Chapter 2-3 of Healing Foods by Walter Last
From my own experiences of healing as well as from reading many published reports it is obvious to me that a raw-food diet is not only the most natural but also the most effective nutritional measure for healing and rejuvenation. While only few will be strong enough to adopt a complete raw food diet for life, it will be good for everyone to have occasional periods on raw foods only. At other times you may use the principles described in the following to increase the percentage of your daily raw food intake. By far the most important foods to be eaten raw are proteins and lipids (fats and oils); vegetables high in cellulose such as most leaves and stems are not suitable to be eaten raw, and may be juiced or cooked.
The main biochemical and nutritional advantages of raw food as compared to cooked food are:
· A higher vitamin and mineral content
· Minerals are largely present as biologically active colloids
· An abundance of helpful enzymes and bio-energy or life-force
· Proteins remain in their natural condition instead of being denatured
· The absence of digestive leukocytosis
· Polyunsaturated fatty acids and cholesterol do not become oxidized, and carcinogenic or atherogenic
· Glucose is absorbed more slowly, protecting the blood-sugar regulation
· There is no overweight or obesity on a raw-food diet
· As counted in calories, much less food is required
· Proven cleansing, rejuvenating and anti-cancer properties
Leukocytosis is an increase of white blood cells in affected organs in response to infection or toxins. This also occurs when we eat cooked food; the intestinal wall becomes flooded with white blood cells but this does not happen when eating raw food. The higher the food has been heated, the stronger is the leukocytosis and the more toxic is this food for our body.
However, there are also some hidden dangers with a raw-food diet. Some raw food contains enzyme inhibitors, goitrogens (causing goiter), vitamin inhibitors, toxic substances (in some exotic plants), parasites and bacteria. In addition, some people starting on a raw-food diet will have strong initial reactions due to the cleansing process.
There have been cases reported of more or less severe digestive disturbances from eating large quantities of raw soybeans, broad beans, nuts and wheat germ over long periods. This problem is due to inhibitors of protein-digesting enzymes that protect seeds from self-destruction. Basically all seeds have inhibitors of enzymes for the ingredients of which they are composed but most do not have such a surplus of inhibitors as to cause digestive problems. Other foods such as potatoes, sweet potatoes and egg white also contain inhibitors.
To obtain the maximum benefit from a raw-food diet it is necessary to free most of the enzymes from their inhibitors. Cooking destroys the inhibitors but also the enzymes. The better solution is to sprout the seeds or at least soak them to initiate the germination process and discard the water used for soaking.
Trypsin is the main protein-digesting enzyme of the pancreas and also occurs in seeds. In one reported scientific experiment the trypsin activity during germination of seeds increased from 7.5 units to 60 units after 24 hours, 257 units after two days and 333 units after three days. The inhibitor activity decreased from 100% in dry seeds to zero after 24 hours of germination.
Fermentation with lactic-acid bacteria will also enhance the enzyme activity in seeds. This process is similar to that of making yogurt or sourdough. Even soaking nuts for a day before eating will help greatly. Enzymes also are freed from their inhibitors to a certain degree when tissue is damaged. We see this when grated potatoes turn brown, or mashed raw plants or fruit deteriorate within hours unless refrigerated.
Goitrogens, which are in some raw foods, interfere with the body's use of iodine and therefore may contribute to the formation of goiter or to an underactive thyroid. Goitrogens are mainly found in the cabbage family, also in soybeans and the skins of red-skinned peanuts. Cooking or the addition of kelp may overcome this problem. Nevertheless, with an underactive thyroid, it is better not to eat much of goitogenic food raw.
Thiaminase is an enzyme in raw fish that destroys vitamin B1, but that is not a problem if food is correctly combined. Avidin in raw egg white makes biotin unavailable but this would lead to a deficiency only if a large percentage of the daily diet consisted of raw egg white. Furthermore, egg yolk is very high in biotin so that using whole eggs should not diminish our biotin intake at all.
Those who have lived all their lives on conventional food are likely to have a fair amount of metabolic wastes and toxins stored in the body. This will be released by a raw-food diet and can temporarily overload the organs of elimination to cause skin problems, headaches, weakness and other discomfort. Therefore, it is advisable to move only very gradually towards a raw-food diet or to have short cleansing periods on raw foods while also stimulating the organs of elimination.
The basis of the recommended raw-food diet is fresh vegetable juice as well as sprouted and fermented food. Sprouted seeds may serve as the main part of a vegetable salad. Beetroot is excellent and may be finely grated into the salad together with carrot, turnip, sweet potato or pumpkin. Tomato and grated cucumber may be used for flavoring together with a salad dressing of extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, herbs and spices. Instead of lemon juice you may use cider vinegar, ascorbic acid or rose-hip powder. Add lecithin as an emulsifier, shake well in a jar and keep refrigerated. Almonds, nuts and sunflower seeds improve by starting the sprouting process, otherwise eat them soaked and possibly blended or, better still, fermented as nut and seed cheese.
A main objective of this raw food diet is to maximize the intake of unheated fats and oils rich in the fat-digesting enzyme lipase. Lipase deficiency and other disturbances of the fat metabolism appear to be at the heart of most chronic degenerative diseases. Therefore, make an effort to obtain a wide range of unheated oils and fats, such as extra virgin olive oil, (cold-pressed) fish oils, nut butter and seed cheese, avocado, butter, cream, egg yolk, as well as the fat in raw (minced) meat. Unfortunately, health authorities make it very difficult in many countries to obtain unheated milk products. Also commercial coconut oil (even virgin grade) has commonly been heated. Therefore, it is best to make your own coconut milk by pressing coconut meat through a juice extractor. Keep all fats and oils refrigerated.
While I do not recommend eating commercial eggs even if well cooked (e.g. to kill Salmonella which is common in factory-farming), eggs definitely should only be ingested raw if they are fresh and free-range or organic. Swallowing an egg with yolk and white intact can cause indigestion in individuals with a weak digestive system. A raw egg (just like all other fats and oils) is much easier to digest if it is well mixed with other food or drink. Alternatively you may beat the white and then mix the yolk back into it. You can easily detect how fresh an egg is by immersing it in water. If it lies flat on the bottom, it is very fresh. The older it is, the more will the blunt end rise. If it stands on its tip, it is rather old but may still be used; if it floats up it is rotten.
Those with blood group O generally feel better or healthier with flesh food in their diet. You may marinate fish or other seafood and even liver and other meat, best minced (see Recipes). This destroys parasites and makes raw flesh food quite safe to eat. You may also use raw minced meat, suitably flavoured with grated or chopped onion, ginger, tomato or radish, and with some lime or lemon juice, or blend diced chicken or turkey. You may then flavor and drink it as a broth (see Recipes).
only organic or otherwise safe meat from a reliable source. Never use meat from
a feedlot. Also pork is generally not safe. For genuinely free-range, grass-fed
beef, bison and ostrich in the
As a further precaution you may periodically use an herbal anti-parasite program, and possibly an electronic blood purifier. I believe that with these precautions raw meat is safe and healthy, while I regard the habitual use of cooked meat as more or less unhealthy, partly because of its lack of enzymes, and also because of the formation of carcinogenic chemicals when heated above the boiling point. For further ideas on eating meat raw, and links to related sites see www.rawpaleodiet.org.
If you have no problems with mucus, such as occasional colds, blocked or running nose, or respiratory problems, you may use fermented goat's milk or raw cows' milk as yogurt, sour milk, cheese or cottage cheese. However, be careful with commercial fermented foods, such as yogurt, sauerkraut or marinated fish. Rice bread or flat bread - preferably made from sprouted rice or otherwise made by just soaking and blending the grains and possibly adding a sourdough starter - is suitable as a staple food. It solidifies to crunchy flat bread at low temperatures, best by exposure to the sun. In addition, sprouted rice may be blended with water or fermented milk and possibly banana as the basis of a meal; see the recipe section for further details.
The most problematic food group is fruit. While meat is 'grounding', fruit is sensitizing. For insensitive individuals, especially with raised blood pressure, it is beneficial to have plenty of fruit, often instead of a meal. Especially good are acid fruit, such as oranges or pineapple. Sensitive individuals, however, feel best with either neutralized fruit or only a small amount of sub-acid fruit between meals. Insensitive individuals may use fruit as their main source of energy while those more sensitive may use rice baked at a low temperature and sprouted seeds instead.
Bananas are a good bulk food for most individuals on a raw food diet. Sensitive individuals may eat them in the early stages of ripening or use mainly small or non-sweet varieties. They go well for breakfast as part of the linseed-yogurt recipe.
On this raw-food diet there is no need to be concerned with variety or trying to have different foods for successive meals. A sprout salad contains all the required nutrients for health and healing; most individuals are happy to have the same basic salad for all meals with only minor variations depending on what is available. The only precondition seems to be that you have largely overcome the addiction to cooked food by learning to make tasty salads. In cold weather you may flavor a fresh vegetable juice with spices, carefully heat to just below 45ºC or 120º F and drink as a broth.
Most 'raw foodists' will be content to have about 90% of their food raw and be free to have some cooked food when eating out and at parties. Even tahini (ground, roasted sesame seed paste) and kelp powder (commonly used with raw-food diets) are in fact cooked or heated. Except for food to which you may have been addicted, try to let your body, your intuition or instinct decide your food selection and meal composition. It is obviously much easier for someone of the vegetarian body type to adopt a long-term raw food diet then for someone with a non-vegetarian body type or blood group O.
The high-quality diet, and even more so the raw-food diet, will normally ensure gradual weight loss for overweight individuals, while at the same time maximizing health improvement. I always put the main emphasis on the health aspects of the diet rather than its slimming potential. As we become healthier, we automatically find the right weight for our constitution. However, no diet will help if your eating problems are emotionally based, you have to heal your emotions first.
Experiment with the following possibilities:
Have an appetite-reducing protein-drink 30 minutes before meals with any combination of the following ingredients and in any amount that suits you: spirulina powder, green barley juice powder, food yeast, ground linseed, linseed oil or olive oil. Possibly use this as a warm drink to keep hunger away for hours.
30 minutes before meals stir 1 teaspoon of psyllium hulls in a glass of water, drink immediately. If necessary double the amount to 2 teaspoons in a large glass of water. Psyllium swells up 40-fold to fill the stomach with a soft gel.
Eat only brown rice, lentils, green vegetables and sprouted seeds in addition to the above.
For cooking use mainly legumes, non-sweet, non-starchy vegetables and flesh foods, for starches choose high-fiber varieties (e.g., brown rice, rolled oats) and possibly add bran or ground linseed.
Adopt a mono-diet: one day eat protein foods only, the next day fruits and the third day sprouted seeds, vegetable salads and vegetable juices. Repeat as often as required.
Adopt a cleansing raw-food diet with mainly vegetables and green juice, sprouts and fruits, nuts and oily seeds, possibly raw beaten egg and marinated fish. Sensitive individuals should neutralize fruit acids with dolomite.
For two weeks, eat only protein and fat foods and green vegetables with less than 40 g of carbohydrates per day (ground linseed is the best protein/fat food).
Repeated periods on vegetable and grass juices in addition to vegetable salads.
Avoid all sweet food; it stimulates the appetite and the synthesis of fat. In particular keep fructose-containing foods away from starches and eat fresh fruit separately.
Avoid all grain products, especially cereals and bread; combined with a diet low in sweet food this is usually the most effective slimming method.
Use mainly fresh, unheated linseed oil and coconut oil, these do not put on weight.
Preferably skip the evening meal, or have just a small salad, or an apple.
Have some light daily exercise, such as a 15-minute brisk walk or jogging or use a rebounder or some other aerobic exercise. The metabolic rate is speeded up for a long time after exercise. Take 1 or 2 g of L-carnitine before exercising to burn up more fat.
Use a low-allergy diet combined with the correct food for your blood group.
Use mind therapy, such as guided imagery and affirmation, also look at your belief systems, release negative emotions and express your emotional needs.
Eat very slowly, peacefully chew every mouthful until it is liquefied, savor the flavors as they develop during chewing; make every mouthful last about two minutes.
Most people who are sensitive, overacid, with allergies and a low energy level, are hypoglycemic to some extent, and will benefit from this diet. When a hypoglycemic person eats sweet foods, the blood-sugar level often soars too high at first, but falls to below normal later. During this fall and while the level is below normal, a variety of distressing symptoms may affect the breathing, circulation, digestion or the emotional and mental condition.
When the blood-sugar level rises after sweet food intake, the pancreas reacts by releasing insulin - a hormone that regulates the blood-sugar level. In a hypoglycemic person, the pancreas releases too much insulin, especially in response to ingesting sucrose or a combination of glucose and fructose. The excess of insulin causes glucose to enter the cells too quickly. This then creates oxygen deficiency within the cells and instead of energy, lactic acid is produced in an anaerobic process. All this makes the body tissue overacid and deprives them of minerals and energy.
The mainstays of this diet are
·Gluten-free grains - rice, millet, maize and buckwheat; also sago and tapioca
·High-protein seeds - chickpeas, lentils, fenugreek, peas, beans, almonds and sunflower seeds
·Animal protein - white, red and organ meat, fish, eggs, goats’ cheese
·Sprouted seeds and vegetables, cooked, raw and juiced, avocados, coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil
Eat grains whole in preference to flour or meal products. However, coarsely ground grains may be beneficial if eaten raw: immerse them in water or seed milk and let soak overnight. Rye sourdough bread and rye crispbread may be eaten after allergy testing. Free-range raw egg yolk may be used as a salad dressing. Other important additions are spirulina (preferably a teaspoonful before or with each meal), kelp, lecithin, gelatin with vegetables, and fresh green-vegetable juices, especially grass juice or dried grass juice powder and possibly food yeast. Try coconut oil and freeze-dried liver to increase the energy level.
Nuts, may be used but preferably sprouted or made into seed cheese. Eat cooked sweet vegetables only with a protein meal. Raw carrots, on the other hand, are good any time.
Reintroduce fruits cautiously and with self-observation. Use any sweet fruits only in the early stages of ripening, before they become too sweet. This applies, for example, to bananas and papaya, but not to fruit that are sour before ripening. Subacid fruits, such as apples, cause less problems than sweet-acid fruits, such as oranges. Preferably eat fruits only sparingly and as a snack between meals and neutralize any fruit acids. However, under-ripe or non-sweet varieties of bananas may also be suitable as a bulk food.
· Sweet food, initially including all sweet and acid fruit and sweet-vegetable juice
· Food containing lactose, especially milk products, though butter may be used
· Do not use vinegar or other fruit acids except neutralized
· Initially no wheat, later only sparingly after allergy testing
· No smoking, alcohol, drugs, artificial sweeteners, highly processed food or with added chemicals
Coffee and tea may be used in moderation but only if not allergic or addicted to it. Lightly salted food may be beneficial. If possible, eat a protein breakfast and a light evening meal, and take a rest after lunch. The best protein is sprouted legumes as the main part of a salad. According to the severity of the symptoms, this diet may be followed strictly, or in a more relaxed form, and generally as part of the High-Quality Diet.