Appropriate Diet

A balanced diet is essential in eliminating acid indigestion, and restoring healthy digestive function. It also enhances the effectiveness of herbal treatment (Tierra, 1998, p.47). It includes primary, secondary and tertiary foods (Tierra, 1998, p.47) as detailed below:

Holford (2004) says that elevated homocysteine level increases the risk of over fifty diseases, including heart attacks, strokes, certain cancers and diabetes (p.136). Homocysteine has also been shown to damage arteries, brain and DNA itself (Holford, 2004, p.138).

1. Primary foods include whole grains as 20-30% of the diet, and proteins as 20-30% of the diet (Tierra, 1998, p.47).Avoid processed grains such as white rice and all flour products including whole grain flour (Skeen, 2004). Whole grains have more nutritional value, higher in vitamins and minerals, which are vital for maintaining good health and efficient digestive function, and fiber (Tierra, 1998, p.48). Processed grains and flour products are much lower in nutritional value and fiber and will sap vital energy, contribute to blood-sugar fluctuations, weight gain, and constipation (Skeen, 2004).

Beans should be consumed in small portions as they are higher in carbohydrates (Skeen, 2004). Tofu and tempeh are lower in carbohydrates and are good vegetable sources of protein. If not allergic, they should be consumed in larger volume (Irritable Bowel Syndrome Relief, n.d.). Animal sources of protein should consist mostly of fish, lean cuts of baked or broiled chicken or turkey, and eggs preferably from free-range, organic chickens (Skeen, 2004). Traditional Chinese standards recommend two to four ounces of meat daily cooked in a soup with herbs like ginger or garlic to offset any toxic reaction (Tierra, 1998, p.63). Organic meat is preferred (Tierra, 1998, p.63). Avoid frying (Skeen, 2004).

2. Secondary foods are fresh seasonal vegetables, mostly lightly cooked, as 30-40% of the diet (Tierra, 1998, p.50). Whenever possible, get locally-grown vegetables. Avoid over consumption of vegetables or eating too many in their raw state, as this will over stimulate elimination causing the body to be weak and cold contributing oftentimes to excessive water retention (Skeen, 2004).

3. Tertiary foods include dairy, eggs, and fruits which make up 5-10% of the diet, and fats and oils as 2% of the diet (Tierra, 1998, p.50).

Locally-grown and in-season fruits are the most beneficial to the body (Skeen, 2004). Avoid all fruits that have been picked green and later ripened after delivery to the market (Skeen, 2004). Fruits that are tree ripened will contain more nutrients (Skeen, 2004). Fruit juices should be used very sparingly or not at all as it is mostly fruit sugar and used unwisely can overload the system with sugar producing metabolic disturbances that create abnormal cravings leading to disease (Skeen, 2004). Whole fruits when eaten to excess not only overly stimulate the eliminative process and cause digestive disturbances, such as gas and bloating, but also over stimulates the pancreas to secrete insulin making one feel lethargic (Skeen, 2004).

Avoid all processed oils and fats such as margarine, and use unrefined olive oil, sesame oil, and ghee (Skeen, 2004). Flax seed oil, 1 tablespoon per 100 pounds of bodyweight, is also recommended daily to insure that the body receives its daily supply of essential fatty acids required to keep the body healthy (Skeen, 2004).

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