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NUTRIENT DEFICIENCIES
(malnutrition)

Contrary to popular belief, malnutrition is not a condition that only affects 'third world developing countries', nutrient deficiency is affecting developed nations more and more as the food and pharmaceutical industries become more powerful and devious. Inorganic foods provide far less nutrition than food grown without genetically modified intervention which allows powerful pesticide, herbicide and fungicide chemical spraying. Pharmaceuticals drugs and food production have become worldwide industries worth billions and gaining high profits have overtaken the ethics of producing good nutritious foods.

This has taken place over the past 50 years since the industrial revolution and can be proved by looking at the humble tomato. To gain the same nutritional value that an organically grown tomato possessed 50 years ago, one has to consume six tomatoes nowadays.

Most non inherited conditions and diseases and early deaths are the result of a poor diet or over consumption of the wrong foods or a combination of both and the following.

Alcohol, Pharmaceutical Medications and Recreational Drugs and Tobacco

Alcohol and many medications reduces the absorption many vital nutrients especially the vitamin B complex especially vitamin B12 and some force the expulsion of needed minerals from the body through the urine such as zinc (see zinc below). Antibiotics kill off the intestine's natural friendly bacteria which are responsible for the absorption and manufacture of many phytonutrients and vitamins.

Most adverse side effects that people experience from these powerful drugs are solely due to the disruption of the body's natural and fragile chemical balance and the inability of organs, such as the liver and kidneys, and sensitive processes within the body, to do their job under such intoxicating constant bombardment.

Highest sources of vitamin B12 in micrograms per 100 grams

  • Clams 98.9 μg

  • Liver 83.1 μg

  • Barley grass juice 80 μg

  • Nori seaweed 63.6 μg

  • Octopus 36 μg

  • Caviar/fish eggs 20.0 μg

  • Ashitaba powder 17.0 μg

  • Herring 13.7 μg

  • Tuna fish 10.9 μg

  • Crab 10.4 μg

  • Mackerel 8.7 μg

  • Lean grass fed beef 8.2 μg

  • Duck eggs, goose eggs, rabbit 6 μg

  • Crayfish, pork heart, rainbow trout 5 μg

  • Shiitake mushrooms 4.8 μg

  • Lobster 4 μg

  • Lamb, venison 3.7 μg

  • Swiss Cheese 3.3 μg

  • Salmon 3.2 μg

  • Whey powder 2.37 μg

  • Golden chanterelle mushrooms 2 μg

  • Tuna 1.9 μg

  • Halibut 1.2 μg

  • Chicken egg 1.1 μg

  • Chicken, turkey 1.0 μg

  • Ashitaba 0.4 μg

NOTE: One μg is one microgram.

False Advertising

Extraordinary claims and mass marketing campaigns hoodwink the consumer into believing they are eating products which provide great health and nutrition when in fact the opposite is true. For instance, adding supplements of iron to a product such as cereals, is pointless when the body cannot absorb iron on it's own.

Vitamin and mineral supplements very rarely work because the body can only process complete natural foods that contain the hundreds of co factor phytonutrients. Billions are spent every year by people that have been convinced by clever but false marketing ploys and who are now, in fact, severely lacking in balanced nutrients and suffering a myriad of ailments as a result.

Profit Driven Food Industry

Profit led food companies constantly save money by adding cheap nutrient free chemical ingredients to their products to provide bulk, taste, manageability and preservation. Many of these additives have an adverse affect on human health and take the place of the nutrients that used to be gained from these foods.

Food processing techniques also strip the nutrients from many foods such as grains, salt and sugar and then they are bleached white, using strong chemicals, to make them more appeasing to the eye. They even sell the nutrients, such as all the minerals stripped from natural sea salt, to other industries to gain more profit and produce a very inadequate product, which humans in the west consume far too much of, commonly called table salt. Only unrefined pink Himalayan salt crystals or pure unrefined sea salt should be used as a condiment or in recipes in order to gain the much needed essential minerals in the diet.

Cheap ingredients, high pesticide, herbicide and fungicide use, processing techniques, huge supermarket outlets, the ability to transport products in bulk and importation of cheaper foods from abroad keeps the retail prices of this unhealthily produced foods far below that what the organic local natural food producer can offer.

 
Nutrition deficiency, and the resulting illnesses and conditions, are the mostly due the consumer purchasing and consuming more and more of these unhealthy alternatives. One example is of an indigenous tribe in South America that had no cases of cancer amongst their population until a major chain supermarket open near to their village. Now they have as many cases of cancer as the rest of the developed world.

Farming Techniques

The other reason nutrient deficiency is taking place in the west is the intense farming techniques. The soils which crops are grown in today have been stripped of their mineral content over the years which is never replaced.

High production factory animal farming has also increased the need for the administration of strong antibiotics against disease. Hormones are also administered and water injected to increase weight and these low nutrient, chemically saturated animal products are then consumed by humans.

The true effect of these food production techniques is, as yet, unknown as long term studies have not yet had enough time to be implemented but any food which is chemically enhanced for profit and lacking in balanced nutrients is bound to be detrimental in the long run.

Infection and Disease

Pathogenic bacteria and yeast overgrowth can cause nutrient deficiency because if the pathogenic bacteria crowd out the beneficial bacteria in the intestines, vitamin and other nutrient deficiency is the result as the friendly bacteria are responsible for both absorption and manufacture of some of these vital nutrients. This should be checked for when making a diagnosis but the underlying problem is that many doctor's treat the symptoms without ever determining the root cause which is very often both an imbalance of nutrients in the diet and the gut flora in the intestines.

Parasites

Long term, undiagnosed parasitic and worm infections can result in nutrient deficiencies especially of vitamin B12. The parasite steal these vital nutrients for their own use leaving the host's body severely lacking. Proper scientific testing for parasite's is still in it's infancy and parasites are often ignored by western doctors as they have been led to believe it is an infliction that only takes place in hotter climates and third world countries. It is still very difficult to discover infestations of parasites in certain parts of the body and this leaves many people undiagnosed for many years leading to other conditions which can become life threatening.

See the Parasites and Worms for natural remedies.

Lack of Sunshine

The fear of skin cancer has caused many people to smother themselves with sun block creams which stop the body's natural manufacture of vitamin D. This can go unnoticed for many years until conditions caused by the lack of vitamin D become apparent. But even then they can be misdiagnosed. Vitamin D assists the immune system as well as keeping the bones strong due to its interaction with calcium. It has also been discovered that vitamin D protects the heart and improves its performance after a heart problem.

Working inside buildings also adds to the lack of vitamin D production as the sun's action on the skin does not work through windows.

Another reason many women suffer from vitamin D deficiency is religion that enforces the complete covering of the skin.

Also, those living in the northern hemisphere have difficulty gaining enough sunshine on the skin during the winter months of October to April and need to supplement their diets with aloe vera, goat's milk, hemp seeds, krill oil, oily fish, eggs and wild mushrooms in order to maintain vitamin D levels during the winter. Vitamin D is stored by the body for 60 days but the winter months last longer than this.

Just 15 to 20 minutes of daily midday sunshine on exposed skin a few days a week can provide all the vitamin D the body requires and this is too short a time period to be affected by the sun's harmful rays.

Vitamin K2 is linked to cardiovascular health and is essential for regulating proteins in the body that direct calcium to the bones and keep it out of the arterial walls and organs where it can do harm. Low vitamin K status predisposes aging humans to vascular calcification, chronic inflammation and sharply higher risk of heart attack. Vitamin K blood tests assess levels of vitamin K to maintain healthy coagulation, but at this time are not used to identify optimal levels of K2 to reduce heart attack risk.

Vitamin K1 helps prevent excessive activation of osteoclasts, the cells that break down bone. Beneficial bacteria in the intestines convert vitamin K1 into vitamin K2, which activates osteocalcin, the major non-collagen protein in bone. Osteocalcin anchors calcium molecules inside of the bone. All of these vitamin K-related mechanisms point to the importance of vitamin K-rich foods for bone and heart health.

According to recent findings, the benefit of vitamin D, where bone strength and cardiovascular health are concerned, is greatly enhanced when combined with vitamin K2. Vitamin D improves bone health by helping the body absorb calcium. However, it is vitamin K2 that directs calcium to the skeleton, to prevent it from being deposited in the wrong areas. Vitamin K2 (menaquinones) only occurs in foods of animal origin or foods altered by bacterial fermentation.

Vitamin K2 is produced by the intestinal bacteria so the addition of fermented foods such as natto which is a fermented soya product is useful as it helps to provide extra beneficial bacteria to the gut. Other sources are gouda and brie cheeses and other products from grass-fed cows such as butter, milk and yoghurt, plus egg yolks and chicken breast or livers and other organ meats. Brine pickles and sauerkraut are also rich sources of vitamin K2.

Consuming prebiotic foods that feed the existing beneficial bacteria also helps to produce vitamin K2. These foods are: agave, apples, asparagus, banana, beans, bran, broccoli, burdock root, cabbage, cauliflower, chicory root, cocoa (raw), coconut flesh, dandelion root, elecampane, garlic, globe artichokes, kale, leeks, lentils, mugwort, oats, onions, parsnips, peas, radish, rampion, salsify, turnip, Swede, sweet potato, wheat, whole grains, yam and yacon root.

Phytic Acid in Plant Foods

This is a saturated cyclic acid that is the storage form of phosphorus in many plant tissues. When these plant  foods are consumed phytic acid acts as an enzyme inhibitor and reduces the human body's absorption of minerals especially calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc. See links below for the highest natural sources of these minerals.

Soaking, fermenting and sprouting reduces the phytic acid levels in these plant foods. This is especially important for those suffering with anaemia, cancer, digestive, teeth or bone disorders, pregnant and menstruating women, those regularly performing intense physical activities and sports, anyone on medications, those that drink alcohol regularly, growing infants and children and the elderly. Learn more here.

Soaking legumes, pulses, nuts, seeds and grains overnight in a warm place, in warm mineral water (140 degrees F) markedly reduces phytic acid content.

However, this method does not work with all plant foods foods that also contain high levels of phytic acid such as brown rice, corn, oats, millet and soya beans. Adding a complimentary tenth of freshly ground (using a coffee grinder) barley, buckwheat, kamut, rye, spelt and/or wheat when soaking any of these grains will work as the phytase in those grains will act on the others.

12 hours of soaking will reduce phytic acids levels somewhat but better results can be obtained with a twenty-four hour soaking.

Add an acidic medium to the pot too such as freshly squeezed , organic apple cider vinegar (unfiltered and unpasteurized) or pure unrefined sea salt. Use 10% of this medium to 90% of whatever is being soaked. Place one part kombu or kelp seaweed to six parts of legumes in the bottom of the pot when soaking them for improved flavour, digestion, more nutrients and faster cooking.

Rinse and refill the pot with fresh mineral water every 8 hours during soaking and again add one of the mediums above. Then finally rinse them well and pat them dry if drying out. They can be dried in the lowest setting of the oven with the door slightly ajar for 12-24 hours or air dried for longer. Then place in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

If consuming them without drying, keep covered in the refrigerator and eat within 5 days or so.

Nuts, grains, seeds and legumes can be ground up in a coffee grinder to use as flour in many recipes after they have been soaked rinsed and dried. Drying in a lowest setting in the oven with the door slightly ajar can take many hours so a dehydrator is useful. Make sure not to place in a sealed container until absolutely dry to ensure no mould can grow.

Soaking

During the process of soaking and fermenting, gluten and other difficult-to-digest proteins are partially broken down into simpler components that are more readily available for absorption. It increases levels of the B vitamins and reduces the polyphenols (tannins) and goitrogens levels in these foods which is also beneficial.

Shop bought dried beans have very high levels of phytic acid and most can be soaked overnight to reduce phytic acid levels but soybeans should be fermented in a form of tempeh or miso for it to be effective.

Fermenting

The best way to ferment these plant foods is in brine (water and sea salt). This acid medium breaks down the phytic acid and releases the minerals for easy absorption. It also has the added advantage of preserving the foods for up to a year and provides extra friendly bacteria for the intestines. See the Brine Pickling page to find out how to do this.

Sprouting

When sprouting, the seed changes itself into a seedling which alters the nutritional content and reduces the phytic acid levels, therefore this is a good way to consume these plant foods to ensure adequate mineral absorption. See Micro Diet Sprouting.

Foods containing high levels of phytic acid

Amaranth, barley, beans, black eyed peas, brown rice, buckwheat, corn, kamut, legumes, lentils, millet, mung beans, nuts, oatmeal, peas, pulses, quinoa, rye, seeds, soybeans, teff, wheat bran and whole grains.

Microwave Myths

When cooking any vegetables such as brassicas etc, some of the B vitamins and other water-soluble vitamins are always lost no matter what the method. The amount lost depends on the duration and temperature at which the food is cooked and the amount of water used. Microwaving has no more of an ill effect than cooking in a convention way.

If vegetables are cut into smaller pieces and steamed in just a tablespoon of water (with a lid or cover on) for the shortest period of time possible in the microwave (i.e. 90 seconds), they will lose far less than if cooked on the hob for a longer period. Spinach is one example; a study revealed that vitamin B9 (foliate) was retained completely after the spinach was cooked in a microwave whereas 77% was lost when it was cooked on the hob. In another study, researchers looked at microwaving as a method for drying tea, results showed that the leaves had just as many cancer-fighting polyphenols and higher vitamin C content than with oven drying. Also protein in foods is more readily available when cooked in a microwave where convention cooking deactivates some proteins.

There have been some exceptions to this though where some nutrients may have been lost but studies are inconclusive because it was often the amount of water used during cooking rather than the effect of the microwaves themselves. Also microwaving asparagus, cabbage, carrots, green and red peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes and spinach actually leads to an increase in the antioxidant content of these foods (in that the antioxidants become more available for absorption). Lycopene, the powerful antioxidant that gives tomatoes, watermelon and other foods their red colour is better absorbed by the body when it is consumed after being cooked.

Carotenoids such as lycopene are fat soluble so must be consumed with some fatty or oily foods such as avocado or the oils of coconut, fish, olive, nut or seed oils (especially hempseed or rapeseed) in order to be absorbed. Always use virgin cold-pressed oils rather than heat treated oils which are unhealthy to consume.

The overall answer is to try to consume vegetables raw when possible, or always steam lightly until just soft enough to consume, in order to benefit from the nutritional content. Cooking root vegetables can take around 20 minutes or so on the hob and they need far more water whereas, again in the microwave they can be cooked in very little water in as little as 7 or 8 minutes. Always remember to cover the bowl with a microwavable plate and stop the microwave to stir the vegetables during cooking at least once.

Always use glass or crockery containers to microwave because many chemicals used to construct the plastic microwaveable containers such as bisphenol A, (BPA), polyethylene terpthalate (PET), benzene, toluene and xylene can leech into the foods being cooked in them and then be consumed. Some are known to be highly carcinogenic.

The only real danger from microwaves may be the radiation levels that it emits. They are strictly quality controlled before being sold to ensure this does not happen but an old or damaged microwave could leak unhealthy levels into the kitchen which could cause ill health and may even cause the development of cataracts after long periods of exposure. However, as with mobile phones which are held next to the brain for long periods of time, there is inconclusive evidence as to whether this is damaging to the human body in any way or not. The answer is to always replace the microwave if the door or its hinges gets damaged in any way.

As far as nutrition is concerned, more consideration should be given to the amount of tinned foods that are consumed. The high temperature heating process, used to seal the tin, destroys far more nutrients than cooking fresh vegetables in a microwave.

Raw juicing is another way to obtain the highest level of nutrients from vegetables without cooking them.

Organic Nutrient and Mineral Interactions

More and more vital micro processes and interactions between the multitude of organic nutrients and minerals that exist within the human body are being discovered day by day. Many scientists thought that certain minerals had no obvious role in the human system but this has been proved otherwise in recent times. This means that the true knowledge about all human  fundamental cell processes are not yet fully understood, therefore, a wide and very varied diet is very important in order to ensure any lack of a certain element does not go on for  too long before these vital micro processes begin to break down and ill health is the result.

One example is how cobalt, nickel, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B12 and vitamin B15 work together to keep the heart, brain and circulation in perfect working order. If any other these elements are lacking there will be adverse consequences which often get misdiagnosed.

Keeping the correct balance of organic nutrients and minerals in the body is of the utmost importance. Knowing what to consume, how much and how often is the dilemma. Added to this are lifestyle factors, age, size and shape of the body and genetic hereditary complications. The simple answer is:    

  • Consume smaller and more varied portions of food.

  • Include all the colours of fruits and vegetables (see Nature's Colour Codes)

  • Ensure plenty of fibre is consumed regularly through out the day

  • Include healthy oils like hemp seed oil with all meals to ensure absorption of fat soluble nutrients

  • Minerals have been seriously depleted from intensely farmed land so include mineral water, sea vegetables, alfalfa, hemp seeds, algae and non-refined pure sea salt in the diet

  • Try to avoid ingesting toxins from chemicals both orally and through the skin

  • Avoid over consumption of products that force expulsion of minerals such as drugs and alcohol

  • Try to only consume organic, raw food as much as possible

  • Cook animal products well to avoid infections but minimise cooking plant products which destroys the vital nutrients.

  • Make sure some gentle exercise is done everyday, even if it is just a 15 minute walk, as this makes the body and all of its processes work far better.

SUPPLEMENT WARNING

Avoid taking ANY vitamin, mineral or other nutrient supplements unless absolutely necessary and prescribed by the doctor after blood tests. The balance of co-factors has never yet been entirely established for each individual human so deficiencies cannot be successfully treated synthetically, as yet, whereas natural foods posses all the traces necessary. Supplements can cause an overdose of different nutrients which can cause all kinds of complications and may even seriously damage the health.

There are supplements that may be required in exceptional circumstances however, when a blood test has shown deficiency, but they should always be derived from natural plant sources. Taking supplements for the sake of it is both unnecessary and can be harmful. Natural unrefined food contains the correct balance of nutrients needed. Exceptions to this are natural fish and plant oil capsules as these can help many conditions and coenzyme Q10 which is vital for anyone taking 'statins' (cholesterol lowering) or 'metformin' (blood sugar lowering) medications.

Contrary to popular belief, taking extra vitamin C will not stop the body developing colds and flu or help to recover from them whereas consuming vitamin C rich foods and juices will. Vitamin C lowers manganese and zinc absorption, while vitamin E helps increase manganese and zinc absorption. As a result, a very high intake of vitamin C will require an equally high intake of vitamin E to maintain the necessary ratio.

Manganese is vital for a healthy functioning nervous system. It is also necessary for the production of feminine hormones, the normal structure of the bones. brain function, the formation of thyroxin (thyroid gland hormone), the synthesis of structural proteins in the body and the metabolism of glucose.

Zinc  has an enormous role in growth and well-being starting before birth. It is needed for healthy skin and hair, proper healing of wounds, successful pregnancies and male virility. It plays a vital role in guarding against diseases and infection. It is needed to transport vitamin A to the retina. There are 156 enzymes that require zinc for their functioning. It has long been known that growth and sexual maturity depend on zinc.

Alcohol and many medications forces the expulsion of zinc so foods rich in this mineral should be consumed regularly by those people that drink alcohol or take any medications.

Highest sources of zinc in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Oysters 78.6 mg

  • Chlorella 71 mg

  • Wheat germ 16.7 mg

  • Beef 12.3 mg

  • Calf's liver 11.9 mg

  • Hemp seeds 11.5 mg

  • Pumpkin and squash seeds 10.3 mg

  • Sesame and watermelon seeds 10.2 mg

  • Bamboo shoots, endives and gourds 9 mg

  • Chervil (herb) 8.8 mg

  • Lamb 8.7 mg

  • Venison 8.6 mg

  • Alfalfa seeds (sprouted), amaranth leaves, Crimini mushrooms, Irish moss and tea 8 mg

  • Crab 7.6 mg

  • Lobster 7.3 mg

  • Agave, basil, broccoli, buffalo, elk, emu, oats, ostrich, spinach and turkey 7 mg

  • Cocoa powder 6.8 mg

  • Asparagus, chicken livers, laver seaweed, mushrooms, parsley and rice bran 5.7 mg

  • Cashew nuts 5.6 mg

  • Pork 5.1 mg

  • Jute (herb), lemon grass, mung beans, Portobello mushrooms, radishes and shiitake mushrooms 5 mg

  • Agar seaweed, butterbur, cauliflower, chicory, Chinese cabbage, chives, coriander, green beans, lentils, lettuce, okra, rocket, spring onions, summer squash, Swiss chard, tomatoes and wasabi (yellow) 3.4 mg

  • Peanuts 3.3 mg

  • Cheddar cheese 3.1 mg

  • Mozzarella cheese 2.9 mg

  • Anchovies and rabbit 2.4 mg

  • Cabbage, cucumber, jalapeno peppers, , kidney beans, navy beans, spirulina and turnip greens 2 mg

  • Mussels 1.6 mg

  • Arrowroot, artichokes (globe), beetroot, bell peppers, black eyed peas, borage, broad beans, Brussel sprouts, butter beans, cabbage, carrots, celery, chilli peppers, courgettes, dandelion greens, garlic, horseradish, kale, kelp, mustard greens, peas, pinto beans, potatoes, pumpkin, turnips, Swede, sweet potato, tomatoes (red),  wakame (seaweed), watercress and winged beans 1.2 mg

Copper, together with zinc improves the absorption of vitamin D, the vitamin which aids in the absorption of calcium.

Antioxidant and cancer warning

Antioxidants derived from food sources play a vital role in keeping free radicals in check, but the latest studies call into question high levels of antioxidant supplementation. Among the most popular antioxidant supplements are vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, the pre-cursor form of vitamin A or  lycopene and lutein. Taking these supplements containing high doses,  instead of consuming natural foods containing these nutrients, can have the opposite effect desired and actually protect cancerous tumour cells from the body's defences. To find out the highest natural food sources of these nutrients follow the links below.

Antioxidants can even accelerate the growth of early tumours or precancerous lesions in high-risk people such as smokers and patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease who receive vitamin E and N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) to relieve mucus production.

This highly intricate interdependency of bodily processes, organic nutrients and minerals shows that taking too much vitamin C, or any other nutrient, can have a disturbing, and possibly a devastating, effect on the human body.

NOTE: Never buy supplements over the internet from unknown suppliers. The tablets could contain anything even poisonous substances.

Supplement overdose warning

Taking large doses of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K can cause problems and even some standard doses may interfere with certain prescription medicine. Some people may experience adverse effects from too much calcium or iron.

It is very easy to overdose when taking supplements. This would not happen with food as the body simply expels that which it does not require and, in most cases, one would not be able to consume enough food to overdose whereas tablets are concentrated forms.

If the doctor advises that a nutrient is showing as in low supply in the body simply consume the foods that contain this nutrient more often.

Calcium supplements may cause quick spikes in blood calcium levels that have been linked to risky lipid levels which can significantly increase the risk of heart attack, whereas calcium in food is likely to be absorbed more slowly. Get calcium from dairy products, green leafy vegetables and oily fish with edible bones, such as sardines. These foods surprisingly also contain calcium’s necessary cofactor of vitamin D.

Other than this vegetarians may be lacking in certain vitamins such as vitamin B12. A normal balanced diet using the information provided by Nature Cures will provide all that is required for good health.

Side effects of supplements

Ingesting powerful extracts can cause many adverse reactions such as heart, kidney or liver problems, aches, allergic reactions, fatigue, nausea, pains and vomiting.

Some body building, weight loss and sexual enhancement supplements can be spiked with medications including steroids, sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), and sibutramine (Meridia). These can be especially dangerous because they can cause strokes, acute liver injury, kidney failure, pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lung) and even be fatal.

Taking high doses of iodine with anti-thyroid medications can cause the body to produce too little thyroid hormone.

The following is a guide to recommended daily requirements of nutrients and the upper limits.

NUTRIENT

RDA MEN

 RDA WOMEN

UPPER LIMIT
(from all sources)

Vitamin A

3000 IU

2300 IU

10,000 IU

Vitamin B3 (niacin)

16 mg

14 mg

35 mg 

Vitamin B9 (foliate, folic acid)

400 mcg

400 mcg

1000 mcg

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)

90 mg

75 mg

2000 mg

Vitamin D3

600 IU ages 19 to 70; 800  IU ages 71 and up

600 IU ages 19 to 70; 800  IU ages 71 and up

 

Vitamin E

22 IU (natural)

33 IU (synthetic)

22 IU (natural)

33 IU (synthetic)

1500 IU (natural)

1100 IU (synthetic)

Vitamin K

120 mcg

90 mcg

Not established

 MINERALS

NUTRIENT RDA MEN RDA WOMEN UPPER LIMIT

Calcium

400 mg to 600 mg for an adult between 30 and 50. 1000 mg for growing children, adults up to 30 and over 50 and pregnant or lactating women.

400 mg to 600 mg for an adult between 30 and 50. 1000 mg for growing children, adults up to 30 and over 50 and pregnant or lactating women.

2500 mg through age 50; 2,000 mg ages 51 and up

Chlorine

Not established

Not established

15 g

Chromium

30 mcg

20 mcg for adults

For infants 0.2 mcg to 45 mcg for lactating females.

200 mcg

Cobalt

8 mcg

8mcg

Not established

Copper

2 mg

2 mg

Not established

Fluoride

1 mg for adults and for children up to 0.25 to 0.5 mg

1 mg for adults and for children up to 0.25 to 0.5 mg

Not established

Iodine

130mcg

100 mcg

During pregnancy 125 mcg and during lactation 150 mcg

200 mcg for children and 1000 mcg for adults

Iron

16mg

16mg

20mg

Magnesium

350 mg

300 mg

450 mg for pregnant or lactating women

350 mg (from supplements only)

Manganese

2.5 to 7 mg

2.5 to 7 mg

Not established

Molybdenum

between 150 and 500 mcg

between 150 and 450 mcg

600 mcg

Phosphorous

1g

1g

Not established

Potassium

1300 mg

1000 mg

Not established

Selenium

55 mcg

55 mcg

400 mcg

Zinc

15 mg 

10 mg

40 mg

This should all be consumed from natural foods and a list of them all can be found on the following pages:

Complications of malnutrition

The body is well equipped to deal with traces of anything that is ingested by mouth or absorbed through the skin, eyes or lungs. It is the constant over exposure and consumption of unnatural chemicals and poor quality foods that cause a chain reaction to take place within the body. When any phytonutrients are missing in the diet or have been expelled or used up by the body, it begins to slowly and subtly degrade and this becomes more rapid the older a person becomes.

At first, there will be signs such as catching colds and infections more often. Obesity, skin irritations and rashes, brittle nails, poor hair quality, allergies, digestive upsets, bowel disorders, infertility, kidney stones, gall stones, tinnitus, hearing and visual disorders, dental problems, respiratory disorders, asthma, aching joints, back problems, chronic fatigue syndrome (ME), nerve problems, depression, anxiety, irritability and insomnia can all be caused by nutrient deficiency and chemical imbalances within in the body.

If the diet is not improved promptly and exposure to powerful and toxic chemicals is not eliminated, these conditions will gradually cause the breakdown of other processes within the body and vital organs will become affected. Once the heart, liver, pancreas, spleen, kidneys, lungs and brain are involved, the damage can become irreversible. This then leads to far more serious breakdowns such as liver disease, diabetes, heart attack, kidney failure, stroke, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Multiple Sclerosis, schizophrenia, psychosis and an inept immune system leading to serious and difficult to treat infections and conditions such as HIV/AIDS and cancer.

It varies, from person to person, just how fast this degradation of processes will take place and that depends upon the individual's metabolism, lifestyle, location, climate, weight, the mother's diet and health during pregnancy, infant and childhood diet, chemical exposure, mental attitude and government, education, doctor, peer and media influences.

The most obvious and simple way to halt this degradation is to provide the body with all the nutrients, minerals and fibre it needs to recover and reduce the intake of high fat animal protein.

It is also very important to drastically reduce the constant exposure to harmful chemicals as much as is possible. Switch to additive free foods and natural products for personal cosmetic and domestic use. See the Health and Hygiene page for ways to cut out domestic chemicals.

Eliminate medications, recreational drugs, alcohol, coffee and sugar all of which put a huge strain on the liver's capabilities. Humans are fortunate that their liver can regenerate and, as it is the father of all organs responsible for the correct balance of processes within the body, it should be the main organ we care for the most.

Animals fats, sugar, alcohol, medications, recreational drugs, artificial chemicals, heavy metals and LDL cholesterol are all flushed from the body through processes involving the liver. When the liver becomes overworked and undernourished it's vital processes will begin to diminish. If ignored these poisons in the body will start to affect other organs and the bones. Then, if it is still ignored, it will eventually collapse and the result is an early death if failure of other organs or disease has not already resulted in death.

The only way to avoid serious illness, or recover from the same, is to consume a wide variety of natural organic whole foods which includes more whole grains, fish, fruit and vegetables of all colours, legumes, herbs, spices, seeds and nuts. At the same time exposure to chemicals and over consumption of unhealthy processed and refined foods must be eliminated as much as is possible.

Often body weight is no indication of nutrient deficiency as those that are obese and consume too much food are more likely to be suffering from a deficiency of essential nutrients as those who are under weight. When the liver is working well and the correct nutrients are in place within the body, weight will automatically normalise. As metabolism increases the extra activities will adjust the weight naturally. Over consumption of alcohol, fats, starches, sugar, corn syrup, processed foods and lack of exercise will lead to being over weight.

Higher calorie natural foods means higher nutritional values and so calorie counting is pointless if complete overall health is the aim. Healthy omega-3 fatty acids are essential to absorb many fat-soluble nutrients such as carotenoids so avoiding this type of fats and oils is detrimental to the health. So forget counting calories and concentrate on eating the widest spectrum of colours of natural foods and never go hungry.

When hunger strikes, too often and for too long, the body switches on its protective fat storing process. Then the next food that is consumed will be converted in fat to be stored in case of future hunger attacks. Eating little and often is always the best way to ensure a healthy system and lower fat storage. This fat will be especially stored around the abdomen and will make the liver sluggish and less efficient.

If the liver is taken good care of, the quality and length of life can be extended.

Daily Morning Liver Cleanser

These ingredients together taken in a glass of warm water first thing in the morning will detoxify the liver:

  • Lemon or lime juice (tablespoon)

  • Apple cider vinegar (tablespoon)

  • Raw honey (teaspoon)

  • Turmeric (pinch)

  • Chilli pepper (pinch)

See the Liver page for more natural cleansing remedies

THE NATURE CURES HIGH NUTRIENT DIET

The following is the Nature Cures guide to the ultimately healthy and nutritious foods that will provide all the body requires to protect against and fight off illness and disease and keep everything in perfect working order.

Nature Cures green tonic

This is a highly nutritious green 'smoothie' is very rich in antioxidants, essential fatty acids, fibre, carotenoids, minerals and vitamins including all of the B complex and the eight amino acids required to build the body's muscles and cells. Banana skin is a rich source of fibre, lutein, magnesium, potassium, tryptophan and vitamins B6 and B12. This tonic will provide and energy boost and is useful for everyone, especially those recovering from any illness, injury or surgery or suffering from any nutrient deficiencies and should be consumed everyday.

  • One whole banana (skin included)

  • Large handful of watercress

  • One whole cooked beetroot

  • One tablespoon of cooked tomatoes

  • Quarter teaspoon of moringa powder

  • Half a teaspoon of maca powder

  • Half a teaspoon of turmeric powder

  • One teaspoon of baobab powder

  • One tablespoon of a greens mix of barley grass, chlorella, spirulina and wheat grass

  • One tablespoon of ground hemp seeds

  • Small handful of ground pumpkin seeds

  • Two brazil nuts ground

  • Half a freshly squeezed lemon and grated peel

  • Sprinkle of ground peppercorns

Method

Mix all the ingredients in a powerful blender with some mineral or coconut water, blend together and drink immediately.

Go organic

It is important to consume organic food wherever possible to avoid powerful toxic pesticide, herbicide and fungicide residues:

Growing your own produce is obviously the best way to ensure it is organic and many vegetables, herbs, spices and fruits can be grown in pots. Buying organic seeds is far less expensive and herbs are especially full of vital phytonutrients and can be grown all year round on a sunny windowsill indoors. Citrus fruit bushes can also be grown near a sunny window inside and they will provide the daily vitamin C which the body requires. Organic root vegetables, which contain many of the essential minerals and nutrients, can be grown from seeds in tall tubs and canvas bags on a balcony, patio or roof garden.

SPROUTING

One of the best ways to gain a broad spectrum of high quality phytonutrients in a concentrated form is by consuming sprouted grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. These are easily grown in a jam jar on the window sill with just a simple daily rinse of water. Another way is to grow them in a small tray on damp kitchen roll like cress. Spray with water once or twice a day in hot weather.

See Sprouting for more information.
 

JUICING

Purchasing a powerful juicer of at least 900 watts and juicing vegetables, herbs and fruits is another way of gaining high nutrition without the bulk and starch. Cooking vegetables and fruits kills many of the live nutrients so, when a food is inedible when it is raw, the best way to consume the nutrients is in juice form.

See Raw juice therapy for recipes.

BRINE PICKLING

The lacto acid produced when pickling vegetables, herbs, spices and fruits, using just unrefined sea salt and water, provides extra probiotics to the diet which are essential for a healthy digestive system. These pickles can be produced easily at home and will preserve these foods for up to one year.

See Brine pickling.

DRINKS

Drink at least 6 glasses of bottled natural mineral water everyday to gain essential minerals that can lack in the diet and cleanse the intestines, organs and blood and rehydrate the brain. Green tea with lemon and honey can cleanse the system and help with weight loss. Herbal teas can provide many essential nutrients and detoxify the system.

Fizzy drinks and pre-packed fruit juices often contain high sugar content, corn syrup or artificial sweeteners such as aspartame which cause more strain on the liver as well as other detrimental health conditions such as diabetes and obesity.

MEAT

Choose one meat to consume three or four times a week. Portion size should never be larger than your own clenched fist and this includes children's portions. Beef should be pasture raised, organically reared and grass fed and poultry should be organic and free range. Avoid eating chicken skin or the fat of any meat and cook well to avoid infections with parasites and bacteria. Organ meats are especially nutritious and should be consume once a week.

Beef (lean grass-fed), lamb, poultry and game birds, organ meats, rabbit and venison are the best meats to consume.

NOTE: Avoid all processed meats like bacon, ham and sausages.

FISH

To gain the essential oils and vitamins (especially vitamin D) needed by the body, fish and especially oily fish, should be consumed at least three times a week. Naturally fed farmed fish is not usually contaminated by mercury and other ocean pollutants like deep sea caught fish can be but may be lower in vitamin D. Ricotta and cottage cheese, coriander, green tea and algae, such as chlorella and spirulina and sulphur-rich foods can help eliminate heavy metals, such as mercury, from the body. Shellfish is high in cholesterol but provides many essential minerals so should be consumed once a week.

NOTE: Avoid larger fish such as swordfish and marlin as they are often very contaminated with mercury.

EGGS

Egg yolks are very rich in many nutrients required by the human body such as vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5,  B6, B7, B9, B12, D, E and K and minerals such as calcium, chromium, copper, fluoride, iodine, iron, lithium, magnesium, molybdenum, phosphorus, selenium, sodium and zinc.

NOTE: There are high levels of a protein called avidin in raw egg whites which bind to vitamin B7 (biotin) which may cause a deficiency of this vitamin if consumed over a few months. When cooked, avidin is partially denatured and binding to biotin is reduced. However one study showed that 30-40% of the avidin activity was still present in the white after frying or boiling so consumption of cooked egg whites should be limited to about three times a week whereas egg yolks, that contain most of the nutrients and no avidin, should be consumed more often. The other alternative is to eat extra foods rich in vitamin B7 the same day as eating egg whites. See vitamin B7.

DAIRY

Organic plain yoghurt with live cultures and kefir milk should be consumed on a daily basis to provide additional friendly bacteria to the intestines. They are best consumed an hour before a main meal to reduce the destruction of these organisms by the stomach acids. Cheese provides the B vitamins and many other essential nutrients but also contain cholesterol fats so should be limited to about three times a week. Organic goat's milk is as tasty and nutritious as cow's milk but without the lactose which many find intolerable. It also does not have the hormones or antibiotics that can be administered to intensely farmed cows. Goat's milk is an excellent choice especially for children and the elderly.

GRAINS AND PSEUDO-GRAINS

Whole grains supply the soluble and insoluble fibre the intestines require to feed the friendly bacteria which help with absorption and manufacture of certain vitamins. Fibre also aids digestion and expulsion of excess fats. Many digestive and bowel ailments can be avoided and resolved by eating more fibre. One tablespoon of psyllium husks consumed daily followed by a large glass of water can heal many digestive and bowel ailments. A selection of these grains and pseudo-grains should be consumed at least once a day. They will also aid in weight loss.

Only unrefined whole grain and brown or black rice should be chosen as they have not had the nutritious part removed in processing. Make porridge, flapjacks or muesli or add to vegetable casseroles. Quinoa is actually a seed but can be used the same way as grains.  Like legumes, nuts and seeds they should be fermented or sprouted or soaked and dried before consumption to reduce phytic acid levels.

Amaranth, barley, bran, buckwheat, kamut, oats, millet, psyllium husks, quinoa, rice (brown), rye, teff

VEGETABLES

Nature has kindly colour coded vegetables and fruits for us. Each colour provides different essential phytonutrients therefore a selection of each of the si colours should be consumed daily or at least each colour once a week. Choose from the following.

Alfalfa, ashitaba, asparagus, aubergine, bamboo shoots, beetroot, bell peppers (all colours), broccoli, Brussel sprouts, butternut squash, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, celery, chicory, chlorella, collard greens, courgettes, cress, cucumber, fenugreek, garlic, kelp, mushrooms, mustard greens, okra, onions, parsnips, radish, rocket, seaweed, spinach, spirulina, spring onions, Swede, sweet potato, tomatoes, turnips (roots and tops) and watercress.

See Nature Colour Codes to find out more.

LEGUMES AND PULSES

Because these provide fibre and high levels of protein as well as many other nutrients a selection of the following should be consumed at least three times a week.  Like nuts, seeds and grains, they also should be fermented or sprouted or soaked and dried before consumption to reduce phytic acid levels.

Black beans, black-eyed peas, broad beans, chickpeas, lentils, lima bean, mung beans, navy beans, peas, pinto bean, red kidney beans, soya beans, winged beans

FRUIT

Fruit is a great cleanser of the liver and blood. It also provides many essential nutrients such as vitamin C which is required on a daily basis. Fresh or home juiced fruit will aid in weight loss and improve metabolism and the immune system. Try to eat at least 3 different fruits each day. Juicing one lemon and consuming each the day in teas, on fish and salads and in drinks will give the system and enormous cleansing boost. Berries are also highly nutritious and at least one should be consumed per day. Cherries are anti-inflammatory so can provide pain relief. Most fruits are diuretic and have antibacterial, antivirus and antifungal properties so can relieve many ailments. They will also clean the blood, protect the heart, lungs and the eyes and clear the skin.

Apples, apricot, avocado, bananas, blackberries, black currants, blue berries, cherries, cranberries, figs, grapefruit, grapes, kiwi fruit, lemons, limes, mango, maqui berry, melon, mosambi juice, mulberries, oranges, papaya, peaches, pears, pineapple, plums, pomegranate, raspberries, soursop, strawberries, tangerines and watermelon

DRIED FRUIT

This is an important part of the diet as it provides a concentrated form of fresh fruit's nutrient and mineral content. Dried fruit can help avert cancerous tumours and aid digestion. It can also replenish energy and revitalise the body instantly and should be added to breakfasts, meals or eaten as snacks through out the day instead of unhealthy processed food bars. Making flapjacks with oats, honey, coconut, nuts, seeds and dried fruit can provide a way to stop hunger and help to eliminate fat build in the body.

Apricots, dates, figs, goji berries, maqui berries prunes, raisins, sultanas

SEEDS

For skin, eye, bones and heart protection and added protein, seeds provide an intensely packed way of gaining these benefits. They should be added to meals and salads, hot or cold, or eaten as snacks daily. They can also be ground using a coffee grinder then used like flour or made into butters using rapeseed or olive oil. Like legumes, nuts and grains, they should be fermented or sprouted or soaked and dried before consumption to reduce phytic acid levels.

Butternut squash, caraway, chia, coriander, cumin, fennel, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, nasturtium, peppercorns, poppy, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower and watermelon seeds.

NUTS

Nuts are not just for Christmas. They are packed with protein and phytonutrients that can protect the heart and provide good energy through out the day. They too should be added to meals or eaten as snacks daily and can replace meat as a source of protein. They can also be ground using a coffee grinder then used like flour or made into butters using rapeseed or olive oil. Nuts are high in healthy fats and only a handful is required per day to gain the nutritional benefits. For instance, 5 walnut halves per day will suffice. Like legumes, seeds and grains, they should be fermented or sprouted or soaked and dried before consumption to reduce phytic acid levels.

Almonds, brazil nuts, cashew nuts, chestnuts, coconut (flesh, oil and juice), hazelnuts, peanuts (not really a nut but thought of as such), pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts.

COMMON HERBS

Most people believe herbs are simply to add taste and aroma to meals or just to decorate a dish however, the nutrients and minerals in aromatic herbs possess powerful antibacterial, antifungal, antivirus, diuretic and liver and blood cleansing properties. They should be added to meals and steeped in hot water and taken as teas (the cups a day with freshly squeezed lemon and honey) as often as possible to gain these protective benefits.

Basil, bay leaf, cardamom, chives, coriander, dill, fennel, lemongrass, mint, oregano, parsley, peppermint, rosemary, safflower, saffron, sage, tarragon and thyme.

MEDICINAL HERBS

Like common herbs, all herbs have been tried and tested on humans for thousands of years by our ancestors as natural medicines and dietary supplements. They have evolved to produce natural protection against their own infections and parasites which, in turn, provides humans with the same protection when they consume them.

Consumed in moderation, in their natural form, is far safer than extracting the phytochemicals and ingesting them separately. The body will naturally take what it requires from a plant and the plant provides all the co-factors which make the chemicals perform as they should. One of the best ways to gain the medicinal benefits of all herbs is to steep in hot water for 20 minutes, then strain and consume the juice.

The following is a partial list of herbs that can cleanse the liver and blood and provide high concentrates of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. See Medicinal herb and spices for an A-Z list of more herbs and their nutritional and medicinal properties.

Aloe vera, anise, ash gourd, ashitaba, black seed, burdock root, common stinging nettles, corn silk, dandelion, drumstick, milk thistle, pine needles, psyllium husks, yellow dock root and wild strawberry leaf.

SPICES

Again, spices are not there just to add taste to meals. They provide an amazing array of powerful phytochemicals that can heal, cleanse, fight infection, clear congestion, aid digestion, protect the heart, liver, pancreas, bones and joints and improve mental cognitive function. Add them to teas and drinks as well as meals and deserts.

Cardamom, chilli pepper, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, ginger, Himalayan pink salt crystals, nutmeg, paprika, peppercorns, sea salt (pure unrefined) and turmeric.

DERIVATIVES

Some premade and processed foods are healthy and nutritious especially those using only the purest organic ingredients and no additives of any kind.

Apple cider vinegar, aloe vera juice, black strap molasses, black tea, Brewer's yeast, brine pickles, coconut oil (cold pressed virgin), green tea, hemp seed oil,  honey, miso, olives in brine, olive oil (cold pressed virgin), rapeseed oil, rice bran oil and sesame oil.

NOTE Non-heme iron is found in vegetables like spinach and kale. Tea, as well as green leafy vegetables have oxalates that block the absorption of iron. To assist the body in the absorption of non-heme iron from tea and those healthy green leafy vegetables, eat a couple of strawberries, an orange, tangerine or some mango if having green leafy vegetables or tea with a meal or snack.

For high nutrition meals see the Nature Cures Healthy Recipes

Associated articles

"Nature cures not the physician..." Hippocrates 460 BC

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