Intermediate Plan: Beverages
Email this article to a friend
Dr. Mercola's Nutrition Plan
Lesson 1: It's time to move up to a reverse osmosis water filtration system!
Reverse osmosis, like distillation, creates fairly acidic water, and it also strips the water of minerals. Additionally, some contend that R/O destabilized the structure of the water, and the system has other drawbacks as well. It's expensive, and it wastes water. However these concerns are farily easily addressed by addining a high quality source of mineral salts like Himalayan Salt into the processed water And there are systems that only lose about a gallon of water for every water produced.
Another concern is that most of the systems have a holding tank that must be cleaned out regularly to prevent growth of mold and bacteria. This issue can be averted by using one of the newer R/O systems that do not have a holding tank and you can store the water directly into a glass container.
R/O also has certain benefits, and there are ways to circumvent some of its drawbacks. First and foremost, unlike most carbon filter systems, reverse osmosis will actually remove the fluoride that most U.S. municipalities add to their water. Reverse osmosis will remove virtually all contaminants from the water, including fluoride, especially when combined with a pre- and post-carbon filtration system, so if your water is fluoridated, this may be a major benefit that outweighs the drawbacks.
Avoid purchasing the one-gallon cloudy plastic (PVC) containers from your grocery store as they transfer far too many chemicals into the water. The five-gallon containers and the clear bottles (polyethylene) are a much better plastic and will not give your water that awful plastic taste.
If your local water supply is NOT fluoridated, you may opt to stick with a high quality carbon filter system.
Our Pure & Clear filters use a “selective filtration” process rather than a mechanical one for a couple of very important reasons. This advanced technology helps remove harmful contaminants such as THMs and lead, but retains beneficial minerals including potassium and calcium. The contaminants or other substances removed or reduced by this water treatment device are not necessarily present in your water.
If you can afford it you might want to consider a whole house carbon system which will remove the majority of the fluoride in the water as it has a far longer time to remain in contact with the water. They are more expensive but can be a good investment for your family's health as high quality water is one of the most important parts of your program.
Beware: Drinking from plastic bottles poses health risks
The plastic often used to make water bottles contains a variety of health-harming chemicals that can easily leach out and contaminate the water, such as:
If you leave your water bottle in a hot car, or reuse it, your exposure is magnified because heat and stress increase the amount of chemicals that leach out of the plastic. So the container your water comes in needs to receive just as much attention as the water itself, and plastic is simply not a wise choice from a health perspective … not to mention the extreme amounts of toxic waste produced!
Lesson 2: Limit chemical exposure from your shower water.
Most people do not recognize that their shower is a significant source of chlorine exposure, but contaminants in your shower water get absorbed through your skin. This is just as hazardous to your health as ingesting them, and sometimes even worse. It is best to put a filter on your showerhead. If you take a bath, fill it up from the shower. A filter is probably not necessary if you obtain your water from a well. Remember, you should have a reverse osmosis system for your drinking water if you have a water softener.
Lesson 3: Avoid fluoride.
Did you know that nearly all of Europe used to add fluoride to their water supply, but after studying the issue more carefully, most of them decided to remove it?
Fluoridating drinking water for dental health is a swindle of massive proportions. Starting it off with a simple truth: that a natural form of fluoride (organic calcium phosphate) is part of the composition of your teeth, they were able to convince everyone that drinking toxic chemical fluoride compounds – the waste materials from fluoride-polluting industries – would be good for your teeth. Nothing could be further from the truth. Fluoride is in fact a systemic POISON that:
|Inactivates 62 different enzymes
||Causes genetic damage
|Increases lead absorption
||Increases the incidence of cancer and tumor growth
|Increases the aging process
||Interrupts DNA repair-enzyme activity
|Disrupts your immune system
|Lowers thyroid function
||Reduces IQ, and impairs learning and memory processes
Other sources of fluoride that you want to limit or eliminate to reduce your exposure include:
|Fluoride-containing pharmaceutical drugs
||Mechanically de-boned meat and instant tea
|Toothpaste and mouthwash
||Pesticide residue on food
|Food and beverages processed with fluoridated water
||Soy baby formulas
Lesson 4: Begin to eliminate all beverages but pure water and vegetable juice.
In terms of beverages other than water, I recommend starting to cut down and eliminate them. You should already have eliminated all types of soft drinks in the beginning phase, but if you were not completely successful, please make an effort to eliminate them at this point. In the advanced phase, the only recommended beverages are water, vegetable juice, and breast milk for infants. To make it easier, choose one beverage to eliminate and focus on that for a month before proceeding to the next.
There are three main reasons why you will want to consider incorporating vegetable juicing into your optimal health program:
- Juicing helps you absorb most of the nutrients from the vegetables. This is important because most of us have impaired digestion as a result of making less-than-optimal food choices over many years. This limits your body's ability to absorb all the nutrients from the vegetables. Juicing will help to "pre-digest" them for you, so you will receive most of the nutrition, rather than having it go down the toilet.
- Juicing allows you to consume an optimal amount of vegetables in an efficient manner. If you are a carb type, you should eat one pound of raw vegetables per 50 pounds of body weight per day. Some people may find eating that many vegetables difficult, but it can be easily accomplished with a quick glass of vegetable juice.
- You can add a wider variety of vegetables in your diet. Many people eat the same vegetable salads every day. This violates the principle of regular food rotation and increases your chance of developing an allergy to a certain food. But with juicing, you can juice a wide variety of vegetables that you may not normally enjoy eating whole.
According to Nutritional Typing principles, if you are a carb type, vegetable juicing is STRONGLY recommended. With patients in our clinic, we strongly encourage it if they expect to regain their health. If you are a mixed type, it is certainly useful to juice.
However, protein types need to follow some specific guidelines to make it work for them. Celery, spinach, asparagus, string beans and cauliflower would be your best vegetables to juice. You can add some of the dark deep leafy greens like collards, kale, and dandelion greens but do so cautiously and pay careful attention to how you feel..You may also want to initially limit your serving size of juice to no more than 6 oz., and store it properly and drink smaller amounts throughout the day.
Also, to make drinking vegetable juice compatible with protein type metabolism (which needs high amounts of fat), it is important to blend a source of raw fat into the juice. Raw cream, raw butter, raw eggs, avocado, coconut butter, or freshly ground organic flax or hemp seeds are the sources of raw fat that we most recommend. In addition to adding a source of raw fat to your juice, you may also find that adding some, or even all, of the vegetable pulp into your juice helps to make drinking the juiced vegetables more satisfying.
Amazingly, many people still don't understand that when your body is well nourished, your appetite goes down. Chronic hunger is often a sign that your body is starved for nutrients. Cravings can also be a sign of something awry. For example, sugar and carb cravings are typical signs of candidiasis—it's really the yeast signaling it wants more food, and yeast feeds on sugar. Oftentimes you'll also crave what you're allergic to.
This is where juicing can be very helpful, as you're getting plenty of complementary nutrients. Ideally, you'll want to strive for a full quart of vegetable juice a day, split up between the morning and the afternoon.
Guide to Great-Tasting Juice
The order listed below is only intended for those who are new to juicing. It's designed to make you have a pleasant experience with it. However, if you add a lime to the juice you can start experimenting with the more bitter greens early on, as the lime effectively counters their bitterness. Or you can add some flavored liquid stevias. Please note it would be FAR better to use limes than carrots, beets or apples, which have far more fructose than limes.
Step 1: If you are new to juicing. I recommend starting out with these vegetables, as they are the easiest to digest and tolerate:
- Fennel (anise)
These three aren't as nutrient dense as the dark green vegetables. Once you get used to the 3 vegetables listed above, you can start adding the more nutritionally valuable, but less palatable, vegetables into your juice.
Step 2: When you've acclimatized yourself to juicing, you can start adding these vegetables:
- Red leaf lettuce
- Green Leaf lettuce
- Romaine lettuce
Step 3: After you're used to these, then go to the next step:
- Chinese Cabbage
- Bok Choy
An interesting side note: Cabbage juice is one of the most healing nutrients for ulcer repair as it is a huge source of vitamin U.
Step 4: When you're ready, move on to adding herbs to your juicing. Herbs also make wonderful combinations, and here are two that work exceptionally well:
You need to be cautious with cilantro, as many cannot tolerate it well. If you are new to juicing, hold off on the cilantro. These are more challenging to consume, but they are highly beneficial.
Step 5: The last step: Only use one or two of these leaves, as they are very bitter:
- Collard Greens
- Dandelion Greens
- Mustard Greens (bitter)
When purchasing collard greens, find a store that sells the leaves still attached to the main stalk. If they are cut off, the vegetable rapidly loses many of its valuable nutrients.
To learn more about the ins-and-outs of juicing, check out my three-part interview with Cherie Calbom, aka “The Juice Lady”:
- Part 1
- Part 2
- Part 3
Download Juicing Guide
Lesson 5: Eliminate Beer
Beer should be eliminated entirely if you have high uric acid levels. The yeast and all that's used to make beer work together to make beer a powerful uric acid trigger.
The classic “beer belly syndrome,” is quite similar to metabolic syndrome, and includes abdominal obesity, hypertriglyceridemia (high triglycerides), high blood pressure, and even insulin resistance. So beer consumption is also something to definitely consider when you’re watching your weight and trying to improve your health.
The ideal range for uric acid lies between 3 to 5.5 mg per dl. Above this range your risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and kidney disease correlate quite well.