Raw foodism is the dietary practice of eating only uncooked, unprocessed foods, organic/wild, sprouted foods. It may also include simply processed foods such as various types of sprouted seed cheese, and fermented foods such as yogurts, kefir, kombucha or sauerkraut, but never foods that have been pasteurized, homogenized, or produced with the use of synthetic pesticides, chemical fertilizers, industrial solvents or chemical food additives. A raw vegan diet consists of unprocessed, raw plant foods that have not been heated above 40–49 °C (104–120 °F). Raw vegans believe that foods cooked above this temperature have lost much of their nutritional value and are less healthful or even harmful to the body. Advocates argue that raw or living foods have natural enzymes, which are critical in building proteins and rebuilding the body, and that heating these foods destroys the natural enzymes and can leave toxic materials behind. However, critics point out that enzymes, as with other proteins consumed in the diet, are denatured and eventually lysed by the digestive process, rendering them non-functional. Typical foods included in raw food diets are fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, fermented foods and sprouted grains and legumes. Among raw vegans there are some subgroups such as fruitarians, juicearians, or sproutarians. Fruitarians eat primarily or exclusively fruits, berries, seeds, and nuts. Juicearians process their raw plant foods into juice. Sproutarians adhere to a diet consisting mainly of sprouted seeds.The Power of raw foods for healing is being more & more supported by traditional research. Based on recent journal articles the power of a calorie restricted diet (which is still feasting on raw foods) and of upgrading gene expression have become keys to understanding the clinical effectiveness of raw foods. The essence of understanding raw foods is … if it is not broken, don’t fix it. Living foods or raw foods are those, which have not been cooked, processed, “pesticide” or “herbicide”, micro waved, irradiated, or genetically engineered. They represent an unbroken wholeness that is the original creation and nutritional gift of the Divine. The understanding that the food we eat is an energetic whole greater than the sum of the parts reflects a quantum mechanics view of nutrition. The basic principles of the life food peak performance system are enzymes, chlorophyl, alkaloids, salt, food and elemental(water, earth, sun) antioxidants, pro-biotics, and tonic herbs. When we are sufficiently fueled on the essential ingredients of life homeostasis is achieved. This can fluctuate over time, as this is an ever evolving state of affairs. This will change as you change. Very Important to note that raw food must always be organic food, raw food is food in its most natural state and if heated , it is heated below 46 degrees.
What is a raw vegan diet
A raw vegan diet (also called an uncooked diet) is an eating pattern that consists primarily of uncooked, unprocessed foods. Some raw-food advocates suggest that in order for a diet to qualify as “raw”, at least 75% by weight of the diet must be raw food. However, there is no formal consensus on this point, and definition by raw-food leaders differ according to their unique perceptions of the ideal diet. Foods generally qualify as being raw if they have not been exposed to temperatures in excess of 118 degress F (48 degrees C), although some raw-food leaders suggest lower maximum temperatures. Freezing food is considered acceptable. Although raw diets are most commonly vegan, raw vegetarian diets (those that include raw dairy products and/or raw eggs) and raw omnivours diets (those that include raw fish, raw meat, raw eggs, and/or raw dairy products) are not uncommon. For the purpose of this book, we use the term “raw diet” to refer strictly to raw vegan diets. People who adhere to a raw diet are often referred to as raw-food practitioners, raw foodists, or raw-food adherents. Other commonly used terms are raw-food enthusiasts and raw-food advocates, although these designations may also refer to those who are in the process of shifting toward or are very interested in a raw diet. The most popular foods enjoyed by raw food vegans are fresh organic fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouts (seeds, legumes or grains) and sea vegetables. A number of raw foodists include dehydrated foods such as crackers, cereals, sprouted raw breads and desserts in their diets.
Foods are sometimes marinated or warmed in a food dehydrator to create textures and flavors that resemble cooked foods. Food preparation can be simple or gourmet. Among the fastest growing of all raw-food groups are those who eat a high-raw diet, or a diet that is 50-74% raw by weight. These individuals recognize the importance of increasing their intake of raw fruits and vegetables for optimal health. Some are aspiring raw-food practitioners and others are content to eat a high-raw diet that includes a modest amount of cooked foods. If you would rather not take the huge leap to a raw diet of 75% or more raw food, you can still enjoy many of the benefits of a raw diet by replacing processed foods, animal products and some cooked foods with raw, organic plant foods. There are numerous variations on raw diets, some requiring dietary restrictions of rules that extend beyond the parameters mentioned above. Three of the most well-recognized examples of more restrictive raw vegan diets are fruitarian diets, living-foods diets and natural hygiene diets.
1.Fruitarian and high fruit diets:
A fruitarian diet is one that is at least 75% or more fruit by weight. High-fruit diets are less restrictive, comprising 50-74% fruit by weight. Both of these diets include nonsweet fruits that are normally considered vegetables, such as avocados, cucumbers, olives, peppers, squash and tomatoes. A number of fruitarians also include nuts and seeds in the “fruit” category. The remainder of the diet consists of raw foods that can be gathered without killing the plant. This can include carefully trimmed greens as well as coconut, nuts and seeds. Some fruitarians believe that it is best to eat just on type of fruit at a time (known as a mono diet) and to wait at least forty-five minutes until another type of food is eaten. Organically grown or biologically cultivated fruits are preferred. Fruitarians may choose this diet based on spiritual and ethical concerns, as they don’t wish to end the lives of the plants from which they eat. Fruitarian and high-fruit diets providing larger amounts of greens, seeds and nuts can meet nutritional requirements if they include reliable sources of vitamins b12 and D and are well planned.
2. Living food diets:
The terms “raw vegan diet” and “living food diet” are sometimes used interchangeably, although there is a subtle distinction. While both living foods and raw foods are uncooked and contain enzymes, the enzyme content of living foods is much higher. This is because living food diets emphasize the soaking and sprouting of raw foods. These processes result in an increase in the activity of enzymes, which are generally dormant in raw foods. The enzymes serve to release storage of carbohydrates, fats and protein. While unheated nuts and seeds are raw foods, when we soak or sprout the nuts or seeds, they become living foods. A living food diet is centered on newly harvested greens, sprouts of all kinds, fresh fruits and vegetables, soaked nuts and seeds, live vegetable krauts, fermented nut and seed cheeses, cultured foods containing acidophilus and other probiotics (friendly bacteria) and some sea vegetables. The consumption of wheatgrass juice, green drinks and green soups is encouraged and baby greens such as sunflower sprouts and pea shoots are enjoyed in abundance. Foods dehydrated at low temperatures are eaten on occasion. Stimulating and salty foods are limited. A few foods, such as miso and unpasteurized tamari, that are not raw but are alive with friendly bacteria are included in a living food diet.
3. Natural hygiene diets:
Natural hygiene is a set of principles designed to help a person achieve and maintain optimal health by using fresh clean air, pure water, moderate sunshine, regular exercise, adequate rest, fasting when necessary and a diet that is consistent with what ancient primitive peoples thrived on. Of all these factors, diet is considered the most important. The International Natural Hygiene Society (INHS) does not endorse a single diet as being optimal; rather, it promotes a variety of diets that are consistent with what ancient peoples may have eaten. This includes the Paleolithic low-cardbohydrate diet, the instincto-omnivorous diet (eating as guided by the senses), the lacto-ovo vegetarian diet and a modified Herbert Shelton diet (a mainly vegan diet). All of these diets are predominately raw, most use the rules of combining and all include a fasting component. The INHS does not recommend vegan or fruitarian diets to the public because “too many hygienists and others have died or become severely damaged using these diets for a long time.” While many followers of natural hygiene follow the teachings of Weston A. Price, those on a more vegan natural hygiene diet follow Shelton’s teachings, even though Shelton was lacto-vegetarian. The lack of knowledge regarding nutrients such as vitamin B12 may explain the early failure of vegan natural hygiene diets. It may also help to explain why proponents were not themselves rigid adherents. Vegan natural hygiene proponents base their diets on organically grown fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds eaten in their raw, natural state. Foods are generally consumed in their simplest form, with very little, if any, preparation and only in permitted combinations. Dark leafy greens are included in abundance, refined fats (oils) are discouraged; and whole-food fats like avocados, nuts and seeds eaten sparingly. Many natural hygienists say no to fermented foods, sprouts, stimulating foods (like chiles, garlic and onions), condiments (including pungent herbs, salt and spices), sea vegetables, super-green foods like blue-green algae, spirulina and wheatgrass and nutrition supplements.
History of Raw Foods
In the 1830s, Presbyterian minister Sylvester Graham promoted dietary principles similar to the raw food diet as a cure for the current cholera epidemic threatening to strike the United States. Graham, most noted for the famous graham cracker, described chronic disease in general and cholera in particular could be prevented by drinking pure water and eating simple fresh food not complicated or compounded by culinary practices. Raw food as a dietary health treatment was first developed in Switzerland by medical doctor Maximilian Bircher-Benner, inventor of muesli. After recovering from jaundice while eating raw apples, he conducted experiments into the effects on human health of raw vegetables. In November 1897, he opened a sanatorium in Zurich called “Vital Force,” named after a “key term from the German lifestyle reform movement, which states that people should pattern their lives after the logic determined by nature”. It is still treating patients today.
Weston A. Price, in a 1939 work titled Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, observed dental degeneration in the first generation abandoning traditional nutrient-dense foods, which included unprocessed raw milk. Price claimed that the parents of such first-generation children had excellent jaw development and dental health, while their children had malocclusion and tooth decay and attributed this to their new modern diet insufficient in nutrients. Price also noted, in his book, that the healthiest tribes he visited all incorporated some raw animal foods in their diets. Other notable proponents from the early part of this century include Ann Wigmore, Norman W. Walker (inventor of the Norwalk Juicing Press), and Herbert Shelton. Leslie Kenton’s book Raw Energy – Eat Your Way to Radiant Health, published in 1984, popularized food such as sprouts, seeds, and fresh vegetable juices. The book brought together research into raw foodism and its support of health. It cites examples such as the sprouted-seed-enriched diets of the long-lived Hunza people and Max Gerson’s use of a raw juice-based diet in conjunction with detoxification methods to cure cancer. The book advocates a diet of 75% raw food to prevent degenerative diseases, slow the effects of aging, provide enhanced energy, and boost emotional balance.
Raw Food Research
To date, scientific literature describing health and nutrition aspects of raw foods or living foods diets is limited, and most studies are of vegetarian diets; most of these exclude all animal products and derive the majority of calories from uncooked plant matter. A meta-analysis of scientific studies from 1994 to 2004 concluded there to be an inverse correlation between the risk of developing certain types of cancer and eating both raw and cooked vegetables. Consumption of raw vegetables tended to be associated with decreased cancer risks somewhat more often than consumption of cooked vegetables. The majority of studies included show an inverse association between both raw and cooked vegetables and cancer. On the other hand, certain studies have indicated detrimental health effects stemming from raw vegan diets. A 2005 study has shown that a raw vegan diet is associated with a lower bone density.One study of raw vegan diets shows amenorrhea and underweightness in women. Another one indicates an increased risk of dental erosion with a raw vegan diet. Small clinical studies have shown long term raw food adherents to be more efficient at ridding the body of various toxic compounds. An upregulation in certain detoxification pathways and a decrease in bacterial enzymes of certain toxic products found in stools of long term raw food adherents suggest this health benefit. Other medical studies on raw food diets have shown some positive and negative health outcomes. According to one medical trial, “long-term consumption of a 70% raw-plant-food diet is associated with favorable serum LDL cholesterol and triglycerides but also with elevated plasma homocysteine and low serum HDL cholesterol” as well as vitamin B12 deficiency. Another study from Germany found that a “long-term strict raw food diet is associated with favourable plasma beta-carotene and low plasma lycopene concentrations”. A study mentioned benefits of a raw vegan diet for lowering obesity and hypertension. A study has also shown reduced fibromyalgia symptoms for those on a raw vegan diet as well as reduced symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, according to another study. German research in 2003 showed significant benefits in reducing breast cancer risk when large amounts of raw vegetable matter are included in the diet. The authors attribute some of this effect to heat-labile phytonutrients. One study comparing pasteurized and unpasteurized breast milk, showed that pasteurizing breast milk for hospital use and milk banks is unnecessary.Another study showed a link between consumption of unpasteurized milk and a lowered prevalence of allergies. Artturi Virtanen showed that enzymes in uncooked foods are released in the mouth when vegetables are chewed. Raw foodists extrapolate from such research the supposition that the enzymes found in living foods interact with other substances, notable ones being the enzymes produced by the body itself, to aid in digestion. Promoters of raw foods, such as the Weston-Price Foundation, support the idea that, since no digestive juices are secreted in the upper stomach, the enzymes in the raw foods last for about 30 minutes in the upper stomach before being destroyed in the lower stomach, thus giving them enough time to break down the raw foods, to some extent. Columbia University research in 2008 showed significant improving of mental and emotional quality of life for participants using raw vegan diet in raw vegan institute.Another American research in 2001 showed Fibromyalgia syndrome improved in observational study using a mostly raw vegetarian diet. One of the problems in researching microorganisms in the digestive system is that many of them cannot live outside the digestive system and can be analysed only by their genetic material. Steven R. Gill did some of this analysis and showed that in the “collective genome” of the human intestinal flora there is a high percentage of genes connected with synthesis of some vitamins and essential amino acids.
Pioneers of Plant Based Diet Research:
Hippocrates 460 Bc Let Food Be Thy Medicine
Ahmed 900 Mental Hygiene
Paracelsus 1567 Founder of Toxicology
Mayans 900 AD Used cacao as Medicine
Benjamin Thomas 1790 Founder of Sous Vide
Silvester Graham 1830 Minister and Vegetarian Food Preacher
Maximilim Bircher 1890 Founder of Museli, Swiss Doctor
Herbert Shelton Natural Hygiene
Gerson Therapy by Max Gerson 1928
Major pitfall trends – Long Term Raw Vegan: Avoid These to Sustain Long Term Veganism
Raw Food Sub Groups & Categories:
Fasting / Intermittent Fasting
Fasting Mimicking Diet
Raw 80%, 20% steamed
Uncooked – Raw 100%
No fruit Alkaline Diet
30 bananas/day – High carb diet
Raw till 4
Vegan Ketogenic Diet (80% Fat – 15% protein – 5% carbs)
80 10 10 ( 80% Carbs – 10% Fat – 10% Protein)
The Blue Zone Diet / Longevity Diet
Vegan Bulletproof Diet ( Cycling in/out of nutritional ketosis)
Vegan Paleo Diet ( Foods only available when we hunted and gathered)
Sweeteners at Plant Based Academy
We Never Use Coconut Sugar, Coconut Nectar or Agave. These ate toxic, highly processed and high on the glycemic index which means spikes our blood sugar and creates acidity in the body leading to inflammation. We Never use Maple Syrup as it is highly processed and heat treated. We Never Use Honey as it is not vegan and contributes to huge exploitation of bees.
Primary Sweetener is Licorice Root:
Licorice root is 50 times sweeter than table sugar but zero calories and zero effect on glycemic index + Medicinal Qualities a superior tonic herb.
Plant chemistry of This Wonderful Natural sweetener:
There are hundreds of compounds in liquorice, many of which have been intensively studied.The main one is glycyrrhizin, which makes up to 24 percent of the root by weight. Also: glabrin A and B, glycyrrhetol, glabrolide, isoglabrolide, scores of isoflavones, coumarins, triterpene sterols, saponins and so on. Liquorice is a fairly potent synergist. It is specifically called for in treating resistant Gram-negative infections as it is most potent against that family of efflux mechanisms. In general, it increases the action of other herbs and pharmaceauticals and if added to a mixture prior to tincturing it will enhance the extraction. It also acts as a detoxicant and most importantly, liquorice is an inhibitor of one of the main efflux mechanisms in Gram-negative bacteria. As an antiviral, it prevents viral replication across a wide range of viruses, inhibits viral growth, inhibits neuraminidases in numerous influenza strains, inactivates virus particles and inhibits RANTES secretion. As an immunostimulant, it stimulates interferon production, enhances antibody formation and stimulates phagocytosis. It takes about 4 hours for liquorice’s glycyrrhizin to reach maximum serum concentration after oral ingestion; then it slowly excrted and eventually eliminated at 72 hours after ingestion. It stays in the body a long time.
Traditional uses of liquorice: Liquorice has been used as a food plant and medicinal for between four and five millennia. The genus name, Glycyrrhiza, is Greek in origin, glykys meaning “sweet” and rhiza “root”.The root’s main constituent, glycyrrhizin, is 50 times sweeter than sugar. All the species have been used in medicine in any geographical region they grew and by any culture that had access to them.
Ayurveda: Variously known as mulethi, yasti-madhu, jasti-madhu, madhuka, mithiladki and so on. The plant is considered cooling, tonic, demulcent, expectorant, diuretic and a gentle laxative. It’s used for treating poisoning, ulcers, diseases of the liver, bladder and lungs. Any inflammation in the mucous membranes anywhere in the body. For cough, sore throat, hoarseness, fever and as a general tonic in debility from long-term disease conditions, especially those that are pulmonary or of the GI tract. Liquorice is considered a synergist, a specific additive to other herbal formulations.
Traditional Chinese Medicine : Known as ganacao in Chinese medicine, liquorice has been used in China for three thousand years or so. The herb is considered sweet and mild, to regulate the function of the stomach and to be qi tonifying, lung demulcent, expectorant, latent-heat cleansing, antipyretic, detoxicant, anti-inflammatory and spleen invigorative and is a synergist in many herbal formulations. The herb is used in pharyngolaryngitis, cough, palpitations, stomachache due to asthenia, peptic ulcer, pyogenic infection and ulceration of the skin.
Western botanic practice: The ancient Egyptians used the plant as a major medicinal; the plant has often been found in their tombs. The Greek Theophrastus, in the third century BCE, noted the plant’s used for asthma, dry coughs and respiratory problems. The Romans called the plant liquiritia, which eventually was corrupted to the word liquorice. It was a primary medicine in ancient Rome for coughs. It was used throughout Europe as a primary medicinal and although harvested in the wild originally, it has been a main agricultural crop for over a thousand years.The American Eclectics used it intensively, as did most medicinal practitioners in the Americas. The Electics used in for coughs, catarrhs, irritation of the urinary passages, diarrhea and bronchial diseases. It was an early agricultural medicinal, grown by most people in their medicinal gardens. The indigenous tribes of the Americas used the indigenous species similarly; that is, for sore throat, chest pains, swellings, coughs; as an antidiarrheal; for stomachache, fevers, tootache, skin sores, spitting blood; and as a general tonic.
Raw Food is Food Eating Raw & Organic and if cooked it is done so below 118 Degress F : Raw foodists generally eat 75% raw + 25% steamed veg and grain.
Top 5 Raw Vegan Beliefs:
1. Plant enzymes are essential to human health
2. Cooked foods are toxic
3. We get B12 from plant foods, soil + internal production
4. Legumes contain antinutrients and are best avoided
5. Raw food diets reverse chronic diseasesBelow we will outline each one of these arguments and beliefs.
The Nutritional Science Summary of Plant Based Diet :
Vitamins: Organic substances required for normal cell function, growth, and development. There are 13 essential vitamins.
Fat-Soluble Vitamins: Fat-soluble vitamins are those that bind to fat in the stomach and are then stored in the body for later use. We are less likely to become deficient in these vitamins (A, D, E, and K), but more likely to build up to toxic levels, usually due to extreme overconsumption or overzealous supplement use.
Water-Soluble Vitamins: The rest of the vitamins are water-soluble, meaning they can be absorbed directly by cells. When in excess, these vitamins are flushed out of our system with each bathroom break. The water-soluble vitamins — biotin, vitamin C, niacin, folic acid, pantothenic acid, and the four B complex vitamins — need to be restored more frequently, but the body can tolerate higher doses.
Minerals: Mineralsare inorganic substances (meaning they contain no carbon). They’re also necessary for normal body function and development. There are two groups of minerals: macrominerals (which the body needs in large doses) and trace minerals (only a pinch required).
|Vitamin A ( Carotenoids With Fat)||Melon, lettuce, Sweet Potato, Organge Juice, Carrot Juice, Spinach Juice|
|Thiamin (B1)||Asparagus, Beet Greens, Sunflower seeds|
|Riboflavin (B2)||Spinach, Mushrooms, Sea Vegetables|
|Niacin (B3)||Mushrooms, Tomatoes, Squash, Asparagus|
|Pantothenic acid (B5)||Mushrooms, Avacados, Bell Peppers|
|Vitamin B6||Spinach, Cabbage, garlic|
|vitamin B7 Biotin||Tomatoes, Almonds, Onions|
|Folate (B9)||Spinach, Parsley, Beets|
|Cyanocobalamin (B12)||Mushrroms, fermented Foods, Kombucha|
|Vitamin C||Chilli Peppers, Bell Peppers, Mango|
|α-tocopherol (E)||Spinach , sunflower seeds|
|Vitamin K 1||Green juice|
|Vitamin K 2||Fermented Foods ( Tempeh)|
|Calcium ( With Vitamin D)||Figs, Sesame Seeds, Orange Juice, Fortified vegan Milks|
|Iron ( with Vitamin C)||Wheatgrass|
Probiotics & Prebiotics:
Probiotics are what is called “beneficial bacteria” and probiotics are what feeds these bacteria. These are critical for the same reasons enzymes are; they operate as the work force in the body where as vitamins, minerals, protein, fat, and sugars work as building material essentially. Probiotic bacteria set the internal stage for all these nutrients to properly function for optimized health and performance. Probiotic bacteria are responsible for the biosynthesis of some nutrients and the proper absorption of nutrients.
Digestive Enzymes and probiotics : The difference between a probiotic and a digestive enzyme? There’s a lot of misunderstanding about their separate functions and what we need them for.
Probiotics are bacteria found in the digestive tract and are essential to good health. Probiotic bacteria favorably balances the digestive environment, inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria, promotes digestive health, and boosts immune function. We inherit probiotics from our mothers and they can be permanently lost due to antibiotic use or poor diet. They are available in supplement form and in foods like yogurt and fermented vegetables.
Digestive enzymes are chemicals produced by our bodies in the pancreas, small intestine, salivary glands, and stomach. When we eat our food our digestive system requires the food to be broken down into nutrients before absorption and digestive enzymes break down food into those nutrients. Digestive enzyme production slows down after the age of 30 and it’s important to replenish them, for even if we are eating healthy our bodies are unable to absorb the nutrients from the food. Digestive enzymes are available in supplement form, mostly derived from plants. Users of digestive enzymes and probiotics supplements often report feeling more energized, not feeling bloated after meals, and having fewer bouts of sickness and infection.
Chlorophyl is the primary substance of life, blood of all plants, and is almost identical to human blood (hemoglobin). Chlorophyl is the most potent antioxidant found in nature and cleans the blood better than any other known compound. Raw living organic foods are often very rich in chlorophyll such as green vegetables, grasses, herbs and seaweeds. Chlorophyll is also heat sensitive so raw foods will have a much higher content than cooked foods.
are the bitter fractions of all wild foods and herbs. Most of our food has been excessively hybridized to remove these bitter compounds for taste and pleasure but has subtracted the medicinal catalysts. Alkaloids can be found in foods that have kept their “primal” form such as certain herbs like dandelion, milk thistle seed, tribulus, reishi mushroom, horsetail, stinging nettles, oatstraw, wild ginseng, etc. Cacao also contains it’s original alkaloids such as theobromine.Yerba mate contains caffeine and theophylline which are all brother/sister molecules of each other. Alkaloids are an important part of all natural based diets and diets that remove these compounds are deficient in essential nutrients that feed our brain, nerve impulses, cardiovascular system, and muscle tissues.
Fruits, Vegetables superfoods and Herbs for Benificial Phytochemicals
It seems that as we rediscover the wonder of fruits and vegetables—namely, that their health benefits go far beyond providing vitamins, trace minerals and dietary fiber—we’re gradually broadening our vocabulary to talk much more technically about food than ever before. Now we’re aware that the groceries Mom encouraged us to consume are not only nutritional powerhouses, but also the sources of disease-fighting “other” elements—phytochemicals. These include the more well-known lycopene, beta-carotene, and lutein, but also the more foreign anthocyanins, catechins, and resveratrol. Since fruits and vegetables are the mainstay of a child’s diet, we’re naturally curious to learn more about how various phytochemicals may help promote optimal health as children grow. Which foods contain the most powerful phytochemicals, and therefore may pack the biggest punch against disease? As we continue to learn more, we may eventually find our friends talking flavonoids as readily as sports scores—especially if further research proves their importance in preserving long-term health. Throughout the course we will refer to this as Plant Hormetic Compounds of which there is huge research coming into mainstream about the importance of these phytochemicals in preventing and reversing many chronic diseases. In the anti ageing community these are also refer to as Nutraceuticals.
Diets rich in vegetables, herbs, plants and fruits are associated with reduced risk of several major diseases, including neurodegenerative disorders. Although some beneficial phytochemicals might function solely as antioxidants, it is becoming clear that many of the beneficial chemicals in vegetables, herbs, plants and fruits evolved as toxins (to dissuade insects and other predators) that, at subtoxic doses, activate adaptive cellular stress-response pathways in a variety of cells including neurons. Examples of such ‘preconditioning’ or ‘neurohormesis’ pathways include those involving cell-survival signaling kinases, the transcription factors NRF2 and CREB, and histone deacetylases of the sirtuin family. In these ways, neurohormetic phytochemicals such as resveratrol, sulforaphanes and curcumin might protect neurons against injury and disease by stimulating the production of antioxidant enzymes, neurotrophic factors, protein chaperones and other proteins that help cells to withstand stress. Thus, as we discuss in this review, highly conserved longevity and survival pathways in neurons are the targets of many phytochemicals.
The term hormesis has long been used to describe the phenomenon where a specific chemical is able to induce biologically opposite effects at different doses; most commonly there is a stimulatory or beneficial effect at low doses and an inhibitory or toxic effect at high doses (Calabrese et al., 2007). In the case of natural compounds an example of hormesis is vitamin A which in relatively low amounts is essential for normal development and eye function, but in high amounts can cause anorexia, headaches, drowsiness, altered mental states and other symptoms (Penniston and Tanumihardjo, 2006). In the present article, we describe evidence supporting a major role for hormesis as a mechanism of action of phytochemicals on cells and organisms, with a focus on the health-promoting and neuroprotective actions of phytochemicals. The term hormesis is commonly used by toxicologists to describe biphasic dose response curve such that a chemical has a stimulatory effect at low doses, but is toxic at high doses. Recently the concept of hormesis has been adopted in the fields of biology and medicine to portray the adaptive response of cells and organisms to moderate stress (Mattson, 2008). In other words, a mild stress induces the activation of signaling pathways, leading to intrinsic changes conferring resistance to a more severe stress. Typically, the stress-inducing agent elicits molecular responses that not only protect the cell against higher doses of the same agent, but also against other agents or even less specific stressors including oxidative, metabolic and thermal stress. Major components of the hormetic response include various stress resistance proteins such as heat-shock proteins, antioxidants, and growth factors (Mattson and Cheng, 2006; Mattson 2008). Classical examples of hormetic stress are exercise and calorie restriction (CR). Epidemiological studies have consistently demonstrated that moderate levels exercise and CR promote good health, whereas excessive levels are harmful (Fontana and Klein, 2007; Radak et al., 2008). As mentioned above, the need to protect themselves against bacteria, fungi, viruses, and hazardous environmental changes, has lead plants to concentrate defensive chemicals in their most vulnerable parts (i.e. leaves, flowers and roots). Like moderate exercise or CR, many of these ‘poisons’ also exhibit hormetic properties, being harmful at high doses yet beneficial at relevantly low doses.
The Following are great examples of Hormetic Compounds: Neurohormetic phytochemicals: low-dose toxins that induce adaptive neuronal stress responses.
Although some phytochemicals possess direct free radical-scavenging properties at high concentrations, in lower amounts typical of those obtained in the diet, phytochemicals may activate one or more adaptive cellular stress responses pathways. Activation of such hormetic pathways in neurons results in the production of several types of cytoprotective proteins including neurotrophic factors, protein chaperones, antioxidant and phase II enzymes and anti-apoptotic proteins. One specific pathway that is receiving considerable attention in regards to hormesis in the nervous system involves the transcription factor Nrf2 which binds the ARE, thereby inducing the expression of genes encoding phase II detoxifying enzymes. Preclinical and clinical studies of the therapeutic potential of phytochemicals that activate the Nrf2/ARE pathway (curcumin, for example) in several different neurodegenerative disorders are in progress. Other hormetic pathways involved in neuronal stress resistance and plasticity include those that activate FOXO and NF-κB transcription factors. Using neurohormetic phytochemicals as base compounds for medicinal chemistry (Ohori et al., 2006; Milne et al., 2007) will likely result in the development of a range of plant based nootropics that enhance neuroplasticity and protect against synaptic dysfunction and neurodegeneration. Try our range of nootropics at Plant Based Academy made using some of the powerful ingredients listed below.
In summary All these compounds do at least two things:
Phase 1 biotransformation enzymes convert pro carcinogens into their active carcinogenic state.
What are Phytochemicals?
Phytochemicals are bioactive compounds found in plant foods. In addition to giving the plant its characteristic color, texture, flavor, and fragrance, phytochemicals are part of a plant’s natural system for defense, repair, and reproduction. They are not “essential” in the diet in that they are not required for sustaining life. However, their functions in the body appear to be similar to those in plants—they confer important preventive and protective benefits for health. Scientists have identified thousands of biologically active phytochemicals in fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts. All may not necessarily have health benefits, but many do, and all function in numerous biological processes that are extremely complex. Epidemiologic studies have suggested the possible associations of phytochemicals with health, and animal- and cell- culture approaches have begun to identify mechanistic explanations. Three major categories of phytochemicals (classified by chemical structure) include carotenoids, polyphenols, and glucosinolates, although there are others. Health benefits have been associated with intake of specific phytochemicals within each category, and with intake of the group of phytochemicals as a whole.
Summary of Polyphenols
There are four major classes of polyphenols;
Furthermore, each of these polyphenol classes has further subclasses which contain different polyphenolic compounds. To illustrate, you can see some of these subclasses below along with some of the foods that contain them;
Flavonoids : We can divide flavonoids into various subclasses and over 400 compounds.
Anthocyanins:berries and dark/purple colored plants
Chalcones:fruit, vegetables, and spices
Flavanols:cocoa and dark chocolate
Flavanones:prevalent in citrus fruits like oranges and lemons
Flavonols:various nuts and tomatoes
Lignans : We can commonly find lignans in fibrous plant foods, with seeds being a particularly high source. Specifically, flax seeds are the world’s best source of lignans. There is only one sub-class of lignans and it contains 53 polyphenols.
Phenolic Acids : There are various subclasses of phenolic acids and 168 different compounds.
Hydroxybenozoic acid:onions and radishes
Hydroxycinnamic acid:berries, olives. and spices
Hydroxyphenylacetic acid:cocoa, mushrooms, olives
Hydroxyphenylpropanoic acid:olives, olive oil
Stilbenes : There is one subclass of stilbenes and it contains 27 compounds. In fact, you probably know the most prevalent of these. The name is resveratrol and it’s a major constituent of red wine but also found in many red and purple fruits and vegetables.
6 Major Carotenoids:
Vitamin A – Retinol ( for vegans vitamin A must be converted via carotenoids and lots of them via full ranges of colours specifically orange, yellow, red) α-Carotene, β-carotene and β-cryptoxanthin are provitamin A carotenoids, meaning they can be converted by the body to retinol. Lutein, zeaxanthin, and lycopene are non provitamin A carotenoids because they cannot be converted to retinol. All carotenoids are also antioxidants and not completely destroyed with heat in fact in some cases enhanced. However Conversion is not straight forward and it takes a lot of carotenoids to be converted to 1 Vitamin A retinol . Ensure Diet very rich in these colours as Vitamin A is essential . Vitamin A has multiple functions: it is important for growth and development, for the maintenance of the immune system and good vision.
Carotenoids are important antioxidants, which protect your cells from damage. Most notably, they support the clearance of free radicals in your body. Although these are responsible for the bright colors of many fruits and vegetables, they’re actually found in greater amounts in leafy green vegetables. The chlorophyll in dark-green vegetables masks carotenoids pigments, so the vegetables appear green in color.
Major Medicinal Compounds in The colours :
Red– Lycopene & Resveratol
Orange– beta-carotene, zeaxanthin
Yellow– B-cryptothanxin, Lutein, Zeaxanthin
Green– Clorophyll, magnesium, calcium, folate
Purple/Blue– Phenolics, Anthocyanins
The Nine Essential Amino Acids:
1. Phenylalanine is a precursor for the neurotransmitter tyrosine, dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine. It plays an integral role in the structure and function of proteins and enzymes and the production of other amino acids. (Pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, almonds)
2. Valine helps stimulate muscle growth, regeneration and energy production. (Oats, tempeh, tofu, buckwheat, nuts, seeds)
3. Threonine is a principle part of structural proteins such as collagen and elastin which are important for the skin and conncetive tissue. It also plays a role in fat metabolism and immune function. (Tofu, tempeh, spirulina, pea protein, chlorella)
4. Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin which i as a neurotransmitter that regulates your apetite, sleep and mood. Also maintains proper nitrogen balance. (Sesame, sunflower, pumpkin, sea veg, soy tempeh, cucumber, mushrooms, leafy greens, walnuts)
5. Methionine plays important role in metabolism and detoxification. It’s necessary for tissue growth and absorption of zinc and selenium, minerals vital for our health. (Sunflower butter, brazil nuts, oats)
6. leucine helps regulate blood sugar levels, stimulates wound healing and produces growth hormones. (Tofu, tempeh, legumes)
7. Isoleucine is involved in muscle metabolism and is heavily concentrated in muscle tissue. Important for immune function, hemoglobin production and energy regulation. (Tofu, tempeh)
8. Lysine plays major roles in protein synthesis, hormone and enzyme production and the absorption of calcium. Important for energy production, immun function and the production of collagen and elastin. (Pumpkin seeds, soy beans, tempeh)
9. Histidine is used to produce histamine, a neurotransmitter that is vital to immune response, digestion, sexual function and sleep-wake cycles. It’s critical for maintaining the myelin sheath, a protective barrier that surrounds your nerve cells. (Tofu, tempeh, lentils, almonds, spirulina, quinoa)
Enzymes & The Enzyme Theory: (Myrosinase & Allinase convert phytochemicals into active forms)
Enzymes are the fundamental catalyst of all physical and mental functions. Every known break down of health has to do primarily which a depletion of “life enzymes” or “metabolic enzymes”. When we eat a heavy cooked, processed, and animal based diet our body recruits healing enzymes to help break down the food. This causes our body to become crippled in micro-fractures over time slowing down the healing process and accelerating the aging process. Enzymes are catalysts, and they help to speed up chemical reactions in cells. They are almost always proteins, and because of that, they are easily damaged or destroyed. They have a limited life span and are constantly replenished by the body. It is often said that people would live about three weeks without food and three days without water, but people would probably only survive about three minutes without enzymes! People have no idea what enzymes really are. People tend to picture these things in plants that help humans, but there really is more to it than just that. There are three kinds of enzymes that have any kind of consequence for human health. Metabolic enzymes basically help run and maintain the body. Digestive enzymes are those that our bodies manufacture in order to break down the food that we eat; that way, food nutrients can be absorbed into the bloodstream. Food enzymes are naturally present in foods and in all raw plants. While plant enzymes may be helpful, they are not critical. Digestive enzymes are important for digesting food. Food enzymes are present in plants to ensure the survival of the plant. There are many societies that eat a predominantly cooked food diet, with a limited intake of plant enzymes, and they can live long and healthy lives. There is no scientific proof that humans require enzymes from food. However, it appears as though we can benefit from the enzymes in food, in a couple of ways. Without digestive enzymes, we would be dead in fairly short order. If we did not have digestive enzymes, we would not be able to break apart the food in the stomach and we would not get any nutrients. There are some diseases in which we are not producing digestive enzymes at a normal level. For example, people with cystic fibrosis have to take a large amount of enzymes in order to survive. Cooking destroys the enzymes present in food, although this destruction is a gradual process. There are two main disadvantages to cooking foods: first, you reduce several of the protective factors in the foods, such as vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and enzymes. Second, cooking can cause the formation of several potentially harmful compounds such as advanced glycation end products, heterocyclic amines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and acrylamide. In addition, cooking generally increases the glycemic index of food, causing steeper rises in blood sugar than does the raw form of the same food. Another thing cannot be overlooked. When you cook food, you are more likely to add things like butter, salt, or sugar. The same could be said of processed foods. Raw foods are generally unprocessed and uncooked. When you eat mostly a raw food diet, you are automatically putting a lid on all of these unnecessary and potential harmful additives.
All enzymes have a pH and temperature range in which they are active. Outside of that range they are either inactive or denatured. This is why cooking pretty much destroys most enzymes. Raw food enzymes passing through the extremely acidic environment of the stomach also contributes to the destruction or inactivation. When food is chewed, or ground up in some way (chopped, blended) food enzymes are released and activated. These enzymes remain active in the blender (raw food blended into a smoothie), mouth, and even in the upper part of the stomach. When food enters the stomach, it hangs out in the upper segment for approximately 40 minutes. It is thought that perhaps here, salivary as well as food enzymes work and are beneficial. After this stop however, the food enters the lower section of the stomach where it is mixed and churned with hydrochloric acid. Ph levels change dramatically. Here, the enzyme pepsin is produced and secreted. Pepsin is the only enzyme known to survive, be activated, and thrive in the acidic pH of the stomach. As a result, the chance of food enzymes entering the small intestine (and being absorbed into the body) is not highly likely. Enzyme researcher Stephen Rothman states, “I am unaware of any evidence that suggests that enzymes in raw vegetables or fruits at quantities normally eaten, can substitute for our digestive enzymes or provide substantial assistance in the digestive process. Nor am I aware of any evidence that they pass safely through the acid environment of the stomach or are not rapidly degraded when they reach the intestines. . . .” The enzyme theory premise, that there is a limited amount of digestive enzymes in the body and that we cannot make digestive enzymes to reboot supplies, lacks scientific evidence. Researchers have found that instead, the body conserves digestive enzymes by reabsorbing, recycling, and reusing them. In addition, the contribution of raw food enzymes to the total digestive process is quite small. For example, amylase activity in a glass of carrot juice is 20-30 U/L whereas amylase in saliva is 200,000 U/L. If we had to rely on food enzymes alone, without digestive enzymes, “we would starve to death in short order.”From a scientific perspective, the enzyme theory appears rather weak. However, this does not mean that an individual cannot be greatly benefited from eating more raw food. Raw plant foods provide an amazing array of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants.
In fact, there are a couple of enzymes that stand out when dealing with cancer.
The Enzyme Theory:
There is very little scientific research on enzymes and still there is much unknown. Plants have enzymes to help them harvest energy from the sun and break down the storage forms of protein, fat and carbohydrates in seeds so they can be used as energy by the new plant. They also catalyse multiple reactions necessary for the protection and survival of the plant.
Plant enzymes possibly help:
1. Convert certain phytochemicals into their active forms
2. They can aid in digestive process
There are two enzymes known for converting phytochemicals to their more active forms.
1. Myrosinase in cruciferous vegetables
2. Allinase in allium vegetables
Cruciferous: Kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage
Allium: Leeks, onions, garlic, scallions
Myrosinase converts glucosinolates into isothiocynates. Isothiocynates such as sulforaphane which are known for their ability to induce phase 11 enzymes which help eliminate carcinogens. They attach a water molecule to a carcinogen so the body can flush it out of body. These isothiocynates kill cancer cells. These are much higher concentration in young plants such as broccoli. Sprouts as opposed to broccoli mature. There is between 30 to 100 times more sulforaphane in broccoli sprouts compared to mature broccoli. If you cook the broccoli this enzyme will be destroyed. The higher the heat and longer the cooking method, the less myrosinase will remain which means less conversion ability.
Allinase converts Allun to Allicun. Allicun has antimicrobial, antithrombotic, antiarthritic, anti cancer and lipid lowering abilities. Heat destroyes the Allinase and effects conversion but chopping up the garlic starts the conversion process and once converted the heat will not impact the Allicun.
Digestive Process: Food Enzymes May Help & How Cooking has Unwanted Byproducts. The Raw Advantage :
Cooking and its Byproducts:
If you are cooking, then Wet cooking methods such as slow cooking, water bats, steaming, boiling and blanching and low temperature drying such as food dehydration are the safest methods of food cooking and preservation . These methods minimise loses and minimise toxic byproducts such as Heterocyclic amines (HCAs), Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PACs), Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and Acrylamide. Cooking can increase nutrient availability, especially true with legumes and in some cases such as with certain carotenoids. However Cooking can often increase antioxidant levels in certain foods and has no impact on mineral level unless you strain cooking liquid away.
Cooking can (depending on method + length of time)
Commercially processed foods loose up to 50-80% of nutrients. Boiling foods loose up to 50-80% of nutrients. Steaming loose up to 20% of nutrients. Cooking also diminishes phytochemicals except carotenoids. However, juicing increases carotenoids much more than cooking.
Potentially harmful byproducts of cooking:
There are many other harmful compounds but above are the main ones.
1.Heterocyclic aminesare formed when creatine or creatinine are exposed to high temperatures. These are only found in animal flesh products. This compound is cancer causing and linked to many cancers.
2.Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are chemicals formed by the incomplete burning of carbon containing substances in food or in fat heated above 392 F such as grilled or charred foods and toast. These compounds damage DNA + produce cancer.
3.Advanced glycation end productsare the irreversible final products of the maillard reaction such as toasting, frying and browning food. Grilled meats – even roasting foods such as tofu and seeds.
4.Acrylamidein food is formed when the amino acid asparagine reacts with naturally occurring sugars such as glucose. This generally occurs at the later stages of baking, roasting, or frying when the moisture content falls, and the surface temperature rises.
Digestive Process: Food Enzymes May Help & How Cooking has Unwanted Byproducts. The Raw Advantage :
Food is held in upper part of stomach for between 20 to 60 minutes where pH is between 4,5 to 5,8 – This is the perfect pH for the functioning of enzymes. When food drops to lower part of the stomach the pH goes down to 1,3 to 2,5 and the enzymes are destroyed, broken down into amino acids, however – sometimes enzymes make it through the small intestine, not often but sometimes, most commonly when the enzymes are attached to a viable microorganism such as with fermented foods. There are very few studies on this and little research on whether these enzymes, that make it to small intestines, help with digestion.
Example: (amylase) – enzyme that breaks down starch called amylose into maltotriose and maltose used as energy. Amylase activity in carrot juice= 20-30 units/litre. Amylose activity in unstimulated saliva= 200,000 units/litre. Most digestion occurs in small intestine and it appears that it is our own enzymes that aid digestion and plant enzymes may help but might only be small. When foods are subjected to heat, especially at high temperatures, several by-products can form that are very damaging to human health. Among the most notorious are heterocyclic amines (HCAs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PACs), advanced glycation end-products (AGEs), and acrylamide.
Heterocyclic Amines and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
Heterocyclic amines (HCAs)are chemicals that are created when meat, poultry, fish and eggs are subjected to high temperature cooking, such barbequing, frying, or grilling. The formation of these compounds increases with temperature and duration of cooking. Cooking methods that use direct heat (e.g. frying or grilling) produce more HCAs than do indirect-heat methods such as stewing, steaming or poaching. Many vegetarians wonder if HCAs are produced in a similar manner when vegetables are cooked at high temperatures. The answer is no because the formation of these compounds involves the condensation of creatinine with amino acids (the building blocks of protein), and creatinine is found exclusively in muscle tissue. In January, 2005, HCAs were officially added the list of cancer causing agents put out by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)are a group of over a hundred different chemicals that are formed by the incomplete burning of organic substances such as oil, gas, coal, forests, garbage, tobacco and food or the pyrolysis of fat at temperatures in excesses of 392 degrees F. Food accounts for over 90 percent of our PAH exposure. The most concentrated sources of PAHs are grilled or charred meat, poultry and fish, grains, fats and oils, and sweets. Vegetables, fruits, beverages and dairy products also contribute to overall intake. However, PAHs in vegetables and fruits are due largely to environmental contaminations of the air and soil. Where contamination is minimal, produce will contain few PAHs. A host of factors affects PAH formation, apart from environmental contamination. The primary factors include the temperature of cooking, distance from the heat source, duration of cooking, type of fuel used in heating, amount of fat in the food, and whether the fat drips onto the heat source and rises back onto the food. Raw grains tend to be low in PAHs, however levels increase with certain processing techniques, such as direct combustion gas heating and toasting. While sprouted grains are a very minor source of PAHs, ready-to-eat cereal generally contain much higher levels. Processed sweets can also contribute to PAH intake. Fats and oils are a significant source, as the foods from which they are extracted are often contaminated. In addition, direct combustion gases and solvents used in processing can further increase levels.
Heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are known to be mutagenic (that is, they damage DNA). Evidence suggests that HCAs increase our risk for a variety of cancers, including colorectal, stomach, pancreatic and breast cancers. Cancers thought to be linked to PAH intake include lung, skin and genitourinary. Most of our exposure to these compounds comes through our food, and the vast majority through high temperature cooking. Vegetarian diets generally contain negligible amounts of HCAs, and moderate amounts of PAHs. Intakes of those eating raw or high-raw diets would be considerably lower.
Advanced Glycation End-Products (AGEs)
Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are harmful end-products of the Maillard reaction or of fat oxidation, which are formed when food is heated to high temperatures. They can also be formed within the body when sugar molecules attach to protein, fat or DNA.
What is the Maillard Reaction?
The Maillard reaction is a form of non-enzymatic browning that occurs when sugars, such as glucose or fructose, combines with an amino acid. The chemical reaction, which is called glycation, results in intermediate products of the Maillard reaction. If heating continues, further chemical reactions may result in irreversible bonding of amino acids (protein cross-links), and the formation of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs). The cross-linking of protein may also result in the destruction of essential amino acids or a reduction in their availability. The Maillard reaction begins to escalate when foods are heated to temperatures of 310 degrees F or higher. Products of the Maillard reaction are minimized when foods are boiled or steamed, as temperatures reach only 212 degrees F. The food industry purposefully uses the Maillard reaction to improve the flavor and color of foods. Good examples of this are the production of colas, coffee, caramel and many baked goods. The potential harmful effects of the end-stage products of the Maillard reaction were not well recognized until the 1970’s when products of non-enzymatically glycated hemoglobin where found in diabetic patients.
There is evidence that AGEs impair immune system function, accelerate aging, and contribute to the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, eye diseases, kidney disease, nerve diseases and stroke. Research has shown that about 10 percent of the AGEs in food are absorbed into the system. Restricting foods rich in AGEs has been shown to significantly reduce circulating AGE levels in the body, and levels of C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation (high levels of C-reactive protein indicate greater inflammation in the body).Foods that are most concentrated in AGEs are broiled, grilled and fried meats. See Table 3.5 for a list of AGEs in common foods. The average daily AGE intake (based on food records) for people eating a standard Western diet has been estimated at approximately 16,000 kilounits (ku). Vegetarian diets tend to contain lesser amounts, unless they are very high in processed and fried foods. Raw food diets contain minimal AGEs.
Acrylamide is a chemical that is used to make polyacrylamide, which is employed in the manufacturing of certain glues, cosmetics, food packaging materials, soil conditioning agents, plastics and grouting agents. It is also used in water treatment. Although polyacrylamide is non-toxic, small quantities of acrylamide residues, which appear to be less benign, remain in finished products. In April 2002, Swedish researchers discovered the presence of acrylamide in some starchy foods. They noted that acrylamide appears to form spontaneously when certain foods, particularly those that are high in carbohydrate and low in protein such as potatoes, are subjected to high cooking temperatures. The higher the cooking temperature and the longer the cooking time, the greater the acrylamide concentration becomes. Canadian scientists discovered that most acrylamide in food is formed when the amino acid asparagine reacts with naturally occurring sugars such as glucose. This generally occurs at the later stages of baking, roasting, or frying when the moisture content falls, and the surface temperature rises.
The most concentrated food sources of acyrlamide are processed foods such as potato chips and other baked or fried salty snacks and French fries, as potatoes are particularly high in asparagine. Other food sources include crackers, crispbreads, pretzels, breads (especially toasted), cold cereals, and other foods processed at high temperatures such as coffee and cocoa. Acrylamide is also formed during the home preparation of starchy foods. Any significant formation of acrylamide requires temperatures of 248 degrees F or higher. Consequently, it is found only in insignificant amounts in steamed or boiled foods. There are a number of potential health concerns associated with acrylamide consumption. Occupational and accidental exposures to high doses have been shown to cause neurotoxicity in humans. Experimental studies suggest that it could also be toxic to genetic material, increasing risk of cancer and reproductive problems, although these findings have not been confirmed in humans. Acrylamide was evaluated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer in 1994 and classified as “probably carcinogenic to humans” on the basis of a positive cancer bioassay result.
Vegetarians are not necessarily at an advantage over non-vegetarians in terms of acrylamide intake. If vegetarians consume large amounts of baked or fried starchy foods, they may be at a disadvantage. On the other hand, vegetarians relying more heavily on raw foods would have significantly lower intakes.
Experts consistently agree that we should keep our intakes of heterocyclic amines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, advanced glycation end products, and acrylamide as low as possible. Increasing our intake of raw foods, and selecting lower temperature, wet cooking methods will help to minimize the production of these harmful compounds in our food.
The Main Myths and Arguments within the Raw Food Community
Smoothies Vs Juices ( Fibre Vs High concentrate of Nutrients) – Module 3 Culinary Medicine
Fruits Vs No Fruits, Just Greens ( The Warburg Effect – Sugar including fructose feeding cancer )
No Salt Vs Importance of Salt (Sodium)
Raw Cacao is Medicine Vs Cacao is Toxic ( The Hormetic Effect)
Dehydrated Foods are a staple Vs Dehydrated foods are raw but not alive ( No water Content)
High fat vs Low Fat ( Keto Vs Natural hygiene diet)
High protein Vs Low Protein ( Bodybuilding, quality of protein & Volter Longo Anti Aging Research)
High carbs (80/10/10) Vs Low carbs ( Keto)******************************************************************The B12 Debate: Studies consistently show those vegans who do not take a B12 supplement are always B12 deficient with high homocysteine which can be a result of low B12, B6 and low folate. High homocysteine can damage the lining of arteries and is a risk factor for heart disease. Do take a supplement! Other plant sources of trace B12 are unwashed organic vegetables juiced, raw soil, seaweed such as nori. With the soil there is a potential of consuming bad bacteria such as e-coli and with seaweed it has an inactive form of B12 analogue which looks like B12 and attach to B12 receptors but do not do the job of B12. Other possible good sources are chlorella and blue-green algae and fermented tempeh grain in less sterile conditions. The bacteria that produce B12 live in the large intestine and we absorb nutrients in the small intestine so it’s unlikely we can absorb this form of B12. B12 Deficiency: 1. Megaloblastic (large cell) anemia – weakness, fatigue, irritability and depression. 2. Nerve damage – numbness and tingling in our extremities – difficulty with balance and walking – memory loss, confusion and psychosis. 3. GI disturbances – Indigestion, diarrhoea, sore tongue, reduced apetite. 4. Elevated homocysteine – messes with brain – increase risk of Alzheimer’s disease – increase risk of birth defect – increase risk of cardiovascular disease – increase risk of premature death Dosage: 4 mcg/day in fortified foods or 25-100 mcg/day from supplements. If dosing just twice/week then you need about 1000 mcg because anything over 500 mcg we only absorb about Y2%. Daily requirement is 2,4 mcg.
The Fat Debate
Fat is a macronutrient. There are three macronutrients: protein, fats and carbohydrates. Macronutrients are nutrients that provide calories or energy. Large amounts are required to sustain life, hence the term “macro,” according to the University of Illinois McKinley Health Center. The amount of energy provided by the macronutrients varies: fat has 9 calories per gram, more than twice the number of calories in carbs and protein, which each have 4 calories per gram. The primary function of fat is as an energy reserve, according to Iowa State University. The body stores fat, or adipose tissue, as a result of excess calorie consumption. During exercise, the body first uses calories from carbohydrates for energy. After about 20 minutes, it uses calories from stored fat to keep going, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Glucose Metabolism ( High Carb Low fat Intake)
Glucose is stored in your liver and released as needed for energy. However, after carb intake has been extremely low for one to two days, these glucose stores become depleted. Your liver can make some glucose from amino acids in the protein you eat via a process known as gluconeogenesis, but not nearly enough to meet the needs of your brain, which requires a constant fuel supply. Even when on a higher-carb diet, your liver actually produces ketones on a regular basis – mainly overnight while you sleep – but usually only in tiny amounts. However, when glucose and insulin levels decrease on a carb-restricted diet, the liver ramps up its production of ketones in order to provide energy for your brain.
Ketone Metabolism ( Low Carb High Fat Intake)
Ketosis is a metabolic state in which your body uses fat and ketones rather than glucose (sugar) as its main fuel source. With a ketogenic diet (very low carb diet meaning very low glucose), the body is able to use an alternative energy source, ketones. Carb restriction prompts the pancreas to tell fat cells to release fatty acids, which gets goes to the liver and eventually is converted into ketones. Eventually, ketones are released into the blood and brain. In ketosis, your body produces ketones at an accelerated rate. Ketones, or ketone bodies, are made by your liver from fat that you eat and your own body fat. The three ketone bodies are beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), acetoacetate, and acetone (although acetone is technically a breakdown product of acetoacetate). Once the level of ketones in your blood reaches a certain threshold, you are considered to be in nutritional ketosis. According to leading ketogenic diet researchers Dr. Steve Phinney and Dr. Jeff Volek, the threshold for nutritional ketosis is a minimum of 0.5 mmol/L of BHB (the ketone body measured in blood).
Saturated fats are saturated with hydrogen molecules. Saturated fat comes from animal sources, such as red meats, poultry and full-or-reduced fat dairy products. Saturated fats are solid at room temperature. Other examples include cheese and butter. Oils that are solid at room temperature, like palm oil, palm kernel oil and coconut oil, also contain saturated fats. This means that baked goods can be high in saturated fats. Saturated fat is linked to high cholesterol levels and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Saturated fats also tend to contain a lot of calories. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends getting only 5 to 6 percent of calories from saturated fat. This puts someone on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet with 120 calories or 13 grams of saturated fats per day. The 2010 U.S. Dietary Guidelines allow for up to 10 percent of calories to come from saturated fat.
Trans Fats (also called trans fatty acids)
Trans fats are sometimes found naturally in meats or dairy, but usually in small amounts. More often, they are “produced by the food industry for the purpose to increase shelf life of the product.” This is done by adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make the oils more solid. These are called partially hydrogenated oils. They are often found in “convenient foods” like frozen pizzas. Other common sources of trans fats include baked goods, crackers, refrigerated dough, margarine and coffee creamer. Fast food restaurants often use them in deep fryers because partially hydrogenated oil does not have to be changed as often as regular oil. Trans fats are not recommended at all because of the link to heart diseases, they are often considered the worst type of fat. According to the AHA, they both lower your good cholesterol and increase your bad cholesterol.
Triglycerides are a potentially dangerous type of fat found in blood, according to the NIH. They are associated with coronary artery disease, especially in women. The body converts any calories it doesn’t need to use right away into triglycerides, which are stored in the fat cells. They are supposed to provide energy between meals. If you eat more calories than you expend, however, the body does not burn triglycerides, and they accumulate. Most types of fat we eat become triglycerides. A blood test can reveal your triglyceride levels.
Healthy Triglyceride Levels:
Normal:Less than 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or less than 1.7 millimoles per liter (mmol/L)
Borderline high:150 to 199 mg/dL (1.8 to 2.2 mmol/L)
High:200 to 499 mg/dL (2.3 to 5.6 mmol/L)
Very high:500 mg/dL or above (5.7 mmol/L or above)
These fats get their name because they are not saturated with hydrogen molecules and because they have a single carbon bond in the fat molecule (called a double bond). “They are liquid at room temperature. Examples are canola, peanut or olive oil. Olives and avocados also contain monounsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats are known to have a heart-protective role and have been linked to improved cholesterol levels, they may also help insulin levels and blood sugar control.
Like monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats are not saturated with hydrogen molecules. They get their name from having more than one carbon bond (double bond) in the fat molecule, according to the AHA. They are liquid at room temperature. Polyunsaturated fats are found mostly in plant food sources, such as soybeans and soybean oil, sunflower oil, sunflower seeds, walnuts and flaxseeds. Polyunsatured fats have been shown to impact blood cholesterol levels leading to a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. They also help with cell development and maintenance and add vitamin E to your diet. Polyunsatured fats provide essential fatty acids, including omega-6 and omega-3.
Omega-3 fatty acidsare a polyunsaturated fat that can come from plant-based sources such as algae and chia seeds.
Omega-6 fatty acidsare also polyunsaturated fats commonly found in plant-based oils.
Omega 3 : ALA, EPA & DHA
There are three main kinds of omega-3s: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and the plant–based alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). … The problem for vegans is that seeds and nuts only contain ALA, while the health benefits of omega-3fatty acids have been almost entirely linked to EPA and DHA.The two main omega-3s we hear most about are the long-chain fatty acids EPA and DHA. There is a long standing scientific debate about the best source of DHA & EPA, Many scientists stating that These fats are found only in oily fish and seafood, with small amounts of DHA found in algae. However many scientists state that the fist actually get their source of omega 3 from algae and do not manufacture it themselves. Therefore we can also get enough from algae. There is also evidence that as vegans we convert ALA into DHA & EPA. A tremendous body of research has been conducted on these important nutrients since it was first discovered in the 1950s that fish oil offered many health benefits and that these benefits were attributable to a type of polyunsaturated fat called omega-3. Despite the volumes of research on omega-3s, it is only in recent years (within the last 15 years or so) that the actions of EPA and DHA have come to be understood individually. Researchers now often investigate the actions of EPA and DHA individually rather than together, no longer simply under the generic label omega-3 as they are widely referred to.
We are now fortunate to understand how these fats work in combination and in isolation, how they are digested, absorbed and utilised in the body, so we are able to tailor different blends of EPA and DHA according to the health benefits we are seeking to achieve. At Igennus, we have long specialised in the role of the omega-3 fatty acid EPA in clinical nutrition, as a powerful tool in the patient’s ‘toolkit’ for helping to regulate inflammation by restoring several biological markers, known as the omega-6 to omega-3 ratioand AA to EPA ratio. Before we discuss the therapeutic role of EPA in nutritional medicine, here’s a very brief summary of the role of both EPA and DHA in health throughout life. Our requirements for EPA and DHA change throughout life and so does the optimal amount of each fatty acid in our diet. Children require DHA for growth and development, and the brain, CNS and retina rely heavily on the adequate supply of DHA during growth in the womb. Thus women should emphasise DHA in their diets when they become pregnant and continue to take this until they cease breastfeeding. Children continue to need DHA up until the age they start school, so if children under the age of five are taking an omega-3 supplement, it should contain DHA. The exception is for children with developmental problems – where pure EPA or high EPA omega-3 has been shown to be most effective for supporting cognitive function.EPA levels are under constant demand and low EPA levels in adolescents and adults correlates strongly with development of mental health issues, including depression, dyslexia and dyspraxia, heart problems, joint and bone conditions, as well as neurodegenerative diseases such as MS and Parkinson’s. After the age of five, the development of the brain and CNS starts to reduce and the body’s need for DHA reduces. This is a good time to increase EPA in the diet, as studies show that EPA can help with childhood behaviour and academic performance, as well as focus, attention and reducing aggression. Dry skin conditions, asthma and allergies are also common in children and good levels of EPA at this time can help reduce the inflammation associated with these issues.
Between the ages of five and 65, the majority of the body’s needs can be met by using EPA-rich oils and eating fish, marine products, organic greens and pastured animal products. EPA levels are under constant demand and low EPA levels in adolescents and adults correlates strongly with development of mental health issues, including depression, dyslexia and dyspraxia, heart problems, joint and bone conditions, as well as neurodegenerative diseases such as MS and Parkinson’s. EPA also protects our genes and cell cycle, as well as helping to keep our stress response regulated, so an adequate supply of EPA throughout adult life can help prevent a range of chronic illness. In later life, cognitive function and brain deterioration may become a concern. Once again, maintaining high levels of EPA has been shown to lower the risk of developing and worsening cognitive decline and dementia. If, however, you know someone who already has a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s, their brain has already been damaged and needs structural support. At this point, DHA becomes important again and taking a high-EPA product that contains 250mg of DHA also is important to prevent further loss of brain tissue.
RDA of ALA for conversion without supplementation of DHA & EPA: Female 1.1g per day. Male 1.6g. Vegan Female 2.2g per day & Vegan Male 3.2g per day. Otherwise take algae supplements or include chia seeds in daily diet. You can test your omega 3 blood levels by taking the Omega – 3 Index Blood Test.
Women are more efficient at converting ALA into EPA and DHA because estrogens support the conversion enzymes. Human conversion of ALA into EPA ranges from 8% to 20%. Conversion of ALA to DHA ranges from 1% to 9%. For Example:One tablespoon of flaxseed oil per 100 poundsof bodyweight is the recommended daily dose of ALA in order to convert to RDA of EPA & DHA.
Omega-6 (n-6) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) (e.g., arachidonic acid (AA)) and omega-3 (n-3) PUFA (e.g., eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)) are precursors to potent lipid mediator signalling molecules, termed “eicosanoids,” which have important roles in the regulation of inflammation. In general, eicosanoids derived from n-6 PUFA are proinflammatory while eicosanoids derived from n-3 PUFA are anti-inflammatory. Dietary changes over the past few decades in the intake of n-6 and n-3 PUFA show striking increases in the (n-6) to (n-3) ratio (~15 : 1), which are associated with greater metabolism of the n-6 PUFA compared with n-3 PUFA. Coinciding with this increase in the ratio of (n-6) : (n-3) PUFA are increases in chronic inflammatory diseases such as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), cardiovascular disease, obesity, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), rheumatoid arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). By increasing the ratio of (n-3) : (n-6) PUFA in the Western diet, reductions may be achieved in the incidence of these chronic inflammatory diseases.
What are fat molecules?
The terms “oil”, “fat”, and “lipid” are often used interchangeably. Technically, a fat molecule is sub-category of lipids called a triglyceride, i.e. three chains of fatty acids attached to glycerol backbone: Fatty acid chains come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. In the image above, we’re looking from top to bottom at a saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fatty acid chain, respectively. Fatty acid chains come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. In the image above, we’re looking from top to bottom at a saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fatty acid chain, respectively. Saturated means all the carbons in the chain have maximized the number of hydrogen atoms that can be bonded to it. These types of fats tend to be solid at room temperature because they can pack together tightly. Unsaturated means that one (monounsaturated) or many (polyunsaturated) double bonds exist along the chain, which makes the chain “branch” in different directions and not pack as tightly together. These types of fats tend to be liquids at room temperature, which are commonly called oils. In most naturally occurring unsaturated chains, the configuration of the chains at either side of the double bonds is in the cis form (i.e. same side), but some processed fats can also contain trans configurations, where the chain extends on the opposite side of the bond.
Why and how are trans-fats manufactured?
Trans-fats are relatively cheap to make and help give food a desirable shelf-life, texture, and taste. Fast food restaurants will commonly use trans-fats in their friers, for example, since trans-fats remain reasonably stable after multiple uses. The most common food ingredient that contains trans-fats is partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, which can be soybean, corn, safflower, canola, cottonseed, and/or peanut oil infused with hydrogen to saturate some, but not all, of the double bonds along the chain. This process will produce trans-fats in a 2:1 ratio to cis-fats because of the favorable energy state of a trans-fat.
Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs)
Mct oil is often derived from coconut oil and consists of fatty acid chains that have between 6 and 12 carbons and short-chain fatty acids (5 or less carbons) and And long-chain fatty acids (LCFA), where those with more than 21 carbons are called very long chain fatty acids (VLCFA).
How are fats digested after we consume them?
Now that we’ve looked at all the varieties of fats that exist (i.e. from chain length, bond conformations, and hydrogen saturation levels), let’s address what makes them “healthy” or not. To start, it’s important to note that fats we consume are mixed with bile sales, cholesterol, and lecithin to form emulsified fat droplets that are “cut” with lipase enzymes and packed into “mixed micelles”, These mixed micelles then passively diffuse into cells lining the intestinal wall. From here, long-chain fatty acids, cholesterol, and fat-soluble vitamins are processed into chylomicrons that enter the lymphatic system (i.e. not the blood quite yet). Importantly, short- and medium-chain fatty acids skip the chylomicrons and enter the portal vein directly to be metabolized quickly for energy by the liver, where as the chylomicrons enter lacteal lymph vessels around the intestines, collect from lacteal vessels into the thoracic duct, and are eventually emptied into the blood stream via the subclavian vein.
What happens to the chylomicrons once they are dumped into the bloodstream?
The “nascent” chylomicrons that first enter the blood stream quickly mature into full chylomicrons and then circulate around the body to deliver triglycerides to cells around the body (notably fat and muscle cells). They then get processed by the liver once most of the triglycerides are gone. Interestingly, because unsaturated fats can’t be packaged as tightly as saturated fats, unsaturated fats tend to be more easily moved into cells and burned for energy.
How are cholesterol, HDL, and LDL involved?
As we discussed above, cholesterol is adsorbed along with vitamins and fatty acids into the cells lining the intestines and transported in chylomicrons around the lymph and blood. Since blood is water-based and fats aren’t soluble in water, spherical lipoproteins (such as chylomicrons) are needed to transport many lipids (such as cholesterol and triglycerides) around the body. Importantly, the size and density of the lipoproteins vary. The various states commonly found in our bodies have been given names (HDL stands for “high-density lipoprotein”, and LDL = “low-density lipoprotein”, IDL = “intermediate density lipoprotein”, VLDL = “very-low density lipoprotein”): As you might expect, these lipoproteins have different functions in our bodies. In general HDL is used to “scavenge” lipids (notably cholesterol) from tissues back to the liver, and VLDL/IDL/LDL/ send lipids from the liver to other tissues. And finally on the topic of lipoproteins, to make matters even more complicated there are a variety of sub-types: Many of which are divided into even further subclasses.
The Salt Debate
Salt & Nutritional Yeast:
Sodium chloride is commonly known as salt. Sodium and chloride are minerals that are needed by the body in small amounts to help keep the level of fluids in the body balanced. Chloride helps the body to digest food because it’s an essential component of the fluids in the stomach and intestines. Sodium is a very important, but often misunderstood, nutrient. The misunderstanding is largely due to the ill health that can arise from its over-consumption. In the West, a large number of foods are processed with sodium, both for preservation and flavor enhancement. And since Western diets tend to contain a LOT of processed foods, sodium overload is a real concern. On the other hand, whole, unprocessed foods tend to contain relatively low amounts of sodium. So, it’s important that those who consume a raw vegan diet, in particular, know which foods are the best sources of this key nutrient. Despite sodium’s terrible reputation, it is one of the most important nutrients in the human body and crucial to our survival. Sodium is one of the essential electrolytes; it’s required for conducting electrical impulses within cellular fluid and the bloodstream. The human body literally cannot function without sodium. Yes, too much sodium can definitely harm one’s health by causing hypertension, aka high blood pressure. When one’s blood pressure is elevated, the heart has to work harder to move blood throughout the body and there is an increased strain on the arteries and various organs. This is why hypertension often leads to heart attack and stroke. According to WHO (World Health Organization), ischemic cardiomyopathy is the number one cause of death worldwide, and one of its risk factors is high blood pressure; the same goes for the second leading cause of death – stroke. These two ailments have been the top two killers for a very long time now, and it’s almost certain that this has led to sodium being vilified in the West, even while the food industry continues to load their processed products with the mineral.
How much salt do I need?
You should have no more than 4g / 6g of salt (1500mg – 2300mg of sodium/ 1 Teaspoon) a day. When adding pinches of salt to recipes, 1 pinch is about 147mg of salt so there are about 20 pinches in one teaspoon of salt. Use Himalayan Pink salt.
For example 1 Tablespoon of olives is 61.7 mg of sodium, Most Fruit will have about 1mg of sodium.
Gary Taubes’ article is illuminating and points out much detailed scientific history of salt and public health, although much of the content is technical, drawing heavily from numerous studies and clinical trials, the conclusion is clear: the general recommendations for sodium restriction are rooted more firmly in opinion and bandwagon-style thinking than in actual scientific fact. The Political Science of Salt by Gary Taubes. (Download Pdf Here)
Kidney specialist Dr Richard Johnston discussing effects of salt with Dr Peter Attia : https://peterattiamd.com/rickjohnson/
Interesting Research Paper: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jch.13374
Some information about Nutritional yeast,
Nutritional yeast is used in both vegan food and raw food preparation. It is not raw but what is it and why is it used so much? Nutritional yeast is used for both its nutritional benefits and its taste. As a supplement to recipes, it gives that “cheesy” flavor that eludes us in a vegan diet. Nutritional Yeast should not be confused with brewers yeast. It is deactivated yeast that is grown on sugar cane juice and beet molasses in a carefully controlled environment. It is harvested, washed and dried before packaging. Nutritional Yeast is a good source of B vitamins and some nutritional yeast is fortified with B12. Containing 18 amino acids, it is also a complete protein. There are an amazing 8 grams of protein in one and a half tablespoons. Nutritional yeast is produced specifically for the nutritional benefits that it provides. It also provides a great taste. Cheesy and nutty, it brings a depth of flavor to our raw food recipes. Note it is not raw, as it has to be pasteurized to kill the yeast. But it is a healthy, nutritious, supplement. * Myself and others do not promote the use of nutritional yeast due to it being high in mycotoxins along with cashew nuts, corn and peanuts *
The Fruit Debate:
Fruit (The Controversy)
The fruit category receives a lot of controversy from one extreme to the other. Be aware not to fall into extremes and find your own balance point with your favorite fruits that serve your purpose. Fruit is the most attractive, juicy, sweet, and instant boost of energy found in nature. Enjoy it for all it’s wonder and amazement without fear, guilt, or shame. This is not candy, this is real food. Also be aware of excessively hybridized fruits such as bananas, dates, kiwis, oranges, watermelons, apples, and fruits that contain an excess of sugar and low minerals. Make sure all your fruit contains viable seeds because if the seed has been removed it is technically a genetically modified food and cannot provide the most optimum benefits to your health. Understanding the “divisions” or “layers” that fruit present themselves on can allow one to make the most appropriate selections at any given time. These categories are presented in the form of acid fruits, sub-acid fruits, semi-sweet fruits, non-sweet fruits, fat dominant fruits, and melons. If someone has a serious digestive infection, blood sugar imbalance, or cancer most fruits will not be appropriate. Sub-acid, acid, and non-sweet fruits will fit into that scenario the best, at least for the short term , howver even this point is widely argued.
The Fruit Foundation
Vibrant and varied selections of berries represent the foundation of fruit options of all healthy diets. When someone is in a balanced and optimum state of health eating copious amounts of berries is highly advice for entertainment as well as imaginative stimulation. Berries, especially in their wild form, contain specific compounds called ellagic acid that opposed the production of bad estrogens in the body. This explains one of the reasons the berry category is so powerful, not to mention their lower in sugar and higher in minerals than most commercial fruits.
Cleanse, Nourish, & Heal
The citrus fruit category contains some of the most healing and cleansing fruits ever discovered. These fruits, especially lemons, limes, and grapefruit, contain natural citric acid that helps to dissolve hardened calcium deposits that form around the arteries and restrict blood flow through the body. Lemons specifically are one of the most alkaline-forming foods and may be the single most therapeutic food per weight and price that exists in any market. Fresh pressed orange juice makes a fantastic liquid base for a sunshine elixir; 12 ounces orange juice, 1-2 lemons, 1 apple, and aloe vera gel blended to satisfaction.
Cucumber and cucumber juice is a fantastic way to increase alkalinity, hydration, and nutrients that enhance skin radiance, and over all shine. Cucumber is one of the best fruits due to it’s high water content, silica content, and absence of sugar. The best green juices begin with copious amounts of cucumbers. This makes the perfect food on a hot day, warm evening, after a workout, or during a hiking excursion.
Fruit with Seeds
We want to make sure we do not invest into “seed-less” fruit for the simple reason it is not a real food once it’s seeds have been surgically removed and bred to replicate without the ability to reproduce itself. The botanical definition of a fruit is the seed bearing member of an edible plant. Common foods such as bananas, grapes, oranges, watermelons, and apples are very good selections when they contain their seeds.
The Fat Fruit Kingdom
Fatty fruits make up a majority of plant based fats such as avocado, olives, and the durian fruit. Durian, featured to the left, is known as the king of the fruits and originates from Malaysia. If you have never tried durian you are missing out. It is one of the most unique and potentially orgasmic food experiences one can ever indulge in. If one does a high fruit based diet fatty fruits must be a staple as they constitute a large volume of our biological and hormonal needs.
Organic Vs Non Organic
Making a commitment to healthy eating is a great start towards a healthier life. Beyond eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and good fats, however, there is the question of food safety, nutrition, and sustainability. How foods are grown or raised can impact both your health and the environment. The term “organic” refers to the way agricultural products are grown and processed. Specific requirements must be met and maintained in order for products to be labeled as “organic.” Organic crops must be grown in safe soil, have no modifications, and must remain separate from conventional products. Farmers are not allowed to use synthetic pesticides, bioengineered genes (GMOs), petroleum-based fertilizers, and sewage sludge-based fertilizers.
The Benefits of organic food
Organic foods provide a variety of benefits. Some studies show that organic foods have more beneficial nutrients, such as antioxidants, than their conventionally grown counterparts. In addition, people with allergies to foods, chemicals, or preservatives often find their symptoms lessen or go away when they eat only organic foods. In addition: Organic produce contains fewer pesticides. Pesticides are chemicals such as fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides. These chemicals are widely used in conventional agriculture and residues remain on (and in) the food we eat. Organic food is often fresher. Fresh food tastes better. Organic food is usually fresher because it doesn’t contain preservatives that make it last longer. Organic produce is often (but not always, so watch where it is from) produced on smaller farms near where it is sold. Organic farming is better for the environment. Organic farming practices reduce pollution (air, water, soil), conserve water, reduce soil erosion, increase soil fertility, and use less energy. Farming without pesticides is also better for nearby birds and small animals as well as people who live close to or work on farms. Organic food is GMO-free. Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) or genetically engineered (GE) foods are plants whose DNA has been altered in ways that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding, most commonly in order to be resistant to pesticides or produce an insecticide. In most countries, organic crops contain no GMOs and organic meat comes from animals raised on organic, GMO-free feed.
Organic Nuts & Seeds Vs Non Organic
Nuts have been an important food as a part of a raw food diet. Nuts contain healthy, unsaturated fats which can help lower the risk of heart disease. They also provide magnesium, which helps maintain bone structure; and chromium, which helps to ensure proper insulin function. Nuts contain zinc for growth and wound healing, and manganese, which protects against free radicals. All nuts are a good source of vitamin E, an important antioxidant. Like all plant foods, they are high in fiber and phytochemicals—both of which help protect against cancer and other chronic diseases. . But it is important to know whether you should buy organic or non-organic nuts.
1. Almonds are not actually raw unless you purchase them from the grower. The USDA pasteurization laws require them to be pasteurized before they are sold in the super market. These nuts easily absorb pesticides because of their high oil content so it is best to purchase organic almonds. A 2005 study published in the Journal of Nutrition showed that almonds pack the biggest nutritional punch if eaten whole, with their brown skins on (unblanched), rather than with their skins steamed off (blanched). The study identified 20 powerful antioxidant flavonoids in almond skin. Combined with the high vitamin E content in the meat of the almond, these flavonoids endow almonds with a unique nutritional package that may have implications for cholesterol levels, inflammation and more. The powerful nutrient package of almonds— low on the glycemic index and providing six grams of plant-based protein, four grams of filling dietary fiber, 13 grams of unsaturated fats1, and important vitamins and minerals including vitamin E (35% DV), magnesium (20% DV) and potassium (6% DV) per one- ounce serving—makes them an ideal fit for heart-healthy, weight-wise diets and a deliciously easy way to snack smarter.
2.Cashews have been treated with endosulfan which is a highly toxic to humans and animals. They are also not actually raw since part of the process to bring them to market requires they are heated. At Plant Based Academy we do not include cashew nuts as part of a healthy plant based diet due to toxicity, fat content and how they are processed which generally brings acidity to the body leading to inflammation.
3.Pistachios may be treated with phosmat. Cornell University completed a study that indicates phosmat causes liver tumors and carcinoma. And on top of this, phosmat is extremely toxic to honey bees. Again, buy only organic pistachios. pistachios have a lower fat and energy content and the highest levels of K, γ-tocopherol, vitamin K, phytosterols, xanthophyll carotenoids, certain minerals (Cu, Fe and Mg), vitamin B 6 and thiamin. Pistachios have a high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potential. The aforementioned characteristics and nutrient mix probably contribute to the growing body of evidence that consumption of pistachios improves health. Pistachios are high in monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and fiber which potentially lead to improved cholesterol profiles. Pistachios are also known to be rich in phytosterols, such as B-sitostero that have the capacity to lower LDL-cholesterol by reducing cholesterol absorption from the gut. Compared to other nuts, pistachios have lower fat (mostly from poly- and monounsaturated fatty acids) and energy content, and higher levels of fiber (both soluble and insoluble), potassium, phytosterols, γ-tocopherol, xanthophyll and carotenoids. Because pistachios are low in carbohydrate and sugars (27.5g /100g and 7.6g /100g respectively) they have a very low glycemic index that is in the range of 3.8 to 9.3 giving pistachios utility for improved postprandial blood glucose and lipids.
4.Sunflower Seeds like almonds have a high amount of oil and fat content that absorbs pesticides easily so it is best to buy organic. Sunflower seeds are a good source of plant protein, providing 6 grams or 12 percent of the Daily Value per ounce. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that may protect against heart disease by getting rid of harmful molecules called free radicals that can lead to atherosclerosis. Sunflower seeds are the best whole food source of vitamin E. Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of vitamin E. Just one ounce of sunflower seeds provides 76 percent of the Recommended Dietary Allowance for vitamin E. Selenium works with vitamin E as an antioxidant and protects cells from damage that may lead to cancer, heart disease, and other health problems. Although there is no Daily Value for selenium, nutrition scientists recognize its importance to health and a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) has been established. The selenium in one ounce of sunflower seeds provides about 24 percent of the RDA for men and 31 percent of the RDA for women. Copper helps your body carries oxygen to red blood cells and produce energy in the cells. Copper is also a vital part of some antioxidant enzymes in the body, thus protecting you from oxidative stress. While a copper deficiency is rare, this trace mineral is essential to an energy-rich life. You’ll find about 25 percent of the Daily Value for copper in one ounce of sunflower seeds. Folate, a B vitamin, plays an essential role in making new body cells by helping to form the DNA and RNA that contain each cell’s “master plan” for reproduction. This is why folate is so important for pregnant women and the development of babies. Folate also pairs with vitamin B-12 to help form hemoglobin in red blood cells, which allows them to carry optimal amounts of oxygen. Folate is involved in the removal of homocysteine, an amino acid thought to promote heart disease, from the blood. A large population study from Harvard University shows an association between higher intakes of folate and lower risk of heart disease. Sunflower seeds are a good source of folate, supplying 17 percent of the Daily Value in a one-ounce serving. Other B vitamins are essential for producing energy from food. A one-ounce serving of sunflower seeds contains 20 percent of the Daily Value for pantothenic acid, 11 percent for vitamin B6, 6 percent for thiamin and 6 percent for niacin. Zinc is a mineral that is vital for keeping your immune system strong, fending off infections and healing wounds. A one-ounce serving of sunflower seeds is a good source of zinc, providing 10 percent of the Daily Value. Iron is essential in carrying oxygen from your lungs, through your blood, and to every body cell. Iron deficiency, which can lead to anemia, fatigue and infection, is more common among women who experience regular menstrual loss. One ounce of sunflower seeds is a good source of iron, providing 10 percent of the Daily Value. The indigestible part of plant foods – promotes good health by helping to lower blood cholesterol, manage blood glucose and prevent constipation due to the presence of fibre. While the American Cancer Society recommends consuming 20 to 35 grams daily, most Americans fall short on fiber, averaging only 11 grams per day. Sunflower seeds are fiber-filled foods with 2 grams of fiber per one-ounce serving, putting you well on your way to your daily fiber goal. Phytochemicals, or beneficial plant chemicals, may inhibit cancer growth, protect against heart disease, and offer protection from colon, prostate and breast cancer. Research from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University suggests that sunflower seeds are high in many phytochemicals like choline, lignan, phenolic acids, and betaine, as well as the amino acid arginine. Currently there is no set Daily Value for phytochemicals, but nutrition scientists recommend eating more whole foods, like sunflower seeds, that are abundant in these beneficial plant chemicals7. 100g sunflower seeds contains moisture-5.5 g, protein-19.8 g, fat- 52.1 g, minerals-3.7 g, fibre- 1.0 g, carbohydrate- 17.9 g, energy- 620 kcal, calcium- 280 mg, phosphorus- 4 670 mg, iron- 5 mg.
5.Walnuts have a lot of pest issues and as such are saturated with pesticides and more chemicals than any other nut. Their fat content allows them to absorb these chemicals so again buy organic. Walnuts have an optimal composition in bioactive nutrients and recent clinical and experimental studies have uncovered a number of beneficial effects of walnut micronutrients, working in isolation or in concert, on metabolic pathways and clinical outcomes. Alpha-linolenic acid, a critical walnut component, is metabolized into bioactive oxylipins, has been shown to protect microglial cells from inflammation, and is associated with lower fatal myocardial infarction rates through a putative antiarrhythmic effect. Phytosterols relate to the cholesterol-lowering effect of nut consumption. Nonsodium minerals are associated with better cardiometabolic health. Walnut phytomelatonin has anticancer effects that are shared by the main walnut polyphenols and their metabolites, ellagitannins and urolithins, respectively.
6.Sesame Seeds can grown in Africa and Asia where pesticides are not monitored so it is best to buy organic. Sesame which is known for properties of good health consists of a plethora of nutrients viz., proteins, carbohydrates, antioxidants, lignans, tocopherols and other micronutrients. Benefits of this enigmatic crop include properties of anticancer, antioxidative, antiimmunoregulation and antihypersensitivity. Covering wide agro ecological regions of the world, different varieties of sesame seeds are available. They are seen growing in different parts of the world, where India being one of the major producers. The oil from this seed can be extracted by simple processes of solvent extraction and expelling. Alternatively, as the technology has advanced, supercritical extraction can also be employed. Sesame which is considered as an extremely beneficial medicine has inherent power to cure many diseases. Sesame has a ray of health benefits in lowering cholesterol, controlling blood pressure, dermatological disease management and many more areas.
7.Macadamia Nuts are treated with atrazine which has been shown to harm aquatic organisms and there is some evidence that it has a negative impact on human reproduction. Buy organic only. Macadamia nuts are a valuable source of nutrients. They contain high levels of monounsaturated fat, and are also a good source of protein, minerals, vitamins, phytosterols, and phenolic compounds. There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that macadamia nuts can improve various risk factors for cardiovascular disease, including hypercholesterolemia, body weight, oxidative stress, and inflammation.
8.Peanuts are not really a nut; they are a legume and are grown in the ground where they have ample time to absorb all of the pesticides. Along with this, peanuts grown in certain regions where there is high humidity grow a mold that produces aflatoxin which is a potent human carcinogen. Organic peanuts are grown in the South West where the humidity is not a problem. At Plant Based Academy we only suggest including wild jungle peanuts, these are delicious, healthy and free from any toxins.
So in a nutshell, it is extremely important to purchase organic nuts and seeds. Mounting evidence suggests that eating nuts and seeds daily can lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease and may even lengthen your life.Nuts and seeds contain mixtures of fats, including monounsaturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and omega-3 fatty acids, along with saturated fat. Although saturated fat is generally regarded as a less healthful form of fat, it is more than balanced out in plant-based foods by the higher levels of healthy fats.
Soaking, Enzyme Inhibitors & Anti Nutrients:
Legumes and Antinutrients:
Legumes such as alfalfa, soybeans, chickpeas and lentils.
Two major anitnutrients in legumes:
1. Hemagglutinins (high concentrate in red kidney beans)
2. Trypson inhibitors (high concentrate in soybeans)
Sprouting, cooking and fermenting largly reduces these antinutrients.
Antinutrients are natural compounds that interfere with the absoprtion of nutrients. Not all antinutrients are bad and some are actually anti cancer properties.
Some other Antinutrients are:
Oxalic acid and oxdates – Spinach
Phylic acid – nuts, seeds and grains
Amylase inhibitors – beans
Lipase inhibitors – Lipase inhibitors interfere with enzymes, such as human pancreatic lipase, that catalyze the hydrolysis of some lipids, including fats. For example, the anti-obesity drug orlistat causes a percentage of fat to pass through the digestive tract undigested.
Gluten – wheat, rye and barley
Lectins – grains and legumes
Solanine – nightshade vegetables
More About Phytates ( Not all Bad!)
Phytate is the primary storage form of both phosphate and inositol in plant seeds. It forms complexes with dietary minerals, especially iron and zinc, and causes mineral-related deficiency in humans. It also negatively impacts protein and lipid utilisation. It is of major concern for individuals who depend mainly on plant derivative foods. Processing techniques, such as soaking, germination, malting and fermentation, reduce phytate content by increasing activity of naturally present phytase. Supplementation of phytase in diets results in increase in mineral absorption. Apart from negative effects, its consumption provides protection against a variety of cancers mediated through antioxidation properties, interruption of cellular signal transduction, cell cycle inhibition and enhancement of natural killer (NK) cells activity. It has therapeutic use against diabetes mellitus, atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease and reduces kidney stone formation, HIV-1 and heavy metal toxicity; however, information on the dosage for humans for eliciting beneficial effects is limited.
BOTTOM LINE ABOUT VEGAN DIETS
While many vegans tend to weigh less and have lower cholesterol levels (including lower levels of HDL, the so-called “good cholesterol”) than others, it is unclear if these trends are due to the lack of animal foods in their diet or due to other lifestyle factors, such as lower fat intake, lower caloric intake, lower protein intake, and/or lower intake of processed foods. A vegan diet must be very carefully planned to avoid vital nutrient deficiencies. Vegans are at significantly higher risk for a variety of vitamin deficiencies, including vitamins B6, B12, and D, therefore supplementation may be necessary. Vegans are at higher risk for mineral deficiencies, including iron, calcium, and zinc, therefore supplementation may be necessary. Vegans are at higher risk for omega-3 fatty acid deficiencies therefore supplementation may be necessary.
Top Tips to Thrive on Raw Food Diet :
1)Note * In any form of diet it is important to bring awareness to including all colors of foods into our diet such as yellow and red peppers, greens, purple brocoli, red cabbage, black olives, blue berries, cauliflowers etc. Each Color will deliver a completely unique set of nutrients, phytochemicals including phenols and polyphenols and healing benefits .*
2)For those on a strict Raw food Diet , it has imerged with great evidence in those who are thriving in a long term raw vegan diet that they have included items such as wide range of nuts and seeds( walnuts, pumpkin, almonds, sunflowers, chia, Brazil nuts, pine nuts, etc), Seaweeds and algae ( Chlorella, Spirulina, nori, dulse etc) , Mushrooms and medicinal mushrooms ( Portabello, Shitake, Maitake, reishi, chaga, lions maine etc) wide range of greens( each green will also deliver a unique mineral and nutrient profile such as asparagus, broccoli, parsley, kale, chard, spinach etc), Table Below . *
3)As Important Juices are and in particular green juices, it is also extremely important to maintain good fibre in our diets as it is a powerful detoxifier and will pull heavy metals from your body. This is where smoothies come in and including chia seeds into smoothies is a fantastic way to include great fibre into your diet. A smoothie example of ( Nut mylk, Spirulina, chia seeds soaked, soaked dates or date paste and bananas )
4)Ensure you are adding into your food plan the following , herbs ( herbal extractions, teas, tinctures to support and boost organ function and immune health), medicinal mushrooms, seaweeds, green juices, fermented foods ( Yogurt, cheese, sauerkraut, kefir) and fruits (berries, melons and Grapes). ensure weekly consumption of raw onions and raw garlic as prebiotics and adhere to principles of proper absorption as outlined below in the Nutritional science section.
5) As human beings we are a very complex living organism, there is so much about us that we still do not understand, such as much about our brain and biology. Nutritional science and indeed brain science is still very new endeavours so it is important to treat diet in a sensible way in that we still have much to learn and we do not have all the answers. Raw food Diet may not be for everyone and we certainly no there is no evidence of generational data supporting long term raw foodism, however there is great data on using raw foods as part of a short term healing and lifestyle strategy and many benifts are certainly well documented , however it is very important to look at the bigger picture and acknowledge that diet alone may not cure any illness by itself, it is important to look at lifestyle, beliefs, realtionships, trauma history, exercise and perception as these are also major players in whether you are healthy or not. Food & Diet is important and certainly how you eat, when you eat, what you eat and whats happening around you as you eat is very important part , but remember it is a part and not the whole.
Supplements of huge importance for Plant Based Diet :
A Pant Based Diet full of plant Hormetic Compounds is great for BDNF and Mitochondria which is critical for Health.
Think of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) as fertilizer for your brain. You have billions of neurons (brain cells), and BDNF keeps them flourishing and strong. When you release BDNF, it flips the switch on a series of genes that grow brand-new brain cells and pathways. BDNF also strengthens the neurons you already have. Along with keeping you mentally alert and improving memory, high BDNF carries loads of other benefits, too.
Mitochondria are often referred to as the powerhouses of the cell. They help turn the energy we take from food into energy that the cell can use. But, there is more to mitochondria than energy production. Present in nearly all types of human cell, mitochondria are vital to our survival. They generate the majority of our adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy currency of the cell. Mitochondria are also involved in other tasks, such as signaling between cells and cell death, otherwise known as apoptosis.
Your Optimum Health relies on the health of your mitochondria, this entire course is designed to supercharge your mitochondria.
The structure of mitochondria
Plant Based Diets Can also :
IGF-1 is insulin-like growth factor 1 : Is a protein that in humans is encoded by the IGF-1 gene. It is also referred to as a “sulfation factor”. This insulin like protein promotes each of the key stages of cancer development.
Raw Food and Reversing Disease:
If a raw diet is done correctly it can be an incredible healthy disease reversing prevention diet, as can a plant based diet by the raw diet does it better which is shown in the studies mostly because a raw vegan diets remove all animal based foods and all processed foods.
1. Studies in Finland showed reversal of rheumatoid arthritis on raw food diets VS control group.
2. Studies on fibromyalgia in Finland and US showed huge reduction in symptoms on raw food diet VS control group.
There are a number of cancer studies showing those on a raw vegan diet did much better than those on a standard vegan diet.
EPIC Oxford study 2014: 19% lower cancer rates for vegans compared to healthy conscious non vegetarians.
Adventis Health Study 1 (AHS-2): Almost 70,000 participants, 3,000 cancer cases, 16% lower cancer rates for vegans.
2012 meta analysis study which was 7 studies of 125,000 participants from US, UK, Japan, Germany and The Nederlands. Cancer ratio were 18% lower with vegetarians compared to non vegetarians.