Scientific Phyto-Nutrition and the Standard American Diet: A Proposed Realistic Solution by Ezra Béjar, PhD, John Maher, DC, ABAAHP, Bruce Howe, DC, CCN
Most of us have heard that diets high in fruits and vegetables can help us lose weight, reduce our risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, cataracts, macular degeneration, osteoporosis, arthritis and even wrinkles. As a matter of fact, 8 to 10 servings a day can cut our cancer risk in half!
In 1998, the University of Naples in Italy studied an elderly population and found that those who lived the longest and were the healthiest ate a lot more fruits and vegetables than those who died before their time. Therefore it comes as no surprise that the USDA Food Guide Pyramid advocates eating 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables per day for optimum health!
The reasons for this lack are many and varied, and deeply ingrained in our American culture and lifestyle, though it can no longer be attributed to ignorance. What is obviously needed is a “fast food health food” that delivers much of the proven benefits of a diet rich in super foods but, like any other fast food, is in an extremely convenient, absolutely enjoyable, and most economical form.
As an introduction, this paper will briefly introduce to the reader some of the benefits of many of the most beneficial super foods and super food extracts.
The Super Greens: Spirulina, Chlorella, and Young Barley Greens – Super Greens are those pigment rich dark green plants and friendly photosynthetic algae that make up most of the very foundation of complex life on earth. By this statement we mean that such green foods make life possible as they serve at the beginning of the food chain upon which other plants and the more complex animals all depend directly or indirectly. As such these dark green foods contain all the essential building block nutrients or precursors upon which all other life eventually depends.
In the oceans and great lakes these super foods are one-celled organisms called spirulina and chlorella. They are some of the oldest, most successful and most resistant organisms and provide most of the oxygen dissolved in water.
On land, these foods are the young springtime sprouts or shoots of the seed-producing green grasses and the green herbs, a most excellent example of which is young barley green shoots.
Spirulina is a primordial aquatic micro-blue green algae. Spirulina takes its energy directly from the sun and the minerals in waters that are naturally highly alkaline, or commercial aqua-farms where purity can be monitored. It grows so fast that spirulina accounts for up to one half of the oxygen on our planet!
Spirulina contains over 100 vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes and phytonutrients! It also contains high levels of easily absorbed natural cell protectors (antioxidants) including chlorophyll, alpha and beta-carotene and phycocyanin, the latter found exclusively in spirulina!
Spirulina is approximately 65% to 70% amino acid proteins, which is greater than beefsteak by far! It is a natural treasure trove of organic Vitamin B12, iron, chromium, selenium and essential fatty acids (GLA). Indeed, spirulina contains 50 times more blood building iron than spinach and 10 times more bone building calcium than milk. Spirulina is the highest natural plant source of stamina building Vitamin B12, has more good fats (GLA /EFA) than evening primrose oil, and more Vitamin E than raw wheat germ!
Spirulina also contains growth factors that support and promote the growth of friendly intestinal flora. “People have used foods like yogurt (containing probiotics) and spirulina throughout history…these foods improve immune system function and…are a beneficial addition to our diet.” – Judy van de Water, Associate Professor of Rheumatology, Allergy and Clinical Immunology, UC Davis.
Spirulina, like all edible, dark green plants, is also highly alkalizing, meaning that it helps restore the acid-base balance. In other words, spirulina helps neutralize the acidity caused by eating excess meats, starches, sugars, soft drinks and preserved foods, excess stress, excess exercise, environmental pollutants, drugs, alcohol, coffee and tobacco.
Spirulina is also rich in photosynthetic pigments that make it a great heavy metal detoxifier. Doctors Sklar and Schwartz of Harvard School of Dental Medicine showed that an extract of spirulina’s antioxidants prevented cancer in animals. “Spirulina increased antibody responses and the activity of natural killer cells, which destroy infected and cancerous cells in the body.” -UC Davis Health System, Weekly Update, Dec, 2000, pp. 1-2
Chlorella is the number one selling health food supplement sold in Japan. Chlorella, a unique single-celled fresh water green algae, contains high concentrations of chlorophyll, nucleic acids, amino acids, enzymes, antioxidant carotenes, and vitamins and minerals, especially zinc. (The latter is often deficient in athletes and vegetarians.)
Chlorella actually contains twice as much chlorophyll as spirulina. Chlorophyll, the phytonutrient that makes plants green, deodorizes, detoxifies and promotes the body’s natural healing.
Chlorophyll has also been studied for its potential in stimulating tissue growth, and in stimulating red blood cell production. Perhaps most remarkable is the similarity between chlorophyll and the red pigment in blood. Indeed, chlorophyll is just a hemoglobin molecule with magnesium in the middle instead of iron!
According to an article in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 1995, Vol 87, No 11, p. 7, chlorophyll fed to laboratory animals reduces absorption of three dietary carcinogens: heterocyclic amines (found in cooked muscle meats), polycyclic hydrocarbons (found in smoked and barbecued foods), and aflatoxin (a toxin produced commonly by mold that infects grains and peanuts). The chlorophyll forms complex compounds with the chemical carcinogens while they are still in the digestive tract, limiting their absorption and distribution.
Chlorophyll has also been found useful to treat some disorders of the pancreas and reduce fecal, urinary, and body odor in geriatric patients.
Chlorella is the most researched “green product” resulting in proof of numerous health benefits including improved immune system function, heavy metal and pesticide detoxification, “anti-tumor activity”, and, because of CGF, chlorella growth factor, enhanced white blood cell activity and quicker wound and ulcer healing! -Drug Chemical Toxicology, Vol 7, No 1, pp. 51-71 and Immunotoxicology, 1999, Vol 21, No 3, pp.609-619.
Please note that as chlorella, unlike spirulina, has a cellulose wall that humans cannot digest, it is important that “cracked cell wall” chlorella be used.
Michael Rosenbaum, M.D., M.S.C., Director of Orthomolecular Health Medical Society, writing in the M.D.’s Nutritional Bulletin, Special Addition, Spring 2001, p.-1 calls chlorella, “by far the best and most powerful of the nutriceuticals, foods that provide your body with the proper nutrition to heal itself…There is nothing better for finally helping you feel the way you want to feel!”
Barley Grass is considered the most nutritional of the green grasses. You are aware that when the great herds of the plains have survived the dry season or winter, nature provides them with the most nutritious of foods for themselves and there soon to be born young, young green sprouting grasses. Indeed green grasses are the only vegetation many herbivores eat and as such supply their sole nutritional support from birth to old age!
But before green grasses undergo the reproductive cycle that creates the grains, they are in the grass stage and the grasses contain about the same vitamins and minerals as dark green vegetables!
When these grasses are harvested at a young age, they have a different chemical makeup from their adult counterparts. For example, wheat grass has 32g of protein per 100g, while wheat flour has only 13g per 100g. Wheat grass has about 23,000 International Units (IUs) of Vitamin A per 100g, while wheat flour has none. We can see, then, that the young grasses offer us much greater nutrition.
See how many calories you can save with a Greensfirst Meal!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.