal Doulton System from England uses a diatomaceous earth filter. It is ideal because it removes most bacteria, microorganisms, toxins and chemicals, but leaves the trace minerals in, and even adds trace minerals. It also oxygenates the water, and makes the water more alkaline.

In the next issue of the Rural Route Magazine we will be talking about the importance of oxygen, healthy fats, organic foods, blood sugar, fibre, allergies, and the digestive process. Don’t miss it!

Disclaimer – This article is for educational purposes only. We do not diagnose, prescribe or treat for a specific condition. If you have a health concern, consult a health practitioner of your choice.