© 2018 by Makropedia.com, a division of Planetary Health, Inc., a nonprofit educational organization.

Antioxidants

Antioxidants are natural substances in plant-quality foods that possess health-giving benefits. Whole grains, vegetables, and fruits contain a variety of active phytochemicals known as antioxidants that help control the oxidation of free radicals, normal but highly reactive substances which in excess can injure cell membranes. Natural antioxidants include phenolic compounds, terpenoids, pigments, and some forms of vitamins A, carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium. Antioxidants reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, and several forms of cancer. See Carotenoids, Lignans, Selenium, Smoking, Vegetables, Vitamins A, C, E.

 

• Buckwheat and Wheat Bran High in Antioxidants

In a nutritional study, researchers at the National Institute for Food and Nutrition Research in Rome reported that among cereal products, whole grain buckwheat and wheat bran had the greatest total antioxidant capacity. Among pulses and nuts, broad bean, lentil, and walnut rated highest in this nutrient and among dried fruits, prune had the highest value.

Source: N. Pellegrini et al., “Total Antioxidant Capacity of Spcies, Dried Fruits, Nuts, Pulses, Cereals and Sweets Consumed in Italy Assessed by Three Different in Vitro Assays,” Mol Nutr Food Res 50(11):1030-8, 2006.

 

Appendicitis

Appendicitis, the acute inflammation of the appendix, tends to strike younger people, aged 10 to 30. It commonly occurs on holidays or special occasions following a large meal. It is the most common cause of abdominal surgery in the U.S. A ruptured appendix is potentially life-threatening.

 

• Operations Higher Among Meat Eaters

In a study comparing the rates of appendectomies among 11,000 vegetarians and nonvegetarians, British researchers reported that the percentage who had this procedure was higher among lifelong meat eaters (10.7 percent). In contrast, lifelong vegetarians had a 7.8 percent appendectomy rate, while those who had stopped eating meat had 8 percent. “The results suggest that people who do not eat meat have a 50 percent lower risk of requiring an emergency appendectomy than those who do,” the scientists concluded.

Source: P. Appleby et al., “Emergency Appendectomy and Meat Consumption in the U.K.,” Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 49(6):594-606, 1995.

 

Apple

As part of a balanced diet, apples can help keep away serious illness. High in flavonoids, pectins, and other phytochemicals, apples can help protect against cardiovascular disease and certain cancers, especially lung and colon.

 

• Apples Protect Against Cancer 

In a review of 598 patients with cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx, 304 of the edsophagus, 460 of the olarynx, 1953 of the colorectum, 2569 of the breast, 1031 of the ovary, and 1294 of the prostage, Italian researchers reported that those who consumed one or more apples a day had 21 percent less oral malignancies, 25 percent less esophageal, 20 percent less colorectal, 42 percent less laryngeal, 18 percent less breast, 15 percent less ovarian, and 9 percent less prostate than controls. “This investigation found a consistent inverse association between apples and risk of various cancers,” the researchers concluded.

Source: S. Gallus, “Does an Apple a Day Keep the Oncologist Away?” Annals of Oncology 16(11):1841-4, 2005.

 

• Apples Protect Against Lung Cancer 

In a study of flavonoid intake and risk of lung cancer in Finland, scientists reported that of all major dietary flavonoid sources, the consumption of apples protected men and women better than other fruits and vegetables. Those who ate the highest amount of apples had 58 percent lower lung cancer than those who ate the lowest.

Source: P. Knekt et al., “Dietary Flavonoids and the Risk of Lung Cancer and Other Malignant Neoplasms,” American Journal of Epidemiology 146(3):223-30, 1997.

 

Apricots

The healthful effects of apricots have been publicized by the long-lived Hunzas, who are known for eating this fruit, as well as a number of cancer patients who have benefited from laetrile, whose active ingredient is derived from apricot pits.

 

• Traditional Apricot Juice Protects Against Ulcers 

Bainiku-ekisu, a concentrate of Japanese apricot juice, a traditional folk remedy for treatment of dyspepsia for more than a thousand years, has antibacterial effects on Helicobacter pylori, the common bacteria associated with ulcers, according to Japanese researchers.

Source: S. Nakajima et al., “Effect of the Folk Remedy, Bainiku-ekisu, a Concentration of Prunus mume juice [Apricot], on Helicobacter Pylori Infection in Humans,” Helicobacter 11(6):589-91, 2006.

 

Arthritis

Arthritis, a painful bone and joint disease, affects millions of people. Major forms include osteoarthritis, the painful hardening of bones and joints in the hands or spine, which affects primarily older people, especially men. Rheumatoid arthritis, involving the inflammation and swelling of the joints, especially in the hands and feet, appears primarily in women aged 25 to 50. A balanced diet has benefited some people with arthritis. Excessive animal food and salt appear to be connected with osteoarthritis, while potatoes, tomatoes, and other nightshade plants have been associated with rheumatoid arthritis. See Fibromyalgia, Fish, Lupus, Nightshades, Sesame, Vegetarian Diet.

 

• Vegan Diet Improves Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

In a random case-control study of 66 patients with active rheumatoid arthritis, scientists reported that 40% of the vegan diet group experienced improvement compared to 4% of the group eating a nonvegan diet. “The immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody levels against gliadin and beta-lactoglobulin decreased in the responder subgroup in the vegan diet-treated patients, but not in the other analysed groups.” The researchers concluded that the vegan diet (which avoids all animal products and emphasizes whole grains, vegetables, and other plant quality foods) may be of benefit to certain RA patients.

Source: I. Hafstraim et al., “A Vegan Diet Free of Gluten Improves the Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis,” Rheumatology 40(10):1175-79, 2001.

 

• Traditional Societies Free of Arthritis 

“Arthritis is not a genetic disease, nor is it an inevitable part of growing older—there are causes for these joint afflictions, and they lie in our environment—our closest contact with our environment is our food,” explains Dr. John McDougall, a holistic medical doctor in the United States. He cites research showing that rheumatoid arthritis did not exist before 1800 and that many types of arthritis were rare to nonexistent in rural regions of Africa and Asia. “As recently as 1957, no case of rheumatoid arthritis could be found in Africa. That was a time when people in Africa followed diets based on grains and vegetables.” However, with the influx of meat, dairy products, and highly processed foods, arthritis began to appear in traditional societies. “An unhealthy diet containing dairy and other animal products causes inflammation of the intestinal surfaces and thereby increases the passage of dietary and/or bacterial antigens,” Dr. McDougall noted.

Source: Dr. John McDougall, “Diet: The Only Real Hope for Arthritis,” The McDougall Newsletter, May/June, 1998.

 

• Nightshades Linked to Arthritis

Tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers, and other members of the nightshade family are a principal cause of arthritis. In a survey of over 1400 persons over a 20-year period, researchers at Rutgers University, the University of Florida, and the Arthritis Nightshades Research Foundation reported that these plants, along with tobacco (another member of the nightshade family) are an important causative factor in arthritis in sensitive people. “Osteoarthritis appears to be a result of long-term consumption and/or use of the Solanaceae which contain naturally the active metabolite, vitamin D3, which in excess causes crippling and early disability (as seen in livestock).” Removing nightshades from the diet has “resulted in positive to marked improvement in arthritis and general health.”

Source: N. F. Childers and M. S. Margoles, M.D., “An Apparent Relation of Nightshades (Solanaceae) to Arthritis,” Journal of Neurological and Orthopedic Medical Surgery 12:227-231, 1993.

 

• Low-Fat Diet Relieves Rheumatoid Arthritis 

Fat-free diets have produced complete remissions in six patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Doc- tors at Wayne State University in Detroit reported that when a low-calorie, low-fat diet in which chicken, cheese, safflower oil, beef, and coconut oil were eliminated, stiffness and swelling of joints disappeared within days. Patients remained symptom free for up to fourteen months, only to experience short-term recurrences within usually 24 to 48 hours of eating foods which were high in fat. “We conclude that dietary fats in amounts normally eaten in the American diet cause the inflammatory joint changes seen in rheumatoid arthritis.”

Source: Charles P. Lucas and Lawrence Power, “Dietary Fat Aggravates Active Rheumatoid Arthritis,” Department of Medicine, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, 1989.

 

• High-Fat, High-Sucrose Diet Contributes to Arthritis 

In laboratory experiments, rats fed a diet high in fat and sucrose developed abnormal stiffness, reduced energy, and other adverse morphological and structural changes.

Source: R. F. Zernicke, “Long-Term, High-Fat-Sucrose Diet Alters Rat Femoral Neck and Vertebral Morphoolgy, Bone Mineral Content, and Mechanical Properties,” Bone 16(1)25-31, 1995.

 

• Arthritic Patients Improve on a Vegetarian Diet 

In a case control study, rheumatoid arthritis patients assigned to a vegetarian diet had a significant decrease in platelet count, leukocyte count, calprotectin, total IgG, IgM rheumatoid factor, and other biochemical and immunological variables compared to those assigned to an omnivore diet. The researchers concluded that “dietary treatment can reduce the disease activity in some patients with rheumatoid arthritis.”

Source: J. Kjeldsen-Kragh, et al., “Changes in Laboratory Variables in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients During a Trial of Fasting and One-Year Vegetarian Diet,” Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology 24(2):85-93, 1995.

 

Asian Diet Pyramid

The Traditional Healthy Asian Diet Pyramid reflects Eastern dietary traditions historically associated with good health and was developed in 1995 through a series of conferences organized by nutritionists and epidemiologists at Cornell University, Harvard School of Public Health, and the Oldways Preservation & Exchange Trust.

"The nutrient composition of the traditional rural Asian diet is very similar to the Mediterranean diet in that both are largely plant-based and both pyramids recommend that meat be consumed no more than once a more or more often in very small amounts," explained T. Colin Campbell, Cornell professor of nutritional biochemistry and a developer of the Asian Diet Pyramid. In a press conference introducing the new model, Campbell noted that dairy products are largely absent in Asian diets and are associated with lower rates of osteoporosis than in the West.

Source: 1995 International Conference on the Diets of Asia, Oldways Preservation & Exchange Trust, 1995.

 

Asthma     

Asthma, a chronic narrowing of the airways to the lungs, affects about 15 million Americans. Between 1980 and 1993, the incidence of this disease increased by 66 percent and deaths went up 118 percent. Asthma appears to be caused primarily by excessive dairy food and fat consumption. See Allergies, Dairy, Vegetarian Diet.

 

• Fruits and Vegetables in Infancy Protect Children from Asthma and Allergies 

In a study to assess infant nutrition and development of asthma and allergy in school-age children, researchers in Norway reported that daily intake of fresh fruit or vegetables, but not extra vitamins or cod liver oil supplements, in infancy decreased the risk of asthma. Extra vitamin and cod liver oil supplements given in infancy also tended to increase allergeric sensitivity later in childhood.

Source: F. Nja et al., “Effects of Early Intake of Fruit or Vegetables in Relation to Later Asthma and Allergic Sensitization in School-Age Children,” Acta Paediatr 94(2):147-54, 2005.

 

• Antibiotics Linked to Childhood Asthma Rise 

In a study of 24,690 children, researchers at Nottingham University in Britain reported that women who took two or more courses of antibiotic treatment during pregnancy were 60 percent more liked to have babies who suffered from asthma during childhood. One third of all pregnant women received antibiotics by their doctor, primarily to treat urinary tract or respiratory infections.

    “Antibiotics can cross the placenta and have the potential to affect the fetus,” explained Dr. Tricia McKeever, the team leader.” She theorized that the widespread use of antibiotics by mothers was a leading reason why asthma has doubled over the last decade. Currently, one in five British children and one in ten adults has the disorder.

   The scientists also found a 12 percent increase in eczema among the children whose mothers took antibiotics and a 43 percent increase in hay fever.

Source: James Chapman, “Antibiotics Linked to Childhood Asthma Rise, Daily Mail, September 18, 2002. 

 

• Chlorine Associated with Asthma Risk

Swimming in public pools may damage children’s lungs, European researchers warned. In a study of 2000 children, doctors at the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium reported that regular use of indoor pools treated with chlorine significantly damaged the delicate lining of the lungs known as the epithelium. The researchers found that the epitheliums had been stripped away in healthy primary school children who swam twice a month since childhood. The damage was similar to that of long-time smokers. The toxic effects of chlorine and other chemicals in swimming pools affected not only swimmers but those children who sat on the side and watched for an hour. “It may be that these pool chemicals are partly responsible for the rise in asthma among children and their pools should be disinfected by other means,” observed Dr. Alfred Bernard, the lead researcher.

Source: Beezy Marsh, “Chlorine Link to Asthma Surge,” Daily Mail, May 30, 2003.

 

• Asthma and High-Fat Diet

In a Swedish study of 478 men born in 1914, researchers reported that asthma was not related to smoking history but more common in men with a high fat intake. Intake of carbohydrates, vitamin C, and iron was also lower. “Men with asthma have a significantly higher intake of fat than men without asthma,” researchers concluded.

Source: K. Strom et al., “Asthma But not Smoking-Related Airflow Limitation Is Associated with a High Fat Diet in Men,” Monaldi Archives of Chest Diseases 51(1)16-21, 1996.

 

• Plant Foods High in Vitamin E Protect Against Asthma 

A diet high in foods containing vitamin E may protect adults from asthma, the American Lung Association reported. In a study of 77,866 women, Harvard researchers found that eating foods high in this nutrient such as whole grains and vegetables reduced the risk of asthma.

Source: R. J. Troisi et al., “A Prospective Study of Diet and Adult-Onset Asthma,” American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 151(5):1401-08, 1995.

 

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)

Hyperactivity, attention deficit disorder (ADD), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affect an estimated 10 to 15 percent of young males (and a lesser number of females) in the U.S. and are characterized by restlessness, mood swings, inability to focus, and trouble relating to peers. Ritalin, the principal drug prescribed for ADD, can cause negative side effects including nausea, heart palpitations, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, liver damage, and anorexia.         

     High energy foods, including meat, eggs, poultry, sugar, chocolate, soft drinks, french fries, and chips and other salty snacks, appear to be a factor in the development of ADD. However, medical studies have found diet and behavior a complex subject, with sensitivity and reaction to foods highly individualized. The biochemical causes cluster around: food and additive allergies, heavy metal toxicity and other environmental toxins, low-protein/high-carbohydrate diets, mineral imbalances, essential fatty acid and phospholipids deficiencies, amino acid deficiencies, thyroid disorders, and B-vitamin deficiencies.

     Food additives (including artificial colors and flavors), salicylates, and sugar are also suspected of causing abnormal behavior in some youngsters. See Breast-feeding, Children’s Health, Crime and Diet, Hypoglycemia, Mental Illness, Sugar.

 

• Alternative Treatments for ADHD

In an Australian study, researchers reported that about two-thirds of families surveyed at Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne used complementary and alternative methods for their children with ADHD. A modified diet was the most popular therapy, followed by vitamin and/or mineral supplements, dietary supplements, aromatherapy, and chropractic. Minimizing symptoms was cited as the primary benefit, followed by complementary medical treatment, and avoiding side-effects of medication.

Source: D. Sinha and D. Efron, “Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use in Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder,” Journal of Paediatric Children’s Health 41(1-2):21-2, 2005.

 

• Diet as Effective as Ritalin 

In a case control study of twenty children treated with either Ritalin or dietary supplements, medical researchers at McLean Hospital in Boston reported that the children treated with diet responded as favorably as with medical treatment. “These findings support the effectiveness of food supplement treatment in improving attention and self-control in children with ADHD and suggest food supplement treatment of ADHD may be of equal efficacy to Ritalin treatment,” the researchers concluded.

Source: K. L. Harding et al., “Outcome-based Comparison of Ritalin Versus Food-Supplement Treated Children with ADHD,” Alternative Medical Review 8(3):319-30, 2003.

 

• Lack of Unsaturated Fatty Acids Linked to ADHD 

British scientists at the University Depart of Physiology at Oxford, England, reported that relative deficiencies in highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFAs) may underlie some of the behavioral and learning problems associated with ADHD. In a study of 41 children aged 8 to 12 with specific learning difficulties, especially dyslexia, and above-average ADHD symptoms, those allocated to HUFA supplementation showed significantly lower cognitive problems and general behavior problems than those given the placebo. “HUFA supplementation appears to reduce ADHD-related symptoms in children with specific learning difficulties,” the researchers concluded. “Given the safety and tolerability of this treatment, results from this pilot study strongly support the case for further investigations.”

Source: A. J. Richardson and B. K. Puri, “A Randomized Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of the Effects of Supplementation with Highly Unsaturated Fatty Acids on ADHD-Related Symptoms in Children with Specific Learning Difficulties,” Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 26(2):233-9, 2002.

 

• Parents Attribute ADHD to Sugar 

In a study on awareness of ADHD, African-American parents of children at high risk for this disorder were more likely to attribute their child’s symptoms to excessive sugar than whites (59 percent compared to 30 percent).

Source: R. Bussing et al., “Knowledge and Information about ADHD,” Social Science and Medicine 46(7):919-28, 1998.

           

• Nutritional Therapy for ADHD 

In a study of the effect of nutritional therapy on ADHD, Texas researchers reported that a polysaccharide (complex carbohydrate) supplement and a phytonutritional product containing flash-dried vegetables and fruits decreased the severity of ADHD and associated symptoms of Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) and Conduct Disorder (CD) in all 17 children after 2 weeks. The scientists concluded that symptoms of ADHD may be reduced by the addition of plant-based substances to the diet.

Source: K. D. Dykman and R. A. Dykman, “Effect of Nutritional Supplements on ADHD,” Integr Physio Behav Sci 33(1):49-60, 1998.

 

• Food Colors Linked to Hyperactivity

Hyperactivity, learning disabilities, and allergic reactions are epidemic in modern schools and have been associated with chemicals, artificial food colors and flavorings, and highly processed foods. In the U.S., estimates of hyperactivity in schoolchildren range from one in three to one in 20, while in England and other countries where food colors are regulated, only one in 2000 is reported hyperactive.

Source: D. Divoky, “Toward a Nation of Sedated Children,” Learning, March 1973, pp. 6-13.

 

Autism

Autism, in which the child does not develop close personal relationships and lives in a world of his or her own, usually appears between one and three, and symptoms persist throughout life. Medically, autism is considered irreversible.

 

• Sonic Rebirth

Simulating the sound of the mother’s voice in utero, Alfred Tomatis, M.D., the French expert in the effects of sound and music on human development, has helped relieve hundreds of cases of autism by recreating the sound of the mother’s voice in embryo and playing it back to the autistic child to reestablish the sonic contact that was disrupted in the womb. “The vocal nourishment that the mother provides is just as important as her milk,” he explains. For adopted children or children whose mother is dead or incapacitated, he uses the filtered music of Mozart, which has a similar effect. Dr. Tomatis recommends a natural diet high in whole grains, fresh vegetables, and less dairy food, especially yogurt, for optimal hearing and development.

Source: Don Campbell, The Mozart Effect (New York: Avon Books, 1997).

 

• Recovery from Autism with Macrobiotics and Music

In 1973, Judy and Dick Harvey adopted James, an orphan from Vietnam who was later diagnosed as autistic. The boy loved to eat french fries, cheese, candy, and salty foods, but discontinued these, along with dairy, red meat, eggs, poultry, and refined sugar following a consultation with educator Michio Kushi. Through macrobiotics and participation in classical music, he overcame his disabilities, went on to study at the University of Nebraska where he majored in math and physics, and is now living a normal life.

Source: Judy Harvey, “Overcoming Autism with Diet,” One Peaceful World Journal 29:1, Winter 1997.

 

• Gluten- and Dairy-Free Diets Reduce Autism

In a review of nutritional approaches to autism, researchers in Norway reported that gluten and/or casein (dairy) free diets help reduce autistic behavior, increase social and communicative skills, and lead to the reappearance of autistic traits if the children go off the diet.

Source: A. M. Knivsber et al., “Reports on Dietary Intervention in Autistic Disorders,” Nutri Neurosci (4)1:25-37, 2001.

 

• In a randomized double-blind study of 20 autistic children, researchers at the Center for Reading Research at Stravanger University College in Norway found that children given a diet low in gluten, gliadin, and casein (dairy protein) developed significantly better than controls.

Source: A. M. Knivsber et al., “A Randomized Study of Dietary Intervention in Autistic Syndrome,” Nutr Neurosci 5(4):251-61, 2002.

 

Avian Flu

By 2006, the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu had infected over 150 people, primarily in Vietnam, Indonesia, China, and other parts of Asia, and caused 78 deaths, a frightening 50 percent death rate. In comparison, the 1918 Spanish flu that killed tens of millions of people around the world had a death rate of about 12.5 percent. Medical experts warn that if large-scale person-to-person transmission occurs, there is a one-third chance the flu will remain deadly and a two-thirds chance it will mutate into a milder, more typical influenza strain. While the etiology of the disorder remains unknown and there is no known cure, environmentalists and holistic practitioners have advanced several insights regarding its cause and prevention.

 

• Dioxins Linked to Avian Flu 

Vietnam and Indonesia, the two countries with the greatest incidence of the disease, are the sites of major environmental contamination. During the Vietnam War, the U.S. sprayed more than 19 million litres of defoliants, including Agent Orange. Levels of dioxin in Vietnamese chicken, ducks, and other poultry remain elevated, ranging up to 550 ppt. Safe levels in food are 0.1 ppt. or less. In Indonesia, the recent cluster of deaths from human-to-human bird flu occurred near Lake Toba, the largest lake in Southeast Asia. Foreign-owned pulp and paper mills have released cholorine, dioxins, and other toxins in to the lake. Dioxins suppress the immune function in animals and humans, leaving them more susceptible to influenza and other diseases. “Could there be a connection between the arrival of [bird flu] and the continuing dioxin toxicity in the native population?” inquired a medical researcher.

Source: Dr. Sheri Tenpenny, New Medical Media-Press, 2006.

           

• Macrobiotic Guidelines for Avian Flu 

From a macrobiotic perspective, the avian flu is caused by a combination of two factors: 1) environmental pollution, including toxins, chemicals, GMOs, and other artificial substances that have contaminated the avian food chain and given rise to new, more lethal microbes and 2) the modern way of eating that weakens the blood, lymph, and other immune factors, makes any given person more or less susceptible to the virus.

     To help prevent this disease, it is recommended to avoid or minimize the consumption of animal food and strictly avoid all poultry and eggs, foods that contain these ingredients, and restaurants that serve them. Foods that enhance susceptibility to infection should also be avoided or limited, including sugar, sweets, dairy, spices, oil, fruits and juices, raw foods, stimulants, alcohol, and highly processed or artificial foods. To strength the blood and immune function, eat a balanced diet centered on whole cereal grains, fresh cooked vegetables, beans and bean products, sea vegetables, and other whole, unprocessed or traditionally processed foods. Microwave and electric cooking that tends to increase viral activity should also be avoided.

     Tamiflu, the principal vaccine for the disorder, will not prevent the disease but may weaken symptoms, reportedly reducing fatalities up to 70 percent. However, 12 children who took Tamiflu in Japan as a preventive died shortly afterward in 2006, so its safety is in doubt. Interestingly, the active ingredient in Tamiflu is shikimic acid, a natural ingredient made from star anise, a fruit in China that is traditionally served to help balance or neutralize duck and other poultry dishes. A particularly promising natural antidote to avian flu may also be schisandra, a traditional Chinese berry that strengthens the liver, lungs, and other internal organs and whose medicinal qualities made it known as the “five element” fruit.

     To relieve avian flu and related viral disorders, it is recommended that the patient take ume-sho-bancha, drink an oral rehydration solution to prevent dehydration (a potentially lethal complication), and apply a rice-ginger compress on the lungs.

Source: Alex Jack, “What You Need to Know About Preventing Avian Flu,” Macrobiotic Path 1(1):1-2, 2006.

                       ​

Ayurvedic Medicine

The Upanishads, or early Forest Teachings in India, extol food as the essence of physical, mental, and spiritual development. The Taittiriya Upa-nishad, for example, states: “From food are born all creatures; they live upon food, they are dissolved in food. Food is the chief of all things, the universal medicine.” The Caraka Samhita, the principal text of Ayurveda, the traditional medicine of India, dates to the 1st or 2nd century A.D. It also emphasizes the central importance of diet in personal health and development of humanity. “The use of beneficial food is the only cause of growth of a person, while the use of food that is injurious is the cause of disease.” “It is in consequence of this deterioration [in diet] that there took place a corresponding deterioration in the sap, purity, taste, potency, post-digestive effect and quality of herbs. In this manner, righteousness dwindles in each succeeding age by one quarter and the proto-elements too suffer deterioration, till eventually the world comes to dissolution.”

Sources: Shree Purohit Swami and W. B. Yeats, translators, The Upanishads (London: Faber and Faber, 1937) and Ram K. Sharma and V.B. Dash, translators, Caraka Samhita (New York: Auromere, 1983).

 

Azuki Beans

Azuki beans (also spelled aduki) are small, oval-shaped red or brown beans traditionally eaten in the Far East and now cultivated in the U.S., South America, and elsewhere. Azuki beans contain less fat and oil than other beans and like other beans help reduce cholesterol, regulate blood pressure, and inhibit protease and other substances associated with tumor development. See Beans.

 

• Azukis Produce Antibacterial Activity 

Japanese scientists reported that water extracts of red, black, and green azuki beans showed antibacterial effects against Staphylococcus aureus, Aeromonas hydrophilia, and Vibrio parahaemolyticus.

Source: Y. Hori et al., “Antibacterial Activity of Plant Extracts from Azuki Beans (Vigna angularis) in Vitro,” Phytother Res 20(2):162-4, 2006.

 

• Azukis Protect Against Diabetes 

In laboratory studies, Japanese scientists reported that a diet based on the seed coats of azuki beans suppressed the number of infiltrating macrophages, fibrosis, and other kidney abnormalities associated with the development of diabetes in diabetic rats compared to animals given a commercial diet.

Source: S. Sato et al., “Protective Effect of Polyphenol-Containing Azuki Bean (Vigna angularis) Seed Coats on the Renal Cortex in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats,” Journal of Nutrition and Biochemistry 16(9):547-53, 2005.

 

• Azuki Beans Protect Skin 

A hot water extract of azuki beans stimulated pigmentation activity on hair color in laboratory animals, suggesting that it might be “useful in anti-graying, protecting human skin from irradiation,” according to Japanese scientists.

Source: T. Itoh and Y. Furuichi “Hot-Water Extracts from Adzuki Beans (Vigna angularis) Stimulate Not Only Melanogenesis in Cultured Mouse B16 Melanoma Cells but also Pigmentation of Hair Color in C3H Mice,” Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 69(5):873-82, 2005.

 

• Azuki Beans Inhibit Lung Cancer and Melanoma 

In laboratory studies, Japanese scientists reported that a hot-water extract of azuki beans significantly reduced the number of lung tumor colonies and the invasion of melanoma cells. A previous study showed that azukis inhibited stomach cancer by 36 to 62 percent in tumor weight relative to controls.

Source: T. Itoh et al., “Potential Ability of Hot Water Adzuki (Vigna angularis) extracts to Inhibit the Adhesion, Invasion, and Metastasis of Murine B16 Melanoma Cells,” Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 69(3):448-54, 2005.

Plant foods are high in antioxidants the protect against formation of free radicals

Appendicitis frequently occurs on holidays or special occasions when heavy animal food is consumed

The long-lived Huzzas attributed their longevity to apricots

Fruits and vegetables help protect against asthma

F

The modern diet high in meat, sugar, and other extremes is linked to ADD and ADHD

A plant-based diet may contribute to recovery or improvement of autism

Dioxins and other chemicals in chickenfeed have been linked to Avian Flu

Traditional Indian medicine uses plants and herbs

Azuki beans protect against diabetes and other adverse conditions

Appendicitis frequently occurs on holidays or special occasions when heavy animal food is consumed

Apples are high in phytochemical that protect against cancer and other diseases

Plant foods are high in antioxidants the protect against formation of free radicals

Potatos, tomatos, and other nightshade vegetables are associated with rheumatoid arthritis

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