extra ingredients for green smoothies [part 6 of 8]

Raw wheat germ

Raw wheat germ is extremely high in Vitamin E and the B vitamins, so this is a great ingredient for women with PMS or menopausal symptoms, and eating it prevents some birth defects, according to research.   It will help you achieve glossy hair, pretty skin, and strong nails.   It adds a nutty flavor and thickness to the smoothie, so you’ll want to add extra water when using this ingredient.   It’s a great way to add fiber to your diet to promote colonic peristalsis and avoid constipation .

However, raw wheat germ goes rancid very quickly.   Buy it in bulk at your health food store if you trust that the store has good product turnover and buys fresh product oven.   Taste it before using, and if it has an even slightly rancid taste, don’t use it.   Store it in the fridge for no more than a couple of weeks, preferably in an airtight container to slow oxidation.

Avocado

This adds extremely nutritious fats to your smoothie, which aids the body in utilizing the minerals in greens.   I highly recommend adding it to smoothies for babies and children, too, or anyone who might need to gain weight.   (It is not a food that will promote weight gain, but because of its high monounsaturated fat content, it is higher in calories than most green smoothie ingredients.)   Avocado is one of the most perfect first foods for a baby.   It’s extraordinarily high in lutein, a phytonutrient that promotes strong eyesight and retards degenerative conditions of the eye.   Other research shows that even short-term avocado consumption decreases total and LDL cholesterol.

Maca root

Maca is a very trendy product from the ancient Peruvian food, from a root related to turnips and radishes, because it has been linked by research to endocrine health and a healthy libido.   It is also said to improve energy levels throughout the day.   So the aphrodisiac is used in South America to boost performance in a variety of areas.

what enzymes do to make food digestible . . . part 3

We don’t think of our stomach as being two-chambered, but Howell goes to lengths to document all the experts and studies (including Gray’s Anatomy) saying that it does, in fact, have two distinct parts.   And in the upper stomach, or “food enzyme stomach,” gastric juices are not released, and peristalsis is not yet churning the food.   Most nutritionists don’t know this.   But that’s where the digestive enzymes inherent in raw foods do their work for about 30-60 minutes before the lower stomach opens and stomach acid must begin to work.   If the food is cooked, it sits there doing nothing, with any bacteria you swallowed with it getting a foothold.   Or, the predigestion that can take place there only with raw food makes the draw on the body’s supply much less when that food continues on through the digestive tract.

 

Think of a snake, for instance, who eats a rat.   That rat is so large that it can’t enter the snake’s stomach for some time to be broken down by stomach acids, until the natural enzymes that came inside the rat break it down.   The healthy ancient meat eaters of various cultures ate not just meat and dairy products, but fermented products–foods that are broken down into component parts by live food enzymes.   Some bizarre examples are Eskimos who eat the contents of a caribou’s stomach (and a number of other putrefied foods) as a “salad,” and Indians of the Amazon River basin, who chew boiled yucca, spit it into jars, and let it ferment with the amylase enzyme in saliva.   This food is their main nourishment, with the average person drinking a gallon a day!

 

Because of the terrible draw on our enzyme processes when we don’t supply exogenous food enzymes, all metabolic activity is affected.   Consequently we have dental cavities, baldness, thinning hair, and breaking nails, allergies, acne, headaches, constipation, cancer, energy problems, and so many more diseases.   Animals in the wild simply don’t have the hundreds (thousands?) of diseases that modern man does as a result of destroying the enzymes in our food.   Even the “healthy” among us tend to have many of the smaller ailments that no animal eating raw food in the wild has.   Dr. Howell says that the idea that “nature cures” we’re all familiar with can refer only to metabolic enzyme activity, because “there is no other mechanism in the body to cure anything.”

 

In 1943, Northwestern University established the Law of Adaptive Secretion of Digestive Enzymes through experiments on rats.   Dozens of other research teams later strengthened this law’s premise with similar findings.   Researchers studied the amount of digestive enzymes secreted by the pancreas.   What researchers found was that an organism values its enzymes highly: it will make no more than are needed for the job.   So, if raw food containing exogenous enzymes are provided, the body has to manufacture very little, leaving its resources and energy well allocated to metabolic processes.

Many studies from the first half of the 1900’s prove that when an animal eats lots of starch, amylase is primarily produced.   A meat-eating animal is found to produce mostly protease.   A whale’s stomach has no amylase in it, because a whale eats no carbohydrate.   And people? When we bring in lots of exogenous enzymes in our food, our body produces very little, leaving those capacities free for other metabolic work.   Scientists missed knowing this, and Medicine and even Nutrition, as disciplines, have misunderstood or ignored these discoveries.   By and large, those charged with guiding us to good health have ignored the critical factor of helping us avoid enzyme burnout.

 

Just like people have enlarged livers or enlarged hearts when those organs are heavily taxed, the pancreas becomes enlarged when a body is fed lots of enzyme-free (cooked or processed) food.   Lab mice eating a cooked, enzyme-free food have a pancreas two to three times heavier than wild mice eating a raw-food natural enzyme diet.

blending vs. juicing

I’ve had three people email me the past week to ask why you’d blend smoothies, rather than juice your fruits and vegetables.   So here’s why, for anyone else wondering.

First, on a practical level, if you’ve ever operated a juicer, you know what a mess the cleanup is.   Even those of us quite dedicated to our family’s health usually throw in the towel after a while.   Most of us “health fanatics” (myself included) have a Champion juicer collecting dust on the shelf.   It does come in handy for making almond butter, though.

Second, while juicing got us lots of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, a glass of carrot juice is still the sugar of 6-8 carrots . . . but without all the great insoluble fiber that slows down  that sugar’s  impact  on the bloodstream.   (Studies show that even high-sugar fruits don’t lead to diabetes or blood sugar imbalances, largely because of the fiber and other elements in the whole food.)   With juicing, you’re throwing away all that fiber that your body needs for absorbing toxins, moving food and waste through the digestive system,  improving peristalsis, preventing colon cancer, and more.

With blended green smoothies, you’re eating  ALL the fiber that the old method of juicing threw away—and your food is broken down, partly predigested.   That’s why I call juicing “so 80’s.”   Drinking vegetable juice is great.   It helped my grandmother eliminate her deadly cancer—after all, they didn’t have BlendTecs back then.   (She also turned orange from consuming so much beta carotene!)   But the turbo blender we  can have in our kitchen now is a HUGE improvement in getting raw, whole plant foods in our diet.   Check out my “best blender” page for six reasons why I like BlendTec even better than its main competitor, VitaMix.