Imagine God, merciful and kind, standing in the stream of time: On one side he sees Adam and Eve cast out of the Garden of Eden, their lives changed forever. On the other side of time, our merciful and kind God sees earth’s future, our world today. He sees the rapid downward spiral of the human race.
Perhaps because of what He sees, God gives vegetables to Adam, and explains Adam will need to dig the soil, sow seeds, grow and harvest vegetables for his family to eat.
Did God teach Adam that vegetables would triumph as safe and healing foods for his billions of descendents to eat? And did God share with Adam the bleak truth - that our world would become unsafe for humans to thrive and survive?
Consider this: Almost every healing lifestyle plan in the 21st century advises high vegetable consumption. Vegetables are the healers, the weight loss food, biologically active food, cleansers, a vehicle for mineral absorption, helpful for healing autoimmune conditions and degenerative disease such as Hashimotos, Graves disease, Crohns disease, cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
If we yearn for less disease, greater health and longevity, then from every dietary position, vegetables need to be the mainstay of the human diet. We need all the God-given goodness vegetables have to offer! Consider the recommendations of these food and diet heroes of our age:
Michael Pollan – journalist and author of revealing and thought-provoking books about food in the 21st century is famously quoted as saying, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
Cardiologist, Caldwell Esselstyn, famous long time fat free vegan, prescribes his patients six servings of leafy green vegetables per day. He says leafy green vegetables supply fatty acids, omega 3 oils and healing properties greater than any other food.
Cardiologist, William Davis, famous author of Wheat Belly, encourages increased consumption of vegetables, while completely avoiding wheat along with avoidance of all grains and high GI starchy foods.
The popular Paleo diet and Autoimmune Protocol, encourage vegetable consumption at every meal. Vegetables are vital to this way of eating.
GAPS and SCD healing diets for Crohns, ulcerative colitis, autism, and the many other gut/brain conditions suggest well-cooked vegetables, a little at first and then building up to as much as possibly tolerated.
What did God build into vegetables to make them such life savers for His human creation?
“Phytochemicals/ phytonutrients/ phytonutriceuticals are organic compounds derived from plants that have health protective effects. Besides the common nutrients such as carbohydrates, amino acids and protein, there are certain non-nutrient phytochemicals in vegetables that have biological activity against chronic diseases. They are low in fat and like all plant products, contain no cholesterol. Most phytochemicals are found in relatively small quantities in vegetable crops. However, when consumed in sufficient quantities, phytochemicals contribute significantly towards protecting living cells against chronic diseases.” (our emphasis)
Will any vegetables do?
Eating clean vegetables
There’s more to clean vegetables than a swish under a running tap! Clean vegetables are grown without artificial fertilisers and without chemical pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and other chemical treatments. Clean vegetables will keep a human body healthier for longer without succumbing to disease caused by a build up of toxic chemicals.
“The impact of industrial chemicals on human health was recently highlighted by the World Health Organisation, which forecasts a ‘tidal wave of cancer’ (International Agency for Research On Cancer 2014). Meanwhile, public health researchers suggest we are experiencing a ‘silent pandemic of neuro-developmental disorders’ and a ‘chemical brain drain’ brought about by the exposure of an entire generation to industrial chemicals (Grandgean 2014).”
To eat clean vegetables means choosing to eat chemical free. The decision can be a big brain leap, because large chemical companies have entire departments devoted to “helping” the public feel safe and secure about these pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilisers and fungicides.
Make no mistake, there is plenty of research dating back to the 1960’s and reaching forward to 2015, showing the dangers of agricultural chemicals to fish, birds and livestock - and lately, and lastly, humans.
The truth is this: Following World War Two, chemicals began to be used widely on agricultural land and crops - as a way to produce more with less loss to insects and weeds. The short term goal - more money.
The question must be asked: Could chemical laced food eaten since childhood be one reason why so many people are shocked to find they are developing disease at a younger age than their parents?
So, if you’re feeling rebellious right now, take a breath: Where exactly do you buy these clean vegetables? They will be labelled “organic” or “chemical free”. Organic vegetables from supermarkets are convenient but can be pricey. Farmers’ or growers’ markets are a wonderful alternative. And many markets operate on Sundays which is vital if you have seen and follow the truth of God’s seventh day Sabbath, found in Commandment Four of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:8-11)
However in many small towns, villages and even cities, chemical free or organic produce may not be available. There are options:
Organisations in some countries (USA, Australia and NZ) publish a regular or occasional list sometimes called the “Dirty Dozen”. These are the vegetables and fruits which test highest in single and/or multiple pesticides and other chemicals, such as fungicides. Prepare to be shocked because these dirty vegetables and fruit are often the most popular with families - apples, blueberries, broccoli, carrots to name four from the 2015 Australian Dirty 18 list.
Good advice is to avoid conventionally grown dirty foods altogether – search out organic or chemical free instead. Some places publish a “Clean” list of vegetables and fruit. These are lower in pesticides and other chemicals. For example: Avocadoes stand out in all lists as being cleanest of the conventionally grown produce.
Make no mistake, the research is clear: The main reason to choose dirty vegetables and fruit is because dirty is cheaper.
For those times, places and circumstanceswhich make chemical free or organic vegetables and fruits impossible, there are ways to help the body cope with the burden of chemical exposure.
Recent research shows liver damage caused by eating chemically grown food can be partially restored by taking specific herbs or combinations of herbs. The easiest of these is dandelion root. This coffee substitute can be bought at health food shops and supermarkets. Dandelion root coffee/tea is also being studied by mainstream oncology for treating cancer and helping deal with side effects of chemotherapy.
Astonishingly, probiotic foods and drinks are proving their ability to break down some pesticides – at least in a test tube study so far. Have you heard of these: Sauerkraut, kimchi and kefir? They are just three of literally thousands of ways to create your own probiotics at home. A good start is a book by Sandor Ellix Katz called “Wild Fermentation”.
One more thing: Eating a “rainbow” of vegetables most days will give you a broad range of powerful properties. Have you heard of the word “synergy”? This means when a group of substances are combined together, they seem to produce an even greater effect than as single substances. So eating a variety of vegetables creates a super health effect! Five thousand beneficial photochemicals have been discovered in plants so far, and this is only scratching the surface of the qualities God created in vegetables!
“Are the reports of pesticides in produce just scaremongering? Reliable scientific evidence shows that pesticides which have been detected are implicated in cancer and in disruption of nerve and reproductive pathways. And these chemicals find their way into our bodies. For example, according to the US centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 96% of 5000 people aged 6 or older had pesticides in their blood and urine.”
References: (Time is short, for the world and this work. Thus you may notice shortcuts, such as this one: References are not linked to the health articles. We humbly ask the interested reader to research the references as time and resources allow. Thank you for your understanding.)
Cohen, Marc (Prof). “The 10 Toxic Truths.” Organic Gardener, April 2015.
Collins, Danica. “Those Pesky Dendelions in Your Yard Are A Non-Toxic Cancer Therapy.” Underground Health Reporter. Accessed April 14, 2015. http://www.undergroundhealthreporter.com/dandelion-tea-cancer-therapy/#axzz3XFk6zpBj.
Gasnier, Celine, Claire Laurant, Cecile Decroix-Laporte, Robin Mesnage, Emilie Clair, Carine Travert, and Gilles-Eric Seralini. “Defined Plant Extracts Can Protect Human Cells against Combined Xenobiotic Effects.” Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology 2011, no. 6:3. Accessed April 11, 2015. http://www.occup-med.com/content/6/1/3.
Ji, Sayer. “7 Ways Probiotics Detoxify Your Body.” Shift Frequency, August 24, 2014. http://www.shiftfrequency.com/tag/detoxification.
Katz, Sandor Ellix. Wild Fermentation. Chelsea Green Publishing, 2003.
“Phytochemicals in Vegetables and Health Protective Effects.” The Asian Journal of Agriculture and Rural Development, n.d.
Sharron P. “Pesticides in Fruit and Vegetables.” SGA - Sustainable Gardening Australia, April 1, 2015. http://www.sgaonline.org.au/pesticides-in-fruit-and-vegetables/.
“Stepping into Food for Life,” First., 60–61. New Zealand: Health for Life Ministry, 2001. www.vitalforce.org.nz/growing.html.
White, Alison. “The Dirty Dozen - 12 Foods with the Most Pesticide Residues.” Organic NZ, June 2010. http://www.organicnz.org.nz/node/120.