The human body is an absolutely amazing chemical laboratory that ticks away with its own internal rhythms and beautifully choreographed symphony of delicate processes that create the physical structure, biochemical function and energetic vitality that is Life.
The fact that our food and beverages not only sustain life but create the very fabric of the body we live in, demands our attention. When our conscious awareness is drawn to the underlying reality that what we eat is more than just a daily experience, we delve into the confusing world of nutritional science.
In 1952 the Swiss Dr Verlag A Vogel had this to say in his book The Nature Doctor:
“It is difficult to feed ourselves and families along scientific lines and even experts in nutrition would find it problematic. Each year new discoveries are made in the realm of nutrition. In order to eat so that the body obtains all the nutrients, vitamins minerals and trace elements for adequate nutrition what should we eat? ” (Vogel, 1952).
He goes on to simplify the situation by looking to nature and his words are true to this day.
“This planet has provided all the foods we need to survive. Including all known and unknown nutrients essential for life. Eating these in the right proportions will fulfil all of our body’s requirements” (Vogel, 1952).
Enjoying the benefits of Fresh Food that is full of Vital Life Force Energy.
Whilst winter is fast giving way to spring in our southern hemisphere, the last of our winter vegetable crops is being harvested and we continue to enjoy the hearty health benefits that these simple nutritious foods bring.
To give some examples, the following essential nutrients are found in these common winter vegetables.
Leeks contain potassium, calcium, phosphorus and silicon minerals as well as B vitamins, chlorine sulphur and Vitamin C. These nutrients improve hair growth, bone health, digestion, nervous system function, support metabolism and cleanse the blood and lymphatic systems (Koch, 1984).
Carrots contain Vitamin A for healthy mucous membranes, eyes and the immune system and Vitamin E an antioxidant. Also the minerals calcium, phosphorus and magnesium for bone strength and a healthy nervous system. And chlorine and sulphur for blood cleansing and liver detoxification (Koch, 1984).
Radishes are good sources of silicon for healthy hair, skin, nails and teeth. Vitamin C sulphur and chlorine are constituents of radishes. Chlorine increases the digestion of protein foods, cleanses the respiratory system, removes excess mucous from the body, enhances immunity and prevents nervous exhaustion and mental fatigue (Koch, 1984).
Chlorine may sound like an unhealthy toxic compound that is associated with town water supplies and unnatural elements. Chlorine as a free molecule is a gas and is poisonous. It readily binds to minerals and when bound to sodium or potassium, as it is in vegetables, it becomes chloride and is a safe and stable element (Koch, 1984). It is actually a component of table salt and is a vital mineral needed by the body.
Chloride is used by the body to maintain extracellular fluid and pH balance, between cells. It is also needed for stomach acid production, transmission of nerve impulses and activation of one of the carbohydrate breakdown enzymes - amylase. These are all important bodily functions. The key here is the form of chloride and the micro amounts, such as those found in vegetables. The Australian recommended daily allowance (RDA) to sustain life is 750mg (Osiecke, 2014).
Onions contain fabulous antiseptic oils, silicon, vitamin E and minimal amounts of potassium, phosphorous and nickel. One of nickel’s benefits is its assistance in sugar utilization within the body (Koch, 1984). Nickel is needed in only very trace amounts to fulfill its function.
Garlic has a high sulphur content which provides the body with the means of lymphatic, blood and liver detoxification. Consuming this bulb improves immunity and clears the respiratory pathways as well as being a natural antibiotic. It also increases the body’s removal of excessive mucous secretions which are produced when we are eating large amounts of refined foods or dairy products, exposed to environmental pollutants or at the onset of a cold (Koch, 1984).
Beetroot is the best vegetable source of manganese a mineral which boosts memory. It also has a high magnesium content for providing brain and nervous system health benefits as well as some sodium and potassium which are vital for body fluid regulation (Koch, 1984).
Manganese - some 80 to 90% of this mineral is lost in processing methods which equates to 40% of the population potentially being deficient in this mineral. It has antioxidant properties and multiple chemical reactions within the body require it. Some of its functions include: nerve conduction; blood clotting; bone formation; metabolism; digestion; mitochondrial integrity; cellular formation and neurotransmitter production (Osiecke, 2014). A deficiency in this mineral affects the body’s ability to function in many areas.
This is the reality and necessity of good nutrition which is simply provided by whole foods such as the humble beetroot.
Phosphorus another less known mineral is required by the body for bone growth, ok not so interesting but what about, energy production and activation of most B vitamins and muscle contraction and is a component of cell walls and DNA. Pretty useful mineral. It also buffers the fluids with in cells providing a measure of relief from the effects of excessive antacid, and coffee intake. The RDA of phosphorus is 800mg.
A wealth of nutrients for optimal function of all body processes is contained in these humble vegetables. Easy to prepare, Natural Health Care.
'Let Food be your Medicine and Medicine be your Food' – Hippocrates c.400BC
Koch, M. (1984). Laugh with Health. The complete illustrated guide to health, diet, nutrition, natural foods and recipe preparation. Bairnsdale: Renaissance & New Age Creations.
Osiecke, H. (2014). The Nutrient Bible. 9th ed. Eagle Farm: AG Publishing.
Popeye Photography. (2015). Images by Rua SMITH.
Vogel, Dr. H. C. A. (1952). The Nature Doctor. A manual of traditional and complementary medicine. Melbourne: Bookman Press
Shairin is a Naturopath and Usui Reiki Master/Teacher with a Bachelor of Health Science in (Complementary and Alternative Medicine and Medical Systems).