Sunday, October 17, 2010

Jean Carpers’ “Food Your Miracle Medicine”

Jean Carpers’ “Food Your Miracle Medicine”

We all know that our diet is important.  What we often underestimate is the incredible healing power of food.
Our staff recently read “Food Your Miracle Medicine” by Jean Carper.   I found it to be a great resource and in todays’ issue, I would like to share a few highpoints of Jean Carpers’ work. de

Food has now emerged as a critical way to prevent and treat disease.  Jean Carper reviews the food-health connection in an easy to understand manner and offers great insight into addressing disease and promoting health.  

Carper reviews how food has been used to promote health and cure disease since antiquity.  We have not only forgotten much of this ancient information but we have also created many new problems such as the widespread use of omega-6 rich vegetable oils and margarine. 

Food Allergies
Food has great power to fight oxidation and promote the healthiest possible balance in our bodies but it has also can create great disease via food allergies.   The allergy community has largely focused its attention on the immediate allergy reactions which are associated with IgE antibody production toward that food.  The problem with this approach is that the most common food allergies involve delayed food reactions which are not IgE mediated.   Wheat, dairy and corn are the most common foods which trigger the delayed food allergy problems.   The mechanism behind the delayed food allergies is not IgE but rather appears to be related to IgG and other immune mechanisms.  Why do these reaction start?  Why would normal food be associated with allergies?  Infection and inflammation can result in a ‘leaky gut’ which allows incompletely broken down foods to enter the bloodstream.   In addition, low levels of digestive enzymes and the lack of natural enzymes in processed food also impair s proper digestion and increase the risk of food allergies. 

How can these food allergies be detected?
Food allergies can produce almost any symptom: chronic fatigue, depression, headaches, arthritis, mood swings, diarrhea, abdominal pain, etc. 

For 1 week avoid the most common food allergens: wheat, dairy and corn.  Then add a food back and eat a lot of it – give it 4 days to see if you notice a difference.  One important exception is the obvious – if you have had a severe reaction to a food in the past, this should not be challenged since it may result in a severe reaction.

Preventing Specific Diseases

Heart Disease
Avoiding saturated fat rich meat, dairy and eating a more Plant Based diet (save possibly fish) is key to preventing and even reversing heart disease.   Specifically, one should eat fruits and vegetables, onions, garlic, nuts, legumes, grains, foods rich in vitamins C, E and beta carotene as well as possibly adding moderate alcohol and fish.  

Drinking tea reduces atherosclerosis

Supplements for those with heart disease would include fish oil, garlic and vitamin C.

While not the actual cause of heart disease, cholesterol can be oxidized and cause vascular injury.  The same diet associated with heart health also lowers the cholesterol.  Adding oats and grains high in soluble fiber also helps.   Interestingly, fatty food such as almonds, olive oil and avocado can actually lower the cholesterol.  Note that Decaffeinated coffee can increase LDL by 6%.

Eggs and dietary cholesterol is a minimal contributor to cholesterol in the blood and do not need to be completely avoided.

How can HDL (the protective cholesterol) be raised?
-        Beans can increase HDL 9% and improve the HDL/LDL ratio 17%
-        Garlic - 3 Garlic cloves a day can reduce cholesterol by 10% 
-        Onion: ½ a raw onion increases HDL 30%

Triglycerides are lowered by avoiding sugar, simple carbohydrates, juice, heavy alcohol drinking and saturated fats.

Preventing Strokes and Blood Clots
A heart-healthy diet can be made all the more powerful by adding garlic, onion, fish and moderate use of red wine.  The onion with the burger may actually help negative the clot forming effects of saturated fat.

Spices such as cloves, ginger, cumin and turmeric keep our vessels free of clots as do olive oil and mushrooms.  Eating breakfast and drinking tea also helps prevent clots. 

Strokes include the above plus emphasizing carotene rich foods such as carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato and spinach – i.e. Carrots 1 – 5x /week can reduce stroke by 68%

Fish oil and potassium are very important in preventing strokes as well.  Potassium rich foods include: Spinach, beet greens, tomato juice, oranges, cantaloupe, carrots, baked potato with skin and acorn squash.

Lowering Blood Pressure
Blood pressure can be raised by high sodium foods as well as excessive alcohol intake.
Foods that lower blood pressure include:  Celery, Garlic, fatty fish, fruits and vegetables, high calcium and high potassium foods. 

§  Celery: 2-4 stalks a day. Celery has been noted to have compounds capable of reducing blood pressure by 12-14%. 
§  Garlic 2 cloves a day 171/102 to 152/89
§  2,000 mg of fish oil reduces blood pressure approximately 5 mm Hg
§  Vegetables lower blood pressure.  Vegetarians have a strikingly low rate of hypertension

Foods which prevent and cure constipation include coarse wheat bran, rice bran, fruits and vegetables, prunes, figs, dates, coffee and fluids

Diarrhea can be brought on by dairy, fruit juices, coffee, sorbitol, xylitol, magnesium and vitamin C supplements.

Diarrhea can be relieved with starchy soups, cereals and yogurt

Nausea: Ginger

Gas: Ginger, Garlic, soak/rinse beans

Lactose Intolerance: Yogurt, non-yogurt dairy (milk, butter, cheese)

Heartburn: avoid chocolate, fats, peppermint, garlic, onions, orange juice, red hot sauce, tomatoes, coffee and alcohol.  Of course, we also treat yeast, bacterial overgrowth and use digestive enzymes and Betaine HCl to improve digestion.

Colic: usually from giving infants cows’ milk or breastfeeding mother ingesting milk.

Spastic Colon:            Relieved by high fiber bran
Aggravated by: Milk, Sorbitol, Fructose, Coffee, Cereal

Ulcers: Bananas, Plantain, Cabbage juice, licorice, tea, hot chili peppers (avoid milk, beer, coffee, caffeine)

Gallstone: Eat plant based: vegetables, soybean, olive oil and avoid coffee and sugar

Kidney Stones: Plant based diet: fruit/vegetables, high fiber grains, fluids- water.  Calcium rich foods actually help reduce stones and should be consumed daily.

Avoid: high protein foods such as animal products, Sodium and Oxalate rich food like Spinach and Rhubarb

Prevention: Vegetables, garlic, cabbage, soybeans, onions, carrots, tomatoes, all green and yellow vegetables, fruits especially citrus, fatty fish, tea, milk, vitamin D

Increased: Cancer is increased by meat, high fat foods, vegetable oils, excessive alcohol

Prevent Spread: Cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, collard greens, seafood and garlic, vitamin D, Calcium for colon cancer

Garlic is amazing in its power to promote health:
§  Preventing heart disease by 66%
§  3 Garlic cloves a day can reduce cholesterol by 10%
§  Garlic oil can increase HDL 23%
§  Prevent blood clots
§  Preventing strokes
§  Lowers blood pressure
§  Reducing the pain of osteoarthritis
§  Prevent and fight viruses
§  Kill bacterial infections
§  Kill yeast overgrowth
§  Decrease gas