And I will answer, that as far as being bold, it is just one of my more useful eccentricities. As
far as being accurate about what is essential, I have learned to recognize these things through
more than twenty years of experience and formal apprenticeship to other self-taught Masters in
the healing arts, through extensive study in the use of foods and herbs as healing substances
(see my first book, 10 Essential Herbs, Prescott, AZ: Hohm Press, 1992), by lecturing and
teaching in this important field, and through consciously applying (since child-hood) the highly
useful gifts of intuition and flexibility in the use of the healing energies I was born with.
I often just “know things,” which has always been quite convenient for me and for those who like
to try out my ideas. I have no academic credentials (although I could get good-looking diplomas
in the mail, it I was really that interested, and so could you); but I’m making this clear right
now, I would never have learned a lot of what is contained in this book if I had depended on
traditional, or even not-so-traditional, academia to inform me (and I’d bet the same is true for
10 Essential Foods is for those who want positive action on the health front that is not only”
do-able” and affordable, but easy to keep up on a daily basis wherever in the world we happen to
4 GOOD REASONS FOR THE 10 ESSENTIAL FOODS APPROACH
1. All foods are not equally nutritious. By specifically focusing on 10 of the best foods
available today, I encourage you to maximize your health and minimize your need for
experimentation and the resulting confusion about your food choices. My herb book, 10 Essential
Herbs, is a huge success partly because it is a simple, straightforward system. I knew the same
system would work with foods.
2. In all cultures throughout the world, people are dying unnecessarily from
mutrition-related illness such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer and suffering the effects of
premature aging. Using these 10 Essential Foods would greatly lesson those grim statistics.
3. Diets for weight-loss and heath enhancement abound. However, many diets are discouraging
because they emphasize what not to eat. 10 Essential Foods emphasizes what you what you can add
to your diet and enjoy with gusto! This book is about how to say “Yes” to food!
4. New research is pouring in every day documenting the near-miraculous health-giving
properties of phytochemicals and antioxidants in certain foods. I really got inspired to write
about what this could mean for our health in practical, “what-should-I-eat-today?” terms.
Of course, many nutritionally extraordinary foods exist in the world, and I certainly enjoy using
more than the 10 I emphasize here. What makes these ten the 10 Essential Foods is that if they
all included regularly in your diet, ideally forming a major influence in all your menu choices,
you will experience and appreciate an upscale in health and an ease in maintaining that health.
So, here’s the deal! Whether you already know about healthy eating and are able to actually eat
well most of the time (no, this does not mean the “health Hamburgers” from the fast food place!),
or whether you are a beginning explorer in this nutritional labyrinth, the 10 Essential Foods are
the foods you need to know about.
Children too, can easily become accustomed to enjoying these excellent foods frequently in their
diets. Many already do!
WHAT ARE THE 10 ESSENTIAL FOODS?
(And Why I Chose Them)
1. Almonds – A complete protein furnishing all the essential amino acids. Since
Almonds* can also be sprouted, they have the additional benefits of all the great qualities of
sprouts (mentioned in the Sprout chapter). *(Except in sections or chapters specifically devoted
to one of the 10 Essential Foods, I will capitalize the names of these 10 throughout the book, to
keep drawing your attention to them.)
2. Broccoli – Great chlorophyll content and high concentrations of potent
disease-preventing phytochemicals. (A few other green vegetables, in the Broccoli family, are
equally spectacular, but hey, Broccoli is my favorite and this is my list.)
3. Brown Rice – A standout for energy-producing complex carbohydrates, Brown Rice
also gets an A+ rating for extraordinary versatility of preparation. You’ll find plenty of B
vitamins in Brown Rice, along with protein and phytochemicals” up the whazoo” (as a friend of
mine says). (Just so we have no misunderstanding, this phrase is how my friend expresses that
there are stupendous amounts the book I sometimes use the plural term “Brown Rices” to keep
reminding the reader that there are many types of Brown Rice to choose from.)
4. Carrots – A major and easily available source of disease preventing beta
carotene. I wanted a vegetable with a very orange color, because (as I’ll discuss later) colors
indicate the presence of various phytochemicals, and orange indicates the chemical family of
carotinoids, including beta carotene. Besides, I wanted to have all colors present as much as
possible and Carrots certainly win a prize in the orange-red category!
5. Dulse – One of the rare vegetable sources of vitamin B12, Dulse is especially
important for vegetarians. Dulse also furnishes health-crucial trace minerals in abundance and
has phytochemicals which offer protection from radioactive pollution.
6. Figs – A miracle fruit, Figs have more calcium than milk and wonderful
concentrations of other health building major minerals. Unlike many fruits, Figs mix well with
most other foods, enhancing digestion through the action of potent phytochemicals and unique
enzymes. Figs are a healthy way to satisfy your “sweet tooth.”
7. Flax Oil – A special oil containing essential fatty acids especially the omega 3
group. Essential fatty acids are indispensable to the body’s immune functioning and for
manufacturing necessary hormones – along with numerous other jobs.
8. Grapefruit – Partly because of vitamin C and bioflavonoid content, I wanted to
have a citrus fruit on my list. Among citrus, Grapefruit is of medium acidity, not too sweet, and
especially high in vitamin C, bioflavonoids and potent phytochemicals such as quercetin. For the
adventurous connoisseur, the seeds and juiceless inner pulp of Grapefruit offer phytochemicals
highly valued for their antimicrobial properties.
9. Spinach – Superbly green, spinach has a generous chlorophyll content and the
health activating qualities that go along with chlorophyll. Important in rejuvenating the health
of he blood, Spinach also is remarkable in its folacin content. (In the Spinach chapter you’ll
find the entire list of what wonders folicin can do for your health!)
10. Sprouts – Plant babies! Grow them anywhere; Sprouts are power house of nutrients
and life force.
In choosing these particular foods I wanted to offer you a broad spectrum of colors because, in
addition to the pleasing sight of a vibrant mix of color on your plate, colors indicate variety
of phytochemical content and activity. In fact, if you think in terms of eating a wide variety of
colors in fruits and vegetables each day, you are well on your way to great nutrition!
I wanted to find ten foods that, altogether, would supply the essential amino acids for complete
protein (in Almonds I found a single food the contained them all), all trace minerals and major
minerals, essential fatty acids, vitamins, complex carbohydrates, and enzymes, in more than just
a token fashion. Antioxidant qualities had to be prominent as well. Besides available almost
anywhere in the world (perhaps varying in from somewhat), affordable, highly versatile in
preparation, flavorful and appealing to a wide range of tastes (kids to grandparents). In other
words, I wanted these foods, as a group to provide a concentrated and significant plan for
achieving optimal health through optimal nutrition.
Used correctly (yes, one does need to eat more than a spoonful once a week of “the Ten”; and no,
one doesn’t use the suggested oil as an excuse to fry one’s food!) these 10 Essential Foods meet
and surpass all my criteria.
Throughout the 10 Essential Foods system, I recommend the simplest, freshest, least contaminated
form of the food possible. In most cases, each of the 10 Essentials is a food that is
extraordinary in its fresh, uncooked or unprocessed form, yet still has recognizable benefit if
lightly and simply cooked or processed in some way.
For example, in their fresh form, Broccoli, Figs or Spinach offer extraordinary nutrition. In
their steamed or baked forms these same foods are still nutritionally significant (yet not as
extraordinary as the fresh fruits and vegetables). Brown Rices and other whole grains and dried
beans are usually cooked (and therefore processed) since these foods are enhanced through
cooking. However, many whole grains and dried beans can be eaten raw as sprouted foods, thereby
offering all the attendant benefits of the sprouting process. And for those who desire animal
protein, tuna fish packed in water, admittedly processed, still has admirable nutrition potential
for our purposes (see Chapter 13, about Meat, Fish, Poultry and Dairy).
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