[Dr. Menkel’s article
“Are you Acid?” reproduced in these columns seems to have proved an
eye-opener to many. We summarize three more articles of his from the
Oriental Watchman and Herald of Health under a heading which suits
– Ed. ]
How Much and How Often?
There are diseases consequent to excessive eating, too frequent meals,
and the over-indulgence of concentrated starches, sugars and proteins.
To avoid them there are certain axioms which should be borne in mind.
Only a certain definite quantity of food material can be appropriated
by the body organism during any given 24-hour day. This required
quantity for an average person of about 150 pounds weight has been
ascertained to be approximately:
12 ounces starch and sugar containing foods
2˝ ounces protein foods
2 ounces fats
Suitable quantity of roughage
Adequate amount of organic salts
Small but essential quantity of vitamins
The above six classes of food elements are provided by nature in the form of
rice, wheat, dal, vegetables, nuts, fruit and milk. The digestion
of these requires at least fourteen hours in a normal individual.
In a subnormal individual it will require more time. The digestion of
food is a physical and chemical process requiring expenditure of a
considerable quantity of body energy. It has been estimated that three
meals daily require more energy for their digestion, oxidation and
elimination than is expended in any other form of average work or play.
Three or more meals daily means keeping all body tissues and organs
constantly at work without any free period of rest, repair and
recharging the vital batteries. This continual strain results in organic
exhaustion and needs a regular recurring fast period. The fast is not a
prolonged fast, but a regular planned part of daily regime, one or two
rest periods between meals, of sufficient length to promote
reconstruction and health building. This will require less than
three meals during the twenty-four hours. For the average invalid
or below par individual, two meals well digested with plenty of rest
period between will promote recovery far better than three meals. Still
other would do better on only one meal daily, as this is all they can
really digest and assimilate. Begin by dropping first one daily meal.
After a few days drop another, until you have reduced the number of
meals to two. But do not make the mistake of eating as much in those two
meals as you ate before reducing the frequency of eating.
Disease and Its Cure
Barring unusual accidents or strong hereditary transmissions, the major
cause for ill-health is violation of nature's laws. Drugs never cure.
The best that any such so-called remedy can do is to contribute some
mineral element, vitamin, enzyme, hormone, chalon, or some other factor
which nature can utilize for the emergency. All of what we may call
essential medicines are contained in our natural foods.
Col. Robert McCarrison, in a paper read before the Far Eastern
Association of Tropical Medicine, stated that "the most fundamental of
all rules for the physician" was "that the right kind of food is the
most important single factor in the promotion of health, and the wrong
kind of food the most important single factor in the promotion of
disease." Many of the diseases can be cured by altering our diet and
methods of cooking our food which destroy much of the vitamins and
mineral elements originally present in our food. The diseases resulting
from bad food can be prevented and cured only by the use of less cooked
food and more raw fruits, green uncooked vegetables and sprouted
pulses, and by learning to use more freshly ground whole wheat flour
instead of polished and stored rice. The following table will provide a
ready reference to the more important regulating food factors:
Diseases Due to Deficiency of Vitamin A
Loss of appetite, Physical weakness, tendency to diseases of eyes,
ears, kidneys, lungs, skin, bladder, stomach and colon,
pyorrhoea, anaemia. Slow mentality.
Whole milk, butter, cheese, egg yolk, yellow bhuta, yellow sweet
potatoes, carrots and other naturally yellow and green
coloured foods, fish oils, — destroyed by cooking of these foods.
Indigestion of stomach and intestine, Constipation, Loss of
weight and vigour, Sub-normal temperature, Paralysis of
muscle groups, Neuritis, Glandular and endocrine disturbance
including thyroid, adrenals, liver and pancreas.
||Whole grain cereals, milk, buttermilk, green peas and legumes,
dal, raw fruits, vegetables, egg yolk, honey, yeast,
Part of group B is destroyed by cooking of these foods.
Loss of weight and physical weakness, Rapid heart and shallow rapid
breathing, Bleeds easily,
Low red blood count.
Teeth decay easily and become brittle, pyorrhoea, heart and blood
vessel disease, scurvy.
||Raw fruit, especially oranges, lemons, tomatoes, guavas, leeches,
mangoes, pineapples, chillies, sprouted grams, green leafy
raw vegetables, potatoes, cabbage, milk. This vitamin is
destroyed by cooking.|
Unstable nervous system. Low resistance to tuberculosis and other
infections. Deformed bones, rickets.
||Egg yolk, whole milk, fish oils. Few foods contain this vitamin, but
it may be secured by daily exposing some part of the skin to
Anaemia due to inability to digest the food iron. Failure of
placental function thus affects child-birth.
||Whole grain cereals, milk, green vegetables and raw fruits.|
Organic Salts, Sodium
Diabetes, Disturbed bile secretion. Flatulence with indigestion,
constipation. Sodium is necessary to render lime and
magnesia soluble for assimilation. Elimination of carbonic
acid is facilitated by sodium in the blood.
||Raw fruits and vegetables.|
Defective growth with impaired glycogen function of the liver.
Low red blood cell formation. Spleen function impaired. Low nerve energy.
||Vegetables and cereals. Muscle tissue.|
Calcium and Magnesium
In nature calcium is always accompanied by magnesium. A large number
of diseases of childhood involving tissue changes and
development are due to deficiency of these combined elements.
||Fruit, vegetables and cereals. The green leaves contain
relatively more calcium, while the seeds contain relatively
|Abnormal intrauterine development and difficult patturition.
Softening of bones (magnesium).
||Nuts, milk, yolk of eggs.|
About 75 grains of iron in the human body. It enters into the most
complicated compound found in the human organism. Good
blood with all its vital consequences can only be formed
with the presence of organic iron compounds.
||Green leafy vegetables, onions, radishes, carrots, strawberries,
tomatoes, dates, apples, figs, coconut, walnuts. Bran of
rice and wheat. Pulses, yolk of egg, milk.|
Avoid Wrong Combinations
A modified form of mono-diet is often useful in some circumstances as a
therapeutic measure. This may be accomplished by eating only one kind
of food at a meal but varying the food with each meal to avoid monotony
and still provide needed factors found in different foods. For persons
with impaired nutritional function, this regime permits the digestive
organs to give full attention to the
digestion of the one food partaken during that meal. It also encourages
better mastication and discourages overeating.
Recently while reading the book Ministry of Healing I found this
very practical advice on the matter of food combinations: "Here is a
suggestion for all whose work is sedentary or chiefly mental; let those
who have sufficient moral courage and self-control try it: At each
meal take only two or three kinds of simple food, and eat no more
than is required to satisfy hunger."
It is not well to eat fruit and vegetables at the same meal. If the
digestion is feeble, the use of both will often cause distress, and
inability to put forth mental effort. It is better to have the fruit at
one meal, and the vegetables at another.
The plan here suggested of allowing each meal to dominate in one
distinctive type of food can with advantage be extended beyond the two
examples mentioned. A favourable plan is to divide the daily food ration
into one protein meal, one starch meal, and one fruit meal.
The first rule is to avoid combining at any one meal foods of a decided
starch nature with foods that are acid.
Starch-containing foods require the fullest possible action of the
alkali saliva for their digestion. Therefore such foods should be
retained in the mouth and masticated until quite dissolved and reduced
to a semi-liquid state. Each mouthful of starch food should receive this
treatment which is not difficult after one has formed the habit of
For this reason it is advisable to recommend taking one's starch
requirement at one meal during the day, and refraining from introducing
any form of acid food or acid- containing combination of food at that
meal. Such combinations as follows are to be avoided:
Tomato sandwiches: Tomatoes with potatoes; Tomatoes and rice or breads;
Macaroni with tomatoes; Pies, tarts and pudding made of flour or other
starch with acid fruits; Orange and corn flour pudding; Orange juice and
bread, rice, potatoes or banana, should not be taken together; Vinegar,
chutni or pickles should not be taken together with any starchy food
like rice or potatoes; Marmalade or jam made of acid fruits, with bread
or cake; Tea is acid, it will retard digestion if taken with bread,
cakes, or other starch foods.
In our experience at the Simla Sanitarium we have observed that the
foods which combine best and cause the least trouble during their
combined digestion are :
1. Fruits and milk, 2. Bread, chapati or porridge cereals with
butter or cream, may be combined with any one or two of the following:
2. Bananas, almonds, dates, figs, sweet raisins, honey, milk. Any three of
these would make a good combination.
3. Bread, chapatis, porridge or rice will also combine with
vegetables and dal but none of the above fruits should then be used.
4. Rice with tuber and green vegetables, dal and olive oil.
5. Green leafy vegetables, both raw and cooked, combine well with such
protein food as fish, fowl, eggs or meat, if one is using animal foods.
6. Flesh foods combine best with green leafy vegetables, but they will also
combine well with acid fruits as apples, guavas, pears, oranges,
mangoes, but it is best not to use both vegetables and acid fruit at the
same meal with meat.
H. C. MENKEL