The Importance of
Minerals in the Diet
Only traces of many minerals
are required by the body but due to today's farming and food processing
techniques much of the mineral content has been lost. Minerals are
something many people do not consider as essential as protein or
vitamins but they are absolutely vital for many cellular processes.
Although the body can store minerals, it cannot manufacture them so
consuming a wide range of coloured natural foods can help replenish
stores that are used up or lost.
This is as important for those that are unwell
or taking medications as it is for those that do strenuous exercise or
sports. Minerals are lost through perspiration and many drugs (including
alcohol) block the absorption and manufacture of the nutrients
which help absorption of minerals or cause the body to lose minerals in
the urine. Alcohol causes the body to expel zinc in the urine. This may be the reason why healthy and fit athletes also develop cancer. These minerals are vital for the body to manufacture the messenger proteins that tell abnormal cancer cells to 'commit suicide' ( apoptosis). If athletes do not replace the minerals they lose through perspiration and use up quickly through intense exercise for a prolonged period of time cancer cells are likely to proliferate.
NATURES COLOUR CODED PLANT FOODS
Consuming one of each colour is vital for
optimum health. Some of the nutrients are not only
responsible for the colour in natural foods but have important functions
in all of the body's cells. See the
Organic Nutrients pages.
Natures colours give strong
clues which we seem to ignore. For instance; beetroots possess
betacyanin which gives them their deep red colour and provides the
essential ingredient which can assist the body with recovery from many
It stops the spread of cancer tumours, prevents diseases of liver, kidney and pancreas and treats ulcers in the stomach, strengthens the lungs and the immune system, improves the vision, good for eye redness treatment, reduces pain after intense physical training and menstrual pain, eliminates hard stool, positively affects the colon, regulates high blood pressure, improves bad breath which occurs due to indigestion of food, helps treat acne and creates healthy skin. Therefore, if foods of a particular colour are avoided there are many great health benefits that are missed out on and many essential organic nutrients and minerals.
Some vegetables have more than one colour
for instance spring onions have green leaves and white roots. This means
there are the nutrients of both these colours present so the whole of
the plant should be eaten which will provide the nutrients of the green
and white categories below. The same goes for beetroot and beetroot
Some vegetables, fruits and
nuts contain different healthy nutrients in both their flesh and skins
so both should be consumed. Apples, aubergines. potatoes and sweet potatoes are examples. Orange,
and lemon peel has powerful antioxidant properties, is nourishing for the
heart and should be included in the diet. Skins should only ever be
discarded if they are completely inedible such as bananas, Swede,
watermelons, pumpkins etc. Just ripe bananas contain slightly different
phytonutrients than very ripe black bananas. Both are good for different
Choose at least one small serving of each of the six colour categories per day.
Make two of them fruit and four of them vegetables:
1. GREEN Examples:
Apples, alfalfa, artichoke, ashitaba, asparagus, avocado, basil, bell peppers, broad beans, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, celery, chilli peppers, chives, collard greens, cress, courgettes, drumstick, green grapes, green olives, green beans, herb leaves, kale, kiwi fruit, lettuce, lime and peel, mung beans, okra, oregano, parsley, peas, pumpkin seeds, rocket, seaweed, spinach, spring onions, sprouted seeds, grains, nuts and legumes and winged beans.
is the nutrient which gives the green colour. Chlorophyll can mask
some of the colours of other nutrients in foods.
Examples: Apricots, bell peppers, butternut squash, carrots, chick peas, chilli peppers, corn, ginger, lemons, lentils, mango, oranges, papaya, peaches, pineapple, prickly pear, pumpkin, Swede, sweet potato, tangerines, turmeric, the peel of yellow and orange citrus fruits and whole grains.
Curcumin gives turmeric its yellow colour and anthoxanthins, beta-xanthins, carotenoids and/or chalcones are the compounds which give the yellow/orange colour and curcumin gives turmeric its yellow colour. To absorb fat-soluble carotenoids the foods containing them must be consumed with a little oil such as coconut, hemp seed, nut, olive, rapeseed, rice bran, sesame, fish or nut oils or other fatty foods like avocado or oily fish.
For more information about why these components are necessary in the diet follow the links below:
Examples: Apples, asparagus, bell peppers, cabbage (red), cherries, chilli peppers, cranberries, goji berries, grapefruit (pink), grapes (red and black), guava, oranges (blood), pears (red), mung beans, parsley, persimmons, pinto beans, prickly pear, radishes, raspberries, rhubarb, red chokeberry, red kidney beans, red onions, pomegranates, raspberries, rhubarb, rose hips, saw palmetto berries, strawberries, sumac, Swiss chard and tomatoes and watermelon.
Beta-carotene , betacyanins and lycopene are the nutrients which give the red colour. To absorb fat-soluble carotenoids, the foods containing them must be consumed with a little oil such as coconut, hemp seed, nut, olive, rapeseed, rice bran, sesame, fish or nut oils or other fatty foods like avocado or oily fish. Astaxanthin is the most powerful antioxidant known to man and causes
the pink and red
colour in seafood such as
lobster, prawns, salmon, and shrimp.
The highest concentration of this antioxidant is found in
For more information about why these components are beneficial in the diet follow the links below:
4. BLUE/VIOLET/PURPLE/BLACK Examples: Amaranth, acai berry, aubergine, beetroot, bilberries, black bananas, black beans, blackberries, black chokeberry, black currants, black tea, blueberries, broccoli (purple variety), cherries, chokeberries, cranberries, dates, elderberry, figs, black grapes, black olives, kidney beans, maqui berries, mulberries, onions (red), navy beans, plums, poppy seeds, potatoes (red skinned), prickly pear, prunes, purple broccoli tops, radishes,
raisins, sweet potato (skins), Swiss chard and winged beans.
are the nutrients that give the red/blue to purple and black colours and are often most concentrated in the skins and stems of food crops.
For more information about why these components are beneficial in the diet follow the links below:
5. WHITE/CREAM Examples: Aubergine, just ripe bananas, Brazil nuts, butter beans, butter nut squash, cauliflower, celery, chestnuts, coconut, garlic, Jerusalem artichoke, leeks, macadamia nuts, mung beans, mushrooms, navy beans, onions, parsnip, peanuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, potatoes, radishes, soya beans, spring onions and turnips.
are the nutrients which give the white/cream colour.
6. BROWN/GOLD Examples: Brown rice, cocoa beans, dates, hazelnuts, mushrooms, nuts, potatoes skins, seeds and whole grains.
Brown and gold foods can contain a variety of the above pigment nutrients.
Blending and juicing
To make it easier to consume a wider selection of foods, and hence a wider range of nutrients without the bulk, purchase a powerful juicer. The best to use, to get the most nutrients from fruit and vegetables, are the slow juicers of at least 900 watts. See
Raw Juice Therapy for more information.
A blender also helps to reduce bulk. Puree
your selection of different coloured fruit, steamed vegetables, legumes, herbs
and spices in a blender as potage soups and 'smoothies'. Add organic probiotic live yoghurt for a creamy effect.
When vegetables and fruits are first chopped they should be left aside
for 10 minutes for beneficial chemical reactions to take place. Then
they should eaten raw or steamed and consumed straight away because they begin to
lose nutritional value after this. Pre-packed chopped fruit and
vegetables have very little nutritional value compared to freshly
prepared natural food and often have synthetic chemicals added for
Micro Diet Sprouts
To gain a wide selection of essential nutrients in
small portions of sprouts try growing your own in a jam jar with just a
daily rinse of water. Visit the
Nature Cures Micro
Diet Sprouts page to find out how to grow beans, seeds, whole grains
Nutrients from seeds, fresh or dried herbs, leaves and roots can be
ingested easily without the bulk by
making them into teas. Simply pour hot (but not quite boiling) water over them leave for 20 minutes then strain and sip
the juice. Try experimenting and making unusual teas by mixing
different herbs, spices and adding honey and fruit juices such as lemon. Drink three cups a day warm or cold with ice.
Through stools, urine, tears and sweat the body rids itself of toxins that would otherwise build up and lead to sickness and disease. Fevers and skin eruptions are actually a natural part of the cleansing process and shouldn't be suppressed. Headaches can also occur but this is because toxins are being released and will be eliminated if plenty of water is consumed. Cleansing allows the body to restore balance and occurs when imbalance is too great and threatens health and life. Ingesting live organic natural plant foods encourages this process. See
and Detoxify page to find out which natural foods can help the body
clean itself inside and out.
ESSENTIALS FOR GOOD HEALTH
To ensure against ill health there are certain natural
foods which should be consumed regularly because they have properties
and nutrients the body uses up and needs to replace often. It is not
absolutely critical that they are consumed every single day but, if they
are, the health and vitality of the body and protection against
infection and disease will increase dramatically.
Many can be consumed together with fruit juice, made into
teas or added to meals, salads, soups and sauces. How they are consumed
is a matter of choice and taste. Experimenting, by adding herbs and
spices to everything, is an excellent way to gain even more essential
nutrients whilst making the consumption of these foods more palatable
Fruit, leafy vegetables and herbs should have minimal
cooking (steaming is best) to ensure no loss of vital nutrients.
The body only needs traces of many nutrients, therefore,
consuming any more than that is a waste of money and can cause many
health complications. Because human bodies differ so much in size, shape
and metabolism, there will never be one size fits all but the following
is a guide to the amount that can provide all that is required.
Along with one from each of the 6 colour categories above take these
protein portion from the meat, fish, dairy, legumes,
nuts or whole grains
categories below per day. The entire day's portion of protein should be no
larger than the clenched fist of the person eating it. This includes
THE NATURE CURES
TOP RATED NATURAL FOOD
The following foods have shown to possess the highest
broadest spectrum of nutrients, the lowest bad fat content, the least
adverse side affects and are the most beneficial to the human body's
processes. If only these natural foods are consumed a noticeable
difference will be felt and seen within one week.
Normal weight will be
regained, infections eradicated and vitality will be improved ten fold after a few weeks
providing alcohol, coffee, drugs, sugar, table salt, animals fats, refined and
pre-processed foods and snacks, fast foods and ready meals have been
completely eliminated from the diet. This is based on organic natural
food which has far higher nutrition and no chemical residues.
Organ meats, poultry, pheasant, pigeon, quail, rabbit, veal and venison.
Halibut, lobster, menhaden, octopus, oily fish, shellfish, squid and whelks.
Non-pasteurised blue cheese, egg yolks, goat's milk, live probiotic yoghurt
Barley, brown rice, buckwheat, durum wheat, millet, oats, quinoa and teff.
NUTS, LEGUMES, PULSES
All beans, almonds, chickpeas, cocoa beans (organic, unrefined), coconut, green beans, hazelnuts, lentils, mung beans, peanuts, peas, pine nuts, pistachio, soya beans, walnuts and winged beans.
SEEDS WHOLE OR GROUND
Amaranth, caraway, chia, coriander, cumin, fennel, flaxseeds, hemp, mustard, peppercorns, pomegranate, poppy, pumpkin, quinoa, salba, sesame, sunflower and watermelon.
LEAVES AND STALKS
Alfalfa, ashitaba, asparagus, broccoli, celery, chicory, collard greens, cress, dill, drumstick leaves, fenugreek, holy basil, kale, kelp, lettuce, mustard, oat straw, oregano, parsley, radish, rocket, sage, salsify, savoury, seaweed, spinach, tarragon, tatsoi, thyme, watercress and wheatgrass.
Aubergine, avocado, bell peppers (red, green, yellow and orange), tomatoes, chilli peppers, courgettes, cucumber, marrow and squashes.
Apples, banana, baobab fruit, berries, cherries, grapes, lemons, limes, mango, maqui berry, melon, papaya, pears, pineapples, pomegranate, pumpkin, strawberries, tangerines and watermelon.
Ashitaba, beetroot, carrots, daikon, garlic, ginger, onion, parsnips, radishes, suma, sumac, Swede, sweet potato and turnips.
Borage, capers, corn silk, courgettes, elderflowers, marigold, nasturtium and savoury.
Basil, cardamom, coriander, cloves, dill, fennel, marjoram, oregano, parsley, saffron, safflower, sage, tarragon and thyme.
SPROUTING LEGUMES, GRAINS AND SEEDS
Alfalfa, almond, amaranth, barley, broccoli, buckwheat, cabbage, chickpea, corn, daikon, fenugreek, flaxseeds, hazelnut, hemp, kamut, leek, lemon grass, lettuce, lentil, milk thistle, mizuna, mung beans, mustard, oat, onion, pea, peanut, quinoa, radish, rice, rocket, rye, salba, sesame, spinach, spring onions, sunflower, tatsoi, turnip, watercress and wheat.
See the Sprouting page to see how to grow your own in a jam jar.
Chaga, maitake, oyster and shiitake.
ALGAE AND SEAWEED
Chlorella, dulse, Irish moss, kelp and spirulina.
Apricots, dates, figs, goji berries and raisins.
Beetroot, blackcurrant, blueberry, carrot, cranberry, lemon, lime, maqui berry, pineapple, pomegranate, tomato and watermelon. Juicing or blending any of the other fruit and vegetables mentioned on this page is beneficial too.
Coconut, hemp seed, nut, olive, peanut, rapeseed, rice bran and sesame.
Cayenne pepper, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, coriander, fennel seeds, nutmeg, paprika, peppercorns, turmeric and pure unrefined sea salt or Himalayan pink salt crystals.
Apple cider vinegar, black strap molasses, brewer's yeast, brine pickles, krill oil, manuka honey, milk thistle extract, miso and whey.
Anise, ashitaba, black, basil, chaga mushroom, chamomile, chia, dandelion, green, liquorice root, peppermint, sage and spearmint
People that avoid fats altogether,
thinking they will lose weight, are in fact making their system
sluggish because of nutrient deficiencies. This will not only lower
their metabolism and put weight on but will affect their general
health as well. This is why fat free diets never work.
The western diet lacks in the
different colour combinations of vegetables and fruits and large
portions of just one or two colours are consumed on a daily basis.
The answer to the ultimate healthy
diet is to make sure certain foods are consumed at the same time in
order to effectively absorb and utilise the nutrients whilst others
are consumed separately. There was a myth that foods lacking in certain amino acids should be consumed at the same time as foods containing these amino acids in order to obtain 'complete protein' such as brown rice and beans. However, it has since been proved that as long as they are consumed on the same day and not necessarily at the same time there will be no problem.
Foods rich in
protein should be
consumed separately from
carbohydrates for best digestion.
High fat and sugary foods should never be
consumed at the same time.
Avoid mixing carbohydrates and
starch with acidic fruits that destroy the enzyme which digests
High sugar fruits like melon should
be eaten separately from foods rich in protein or starch.
Nightshades, such as potatoes,
chillies, aubergine and tomatoes, should not be combined with
Foods rich in
sulphur aid in the absorption of
zinc. Foods containing these two nutrients should be consumed
together. This is
particularly important for anyone who drinks alcohol as zinc is
expelled in the urine more readily.
There are two types of iron; heme found in meats and seafood; the other (non-heme) is in
iron rich plant foods. Non-heme iron isn't as easily absorbed by the
body. Foods high in
vitamin C raise the acidity of the intestines, allowing non-heme
to be more readily absorbed. Always consume
vitamin C rich foods with green vegetables and green tea and never drink tea or coffee with a meal. Allow at least 30 minutes.
Vitamin C rich foods increase iron
vitamin E rich foods inhibit it. Vitamin C lowers
zinc, 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 same ratio. Taking excessive vitamin C supplements can elevate the blood sugar and is especially dangerous for elderly women.
Foods containing the fat-soluble
lutein, zeaxanthin and
vitamin E and
vitamin K must be consumed
with some fats at the same time in order to be absorbed. This fat
can be from avocado, butter, egg yolks, nuts, oily fish, soybeans or
virgin cold pressed plant and seed oils.
To find out the highest natural food sources of the nutrients mention above follow the links below:
Fat soluble nutrients are stored in
the body for long periods of time and pose a greater risk for
toxicity when consumed in excess as supplements than water-soluble
Trace amounts of many phytochemicals
and minerals are perfectly adequate. Just as a trace of poison can
be fatal to humans so the same amount of nutrients can have a powerful
and beneficial effect.
Natural foods contain the right
amounts of phytochemicals required to utilise the nutrients. Tipping
the scales towards, too much protein, salt, fat and sugar and the
addition of synthetic chemicals and drugs has unbalanced the human
body and resulted in
diabetes and serious conditions like
heart disease and
cancer increasing at an
The following can alter the body’s natural balance of
stored and internally manufactured nutrients:
Many nutrients are stored in the body and only need replacing often when
they are used up quickly by intense exercise. This is especially true of
carbohydrates, vitamins, electrolytes and protein.
Vitamin K2 is manufactured by the
bacteria in the intestines from vitamin K1 in the diet therefore probiotic foods that feed
the bacteria must be ingested regularly for this to take place.
If too much sugary and animal fat foods are consumed
it will feed the wrong type of bacteria in the guts and
colon disorders and
obesity will be the result. It can also lead to diabetes.
Ingestion of strong chemicals and
toxins can either expel vital elements in the urine or even replace
them where they are stored in the bones and fatty tissues. Minerals
and B vitamins especially can be lost or not absorbed enough
alongside drugs and alcohol.
Old age (65+) can affect nutrient balances
as it becomes slower and harder for the body to absorb or
manufacture its own nutrients and store them efficiently.
Drugs, illness and infection can
alter the balance of intestinal bacteria and this has an immense
effect on the digestion and manufacture of certain vital nutrients.
Lack of sunshine on the skin causes
vitamin D deficiency. People get far less sunshine now as work and
many other activities take place inside buildings and some religions
force the covering of skin. The overuse of sunscreens in skin creams
and makeup mean women are more prone to vitamin D deficiency. 20
minutes of midday sunshine on bare skin as often as is possible can
provide all the vitamin D required. Some foods like aloe vera,
aubergine, carp fish, cheese, cod liver oil, eggs, full cream cow’s
or goat's milk, hemp seeds, krill oil, oily fish and wild
mushrooms can also provide vitamin D.
Four Points to remember
Take a small amount of a variety of all colours of everything as often as the body desires food. Never give into to addictions for one substance or consume a portion of meat larger than the size of a pack of cards.
Never starve yourself because your body will go into survival mode and then when you finally eat something the body will store fat as fast as it can to protect itself from future starvation. Starvation diets actually put weight on.
Always add cold-pressed virgin oils to any vegetable dish.
Try to avoid anything processed or refined in any way.
"Nature cures not the physician..." Hippocrates 460 BC
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