Our food is only as nutritious as the soil is it grown in.
It has been my hope that we can heal by food as medicine alone. Unfortunately, it's been my experience as a nutritionist that some key supplementation along with clean, fresh, whole, organic, non-sensitive food is necessary to heal a gut issue that is causing dis-ease in the body.
Nutritional deficiencies are a clue to a gut issue and can come from many things like parasites, pharmaceuticals, and food sensitivities (e.g. eating gluten when someone is gluten sensitive).
A core subject of Holistic Nutrition is Eco-Nutrition. Here we learn that our food is only as nutritious as the soil is it grown in. As factory farming is detrimental to the soil, our produce is deficient in vitamins and minerals compared to the past. If you want to know more on this subject, read “The End of Food” (How the Food Industry is Destroying our Food Supply – and What You Can Do About It) by Thomas F Pawlick.
Vitamins and minerals are essential for your body to heal, repair and function normally.1 Pawlick tells us we need to eat even more fresh produce to get what our grandparents ate from smaller portions (and even more if we want to heal).
Nutrition overload is the goal.
In fact, my focus as a nutritionist is producing nutritionally overloaded menu plans and offering key supplements that synergistic-ally provide that healing capacity.
Raw Juice vs. Raw Food
According to Dr. Andrew W. Saul, Ph.D., juicing is a soothing, efficient way to get lots of nutrients into you that are highly absorb-able. He has written a book called “Vegetable Juicing for Everyone” in which he highlights that by breaking down the cell walls in juicing, even those with IBS and Crohn’s that cannot handle raw food, can handle raw juice.
Juicing predigests the food.
According to Dr. Robert Young, CPT, MSc, DSc, PhD, Naturopathic Practitioner, juicing predigests the food, and it will fall into the crypts of the small intestine and help build stem cells. He hypothesizes that stem cells are built primarily in these crypts, with bone marrow being the secondary site.
Folic Acid or Methylfolate?
Dark leafy greens, especially if homegrown and organic, have the form of folate that the body needs called methylfolate. When you cook these greens, 20% is lost. Steaming would be preferential, but not as good as raw. Interestingly, there is recent awareness that if you have one of the two variants of the Methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene (and 40-50 % of us apparently have this), it affects the body's ability to convert folic acid or folate to methylfolate and thereby increases risk of disease.
Some variants have been reported to influence susceptibility to occlusive vascular disease, neural tube defects, Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia, colon cancer, acute leukemia, male infertility and recurrent spontaneous abortion.
These gene mutations are also referred to as "dirty genes" and are highlighted by Dr Ben Lynch, N.D, in his recent book. Basically, those with this MTHFR gene mutation cannot convert a folic acid supplement or food with folic acid added into methylfolate, the form the body needs.2 In fact, that folic acid acts like a bully and leaves little room on the cell receptors of someone with the MTHFR gene mutation to accept the methylfolate from greens. My understanding is that those with MTHFR gene mutation can function on folic acid but not thrive as you should on it.
Green juicing concentrates vitamins and minerals in a predigested form (i.e. nutritional overload) that includes the best form of folate (methylfolate) that can build stem cells for a healthy body. Some 40-50% of us desperately need this because we have been eating folic acid and have not been converting it to methylfolate if we have the “dirty gene” or mutation of MTHFR.
Unless you are confirmed not to have this gene mutation, I recommend discussing with your physician if you currently take/eat folic acid and whether it is wise to continue.
If you have a known deficiency, use 5- MTHF or if you just want to enhance your folate level, then ensure your supplements have either the form of methylfolate or 5-MTHF and nutritionally overload with methylfolate-rich greens! Of course, if you have an oxalate issue, see a Nutritionist/Naturopath/Functional Medicine/Physician to find out which greens are lowest in oxalates and whether juicing might be contraindicated right now.
I’d love to hear from you!
What strategies and insights have helped? Leave a comment below and let me know.
“Nothing tastes as delicious as healthy does”
- No Grain, No Pain, pg 145, Dr Peter Osborne, 2016
- The Sleep Success Summit Aug 2016 - Are Your Genes Affecting Your Ability to Sleep? Dr Ben Lynch, N.D.