Today we’re delving deeper into the nutritional facts of some of the staple foods used on the Gerson therapy. If you missed Part 1 of the Rationale Behind the Gerson (Food Medicine) Therapy you can check that out here.
Listed below is a (brief) nutritional outline of some of the staple foods used in the Gerson therapy.
Watercress (one of the oldest known leaf vegetables consumed by humans) contains significant amounts of iron, calcium, iodine, and folic acid, in addition to vitamins A and C. It also contains more sulphur than any other vegetable (except horseradish), which helps with protein absorption, purifying the blood, and assists in cell building.
Escarole is high in folate, which the human body needs to synthesize, repair and methylate DNA. It is also high in vitamins A and K.
Romaine (Cos) and Red Leaf Lettuce are excellent sources of chlorophyll and vitamin K (responsible for the proper growth and protection of cells). They also are a good source of vitamins A, B1, B2, C as well as folic acid, manganese and chromium.
Red Cabbage is rich in enzymes, and vitamins C and K. Cabbage juice if full of cancer-fighting nutrients like glucosinolates (which acts as chemoprotective agents against carcinogens, aka: block tumors) and anthocyanins (powerful antioxidants).
Endive an excellent source of Vitamin A (a fat-soluble vitamin with multiple functions in the body. It helps cells differentiate, an essential part of cell reproduction. Cells that are not fully differentiated are more likely to undergo precancerous changes. It is a central component for healthy vision; vitamin A nourishes cells in various structures of the eye. Vitamin A also influences the function and development of sperm, ovaries, and placenta and is a vital component of the reproductive process), Vitamin K, Folate, Manganese and a good source of Vitamin C (an antioxidant that neutralizes pollutants in the body, helps to prevent cell damage and produces the collagen which makes healthy cartilage, joints, skin and blood vessels)
Chard (Silver beet) contains good amounts of vitamins A, K, C. The stalks are high in iron (a mineral that is essential for an energetic body, a sharp mind and a strong immune system. Iron helps blood and muscles supply oxygen to the body)
Bell Pepper (Capsicum) contains a good source of thiamin, niacin (combines with other B vitamins to release energy in the cells, and to regulate circulation, hormones, glucose, and hydrochloric acid in the body), folate, magnesium and copper, and a very good source of dietary fiber, Vitamin A, C, K, B6 (is needed for the formation of hemoglobin, which is the molecule that carries oxygen in your red blood cells and plays a role in protein metabolism), potassium and manganese.
I know several of you are really curious why potatoes are used in a healing diet. Potatoes are not the bad guys they are made out to be, unless of course you fry ‘em up, pour loads of salt and butter on them (or worse), and expect them to count as your ‘vegetable’ serving for the day. Truly potatoes don’t deserve the bad rap they’ve been given over the last couple decades.
- They are a fat-free, cholesterol free, easy to digest plant protein
- One medium potato (5.3 oz) with the skin contains 45 percent of the daily value for vitamin C; as much or more potassium (an essential mineral that helps regulate heart function, blood pressure, and nerve and muscle activity. Potassium is also required for carbohydrate and protein metabolism and helps maintain the proper pH within the body) than either bananas, spinach, or broccoli; 10 percent of the daily value of B6; and trace amounts of thiamin, riboflavin, folate, magnesium, phosphorous, iron, and zinc
- With the skins left on, a medium potato contains 8 percent of the daily value of fiber (essential for a healthy digestive system, improving blood lipid levels, regulating blood glucose, and increasing satiety)
About Oats (Oatmeal)
Oats are an excellent source of thiamine, iron, dietary fiber and are the only source of antioxidant compounds known as avenanthramides (which help to protect the circulatory system). They also contain beta-glucan (which is believed to help control blood glucose levels and stimulate the immune system).
So that’s the short of it.
Nutritional healing can be quite complex, which is why I tried to tame the topic by keeping it short and sweet here. I hope despite doing so that the rhyme and reason behind the food(s) chosen on this therapy is clear.
Let me know if you have any curiosities and or questions. Even though I don’t play a dietitian or doctor on the Internet (or in real life), I will try to answer what I can. Like I’ve been curious as to why the Gerson therapy insists on green bell peppers in the juice? Why not red? Red bell peppers have more vitamin C than their green counterparts; they also have lycopene, and carotene which the green peppers don’t have. I’m in pursuit of an answer to that question and will let you know what I learn. If you know PLEASE share!
Coming next? Healing with coffee! Actually, come to think of it, the next post might be a long overdue photo journal update and then onto coffee enemas. We’ll see how the next week rolls. I promise a Gerson therapy progress update soon.
’till next time…
All love from my kitchen apothecary to yours,