Author: Beatrice Trum Hunter
The importance of a whole food diet cannot be overstated. I would like to share a quote from A Whole Foods Primer which provides just one of the reasons why we should be consuming foods in their whole form rather than foods which have been processed and stripped of their cooperative properties.Speaking of the dangers of first processing foods and then trying to add back the vitamins and minerals which were removed, the author, Beatrice Trum Hunter, goes on to say….. “The enrichment program breaks numerous relationships that exist between nutrients, including dependencies and antagonisms. An example is cadmium and zinc. Cadmium in the whole grain is not well absorbed in the body in the presence of zinc. Zinc is concentrated in the germ and bran of the whole grain, where it is held until needed to grow roots before the young plant can obtain it from the soil. Cadmium, on the other hand, is distributed throughout the grain. The result of removing the germ and bran then, is that most of the zinc is removed, whereas the toxic cadmium remains in the grain. In the whole grain, cadmium’s toxic effects are held in check by the zinc. However, the zinc is no longer available. The result is that the toxic cadmium remains unbuffered in the refined flour. (Sugar, too, in refining loses its supply of zinc, but the cadmium remains.)”
As I already mentioned, this is just one example of the synergistic effects of the different components in whole foods. There are also many components or elements in food that we are not yet aware of.....so when we rip these foods apart in an unnatural manner, we have no way to determine what all of the consequences may be.
A Whole Foods Primer is a compact book filled with helpful and interesting information to help the reader select and best utilize foods in their most natural state. The author divides the book into the following chapters….. A Cornucopia of Vegetables, Succulent Fruits, Wholesome Whole Grains, Nutrient-Dense Nuts and Seeds, and Quality Counts with Protein Foods. I have been interested in nutrition for all of my adult life but yet I still was able to glean many gold nuggets from the pages of this book. A few of my favorite discoveries are listed below.
1. Reasons why the soaking of grains is important
2. The different amino acids that make up protein and what their specific functions are. I can now realize how inadequate protein intake or poor digestion of protein could cause many of the health problems people face.
3. From page 119: “Antibodies, manufactured in the body to ward off infectious bacteria and viruses, are proteins. If protein supplies are low, antibody creation is limited and the body is more susceptible to infection and disease.”
4. A component of tart red cherries is more effective in treating inflammation than aspirin.
5. Elderberry extract greatly reduces susceptibility to stress.
6. Certain forms of some natural foods are more effective at preserving the food they are added to than many of the chemicals we use.
Hunter shares many tips on how to select, store and prepare specific whole foods. Many health benefits are also discussed. Beatrice Trum Hunter bases her information on solid science, traditional methods which have benefitted folks for eons…..and on common sense. As a renowned author of many books on food, nutrition, infectious causes of disease, and hazardous toxins in our food and environment, she tells it like it is. Hunter is not one for promoting single magical food cures but instead believes in a well rounded whole food diet where each class of food plays a role in maintaining our health. We all yearn for a quick fix to our health problems but, restoring health and vitality often means giving up processed foods and balancing our diet by adding a variety of natural whole foods, prepared in more of a traditional manner.
I think that A Whole Foods Primer would be a great addition to anyone’s food and nutrition library but I feel it is especially appropriate, as the title suggests, as a primer or concise introduction for those who have a newer interest in food, health and nutrition. Many people do not have the time or patience to wade through an in-depth book which contains too many irrelevant or complicated details. I think that A Whole Foods Primer would also make a wonderful gift. It is easy to read and contains many interesting tidbits to grip the reader’s attention.