GM Diet – My Experiments With the Truth

You may love it or you may hate it, but I am very sure, if you are seeking for weight-loss methods, you can never ignore it. General Motors Diet or popularly known GM Diet, ranks highest in the most-sought diet charts. Surprisingly, I have yet not found any information about GM Diet on any of the official sites of General Motors (update me if I have missed any).

Various sites, blogs and forums have discussed about GM diet, but in a scattered manner. My primary intention behind this post is to represent various facets of this diet plan and to give a comprehensive overview, based on the experiences of my own as well as of my friends.


This diet plan was introduced at a general meeting of General Motors Corp. on 15th August 1985, initially intended for the use of the employees of General Motors company, to facilitate wellness and fitness. It was granted by the United States Agricultural Department and the FDA, further tested by the Johns Hopkins Research Centre.

It was designed as a ‘De-toxification diet program’, to improve ones metabolism through its cleansing systemic effects, reflected by an improved disposition and a feeling of well being. As an end-result, a weight loss of 4-6 kgs was expected within the program-week.


Here is the day-wise diet plan and its dietary significance. I have added few things from my experience and experiments, which worked.

Day 1:

Fruits of any kind (except bananas) in any quantity. The most preferred fruits are the melons and cantaloupes, due to their high water content. In addition, you should drink at least 10 glasses of water.

By eating fruits, you are preparing your system for the upcoming program. Fresh fruits are nature’s perfect food, providing all essential elements needed to sustain life. Fruits are also a good source of antioxidants and are fiber-rich. Fruits are also considered as a negative-calorie food, thus burning more calories for its digestion than those provided.

Believe me, I have done GM diet twice and have found this day the most difficult one. Firstly because of the sweetish taste of all fruits, and further due to an intense craving for bread or spices, that one develops towards the end of the day. The solution for this is the Soup to break the monotony of the fruity taste.

Day 2:

The day can start with a large baked potato with one pat of butter for breakfast. It definitely fills you with complex carbohydrates to start your day after the first sweety-fruity day.

For the rest of the day, you should eat all sorts of vegetables of your choice, raw or cooked. Vegetables have very less calories, high in nutrients and fiber. There is no limit on the amount. This should be added with drinking at least 10 glasses of water.

One can also mash a baked potato, add some onion & curd, and spice it up with chaat masala & red chilli powder and pinch of salt.

Day 3:

This day consists of a combination of fruits and vegetables of your choice, except banana & potato. In addition, you should drink at least 10 glasses of water. Potato is avoided on this day since the carbohydrates are available from the fruits that you eat.

One can do varieties of salads mixed with fruit slices. If you take more cucumber and melons, it’s more likely to lose weight than any other vegetables or fruits. Adding a curd to vegetable salad, in a ‘raita’ form will make it more palatable towards the evening, when it gets monotonous.

Day 4:

A day when you can eat nothing but eight bananas coupled with three glasses of milk. It is not mandatory to eat 8 bananas; you can have less as well. In fact, you might feel satisfied within 4-5 bananas within the whole day. This is the day when you can clearly feel your food-craving diminishing significantly. It feels divine, to get over your ‘desires’. Do not forget to drink at least 10 glasses of water, as always.

Bananas will act as a provider of carbohydrates that is easy to digest, coupled with sodium and potassium reserve.

Day 5:

This is considered as a ‘Feast day’, where you should eat up to two portions of lean beef (10 oz.) combined with six whole tomatoes – as a source of fiber. On this day, you should increase your daily water intake to at least 14 glasses. This is to cleanse your system of the uric acid getting produced. You will experience colorless urine on this day.

Beef is a source of proteins & iron, and thus an alternative can be paneer (tofu – soya paneer for better results) coupled with mushrooms for the vegetarians. Many people have recommended rice as a replacement to beef, but if one considers the nutritive contents, rice can not be the right surrogate.

Day 6:

Another day with beef and vegetables. Today you can eat any amount of beef combined with cooked or raw vegetables. Keep your daily water intake to 14 glasses. You can add the Soup to add some spice to your day.

Iron and proteins from the beef or paneer-mushroom combination, while fiber and nutrients from the vegetables. Till this time, you must have experienced an energetic feeling and an awareness of the power of natural food items.

Day 7:

The food intake on this day should consist of a bowl of brown rice with fruit juices and any vegetables you want to eat. Drink 14 glasses of water.

The juices will break the fast (?) providing the essential nutrients along with the vegetable stuffing. The brown rice provides the carbohydrates.

Now you must be at least 4 kgs lighter than day one, yet more energetic and free from the cravings for high-calorie stuff.

The Soup:

The following soup is a modified version of the GM Wonder Soup since it is not possible to get the Lipton Onion soup mix everywhere, as suggested in GM Soup. The modified soup goes parallel to the ‘rassam’ or ‘saaram’, served in south India. This soup is allowed to be consumed in large quantities throughout the program. It is intended as a supplement to your diet.

Boil few large-cut onions, tomatoes, cabbage, and celery in water. Add the sambhar masala for the taste. You may also add tomato-puree (but with the skin) instead of tomatoes to make it thicker. One can season it with herbs and flavorings. You may also add: asparagus, peas, corn, cauliflower, green beans or finely chopped mushroom.

General instructions for all days:

  • You may squeeze a lemon to flavor the water that you drink every day.
  • No alcohol of any kind since it adds empty calories.
  • Salt should be used as less as possible.
  • Use artificial sweetener, in case you can’t stay away from the sweet taste.
  • No fruit juices till day seven.
  • Black coffee or tea is allowed.

You may repeat the schedule, if you want further weight loss, but it is suggested that you should take a gap of at least two weeks in between two schedules.


Now the most important part: the doubts, accusations and myths.

“It works just by losing the water content of the body and not actually a fat loss.”

a.    Firstly, there is no mention of restricting the water intake on any day. How can one lose only water if we are consuming at least 10-14 glasses of water every day, added with the unlimited quantity of soup and the water contained in the melons, fruits and vegetables?

b.    It basically acts on the principle of ‘negative calorie foods’ where you are consuming certain foods that demand more calories to burn themselves than what they provide themselves. High-fiber food stuffs you but doesn’t provide the required calories, instead demands more calories to burn themselves, which is derived from the stored energy-deposits.

“Skin gets dry and you may lose your hair during and after the GM diet.”

a.    At least I have not met anyone in my acquaintance complaining of this, but found this on few blog-posts. The reason can be insufficient amount of water intake and not supplying enough protein sources on specific days.

“It is a temporary loss and you regain all lost weight in couple of weeks.”

a.    Obviously, if you resume your high-calorie food once again. It is not difficult to lose weight, but to maintain it. Malvika, my wife who is a dietician, always recommends a maintenance diet program after the GM diet schedule as follows:

i.    Only liquids in the form of soups, buttermilk or fruit juices for dinner on three consecutive days in a week. This should be followed endlessly, until you want your weight to bounce back.

ii.    Drink plenty of water as if you are on GM diet.

iii.    Exercise regularly.

“It’s just a Crash-diet and a Fad, nothing else!!”

a.    First of all, it is not promoted as a weight-loss diet, but a Detox diet that cleanses your system from within. Weight loss is just a by-product of it.

b.    Even if one looks at it as a ‘crash-diet’, it surely will not harm you, but will ‘move’ your weight in the least period, thus motivating many who tend to leave their regular diet and exercise regimens within first month, for not getting desired results. Once you can ‘see’ your weight dropping, it boosts your will to try further.

c.    As said above, it is futile unless you back it up with a maintenance program. You can not be on GM diet for lifetime, nor you can or should do it every month. Instead use is as an initial-motivator and switch to a liquid-dinner course later.


I myself have done GM diet twice. The first time I was very sincere in following it. Thanks to my wife and my mother, who made all arrangements for the foods on each day. I lost 4 kgs towards the fifth day. I could not lose any further on the last two days and I presume that to the rice I ate, as a substitute to the beef. The lost weight remained there for a month, in spite of not maintaining it actively. I could have lost at least half a kilo more, if I would have stayed away from the rice, which in any case I do not like to eat.

The next time I started it, but had to leave it in between due to some unavoidable circumstances. But had seen significant change in my weight and the energy level for the four days that I followed it.

The most significant gain has been with my lipids coming down to normal. I have had really bad lipid levels for two years and after following GM diet twice, being on statins and taking self-prescribed homeopathic medicines for the same, the latest levels of lipids were perfectly within normal limits. The credit goes to the high-fiber rich GM diet as well.


If followed sincerely, GM diet has a definite positive effect of its own on our metabolism. I agree that it is not an end in itself, and one needs to maintain the metabolism by appropriate food habits and exercise regimen. GM diet can not be a ‘quick & easy’ substitute to ‘efforts’, but surely can be a booster for those who have never seen their weight going downhill, providing a ‘kick-start’.

As Malvika says, ‘one should take a diet that s/he can follow for the lifetime…’ and that’s true! You can never have GM diet for everyday, since there are so many delicacies around to enjoy, but for that we need to have a balanced metabolism, so that we can give them their due justice.

Source by Amit Karkare

The Top 5 Harmful Substances Found in Your Food

If you need to enhance the flavour of food using artificial chemicals rather than herbs and spices, there is something seriously wrong about that and it begs to wonder why you would want to put such things into their bodies.

Of course, there are more than five harmful substances that are found in foods but I wanted to concentrate on these five because they are the most common.

In no particular order, my top five are:


Out of all the substances, for me personally, this must be the worse. This is not to say that some (additives)) are better than others, but there really is no need for this in food, there really isn’t.

The process of hydrogenation is to heat up liquid oil to high temperatures so it becomes a solid fat. Manufacturers claim this enhances the taste and ‘mouth feel’ of the foods they produce as well as extend shelf life. This very process changes the chemical structure of the oil and turns it into a ‘trans fat’.

I recall reading a newspaper article a while back where a university professor said that there are no health benefits to hydrogenated oils. In fact, he could not even measure how dangerous they would be to the human body so we are better off avoiding them all together.

Indeed, hydrogenated oils have no health benefits whatsoever. It is no better than eating plastic. Your body cannot process plastic so how it is supposed to process hybridized oil is anyone’s guess.

A few years ago, one high street chain made the decision to omit hydrogenated oils from all their own brand label foods. I was very pleased when I heard this and I wish other supermarkets would follow suit.

The main foods to look out for are: burgers, pizzas, fast foods, powdered soup and sauce mixes, cakes, pastries, desserts, cookies, some breakfast cereals, crisps (chips), chips (fries), non-dairy alternatives (cream etc.) and many non organic processed ready meals.

Fast food joints that sell fried food are best avoided because you have no idea how often they change their oil. The more the oil is re-heated and re-used, the more oxidised it gets – basically, more and more free radicals are created. Free radicals is like rust in the body and if you do not consume anti-oxidants (found in fresh whole foods particularly fruits and vegetables) you could be setting yourself up for some serious health problems in the future.


What surprises me about white sugar is that it is found in foods you would not expect it to be in. I have lost count the amount of times I have been shopping, picked up a product, looked and the label only to find sugar as one of the ingredients.

A few years back, one of my favourite snacks was oatcakes. When out shopping, I wanted to buy my usual pack of oatcakes but they were out of stock, so I looked at the supermarkets own label alternative. I could not believe it when I saw sugar as the third (or forth) ingredient. I thought why? Why was it necessary to add sugar to a product when it clearly was not needed? Answer? It is a cheap bulking agent and adds to the taste (supposedly). This is why supermarkets can boast about their produce being cheaper – they add cheaper ingredients and less of the real stuff.

Most mornings, I see kids going to school gorging themselves on sweets (candy), chocolate, cans of fizzy pop, and packets of crisps. What happened to a decent breakfast? These kids must be a nightmare by the time they get to school.

Consuming high amounts of sugar in any form not only depletes minerals in the body (especially) calcium but also causes blood sugar problems. When too much sugar is consumed, calcium is extracted from the skeletal bones to buffer the acidic effects of too much sugar circulating in the blood. This can lead to thinning of the bones, thus leading to osteoporosis.

Blood sugar problems are not the same as diabetes, but if it is not regulated, this is exactly what it can lead to. Constant blood sugar disruptions can cause a number of symptoms including sleepiness, lethargy, tiredness and cravings for sugary products.

White refined sugar can be found in just about every processed food you can think of, even in savoury products such as tinned (and/ or fresh) soups, processed sausages and pies, pizzas, burgers, bread and slimming products! Now you know why you have trouble managing your weight.

Now the market is crowed with decent alternatives such as agave and yacon, you can still get your sweet fix minus the side effects. You can also use fresh and dried fruit as sweeteners for making desserts and in baking.


One thing I will never understand is why manufactures spend money stripping all the nutrients away from whole grains, turning it into a pure white substance with no nutrients then fortifying their foods with inorganic vitamins and minerals. It’s baffling!

White flour, like white sugar is found in a countless array of foods – again all processed. I’ve lost count of the number of times clients have come to me and say they are trying to cut out wheat because they are having a hard time digesting it. This really does not surprise me considering it is found in just about everything you can think of, even salads, salad dressings and roast potatoes!

White wheat flour has become a staple in the Western world and people will consume it several times per day without even realising. They may think they have a varied diet but if you break it down into a list of ingredients, the main items on the list will be white flour, white sugar, fat and salt.

Like white sugar, white flour will deplete our body of nutrients. Why? Because it contains no nutrients your body then has to draw on its own reserves and if those reserves are in short supply, you are heading for trouble.

Your body need nutrients to function at an optimal level. If these nutrients are not there that is when we start having health problems. Over time these (health problems) become more chronic especially if we continue to eat the same suboptimal foods. You wouldn’t put diesel in your car if it takes unleaded petrol would you? Of course not! Your car would splutter to a halt in a very short period of time. But that is what you are doing to your body when you consume white flour products. The only difference is that your body will start showing signs of ill health.

Another thing you will notice about white flour is how sticky it is. Now just imagine that sticking to your insides, because that is what happens. Gluten is the substance responsible for this and the first three letters says it all – GLU add an E and we have glue!

Just imagine, for breakfast you kick start the day with toasted glue, add a good spread of hydrogenated fat and perhaps some sugar (jam)…hummm, nice! That will keep you fighting fit and performing at your peak won’t it?

There are plenty of alternatives out there so there it is possible to avoid foods that contain white refined flour. The best whole grains to go for are those that are stoned ground e.g. wholemeal, spelt, rye and kamut. Further, you can replace whole grains with non gluten alternatives such as millet, coconut, potato, rice and hemp flour. With whole grains, the nutrients stay intact. Alternatively, you can sprout most of these grains and eat them as they are or homogenise them, mix with herbs and spices and turn them into delicious nutrient dense crackers.


I have never been a big fan of fizzy drinks. My mum never bought any home when she went shopping so this translated over to me when I moved away and started doing my own shopping. Before I knew any better, the only time I consumed fizzy drinks was when I went out for a meal (I didn’t drink alcohol much) or some other special occasion, so it was no big deal to stop drinking it all together when I started studying nutrition.

Fizzy drinks are not only high in sugar (everyone knows that) but they are also high in phosphorus. Phosphorus is a substance that is very good at leaching calcium from bones because calcium is required to maintain the blood pH homeostasis. Phosphorus is also highly acidic and upsets the balance with potassium. This along with a high intake of dairy is what probably contributes to the highest levels of osteoporosis in the Western World.

Fizzy drinks again are empty calories. They contribute nothing to your health except extra calories. No wonder the rates of childhood obesity are reaching epidemic levels. Further, more and more children are being diagnosed with type two diabetes. Up until a few years ago, this was an adult onset health issue – not any more.


Let’s make this really simple – the word artificial says it all. If it isn’t natural, why put it in your body?

A 1970s study showed that aspartame caused brain tumours in rats and life long consumption increases the risk of cancer. Aspartame has also been shown as having a direct effect on brain chemistry. It can pass through the blood brain barrier and cause all sort of problems and has even been linked to food cravings. So if you are on a diet and consume ‘low fat’ foods that contain aspartame but you have cravings all the time, this perhaps could be the reason why.

Food colourings, emulsifiers, flavourings, thickeners and preservatives – what benefit do any of these have to your health? The only reason so many foods contain these unnecessary chemicals is for preservation, to extend shelf life and enhance taste but this can be easily done with herbs and spices. Most people ignore what they cannot understand and buy it anyway. Also, many may not question the extra additives in the food they buy because either they are unaware or if they are aware, they don’t care. If someone doesn’t care, it tells me they don’t think much of themselves…they don’t think they are worth it and that’s a shame.

If a substance is not from the earth, then it is man made and if it is man made, then it has no place in the food we eat.

The upshot of all this is that these substances do not contribute anything to your health because they are devoid of nutrients.

I am hoping for a world that eventually rejects what food manufacturers are producing and go back to how we used to live many years ago – producing our own food and relying on each other for support and resources.

When this will happen (if ever) is anyone’s guess, but I would like to think it will one day.

Source by Valerie McKen

12 Healthy Healing Foods From the Bible

Why does our society seem to seek every way to overcome sickness and disease other than looking in the best Instruction Manual that’s been around for thousands of years? Why do we avoid the simplicity of the basics when it comes to our health? The “basics” I refer to are eating healthy foods, getting regular exercise and adequate sleep.

Of course, the best instruction manual I am referring to is the Bible and there must be hundreds of books out there educating us on the importance of adequate exercise and sleep. Yes, there are scads of books on what to eat, too, but if they tell you to eat something that seems to contradict what the Bible says is OK, you probably should do some serious research before incorporating it into a regular eating plan. 

There are actually some diet/eating plans being promoted that in the long run, may not be very healthy. What a shame if you lose weight, for example, and then have a heart attack because you were eating way too much meat or didn’t get adequate nutrition.

Do I even need to mention some things you should obviously avoid if you want to experience optimum health? Folks, as much as I hate to list anything, this is what I see around me in abundance: fried foods, sugar in just about everything it seems, artificial sweeteners, meals heavy in meats with few vegetables and fruits, almost all cooked, (very little raw foods), and diet drinks.   

The foods listed in this report are by no means all the “healthy” foods mentioned in the Bible. They should, however, provide you with some guidance in your food choices.

1. Apples. Song of Solomon. Apples are considered to be the “all around health food.” They are high in flavonoids, fiber and Vitamin C. Some of the apple’s healing powers include:

A.      They lower both bad cholesterol and high blood pressure

B.      The juices in apples are highly effective virus fighters

C.      They help stabilize blood sugar, an important factor in controlling diabetes

D.      They suppress the appetite without robbing the body of necessary nutrients

E.       Depending on the need, they prevent constipation or help treat diarrhea

One caution: conventionally grown apples may be highly sprayed with pesticides and coated with wax. Purchase organically grown apples when possible.

2. Barley. Deuteronomy 8:8, Ezekiel 4:9. Barley’s high fiber content can help keep us regular, relieve constipation and ward off a wide variety of digestive problems. It also may help block cancer. Barley is full of beta glucans, a type of fiber that can lower the risk of heart disease by reducing the levels of artery-clogging LDL.

3. Coriander (Cilantro). When the children of Israel wandered in the desert and received manna from the sky, they described it as looking like coriander seed. Since then coriander has been called “the healer from heaven.” Coriander is recommended for indigestion, flatulence (excessive gas) and diarrhea. Externally, it’s used to ease muscle and joint pain. Recently, scientists began looking at coriander as an anti-inflammatory treatment for arthritis. Other research has demonstrated that it reduces blood sugar levels, an indication that it may prove to be a useful sugar management tool for diabetics.

4. Fish. Luke 24:42-43. Fish is low in cholesterol and contains healthy polyunsaturated fats. Fish is a rich source of protein, potassium, vitamins and minerals with only a moderate amount of sodium. Eating fish:

* Thins the blood

* Protects arteries from damage

* Inhibits blood clots (anti-thrombotic)

* Reduces blood triglycerides

* Lowers LDL blood cholesterol

* Lowers blood pressure

* Reduces risk of heart attack and stroke

* Eases symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis

* Reduces risk of lupus

* Relieves migraine headaches

* Fights inflammation

* Helps regulate the immune system

* Inhibits cancer in animals and possibly humans

* Soothes bronchial asthma

* Combats early kidney disease

The key to the healing powers of fish lies in the omega-3 fatty acids. These are particularly concentrated in cold-water fish such as anchovies, bluefish, herring, lake trout, mackerel, sable fish, whitefish, flue fin tuna, salmon and sardines. Note: in deciding between “healthy” and “unhealthy” fish, you can get specific instruction from Lev. 11:9. Eat only fish which have both fins and scales.

5. Garlic. One of the world’s oldest healing foods. By the time of Moses, garlic was already being used as an anticoagulant, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor agent, as well as a relief for flatulence, a diuretic, a sedative, a poultice and as a cure for internal parasites. Research suggests that garlic may help protect against heart disease and stroke by lowering blood pressure. It contains allylic sulfides, which may neutralize carcinogens. In fact, garlic has been linked to lower rates of stomach cancer, too. It is heart-friendly, with scores of studies showing its astonishing ability to fight hypertension, prevent blood clots and lower cholesterol.

6. Fruits, Berries, Grapes. Numbers 13:23, II Samuel 16:1-2. Grapes were the first thing Noah planted after the flood. Grapes were eaten fresh, dried and eaten as raisins just as we do today, and pressed into cakes. However, most of the crop of the vineyards was made into juice, wine and vinegar. A cup of raw grapes contains only 58 calories, 0.3 grams of fat, zero cholesterol and vitamins A, B and C. Grapes also contain important minerals such as boron, calcium, potassium and zinc. 

Grapes may be helpful in preventing osteoporosis, fighting tooth decay, heading off cancer and fighting off viruses. Other health-giving fruits include figs, melons, and pomegranates.

7. Legumes. 2 Samuel 17:28-29, Genesis 25:34. As reported in the book of Samuel, beans were among the highly nutritious foods sent to feed King David’s hungry army and restore their strength for the hard times ahead. Beans have a lot of soluble fiber, which helps lower LDL and reduce blood pressure. The fiber also helps keep blood sugar levels stable, stave off hunger, and even reduce the insulin requirements of people suffering from diabetes.

Beans are a great source of protein as well as being packed full of vitamin C, iron and dietary fiber. Beans help lower blood pressure and reduce the “bad” cholesterol that today’s research has shown to be the cause of so much devastating heart trouble — a rarity centuries ago. Beans contain chemicals that inhibit the growth of cancer. They help prevent constipation, can stop hemorrhoids and other bowel-related problems from developing, and help cure them if they do.

8. Nuts, including almonds, pistachio nuts and walnuts. Song of Solomon 6:11, Gen. 43:11. Botanists today believe that Solomon’s “garden of nuts” referred to in Scripture was a rich grove of walnut trees. At the time, walnuts were prized for the oil they produced, which was regarded as only slightly inferior to olive oil. The fact that walnuts were a delicious treat and highly nutritious was an added bonus. Nuts contain the right mixtures of natural ingredients whose benefits include cancer prevention, a lower risk of heart disease and help for diabetics. The oil found in walnuts is considered helpful because it is one of the “good guy” polyunsaturated fats and tends to lower blood cholesterol levels. Note: it’s best to avoid roasted nuts since they have been found to carry carcinogens, which could lead to cancer growth, so buy your nuts raw.

9. Olives. The olive was one of the most valuable and versatile trees of biblical times. It is mentioned frequently throughout the Bible. Probably the most famous reference to olive oil and its healing powers is in the parable of the good Samaritan, in which the Samaritan cares for a beaten and robbed traveler, treating his wounds with oil and wine. Olive oil, mixed with wine, was even used to soften and soothe bruises and wounds. Known benefits of olive oil include:

* Lowers blood cholesterol            

* Reduces LDL (bad) cholesterol levels

* Retards cancer growth

* Reduces the wear and tear of aging on the tissues and organs of the body and brain

* Reduces gastric acidity

* Protects against ulcers and aids the passage of food through the intestines, helping to prevent constipation

* Reduces the risk of gallstones

* Aids normal bone growth

One CAUTION: olive oil has a slight laxative effect, so add it to your diet gradually. 

One TIP: the more pure the olive oil, the better, so spend a little extra and get Virgin Olive Oil.

10. Onions. Numbers 11:5. Like its cousin, garlic, the onion is noted as a cure-all. And the folk healers hold it in high regard as far back as 6000 years or more. At least 3000 years before the birth of Christ, onions were treasured both as food and for their therapeutic value — particularly in the treatment of kidney and bladder problems. Some facts about onions:   

* Taken internally as a tonic to soothe intestinal gas pains

* Taken internally to alleviate the symptoms of hypertension, high blood sugar and elevated cholesterol

* Some people attribute their long life to a diet that includes high concentrations of onions and yogurt

* The juice of an onion and a syrup made from honey has been used to treat coughs, colds, and asthma attacks

* A tonic of onions soaked in gin has been prescribed for kidney stones and to eliminate excessive fluids

* Modern herbalists recommend onion syrup as an expectorant (it helps eliminate mucus from the respiratory tract)

* Onions can raise the good and lower the bad cholesterol

* Onions can slow blood clotting, regulate blood sugar, break up bronchial congestion and possibly prevent cancer

* Onions possess a strong antibiotic that kills a variety of bacteria

* Have been used externally as an antiseptic and a pain reliever

11. Wheat. Jeremiah 41:8, Ezekiel 4:9. Wheat was the “staff of life.” Biblical people ate their grain boiled and parched, soaked and roasted, and even ate it green from the stalk. It was pounded, dried or crushed to be baked into casseroles, porridges, soups, parched grain salads and desserts. Ezekiel’s bread was intended to be a survival food during the dark days of the Babylonion conquest because it contained wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet and spelt. Wheat bran is high in insoluble fiber. The fiber protects us against constipation. It helps prevent intestinal infections, hemorrhoids and varicose veins. It also improves bowel function and guards us against colon cancer.

12. Wine. I Timothy 5:23. John 4:46. Making wine from grapes is one of the most ancient arts and the beverage of choice in the Bible. According to Genesis, one of the first things Noah did after the flood was plant a vineyard so he could make wine. Researchers are now rediscovering what the physicians of the Bible knew centuries ago. In moderation, wine has a profound impact on our health and healing. Just a single glass of wine a day may be enough to raise the good cholesterol by 7% and help the body put up a barrier to a variety of cancers.

Wine appears to help stop heart disease and cancer. A study at the University of Ottawa in Canada concluded that there is a clear link between wine consumption and lower rates of heart disease. Countries where more than 90% of alcohol is consumed in the form of wine have the lowest rate of heart disease deaths.

A British study of 100 men and women discovered that a single glass of wine or sherry everyday increased the HDL or good cholesterol. When the group abstained from drinking wine, the HDL level decreased.

Red wine also seems to increase the body’s defenses against cancer. White wine may carry some of the same therapeutic benefits, but research so far seems to indicate that red wine is the most effective cancer blocker. Note: be sure to drink only in moderation. Ephesians 5:18.

As you can see, the Bible lists a lot of foods, foods that are actually available to us today, that we could be consuming to prevent illness, serious diseases and many trips to the doctor. Good health is not that difficult, but you do have to work at it a bit. It’s a balance of what you eat, exercise, sleep, avoiding stress, taking vitamin supplements. And strange as it may seem, the Bible is actually a complete instruction Manual for all of this.

In conclusion, the 12 healing foods listed here are only a partial list of healing foods found in the Bible. However, this report provides abundant evidence that God has placed on this earth, many health-giving foods for our consumption. A person who makes a serious effort to daily eat some of these health-giving foods, while avoiding health-destroying foods, certainly can expect to reap the benefits of a healthier body.

Source by Judy Thompson

The Function of Iron in Our Life

Iron is a mineral needed by our bodies. Iron is a part of all cells and does many things in our bodies. For example, iron (as part of the protein hemoglobin) carries oxygen from our lungs throughout our bodies. Having too little hemoglobin is called anemia. Iron also helps our muscles store and use oxygen.

Iron is a part of many enzymes and is used in many cell functions. Enzymes help our bodies digest foods and also help with many other important reactions that occur within our bodies. When our bodies don’t have enough iron, many parts of our bodies are affected.

Key Functions of Iron

Iron is an important mineral. It is needed to help our red blood cells deliver oxygen to the rest of the body. Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron.

  1. Transport and storage of oxygen.
  2. Aid in energy production and cell diffusion.
  3. Helps the immune and central nervous systems.

Iron absorption refers to the amount of dietary iron that your body obtains from the food you eat. Healthy adults absorb about 15% of the iron in their diet.

The actual amount of iron your body absorbs depends on the amount of iron already stored in your body. When your body has low amounts of iron stored, it will absorb more iron from the foods you eat. When your body has a large amount of iron stored, the amount of iron it absorbs will decrease.

If the body absorbs too much iron, a condition called hemochromatosis will occur.

Food Sources of Iron

  • Excellent Source (3.5mg+) – cooked beans such as white beans, soybeans, lentils, chick peas, clams, oysters, pumpkin, sesame, and squash seeds, breakfast cereals (enriched with iron), tofu
  • Good Source (2.1mg) – beef, ground or steak, blood pudding, canned lima, red kidney beans, chick and split peas, cooked enriched egg noodles, dried apricots
  • Source (0.7mg) – chicken, ham, lamb, pork, veal, halibut, haddock, perch, salmon, canned or fresh shrimp, canned sardines, tuna, egg, peanuts, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, roasted almonds, roasted cashews, sunflower seeds, cooked pasta, egg noodles, bread, pumpernickel bagel, bran muffin, cooked oatmeal, wheat germ, canned beets, canned pumpkin, dried seedless raisins, peaches, prunes, apricots

Boiling vegetables can reduce the iron content by 20%.

Caffeine interferes with the iron absorption in the body. Avoid drinking caffeine along with iron-rich foods or supplements.

Absorbability of iron from foods varies widely:

  • The “organic” iron found in red meats is considered the most absorbable (10 – 30%).
  • Plants contain “inorganic” iron, of which only 2 – 10% is absorbed in the digestive tract.

Recommended Daily Usage

  • Children (girls & boys): Ages 1-3 (7mg), Ages 4-8 (10mg)
  • Girls & Women: Ages 9-13 (8mg), Ages 14-18* (15mg), Ages 19-30** (18mg), Ages 31-50 (18mg), Ages 51+ (8mg)
  • Pregnancy (27mg)
  • Breastfeeding:

* Vegetarians need 26 mg ** Vegetarians need 33 mg

Nutritional Safety

Iron deficiency anemia occurs when your body doesn’t have enough iron.

Iron is important because it helps you get enough oxygen throughout your body. Your body uses iron to make hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a part of your red blood cells. Hemoglobin carries oxygen through your body. If you do not have enough iron, your body makes fewer and smaller red blood. Then your body has less hemoglobin, and you cannot get enough oxygen.

Women are usually at a higher risk of iron deficiency because of blood loss through monthly menstrual cycles.

Iron is one of the top six nutrients that are found to be commonly deficient in people globally. Iron requirements increase for pregnant women, who produce more red blood cells to supply the growing fetus with oxygen and nourishment. My next article entitled “The Function of Magnesium in our Life” will examine the role of Magnesium in good nutrition.

See you on the Beaches of the World,

Kevin McNabb

Source by Kevin McNabb

Kiefer – Noah’s and Moses’ Super Yogurt For Intestinal Health

Kiefer – The Mystery Milk from the Mountains

KIEFER – Noah’s Other Brew – Mohammed’s Ararat Secret – Russia’s Disclosure

Today’s term is Probiotics. And that’s a good term. It means FOR LIFE – Stuff that makes “good bugs in your bod”. What science has learned is the the “flora and fauna” of your intestinal tract is a highly variable world full of millions of micro bacteria. The balance of that microflora determines health. And since 80% of your immune system is in your intestinal tract, it has much to do with our blog topic.

Remember the last time you had a horrible intestinal upset. Think: “BAD microflora”. At any rate, if we move back in time, we can see that people have been benefitting from positive microflora at many points in history, even back, legend has it – to prehistory and myth times. There is a “mushroom” like substance that is used in Asian health drinks called KOMBUCHA. I won’t speak of that now, but cultural history is spotted with foods and teas and drinks that basically perform the function of directly working with your intestinal microflora. From Miso Soup to Pickles, there are lots of foods that pertain to our challenge here. I do not now pretend to talk about that whole world. However, today, I will talk about Kiefer because of its special and intriguing history.

Kidnapping a Princess for the Secret of Long Life –

At the turn of the Century in what was Armenia, there was a secret brew that Russian’s would put in a bag near their front door. It looked like a big bag of milk, and boy did it “work”. It sat there with its secret ingredients and burblied and bubbled and got sampled and eventually got to a point where it was ready to be consumed. Most of us would look at it, and call it Super Yogurt. Fast forward to present day. It’s now in your local super market.

Locals said it gave long life, prevented disease and gave youthful vitality. Through a bribe and a princess and a tale worthy of a movie, the local Russians revealed their secret to the public and people got possession of this special microbial making “mushroom” and it eventually got to the USA where small business innovation took over and made it available to all. The story is fascinating because it was so jealously guarded for so long. Something so wonderful took a bribe, a kidnapped princess and holding out, as if for diamonds, when it was just a formula based on some exotic substances that went kept on getting transferred from one bag to another for generations. (according to the legend)

Since this is the territory of Mt. Ararat, its tied to a Noah Legend. Besides drinking his wine, Noah had this brew to grant long life and prevent disease and enhance limited diets. Fast forward to Moses, and some say, Mannah, that white stuff in the desert, could be a reference to the Children of Israel’s saving consumption in the rocky Sinai. Who knows? But it is pretty well agreed that Mohammed’s influence came into the area in the 600’s. It is said that he wanted this kept secret. And it pretty well was “kept secret” from the world until 1900. That’s a cool 1300 years. But how powerful it really is, and how magical it is, only you can make a subjective analysis if you begin to use.

Don’t mistake Kiefer for regular sweet little yogurt packages –

Suffice it to say that the word “Probiotics” sums up science’s general commendation of this approach. It is no secret now, and more research is daily establishing that the biochemistry of the gut is a mysterious swamp of good and bad news. The good news is what we can hope to control and influence, and the bad may have to do with what we just don’t understand and just can’t influence. Kiefer is enlivening. I can tell you that. The little yogurt packages do go through your tummy and do their special little beneficial action, but they do not present a resplendent array of scores of bacteria that will actually recolonize. That’s what Kiefer pretends to do.

There is speculation that an out of control bacteria derived from excess starch in the diet also confuses the immune system of those with GLA B27, (TNF) the excess inflammatory responder cytokine that causes so much suffering. Chat rooms I have read talk about the Self/not Self problem developing here. When the special genetic marker starts overreacting, it can not determine self from not self and it starts to attack the spine and the lower intestinal tract and arthritic conditions, such as we speak of above, begin to develop.

Colonies sounds like Colonics, but not –

Kiefer regularly consumed, might rebalance this out of control bacterial growth and change the alkaline/acid balance, bringing Colonies of bacteria that can be the rebalancer of your insides. An important point here is the concept of Colonies of Bacteria. Little portions of yogurt are effective, but they basically go through your system on one trip and help out the bugs along the intestinal road. However, the deeply embedded colonies of bacteria that are entrenched in your tract are the indigenous populace that can not easily and quickly be changed. Changing the colonies to more beneficial bugs is what regular consumption of Kiefer is supposed to do. I like the theory. I love the history. I consume because as the old Jewish saying goes: “It couldn’t hoit”.

So think about Probiotics in general. I think it has everything to do with our modern, sugar based, starch based diets. With the beginning of agriculture in the middle eastern city states about 2000 BC changed the basic meat and roots diet that humans had. It did not allow the farm worker to leave the field in the middle of the day. The bosses said: “Eat your bread for lunch and get back to work. You can get your wild rabbit meat later.” Since then, many say, we with special genetic problems have been prey to this dilemma.

How do you eat for your body instead of your lifestyle? Eating is repetitive and habitual. To gain benefit here, you probably should buy several bottles a week, or at least dose pretty heavily every night or morning. The real stuff is wild tasting without fruit and flavors. Most Kiefers are soaked with pomegranate juice, or blueberry juice or some other new super anti-oxidant. If it was good for the Hebrew children, it could be good enough for you.

Source by Christofer French

The Benefits and Advantages of Eating Healthy Food

One should never underestimate the importance of eating healthy food. There are so many benefits but why are there so many people still not eating right? Why has obesity and heart diseases become such a huge factor? Although the statistics are clear, people still refuse to change their life styles.

Eating healthy food may become a struggle, especially when there are so many fast food restaurants everywhere we turn. Often people make excuses like they don’t have time to get healthy food, it’s not that accessible, or that they don’t know how to prepare it. However, there are just as many supermarkets that stock fresh produce as there are fast foods outlets, so accessibility is a poor excuse.

The rate at which obesity in children is rising is more shocking than that in adults. But what is the root of this problem. One cannot really blame the children as they learn from their parents. Children are more likely to eat unhealthy foods if their parents do.

The benefits of eating a healthy diet include living a longer life, feeling happier, gaining vitality, weight loss, and a healthy appearance. Processed food decrease the quality of our lives, so eating healthy foods means we can better fight diseases and live longer. When it comes to happiness, studies have shown that eating healthy foods is an excellent natural anti-depressant.

When you eat healthy your energy levels tend to rise. Because fatty foods cause weight gain you will also have a better chance of losing weight with a healthy diet. You will not only feel healthier but will look healthier. You’ll be surprised at how much healthier your skin, hair, and nails will become.

Sometimes it is not enough just to eat an apple a day. To really gain the benefits of eating healthy foods you need to plan an entire healthy diet and stick to it.

The best time to eat healthy is the morning. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so keeping at least your breakfast healthy is a good start. Drinking a smoothie in morning is a good healthy option. It is packed with goodness and tastes delicious. Yogurt also makes for a healthy breakfast but stick to low fat, unsweetened yoghurt. Eating plain yogurt with freshly cut fruit pieces may be an even healthier option. Eggs and whole wheat bread or bran muffins is more filling. Eating cereals or oatmeal is also better than eating a fatty breakfast or even no breakfast.

During the day you need to eat meals that contain loads of starch because they contain energy. Breads, cereals, rice, potatoes and pasta will do the trick however, stay within the limits. Do not over eat; just eat enough to sustain your energy.

You should also try to eat as much fruits and vegetables as possible throughout the day. One should at least pack in 5 portions. Avoid eating a lot of meats; rather choose fish as a healthy alternative. Stay away from a lot of fatty and processed foods but do not cut it out completely. Lastly, drink loads of water.

Source by James Zane Johnson

The Seven Evils of Fast Food – And Why I Still Eat It!

There’s nothing wrong with food being fast. To walk into an eatery, order a meal and get it in five minutes is great. But there’s a trade-off when commercial pressures come into the story.

Here are the seven evils of fast food. Avoid them if you can — it IS possible if you buy with care.

 1. Substandard Ingredients

No, not everywhere, nor all food in a particular outlet. But large chains and the wholesale suppliers to smaller places have a grand opportunity to offload low-quality ingredients processed to make them acceptable, especially in highly-flavored food (see #2 and #3 below). 

The worst ‘offenses’ involve mechanically reclaimed meat and using emulsifiers and polyphosphates to retain processing water in meat. How can you tell? When you can see a nutrition table, look for the protein to fat ratio. Lean meat will be around 3:1 protein, depending a little on the animal and breed. Highly-processes ground meat products such as sausage and kebab meat can vary from 1:1 to 3:1 fat, with a third of the weight added water. Without printed evidence, you’ll have to educate your palate!

So be aware, and look for better quality food; most Indian places use good, fresh ingredients, for example, whereas a lot of Chinese outlets buy in highly-processed partly-prepared ingredients to go with the fresh stuff. That’s not a hard-and-fast rule; use common sense to choose your store. Burger joints vary from fastidiously pure food to utter garbage in both meat and sauces — and Macdonald’s and Burger King are better than most for purity. But their desserts, shakes and soft drinks are another matter — read on!

 2. Fat and Sugar For That Blobby Feeling

These are the staples of most quick preparation foods. This is particularly because frying is speedy and sugar is the core of desserts and drinks. At least the oils used today are healthier than the old saturated animal fats.  You’ll already be aware that a high fat, high sugar diet is unhealthy. An occasional fast food meal should be no problem nutritionally — your body is great at dealing with infrequent overload. But do you fool yourself that your take-away every lunch and every night is ‘occasional’?

Both fat and sugar are addictive (see #7) and combine to make the best way to pick up atherosclerosis, arthritis, diabetes, heart attacks and cancer — if that’s your choice of future.

 3. Salt Can Lead To Hypertension

To most punters, tasty equals salty. But salty equals hypertension equals high blood pressure equals collapsed arteries and heart failure. Eating less salt is impossible if you major on fast food, because you don’t control salt addition and if a fast food joint left it out, most of its customers wouldn’t come back.

The result is that a fast food diet is almost always a high-salt diet.

 4. Low Fiber Equals Gut Problems

By customer demand, most fries are skinless and bread, pasta and rice are white.  The fiber is stripped away to give you what was once a luxury food, but now is the cheap, health-free option. Fast foods rarely include much fruit or vegetables by weight — they tend to be garnishes. When most of the other calories come from refined oils and sugar, fast food meals as a whole are very low in fiber. 

This is the cause of sluggish digestion, dyspepsia and poor food absorption and poisoning from inefficient waste elimination. It’s also reckoned to seriously increase some cancer risks (especially that all too common colon cancer).

If you eat a lot of fast food and other low-fiber stuff, you’ll be liable to the usual constipation and dyspepsia. If it’s an occasional treat and you usually eat plenty of vegetables and other fiber-rich food, no problem.

 5. Additives Can Mess Up Your Body

Many food additives are fine, but that’s not always the case with fast foods. Preservatives are often mild poisons, artificial flavorings can mess up your digestion’s signaling system and many commercial colours promote allergies in a large minority while they disguise bad ingredients. Watch out for places that use all of these to boost bad food.

You’ll probably know already if you are particularly sensitive to any of the more dire additives, like azo dyes or benzoates, and you’ll have the problem of finding out whether the fast food you’re looking at is free of your particular horror. Tough! The friers and counter staff usually haven’t a clue what’s in their food. If it’s a large chain, you just might find that they have a recipe book for inspection.

 6. Nutrient-Poor — You get Sick

This evil is maybe the worst problem with fast food, as well as other ready meals from supermarkets and those cheaper restaurants that buy in chilled and frozen meals ready to microwave, grill and and fry for you. 

Many ingredients, from oils and flour to sauces and pickles, are given a long shelf life for convenience. This involves removing the part of the food that spoils quickly and adding artificial preservatives. Problem is, the preservatives are mostly bad for you and the stuff removed is the fiber, plant sterols, vitamins and other natural ingredients that you need to eat to stay healthy.

That’s why most people today are sick in body and listless, prone to illnesses and body breakdown like diabetes, arthritis and cancer. Being like this is, for most people, a choice, not inevitable. If you choose this kind of food as your staple diet, you choose the consequences, too.

 7. Addictive — You can’t Stop The Gorging

A key reason so many people major on fast food is its addictiveness — I’ve given the reasons for that above. It’s similar to that for nicotine and can have similar withdrawal symptoms. The usual result is that you eat far more food than you can burn up for energy, and it gets stored as fat.  We’re a society of fatties, as you can’t avoid knowing.  Type II diabetes, heart problems, rheumatic diseases like arthritis, bodily breakdown from the load you have to permanently carry and cancers are the usual consequence — and the age that the trouble begins is steadily coming down.

Be aware, and you can reduce your dependency on this kind of food, wherever you buy it.

So In Summary…

Overall, then, fast food can be a seriously quick way to Bad Health, with an unpleasant long-term future for you if you make this kind of food a way of life. But if you choose your outlet and meal carefully, fast food can be a delight and at least fairly healthy. Even the most fastidious foodie can indulge once in a while!

I ought to finish, though, by reminding you that Fast Food isn’t the only kind that has these Seven Evils! Most people in the West have sick bodies because their whole diet is based on prepacked, processed food with (as we say) all the goodness taken out. Government agencies all through Europe, North America and Oceania have been flagging up these problems for decades, yet public health steadily gets worse. You can’t have missed those Public Health campaigns, nor the media fuss over every new medical report all governments produce on ‘The State Of The Nation’s Health’.

Yet if you’re a ‘normal’ member of Western Society, you’ll have spent little of your attention on these ‘scare campaigns’, and a lot more on believing the thousands of adverts promising a wonderful lifestyle if only you’ll eat their heavily-advertised junk food. It amounts to, “Indulge yourself, and you’ll be happy,” with the suggestion that you can eat treats many times a day without any consequences to your health.

Our ancestors knew better. They called this kind of eating ‘gluttony’, and told their kids exactly what the consequences would be. And they were right.

Source by David Croucher

Eating Well While Working Swing Shifts

Shift work often requires eating at night, a time when the stomach and digestive system are normally at rest. Shift workers are highly susceptible to stomach and digestive issues as a result of irregular eating habits. 30-45% of shift workers report chronic digestive problems due to the kinds of foods eaten during work and before bed. Eating a large meal, especially one that includes greasy, spicy or heavy protein foods can lead to sluggishness while on the job.


Eating well when your timetable is so backward can be difficult. It is vital you adjust your meal routine around your schedule. Here are some important nutrition tips to follow:

  • Do not skip meals
  • Take a healthy meal to work with you. Vending machine choices are often high in fat, sodium and simple carbohydrates, making them less than ideal.
  • Avoid eating a large meal at the end of your shift. You may have trouble digesting and sleep could be disrupted. Eat larger meals when you are most active and require more calories.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout your shift. This will help to keep your energy level up and help to prevent cravings.
  • Choose foods high in fiber and lean protein. These foods will satisfy longer. Foods high in sugar and simple carbohydrate may provide you with a quick burst of energy, but will not sustain you.

Time your meals and activities to match your “day”.

Establish a normal meal schedule regardless of your work hours. Try to eat three meals a day spaced at consistent intervals. Be consistent when on any one schedule.

Try to schedule at least one meal a day with your family.

Avoid food and beverages containing caffeine within four hours of bedtime. If your drink coffee, choose decaffeinated.

Meal Suggestions

Eating during evening and night hours requires special considerations. Our digestive tract’s daily rhythm is not “set” for digestion at night. However, this does not mean you should skip eating when working these schedules. No matter what schedule you work, plan well-balanced meals for your shifts.

Protein – Your first meal after sleep should contain protein. Heavier proteins should be used sparingly, and eaten several hours before work or bedtime. Heavy proteins take longer to digest, so it is best to choose from lighter sources of protein right before and during work. Avoid frying during meal preparation. Here are examples of different proteins.

Heavy Proteins – Beef, Pork, Tube Meats, Eggs with Yolks, High-fat cheeses

Light Proteins – Chicken, Turkey, Fish, Egg Whites, Low-fat dairy products, Legumes (beans, peas and lentils)

Afternoon and Evening Work

Breakfast (about 8-10am)- Regardless of when you get up, breakfast is important. Eat soon after rising. This will help stimulate your metabolism, signaling the beginning of your “day”. Suggestions: Protein, whole-grain breads or high-fiber cereals, low-fat dairy products, fresh fruit.

Main Meal (about 1-2pm)- Light protein, some fat (preferably plant-based, 15-20 grams), complex carbohydrates such as vegetables, fruits, whole-grain pasta or bread, rice, potato. Caffeine OK.

Work Meal Break (7-8pm)- Choose foods easy to digest. Poultry, fish, vegetables, fruit, whole grains and high-fiver cereals are good choices. Reduce intake of high fat foods or spicy foods. Keep this meal light and small. No caffeine.

Night Work – Follow the same suggestions as afternoon and evening work, only change the times of the meals eaten. Working at night requires eating lighter, easy to digest foods. Again, avoid fats and spicy foods while at work.

Breakfast (about 5-7 pm)- This is time for the traditional “dinner” type foods if you plan to have them. If you are planning on going back to sleep prior to work, make this meal smaller and lighter. Consume protein, fats (preferably plant-based, 15-20 grams), complex carbohydrates and low-fat dairy products.

Work Meal Break – Follow suggestions for afternoon and evening work meal break. No caffeine during second half of shift.

Snack Supplements (before or after work)

Fruit, vegetables with low-fat dip, high-fiber cereals, pretzels, granola bars, dried fruit, low-fat dairy products, low-fat popcorn, nuts or seeds, high-fiber crackers

Additional Suggestions

If you sleep soon after work, keep bedtime snacks small and light. If you do not sleep until later, the meal can be larger, but not heavier.

Avoid alcohol near bedtime, it can disrupt sleep cycles.

Have a sleep ritual. Go to sleep as soon as you can after work. Avoid getting caught up in chores or errands. Sleep deprivation can lead to food cravings.

Exercise boosts alertness and will create better daytime sleep. If you have a break where you can get a few minutes of activity in, take advantage! Avoid exercise right before going to sleep.

Source by Shana M Hussin

Andreas Moritz on Vitamin B12 – Digestion, Absorption, and Herbivores

This article is based on a video by Andreas Moritz, called Debunking Vitamin B12, which I found interesting and reasonably informative, so I thought, I want to know more. I was particularly interested in vitamin B-12 for my own health reasons, since finding my energy better after cutting back on meat, fish and high-fat dairy in my diet.

Vitamin B12, also known as cyanocobalamin, is required for every function in the body, and every single cell needs it to work. A deficiency can cause anaemia, brain and nervous system disorders, and severe gastro-intestinal problems.

The main theme of the video is that we are deficient in B12, not due to not eating enough B12 foods, but due to not absorbing enough B12 from our foods.

He is in favour of vegetarianism generally, but not as staunch as some, a bit more balanced than most, which I liked.

What’s his own diet like, I wondered? So I looked it up and couldn’t find anything. And unfortunately he has died, apparently under mysterious circumstances, as he seemed to be fit, healthy and strong beforehand, but he was researching areas sensitive to Big Pharma/Food industry – that’s the impression I got.

Anyway, he talks about intrinsic factor in the stomach. In order to digest, absorb, assimilate B12, we need intrinsic factor in larger quantity than we generally have it.

What is intrinsic factor, I wondered? So I looked it up.

Intrinsic factor

Intrinsic factor is produced by the cells lining the stomach and combines with vitamin B12, and so it is necessary for absorption of vitamin B12 later on in the small intestine. It is a glycoprotein. (The “glyco” just means there is a carbohydrate group attached to the protein part.)

The stomach acids release vitamin B12 from food during the digestion process, but vitamin B12 is sensitive to acids and so it needs to be protected. Therefore the process starts much earlier in the mouth with the salivary glands, where vitamin B12 is combined with another glycoprotein called haptocorrin, which safely transports it through the stomach, protecting it from the acids, and on in to the intestines, where there is a more alkaline environment, and it can be safely released and absorbed.

The same cells in the stomach that produce the gastric hydrochloric acid also produce the intrinsic factor (IF), which rebinds the B12 after its release from haptocorrin by digestion. So in the duodenum, a vitamin B12-IF complex is created, which then travels on through the small intestines. Interesting stuff – amazing body, eh?

Where we find it and why we need it

It is now well-known, especially among the vegan/vegetarian community, that we need to make sure we get adequate vitamin B12 in our diets. As it’s mostly found in fresh animal products, like liver, fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk and cheese, you can’t just eat a healthy plant-based diet and hope you get enough. It an essential vitamin, and can cause irreversible and quite severe problems if there is a deficiency.

It used to be thought, however, that people could get it from non-animal sources, like spirulina, and fermented and cultured foods like tempeh, or not cleaning the soil completely off food taken from the ground. But the Vegan Society now states that fortified foods and supplementation are the only reliable sources of B12, and that eating only a raw (rather than cooked) plant-based diet offers no special protection.

What it’s good for

We need it for the brain and nervous system (so think stability of mood, memory, eyesight), energy metabolism (production of ATP, fatty acid and amino acid metabolism) and growth (blood formation, protein and tissue synthesis) – pretty important then I’d say!

The main symptoms of a deficiency, as stated, are anaemia and neurological problems, so the elderly need it to protect against brain atrophy and things like Alzheimer’s disease, and a lack of B12 can break down the myelin sheath protecting the nerves, causing multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia.

A deficiency can also cause thickening of the arteries, due increased circulating homocysteine, a digestion byproduct that can cause damage throughout the entire body, which B12 normally acts to break down.

So a deficiency can start with unclear symptoms, like loss of energy, a sore tongue, tingling in the hands, mild confusion, but if left untreated can lead to serious problems: nerve damage (even the spinal cord can breakdown), low bone mineral density, and eyesight deterioration, plus mental health problems, depression.

So being found mostly found in animal products and dairy, that’s why vegans need to make sure they get an alternative source in their diet.

Best sources of B12


The only vegan sources are fortified cereals, milks, juices, soy and other products, and yeast-containing products like Marmite (UK name, or Vegemite in the US, and it goes under other names too, basically yeast extract – that black gooey, salty stuff you spread on your toast), but these are relatively minor amounts.

For example, Marmite contains 0.5 mcg per 100 g, but we only tend to use a teaspoon or two on our toast because it’s such strong tasting stuff, so that only contains 0.025 mcg. Whereas a cup of fortified soy milk will contain 3 mcg, which is 50% of the DV (daily value – see below).

And there is another issue here if you’re going to add fortified products to your diet, in the UK at least, the soy, almond and rice milks that contain added vitamins also contain gums (gelan gum and/or carrageenan usually), which are known to cause digestive issues – more below.


Obviously the situation is better if you are vegetarian because you can have eggs, milk, cheese and yogurt. Also whey powder, as 100 g of that is said to contain 42% DV.

And with milk and yogurt, you’re more likely to consume a whole cup of that, which contains 0.9 mcg (15% DV) for non-fat yogurt, and 1.14 mcg (19% DV) for reduced fat milk. So a bit more but still not brilliant though.

Even with eggs, unfortunately, 1 large boiled egg only contains 0.6 mcg, just 10% of the DV, although other types of eggs contain more, e.g. duck eggs contain 3.8 mcg (raw, not sure about cooked), which is 63% DV, and goose eggs, which are rather large, contain 7.3 mcg, which is 122% DV. But then I personally find duck eggs too fatty – you just can’t win, can you?

Daily allowance

The recommended amount you need varies between countries (according to sources on the Internet): the UK RDA (recommended daily amount) is 1.5 mcg/day (from the National Health Service website, so should be accurate and up-to-date).

Google (no source given, but which turned out to be the US RDA – recommended dietary amount) says: 2.4 mcg daily for ages 14 years and older, 2.6 mcg daily for pregnant females, and 2.8 mcg daily for breastfeeding females. For the over 50s, they should eat foods fortified with B12 or take a vitamin B12 supplement.

So those over 50, and pregnant and breast-feeding women, need more due to reduced absorption in older people of naturally occurring B12, and greater demands for B12 whilst pregnant and for nursing mothers.

Note that the DVs quoted above are based on 6 mcg daily (rather confusingly), rather than the US RDA of 2.4. (It’s to do with the value in the food apparently, rather than the daily amount you need). So that applies to reading the nutrition labels for fortified foods, which is why for egg, quoted above, it’s 0.6 mcg, which is 10% DV, not 25% (which would be the relative amount for the RDA of 2.4 mcg).


A Dutch study (from 2005) looked at how much oral B12 should be prescribed for patients with a confirmed deficiency of this vitamin – NB the population studied were elderly (people with what was termed a mild B12 deficiency), with an average age of 80. This was usefully pointed out by Hyla Cass M.D., in “Vitamin B12 – How much is enough?” (1)

They were given B12 (cyanocobalamin form) in a range of doses: 2.5, 100, 250, 500 and 1000 mcg daily (administered for 16 weeks).

No adverse events were reported with any dosage, but the principal result was that the 500-mcg dose was the lowest dose required for an oral dose, for patients with a confirmed deficiency of this vitamin (measured by an estimated 80% to 90% reduction in plasma methylmalonic acid).

So this study was for supplements, and the value found is quite high compared with the daily values needed, which is the amount recommended that we get from foods.

As further confirmation, a supplement from a trusted source I know of provides 1,000 mcg/capsule, which also contains 400 mcg of folate. And most supplements contain 500 mcg or 1,000 mcg (which might be the difference between the therapeutic dose and a maintenance dose).

Easier to absorb

The good thing about supplements is that in some people, the B12 is easier to absorb than that found in naturally occurring foods, where it is bound to protein. Reduction in stomach acid and digestive enzymes with increasing age, and things like inflammation of the stomach lining due to allergies, food intolerances, alcohol intake, conditions like celiac disease and Crohn’s disease, all reduce body’s ability to cleave the required nutrient from the food and to absorb it.

Full list of B12 containing foods

Here is a list of the top food sources of B12 (from

  • Shellfish – clams, oysters, whelk, crab (crab: Alaska, King cooked, Dungeness and Queen, cooked)
  • Liver – from lamb, beef, veal, moose, turkey, duck, goose, pork, chicken (pan-fried, then tinned)
  • Fish eggs, specifically of whitefish, caviar (black and red, granular), mixed fish roe (cooked, dry heat)
  • Organ meats and giblets: turkey giblets, beef kidney, pancreas (from various animals), beef brain, veal heart, chicken giblets, lamb heart, beef heart, turkey gizzards (cooked)
  • Fish and sea mammals – octopus, salmon (dried chum), trout (dried, then Rainbow trout, cooked), mackerel (Atlantic cooked, dry heat), kippered herring (Atlantic), dried whitefish, red salmon (smoked sockeye), King mackerel (cooked), herring (cooked dry heat), mackerel (salted), tuna (fresh Bluefin, cooked dry heat), cod (dried, Atlantic, salted), sardine (Pacific, canned in tomato sauce and canned in oil, with bone), trout (cooked), whale (dried Beluga meat), seal (dried), red salmon (canned), bass (striped, cooked), walleye pollock (cooked), snapper, (cooked), seatrout (cooked)…
  • Fortified breakfast cereals – high fibre Bran Flakes, Kellogg’s All bran Complete wheat flakes, Multi-Grain Cheerio’s
  • Complete Oat Bran Flakes, All Bran Buds, Special K, General Mills cereals, All Bran Original, Kellogg’s low fat granola
  • All Bran yogurt bites, Nature’s Path Optimum, Ready to eat muesli (with dried fruit and nuts)…
  • Pates/liver sausage: Braunschweiger (pork liver), liverwurst and liverwurst spread, foie de gras (goose liver, smoked)
  • Wild game: caribou (dried shoulder meat), emu (fan fillet cooked), beaver and muskrat, rabbit (roasted), deer, moose, ostrich
  • Margarine-like (vegetable oil) spreads
  • Whole dried egg, dried egg yolk, goose egg (whole, fresh, raw is highest)
  • Soy protein isolate
  • Soup (clam chowder, New England, tinned, condensed)
  • Meatless chicken, breaded fried
  • Baby foods (some)
  • Milk (dry, non-fat, with added vitamin A and without), Instant Milk (dry, non-fat, with added vitamin A and without),
  • Meat – roasted mutton, some lamb cuts, and other meats… (vitamin B12 content goes down from there)…

Not included above, there are also lower amounts in B12 in:

  • Mussels and other shellfish, haddock
  • Beef
  • Low fat yogurt
  • Fortified tofus
  • Swiss cheese, reduce fat mozzarella, parmesan, feta cheese
  • Ham
  • Duck eggs (being so much higher than chicken eggs), chicken eggs
  • Chicken meat

This is to give an idea of the top B12-containing foods, partly grouped by type of food, partly by highest to lowest, but note cooking methods also alter the amount significantly. Raw organ meats, for example, contain much more than cooked. And even dry heat versus steaming and braising makes a difference.

And I was surprised to see roast chicken has half the amount of low fat cottage cheese for example, and that low fat versions of dairy often contain more B12 than the full fat varieties. So that’s useful to know.

Fortified foods and gums

I personally have avoided the fortified milks because, as I say, they tend to contain gums which, I have read, stop your digestion. According to Dr P D’Adamo, they contain a lectin or other agglutinin (basically causing cells to stick and clump together, not least your red blood cells – eeek), and it is a metabolic inhibitor – that was for guar gum and carrageenan. Also for acacia (gum arabic): it flocculates serum or precipitates serum proteins, it contains lectin or other agglutinin, and is a metabolic inhibitor, and it increases lectin activity and binding – blimey, the whole caboodle! So you simply cannot break them down, and they can wreak havoc on your whole system by the sound of it.

Also see Dr Michael Greger’s video: “Is Carrageenan Safe?” (2)

Which is a shame, because it means I miss out on these fortified foods. And I don’t eat any other type of fortified foods either, like the cereals, because of the sugar and other additives they tend to contain, or bread and other wheat-based products they make with fortified flour, or use the fortified spreads (I only use olive oil and ghee generally on rye bread), and I don’t drink regular cow’s milk either, or the fortified drinks of any kind because of said gums and sugar, and I don’t use fake meat soy products, textured vegetable protein/mycoprotein – that and those smoke flavourings are definitely best avoided – and finally, I don’t eat baby food… hmm, I always liked the look of that stuff, maybe I should try it.

The reason I wonder if gums might stop the body breaking down other foods properly is because of what I learnt about the effect of, for example, adding milk to a smoothie or your morning tea or coffee. Milk actually stops you absorbing the antioxidants (the good stuff like polyphenols and catechins) in the tea and the coffee – same goes for chocolate – and even with fruits and berries you might have in your morning smoothie or breakfast bowl, adding milk actually stops the absorption of the good nutrients in it, as measured by blood levels of certain beneficial compounds after consuming it.

The scientific research done on this is handily summarised by Dr Michael Greger, an MD (medical doctor) who trawls the scientific literature for such useful information, and is presented in short, info-bitesize videos, making it more accessible for us.

And shockingly, it’s not just cow’s milk that does this, it’s soy milk as well – at least in tea – because unfortunately the only study they tested soy milk in was the one with tea. They didn’t test soy milk in the other (separate) studies on the chocolate/coffee and berries. So how about that then? That really surprised me, as it did Michael Greger, and no doubt the researchers as well. To find that adding even soy milk to healthy drinks/smoothies might be negating the beneficial effects of the antioxidant compounds in them. That was a real eye-opener.

I guess that’s part of the reason why dark chocolate is so much healthier than milk.

And so if the milk itself blocks absorption, I obviously wondered what the added gums in milk can do. So I’d rather just avoid them altogether, if I can.

B12 absorption – anatomy and controversy

Back to the video:

Andreas Moritz says undigested meat and protein in our guts upsets the probiotic bacteria, and that these bacteria are the principle source of vitamin B12 – didn’t know that – which is typically absorbed at the end of the small intestine in the terminal ileum.

(As an aside, I wondered whether the “terminal ileum” was the Appendix, as I had mine out when I was aged about 8 and I’ve have always been super-sensitive to foods, although not officially allergic to any). Anyway, it isn’t the appendix, because I looked it up.

Terminal ileum

The terminal ileum occurs between the large and small intestines and connects to the caecum (the first part of the large intestines) via the ileocecal valve. So it’s not quite the appendix but close, anatomically speaking, as the appendix is connected to the caecum.

Here is a 3-D picture ( showing the exact location of the terminal ileum within the abdomen, with a navigation grid to the left which, if you hover the little hand over it, highlights in green whatever part of the digestive system you want to look at. There is also a short description with each area. 

Storage of B12

The terminal ileum is where B12 gets absorbed into the bloodstream and carried to the liver. The liver stores it there until required, and it is then recycled in most cases. The recycled B12 is used for up to 6 or 7 years.

The amount we need in an entire lifetime is as much as you can fit on the end of your little finger – interesting! Very small amount.

So it’s quite difficult to get a B12 deficiency, and as already stated, it’s not so much the food we eat, as the absorption of it that is the cause of the problem. Our own gut health is the problem.

He goes on: Junk food and medications, particularly antibiotics, destroy the probiotic bacteria in our gut. Plus eating a lot of meat which, although it contains B12, cannot really be absorbed properly if the digestion is not working very well, particularly when intrinsic factor is diminished, which does happen when you eat too much protein foods, he says.

He says the misunderstandings about B12 come from how we produce our own B12. Like cows, for example, don’t have to eat meat or drink other species’ milk in order to get B12, and that it is provided from the plant foods, and they don’t have a deficiency.

And, Andreas makes the point: Humans eating natural foods will also not develop B12 deficiency.

(This is a hotly debated topic, as to whether we can produced our own B12 from the bacteria in the gut, coming down now on the side of we can’t, or some of us may do but it is not absorbable by us, but read on.)

So how do herbivores get their B12 then? I was curious and had a look:

Herbivores and B12

Ruminants, such as cows, buffalo, goats, sheep, these guys get their vitamin B12 from these bacteria which synthesise it in their voluminous four-chamber guts. Some herbivores (horses, elephants, zebras, rabbits, hares, and many rodents) have large caecums in their digestive tracts, which is between the small and large intestine, where bacterial fermentation takes place.

Primates eat eggs and insects in the soil. Gorillas (also hares, rabbits, and some rodents) eat faeces as well. And lots of animals regularly ingest soil, so they have many more sources/ways of getting B12 than us.

As an aside, there is a suggestion that all animals need supplementation of B12 in their feed, but one source says that bacteria in a horse’s digestive tract are able to produce enough B12 if there is enough cobalt in the diet. Leading to the suggestion that often our soil is depleted of these essential minerals these days.

There are various other references about bacteria and vitamin B12 production, if you are interested, online (3).

Increasing the absorption

Other vitamins are necessary for good absorption of vitamin B12 supplements. For example, it is recommended you include foods rich in vitamin B6 in your diet, as vitamin B6 is necessary for the proper absorption and storage of vitamin B12.

Foods such as spinach, poultry, brown rice, avocados, walnuts and bananas. Poultry includes: chicken, quail, turkey, duck, goose and pigeon.

Folate is also necessary for good absorption: from dark leafy greens, parsley, romaine lettuce, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower and beets, fruit, and beans, peas and lentils.

Along with adequate intake of calcium. One study in 2000 found that patients with diabetes were able to reverse low vitamin B12 levels by increasing their calcium intake(4).

Some calcium rich foods are: collard greens, broccoli and kale; sardines and salmon; ricotta, mozzarella and cheddar cheese; low fat yogurt, Greek yogurt and skimmed milk; fortified: milks, cereals and tofu; beans, sesame seeds, dried figs, and molasses.

Importantly, stomach acid levels and pepsin (protein digesting enzyme) are key to extracting the B12 from our food. If you have low stomach acid, taking betaine hydrochloride supplements can help to cleave the B12 from the protein foods.

It is noted by Sandi Busch on (5) and Dr J E Williams (integrative medicine practitioner for 25 years), that use of antacids reduces stomach acid, and heavy drinking causes the stomach lining to become inflamed, thereby reducing the digestive enzymes. Some integrative medicine practitioners recommend cranberry juice and using spices in food, which help with the absorption of B vitamins in general, and some even say consider caffeine, as this increases stomach acid production.

Also eating smaller, regular amounts of B12-containing foods, rather than all at one meal, can increase the amount you absorb overall as well, because there is a limit to the amount that can be absorbed at any one time, due to the availability of the intrinsic factor.

Other considerations

Andreas is an advocate of vegetarianism but says B12 deficiency has nothing to do with vegetarianism, and that meat eaters are just as deficient, if not more so (which has been confirmed by studies in the literature). But vegetarians can suffer too if they take medication, for example, or have used antibiotics in the past. Apparently the probiotic bacteria population in your gut can be disturbed for many years after.

To improve digestion, he says to clean out the liver and bile ducts, to get rid of gall and hepatic stones. They inhibit the body’s ability to digest food properly. As already stated, this interferes with good bacteria population. And so putrefying food, whether vegetables or meat, will lead to diminished absorption of B12 because of lack of probiotic bacteria, he says, which is the major source of B12.

NB: I imagine that partly explains why undereating is better for you than overeating. With undereating, you have no rotting food in your gut.

He says finally, B12 absorption also depends on how much vitamin D you have available to keep your digestive system strong and vital. So exposing the whole body to the sun on a regular basis will improve the healthy bacteria populations in the gut, and lead to stronger absorption of nutrients generally. (Maybe he’s an advocate of naturism too! He lived in a warm climate no doubt… ah, his Ener-Chi Centre is in North Carolina… moderate climate then! )

Other sources of vitamin D – (some overlap with the list for vitamin B12 I notice):

  • Fatty fish and tuna
  • Mushrooms (that are grown in the light – although ones that aren’t can still have some vitamin D and can be put in the sun which will increase the levels apparently)
  • Good old fortified milks, orange juice and cereal
  • Egg yolks
  • Beef liver
  • Cod liver oil
  • Vitamin D supplements

Vitamin B12 in nature

Andreas didn’t believe we would necessarily absorb B12 that well from a supplement, because in nature, it never comes alone, always combined with other B-vitamins, other vitamins and minerals, and even more substances that allow B12 to be absorbed and utilised, so eating a balanced, healthy diet is key to absorbing this vital nutrient.

Andreas Moritz was very ill when growing up, he says from eating too many dairy products and animal proteins, and that when he stopped eating them, he got the colour back in his face, whereas before he was as white as snow. And because of his own illnesses in childhood, he dedicated his life to studying the root causes of disease.

Described as a medical intuitive and writer, he spent his adolescence studying nutrition, and by age 20 had trained as an iridologist. He then studied Ayurveda in India, followed by shiatsu and various other forms of energy medicine.

Although I didn’t manage to find details of his daily diet, he does have more general diet advice online at his Ener-Chi Centre.


1. Vitamin B12-How Much Is Enough? by Hyla Cass, M.D.

2. Dr Michael Greger (2013): Is Carrageenan Safe?

3. MIT biologists solve vitamin puzzle. MIT news.

4. Increased intake of calcium reverses vitamin B12 malabsorption induced by metformin. Diabetes Care. 2000 Sep;23(9):1227-31.

5. The Best Way to Absorb B12 by Sandi Busch.

Source by Debra Goring

Boost Your Immune System Naturally With Garlic, AKA the Stinking Rose!

Boost your Immune System!

Our Immune System – What is it really?

It’s a fantastic mechanism working within us, protecting us against disease by identifying and killing pathogens (infectious agents) and tumor cells. Our immune system identifies a range of nasty agents from viruses to parasitic worms and needs to set these apart from our own body’s healthy cells and tissues so that the healthy cells and tissues can function correctly.

Detection can be complex for the immune system as infectious agents can adapt and evolve to successfully infect us. To endure this challenge, the immune system endevours to develop mechanics to help recognize and neutralize these agents. So let’s give our immune system a helping hand by eating healthily!

“Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.” – Hippocrates, AD 390

“You cannot achieve environmental security and human development without addressing the basic issues of health and nutrition.” – Gro H. Brundtland

“Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dine like a pauper.” – Ancient proverb

“You are what you eat.” – Ancient proverb

Garlic (Allium Sativum) – The Super Food Germ Buster!

A.k.a. “the stinking rose”, this bulbous perennial grows up to one metre high, with light pink or green-white flowers. Native to Asia, garlic is now grown Worldwide. It is in the plant’s bulb (cloves) that has the antioxidant & medicinal properties.

Constituents:Nutrients: vitamins A, B, C, & E, calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, & other minerals. Phyto-chemicals: allicin, alliin (potent sulphur amino acids), beta-carotene, & more!

Garlic’s Key Actions

– antioxidant, antibiotic, anti-viral, antiseptic, anti-parasitic, antispasmodic, diuretic, antihypertensive, fungicide, expectorant

Garlic’s Key Actions

– antioxidant, antibiotic, anti-viral, antiseptic, anti-parasitic, antispasmodic, diuretic, fungicide, expectorant


Garlic provides an excellent defense for our immune system and in turn our lymphatic system (major part of the immune system). It also provides help with other bodily systems, and therefore is a good all rounder for wellbeing.

Respiratory: Garlic has a long and established reputation for helping the immune system especially with sinusitis, asthma, colds, flu, bronchitis and catarrh of the stomach.

Circulatory: Research has shown that garlic can help to protect the cardiovascular system, reducing the risk of blood clotting, heart disease and other related conditions.

Other: Garlic was used to dress wounds during the First World War! It also helps to get rid of intestinal worms, stimulates bile for digestion of fats and helps reduce the occurrence of cancer.

Caution / Concern

Seek medical advice if taking blood thinning medication. Smaller consumption for children under the age of 12. Garlic is considered as a safe herb but as Lucretius said “What is food to one man may be fierce poison to others”. Also, too much of a good thing results in a bad thing. Moderation is usually key! Consider a clove or capsule equivalent for an easy guide to your daily dose for general well being.

The Italian Job by Michele Maes

Here’s a really tasty Italian, healthy food snack, or starter:

Toast a slice of bread, rub a glove of raw garlic (without the skin) onto the toast. Then rub half a sliced tomato on top of the garlic, & add some roughly chopped fresh basil. Drizzle a little amount of good quality virgin pressed olive oil over the toast and then lay very thin slices of Parmesan cheese on top. Delicious & healthy!

Immune Booster Juice

Tomatoes and carrots help contribute to your needed daily intake amount of vitamin C, ideal for maintaining a healthy body. Garlic, ginger and horseradish contain potent antioxidants and antiflammatory properties. All of these ingredients combined create a mighty anti-mucus punch!

The Hot Stuff Juice Mix, by miracle juicesTM


300 g tomatoes, 100 g celery, 2.5cm fresh root ginger, roughly chopped, 1 garlic clove, 2 cm fresh horseradish, 175 g carrots, 2 ice cubes, celery slivers to decorate on top (optional). Juice all the ingredients (you need a juice extracting machine for this), mix the juice in blender or food processor with the ice cubes and serve. Decorate with celery slivers, if liked. Makes 150ml (1/2 pint).

Some of the Nutritional Values: calories: 189, Vitamin A: 51253 iu, Vitamin C: 87mg, Zinc: 5-52mg

NB: The contents of these articles are for information purposes only. The reader is recommended to think carefully about any difficulties he or she is having with their own health and to consult their doctor if uncertain as to its cause or nature.

Source by Michele Maes