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Discussing Digestion


Eating your food just isn’t enough. Getting a meal in your mouth is barely the first step in a complicated process of making that morsel mean something to your body. The physiologic process of digestion is indeed a complicated one that begins with the ingestion of bulk food and ends with the metabolic disassembly of individual molecules deep within the core of your body. In between these two start and finish points is a string of critical stages.

Proper mastication allows the enzyme known as salivary amylase to perform its important role as a pre-gastric starch-splitter. Gulping large boluses of partially chewed food short-cuts this oral opportunity and places an unnecessary and additional burden on the lower gastrointestinal service stations. Stomach ache, bloat or heartburn is the natural and predictable response. Slow down and enjoy—not only the roses—but the full flavor, the total taste, and everything to which you are entitled.


Washing it down with 16 ounces of your favorite fiz only worsens the matter. Diluted amylase concentrations render your salivary enzyme useless. Excessive fluids in the stomach only delay the start of digestion by putting the whole business on hold until all that liquid can be absorbed and the pH can start dropping. The digestive machinery works much better if the skids are greased with water well before you start your meal. Tanking up ahead of time allows your saliva glands to deliver plenty of juice—all you’ll really need to fully enjoy every bite.


Some gastrophysiologists believe that this oral predigestion continues in the upper antral portion of the stomach. Fresh foods that have not been denatured by prolonged exposure to high temperatures contain their own supply of digestive enzymes: they’re self-digesting! Provided that seeds (including cereals and most nuts) have already begun their own germination-digestion process, their built-in enzyme inhibitors will no longer be around to interfere.


After about an hour, the lower gastric portion of the stomach has accumulated a sufficient supply of hydrochloric acid and enzymes like trypsin, chymotrypsin and pepsin to begin the protein phase of digestion. Proteins are polymers, complex molecules composed of separate chains and subchains. The lower acid pH causes hydrolysis (breaking hydrogen bonds) of the bulk protein molecules into smaller amino-acid subunits. 


Enzymes are specialized protein molecules that also aid in the break-up of ingested protein. Then how can enzymes do anything at all in a bath of hydrochloric acid? Remember, they are specialized molecules. One measurable property of biochemical structures is the pH or acid concentration at which the molecule denatures or loses its atomic configuration. Some molecules are more “acid resistant” than others. This is evident when you consider that battery acid will burn holes in your cotton or wool clothing and even your skin, but doesn’t seem to bother most plastics. All of these substances are hydrocarbons (as are enzymes), but they each have different physical properties. So while the more simplified salivary enzymes are inactivated by the stomach’s rising acid tide, the more durable proteinase (protein-cleaving) enzymes can continue to operate unaffected.


Fat is the last food component to get digested. Acid won’t do the trick. The bodydoes produce lipase, the lipid-splitting enzyme, but not until the meal mixture, now called chyme, reaches the upper small intestine. The pancreas (more famous for its production of insulin) produces both amylase and lipase. Simultaneously, the liver provides a soapy syrup called bile to emulsify the oil-water concoction. Bile is stored in its own reservoir, the gall bladder, that can squirt out an emergency supply when a great greasy gormet comes along. This explains the symptoms, so characteristic of gall bladder disease: crampy, colic-like pain following a fatty feast.


Shortly after entering the upper small intestine, digestion should be complete. All the carbohydrate starches should now be reduced to an assortment of individual sugars: glucose, fructose, maltose, lactose and many others. All the proteins should be broken up into a slurry of individual amino acids: glycine, cysteine, methionine, lysine, arginine and over a dozen more. All the fat should be sliced into a herd of individual fatty-acids: ….


Should be. But this rarely happens. 

·       Too much starch or not enough starch enzyme and the GI tract gets an unexpected load of undigested (and now, undigestable) carbohydrate. The result? Diarrhea, gas, and abdominal cramping. 

·       Too much protein or not enough protein enzyme and the intestinal bug brigade have a field day feasting on undigested protein that was never supposed to get this far down stream. The result? Gas, methane gas, and the bloating and discomfort that go along with it. And, as a by product, a slew of toxic fermentative waste compounds such as indoles that are absorbed into the circulation and cause nausea, headaches, mucosal irritation and potentially mutational change in the lining of the lower colon and rectum.

·       Too much fat or not enough fat enzyme and, once again, it’s grease in the gut overload. The result? Steatorrhea. And if that sounds like diarrhea, it’s because it is. Floating, smelly, liquid stools that shouldn’t be.

Cooking Undigestables

Potato Starch

Some foods, at least traditional foods, just simply cannot be digested in their natural uncooked state. The ubiquitous potato for one. At the Instituto del Frio, Departament of Metabolism and Nutrition in Madrid, Spain a report was published in 2000 addressing the digestability of raw and cooked potato starch. The reason for conducting this research was to investigate the way in which potatoes stimulate the release of insulin. The glycemic response can be either slow and gradual or sudden and abrupt depending on how quickly potato starch can be changed into simple sugars. This study found that raw potatoes have a high percentage of “resistant starch”—rendering it “hardly digested.” On the other hand, boiled and mashed potatoes had the highest rate of digestions with levels of resistant starch reduced to just over 1%.

Garcia-Alonso A, Goni I: “Effect of processing on potato starch: in vitro availability and glycaemic index”, Nahrung 2000 Feb;44(1):19-22


Beans: Raw, Boiled and Toasted

This article, originally published in Spanish, comes from the Laboratorio of Digestive Sciences at the  University Autonoma in Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Researchers Guzman, Quijada and Hernandez measured the protein digestibility of beans grown and eaten by the people of Northeast Mexico. Raw seeds were found to have a digestibility score of around 80-85%, fairly good compared to most legumes. But toasting the beans for 10 minutes at 80-90 degrees Celsius increased this to nearly 92%. Then they tried boiling the seeds in their shells and sheaths. There was no change in digestibility. Finally, they boiled the seeds after removing the shells and sheaths. This time the protein digestibility shot up to almost 95%. Like many other similar studies, this report demonstrates the fact that not all foods are best eaten in their raw state. Heat treatments, like cooking, can unquestionably improve digestability, by breaking down the molecular structure or denaturing the protein moleucles. 

Alanis Guzman MG, Gonzalez Quijada MR, Mercado Hernandez R , “Effect of cooking on the chemical and nutritional value of the Pithecellobium flexicaule (Bent) seed.” Arch Latinoam Nutr 1998 Dec;48(4):328-33


Cooking and Nutrient Loss

Raw vs Cooked Onions

Like garlic, the Welsh onion has been consumed for the prevention of cardiovascular disorders. Many published accounts have confirmed these antithrombotic effects, like this one from the Department of Food Health at the Chia Nan College of Pharmacy and Science in Tainan, Taiwan. Raw Welsh onion juice consumption was shown to significantly lower resting systolic blood pressure, prolong bleeding time, diminish platelet adhesion and aggregation and increase the plasma level of 6-keto-prostaglandin F(1alpha), the stable prostacyclin metabolite. But boiled Welsh onion juice consumption was totally ineffective in altering any of these parameters.

Chen JH, Chen HI, Tsai SJ, Jen CJ, “Chronic consumption of raw but not boiled Welsh onion juice inhibits rat platelet function.” J Nutr 2000 Jan;130(1):34-7


Cooking and Cancer

Cooked Meat
Heterocyclic amines, Fecal N-nitroso Compounds and Colorectal Cancer

From the Medical Research Council of the Dunn Human Nutrition Unit in Cambridge, UK comes a year 2000 estimate that “up to 80% of colorectal cancer is attributable to diet. Epidemiologically, cross-sectional comparisons, case-control studies and trends in food intake show high rates of colorectal cancer in populations consuming diets high in meat and fat, and low in starch, NSP (non-starch polysaccharides, fiber) and vegetables.” The cause? Mr Bingham attributes it to the generally accepted “formation of heterocyclic amines in meat when it is cooked.”


Furthermore, “high-meat diets increase the level of nitrosatable material entering the colon.” This material is the oft publicized N-nitroso compounds increase in a dose-responsive manner following endogenous synthesis in the colon.” 


Mutations and guanine adducts accumulated during colorectal cancer progression are characteristic of alkylative damage, which would be compatible with NOC exposure

Bingham SA, “Diet and colorectal cancer prevention.” Biochem Soc Trans 2000 Feb;28(2):12-6


Cancer Protection

Fruits, Vegetables, Olive and Seed Oils

From the Epidemiological Service of the Center for Oncological Referral in Aviano, Italy comes a 1999 report in the Annals of Oncology establishing (as so many prior studies have confirmed) the “significant trends of increasing breast and colorectal cancer risk” associated with increasing intakes of refined sugars, bread and pasta, pork and processed meats and potatoes (breast cancer only), cakes and desserts (colon-rectum cancers only). 


This clinical study involved 2569 women with incident breast cancer, 1953 subjects with cancer of the colon-rectum, and 5155 matched hospital controls between the years of 1991 and 1996. On the other hand, increasing amounts of fruits and vegetables in the diet had a reverse association overall, and specifically “carrots and raw vegetables seemed to lower breast cancer risk” while a “high fruit intake was associated with a reduction of rectal cancer.” And, in regards to fat, a “high intake of saturated fat seemed to lead to an increase of cancer risk” whereas “high intakes of polyunsaturated fatty acids (chiefly derived from olive oil and seed oils) were protective.”

Franceschi S, Favero A, “The role of energy and fat in cancers of the breast and colon-rectum in a southern European population.” Ann Oncol 1999;10 Suppl 6:61-3


Tomatoes and the Prostate

From the Mario Negri Institute of Pharacological Research in Milan, Italy is a year 2000 case-controlled study of dietary factors affecting the incidence of prostate cancer. They concluded that “the incidence of prostate cancer in Greece could be reduced by about two-fifths if the population increased the consumption of tomatoes and reduced the intake of dairy products, and substituted olive oil for other added lipids.” They reported the positive association of “dairy products, butter and seed oils” with the risk of prostate cancer. Cooked and raw tomatoes were shown to be protective.

Bosetti C, Tzonou A, Lagiou P, Negri E, Trichopoulos D, Hsieh CC, “Fraction of prostate cancer incidence attributed to diet in Athens, Greece.” Eur J Cancer Prev 2000 Apr;9(2):119-23


Fresh Fruit and Raw Vegetables and Gastric Cancer

Another year 2000 report from the Epidemiology Unit of the Careggi Hospital in Florence, Italy looked at gastric cancer.


Despite a dramatic reduction in incidence and mortality rates, gastric cancer is still one of the most common malignant neoplasias worldwide. A large number of studies have indicated that salted, smoked, pickled, and preserved foods (rich in salt, nitrite, and preformed N-nitroso compounds) are associated with an increased risk. While a high consumption of fresh fruit and raw vegetables and a high intake of antioxidants are associated with a reduced risk.

Palli D, “Epidemiology of gastric cancer: an evaluation of available evidence.” J Gastroenterol 2000;35 Suppl 12:84-9


Dietary Change Reactions


Detoxification Symptoms are frequently reported among those making major dietary changes, especially when moving from animal to vegetarian foods. These include headache, nausea, diarrhea, skin eruptions. The mechanism for the occurance of these symptoms is thought to be due to the release of toxins from various body storage depots. The concept of toxin storage is demonstrated in a number of pathological conditions. For example, gout is the result of uric acid crystal formation in distal and cooler toe joints as well as an occasional ear lobe where they are called tophi. Diabetic cataracts are formed by the deposition of inositol and sorbitol pathway sugar byproducts in the crystalline lens of the eye.

Vitamin B deficiency may be accelerated by high sugar consumption. Raw food diets may increase the risk of Vitamin D, zinc, and even calcium deficiency.

Diet by Name

Fruitarian – a diet composed of at least 75% fruit - the reproductive product of trees, vines, bushes. Fruitarians may supplement their diet with small amounts of sprouts and even leafy greens.

Raw Fooder – a diet consisting of at least 75% raw foods. Essentially a vegan diet, but can be lacto-vegetarian when raw dairy is consumed, or non- vegetarian when anyone is brave enough to ingest raw fish and meat.

Sproutarian – Very few people eat only sprouts, but one could be considered a sproutarian if their diet is predominantly composed of sprouts.

Living Fooder – is actually a version of sproutarianism. Ann Wigmore promotes a living fooder-vegan type diet concentrated on sprouts, raw fermented and blended foods. The Hippocrates Institute, founded by Brian Clement, and Gabriel Cousens both teach similar versions of the living foods diets.

Natural Hygiene - A diet of raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, though most hygienists discourage a high percentage of fruit. The diet is usually vegan, but Tilden (co-founder of natural hygiene in modern times) encouraged use of non-vegetarian foods. There is wide spread disagreement on the use of sprouts, seaweeds, dried fruit, and even raw milk/cheese/eggs in the diet. The American Natural Hygiene Society claims to promote a predominantly raw diet, but allow for cooked grains and steamed vegetables in the diet as well.

Instinctive Eating – A.K.A. Anopsology espouses sequential mono-eating, guided by the senses of smell and taste to signal a need to stop eating. In practice, instincto diets focus on raw fruit, vegetables and optional seafood and meat, but excludes dairy foods and grains. The Paleolithic diet, is a recently popular version.

Essene diet is based on the Essene Gospels of Peace, which claims that Jesus was a member of the Essene sect, and a raw food vegetarian. The diet consists of raw sprouts, wheatgrass, vegetables, fruit, and raw and fermented dairy products making it more lacto-vegetarian than vegan.

Liquidarian – only practical as a short-term cleansing diet.


The reproductive parts of a vine, bush, or tree, including the juicy pulp

Technically, fruits include such traditional vegetables as bean/pea pods, avocado, tomato, bell/sweet pepper, cucumbers, and squash.

Fruits are the best tasting raw food.

Fruits are the most cleansing food available. Easiest foot to digest, allows deposited toxic metabolic byproducts of cooked foods to be eliminated by the body. Often resulting in a “crisis” reaction: headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.

Frutarians are those who consume fruits predominately (75%) or exclusively.

Acid Fuits



Pomes (peaches, plums, apples, pears)

Vegetable Fuits


Tahitian Melon Squash supposedly tastes like a sweet cantelope




Hard, raw winter squash is reported to taste like dairy cheese when grated

Bell Peppers


Raw Seeds



Sprouted seeds are one of the most complete and nutritional of all foods They are the food of the future, as well as a food of the past. The Old Testament prophet Daniel proved the power of pulse in recovering from his malnurished state in only 10 days.

Sprouts are predigested food, exhibiting higher biological value than unsprouted whole seeds, raw or cooked. As a consequence, less food is required, yet more nutrients reach the blood and body tissues.

Unsprouted seeds, grains, cereals, and nuts not only have less nutrional value, but may not even be digestable in many cases.

The presence of antinutritional factors such as enzyme inhibitors, saponins, and tannins in raw legume seeds and other vegetables that renders them undigestable has been considered as an expression of the chemical warfare of plants against their predators.


Improving Bioavailability and Removing Antinutrients

The utilization of foods containing these antinutrients has been made possible historically through the use of cooking, fermentation, and germination. Each of these treatments tend to increase nutrient bioavailability. Cooking alters the biochemical structure of proteins including enzyme inhibitors because of the denaturing effects of heat. Fermentation degrades the structure of organic compounds through the effects of altered pH. The production of acetic acid during the production of kraut and pickles is responsible for their characteristic sour taste. Germination which occurs during the production of seed sprouts changes biochemical structure through enzymatic action.

“High-resolution structure of a potent, cyclic proteinase inhibitor from sunflower seeds.” J Mol Biol 1999 Jul 9;290(2):525-33 (ISSN: 0022-2836) Luckett S; Garcia RS; Barker JJ; Konarev AV; Shewry PR; Clarke AR; Brady RL Department of Biochemistry, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1TD, UK.


Heat Resistant Enzyme Inhibitors

Cooking doesn’t always eliminate antinutrients. Seed extracts from legumes were used in a 1996 study conducted in Mexico to assess their effect in reducing the proteinase activity of serine and cysteine proteinases (protein digestive enzymes) such as trypsin, chymotrypsin, and papain. This article is interesting in that it reports that the inhibitory capacity was maintained even after heating the seed extracts to 90 degrees C for 15 min. Evidently some biochemical structures are less heat labile than others. This may explain why legumes are more resistant to cooking as a means of eliminating the antinutrient effects of enzyme inhibitors such as flatulence and bloating.

“Proteinase inhibition of fish muscle enzymes using legume seed extracts.” J Food Prot 1996 Mar;59(3):312-8 (ISSN: 0362-028X) Garcia-Carreno FL; Navarrette Del Toro MA; Diaz-Lopez M; Hernandez-Cortes MP; Ezquerra JM Centro de Investigaciones Biologica del Noroeste, La Paz, Mexico. 


Heat and Acid Resistant Enzymes

A 1996 study of paprika plant seeds (Capsicum annuum) at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences reported the isolation of several fractions demonstrating trypsin inhibitory activity. These proteinase inhibitors were also found to be resistant to heat up to 85 degrees C and to acidic conditions down to pH 2.0 and even to pepsin digestion.

Patthy A; Athanasiadis A; Tchorbanov B; Zakhariev S; Pongor S, “Primary structure and specificity of a serine proteinase inhibitor from paprika (Capsicum annuum) seeds.” Biochim Biophys Acta 1996 Nov 14;1298(1):95-101 (ISSN: 0006-3002) Antcheva N;


Thermostable Tannins

The same degree of heat tolerance applies to other antinutrients like tannins. Yet some thermostable factors are not destroyed by seed processing that involves the use of heat. One of these is a family of polymeric polyphenols called tannins. These substances are actually pigments with the ability to precipitate proteins and inhibit digestive enzymes.

Carmona A, “Tannins: thermostable pigments which complex dietary proteins and inhibit digestive enzymes.” Archives of Latin-American Nutrition 1996 Dec;44(4 Suppl 1):31S-35S (ISSN: 0004-0622) Escuela de Biologia, Universidad Central de Venezuela.


Roasting Beans Reduces Antinutrients

In Mexico, researches reported that roasting beans reduced their phytate content by 35% and their protein inhibitors by 96%. But, when roasted in their shells, the tannin concentration actually increased from 12.4 to 236 mg equivalents of catheuine/100g. This was thought to be the result of transferring the higher concentrations of tannin in the shell to the bean itself. When shelled beans were roasted the tannin concentration indeed fell by 88.6%.

Alanis Guzman MG, Gonzalez Quijada MR, Mercado Hernandez R , “Effect of cooking on the chemical and nutritional value of the Pithecellobium flexicaule (Bent) seed.” Archives of Latin-American Nutrition 1998 Dec;48(4):328-33


Germination Deactivates Inhibitors

Germination also deactivates enzyme inhibitors by leaching them out of the seed

(grains, nuts) through the osmotic effects of hydration.

Anti-trypsinase and other anti-proteinases are more popularly referred to as proteinase inhibitors. These compounds have gained a great deal of attention in recent years as important adjuncts to HIV treatment protocols. A significant side-benefit of all the intensive research in this area is the role that enzyme inhibitors and the enzymes they inhibit play during seed germination.

Uninhibited seed enzymes break down or digest concentrated seed starch into simpler carbohydrates and sugars, and storage proteins into free amino acids in preparation for seed sprouting and embryonic plant growth.


Walnut Protein Allergy

One advantage of using germination as a seed processing method is the digestive action of the seed’s enzymes on allergenic proteins. For example, walnuts which rank third in per capita consumption of tree nuts in the United States contain a major food allergen. Consequently, walnuts are associated with systemic IgE-mediated reactions in some individuals. Perhaps you’ve noticed the bitter taste of walnuts. It comes from the tannin pigment in the walnut skins. But the allergic reaction experienced by susceptible persons is due to one of the proteins contained in the nut meat. A 1998 report in the Journal of Allergy and ClinicalImmunology identified the culprit substance as an albumin seed storage protein precursor closely related to a similar allergen found in the Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa).

Teuber SS; Dandekar AM; Peterson WR; Sellers CL, “Cloning and sequencing of a gene encoding a 2S albumin seed storage protein precursor from English walnut (Juglans regia), a major food allergen.” J Allergy Clin Immunol 1998 Jun;101(6 Pt 1):807-14

Department of Internal Medicine, University of California, Davis, School of Medicine, USA.


Soaking walnuts is beneficial in two ways. First, tannins are leached out improving the nut’s flavor appeal. Second, removal of the enzyme inhibitors allows the seed to begin germination activities which includes enzymatic digestion of the storage proteins. Since the offending allergen is a seed storage protein, it is biochemically altered by the enzymes into safe nonallergenic subcomponents.



Some vitamins increase during sprouting by as much as 500% In wheat, vitamin B-12 quadruples, other B vitamins increases 3 to 12 times, vitamin E content triples. Fiber content increases three to four times.


Dry seeds, grains, and legumes contain no vitamin C. But after sprouting, they contain around 6 milligrams per ounce. In fact, sprouts are the most reliable year-round source of vitamin C, carotenoid A, and many B vitamins (such as folacin). For example, Vitamin A content (per calorie) of sprouted Mung beans is two-and-a-half times higher than the dry bean, and compared to some other beans more than eight times more.


After harvesting sprouts and refrigerate them, they continue to grow slowly, and their vitamin content will actually increase. Store-bought fruits and vegetables start losing their vitamins as soon as they are picked.


When enzymes are in our food, the body is allowed to produce essential molecularstructures instead of emergency digestive enzymes. When natural enzymes are missing in ingested food the body is forced to produce large amounts of digestive enzymes. Pancrease, thyroid, salivary glands hypertrophy in animals fed cooked foods.Aging reduces the stomach’s ability to produce hydrochloric acid (New England Journal of Medicine 85; 313: 70-74); by age 65, near 35% don’t produce any hydrochloric acid at all.





You just can’t discuss legumes and avoid this topic. Beans are notorius for flatulence. But gas may be reduced by rinsing sprouts just before eating to remove oligosaccharides, the surface sugars that some have identified as at least one culprit.


Turmeric and ginger may be added to sprouts to assist in protein digestion.

Add anti-gas fenugreek, cumin, dill, and coriander seeds to sprouting legumes. Fenugreek is best with fast growing mung beans.


Fennel seed 1 teaspoon of powder 15-30 minutes before a legume meal, taken with warm water. The asian indian custom of chewing the licorice-tasting fennel seeds at the end of a meal is based on centuries of experience in the knowledge that this practice is an effect aid in protein digestion.

Cardamom and caraway seeds can be added just before serving.


Soaking Improves Pea Digestability

From the Department of Foods and Nutrition at the Haryana Agricultural University in Hisar, India comes a report on the protein digestability of peas. Raw unprocessed seeds were found to be only 60 to 66 percent digestible. This was improved, not only by ordinary cooking but also by soaking for 18 hours and sprouting.

“Protein digestability of vegetables and field peas (Pisum sativum). Varietal differences and effect

of domestic processing and cooking methods.” Plant Foods Hum Nutr 1994 Jul;46(1):71-6


Mung Beans

Easiest to digest, and produce a minimum amount of gas.

Has carbohydrate content of a melon, vitamin A of a lemon, thiamin of an avocado, riboflavin of a dry apple, niacin of a banana, and ascorbic acid of a loganberry. But they have only 3 types of amino acids, while soybeans have 17.


Soy Beans

Theoretically edible if sprouted long enough, are difficult or unsafe to eat raw.


Large Beans

Lima, pinto, navy (white), black have a very strong, unpleasant flavor when raw which is not improved by sprouting.


Kidney beans are actually toxic if eaten raw.

Cooking sprouted large legumes eliminates flatulence, produces a normal flavor, reduces cooking time.




Raw hulled sunflower seeds can be sprouted: soak 12 hours, pour off hulls to avoid spoilage, and sprout for 1-2 days.


Unsprouted sunflower seeds are high in fat and protein. Sprouting activates the seed by leeching out enzyme inhibitors, increasing enzyme levels, converting seed fats to essential fatty acids and carbohydrates, and converting proteins to essential amino acids and/or sugars.


Sprouted sunflower seeds may be dehydrated to produce the familiar crunchy texture most of us are used to. Adding salt to the last water change will produce a pleasant taste in the final dried sprouts.


Unhulled sunflower seeds are generally grown for 7 days to produce sunflower greens.Sunflower greens have a slightly salty taste like watercress. Rich in chlorophyll, enzymes, vitamins, proteins, lecithin and Vitamin D



Common in Indian cuisine, this seed aids in digestion. It sprouts readily and quickly but frequently contains rock hard seeds that won’t sprout. These can be separated to the bottom by soaking in water.



'Lady Godiva' variety doesn’t have the hard shell seen in most pumpkins. They will sprout but become rancid quickly (often in less than 2 days) unless they are dehydrated which is really preferred. If not dehydrated they should be soaked and refrigerated.



Hulled seeds won’t sprout. Unhulled seeds sprout easily in 1-2 days. Hulls contain oxylate (a bitter tasting anti-nutrient) than can be reduced significantly by soaking and rinsing. Sesame seed oil is heating when applied topically.



Flax seed oil is very expensive and spoils quickly, so much be refrigerated. Flax is a rich source of omega-3 and –6 fatty acids.



Soaking nuts (even if they can’t be sprouted) will remove some of the tannins in their skins, improving their flavor and digestability.



sprouted almonds are very delicious, and have much better flavor than dry, unsprouted almonds. Blanched almonds probably won't sprout: use only whole, unblanched almonds.


1 day suggested, after 2 days may turn rancid. Almond sprout is a “whole food.” Eat the whole thing, including skin. Raw, unsoaked almond skins are high in tannins, hard to digest, and very astringent: peel the sprouts before eating. Easiest after soaking underwater. Peeled almond sprouts really taste wonderful

Sprouts may be dehydrated from an optionally salted final rinse to produce marvelous, crunchy almonds very similar to the freeze-dried vacuum packed varieties.



Raw, unblanched peanuts are sproutable and taste better than dry, unsprouted ones.


Blanched nuts are treated with heat and/or chemicals, and don't sprout reliably.

Can harbor carcinogenic toxic molds (aflatoxin).



Not sproatable. Shelled nuts are devitalized by processing


Processing renders them non-viable, so not sproutable



Not sproutable, can be soaked which improves flavor, removing bitter taste quality and softens nut.

Dehydrating after soaking makes them wonderfully crisp and crunching.


Brazil Nuts

Shelled nuts are devitalized by boiling process. Buy only in-shell, and shell manually



A tropical tree in the plant family Anacardiacae (includes mango, pistachio, and poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac). The edible “nut” must be separated from the toxic shell through a process that involves immersion in a hot oil bath at 170-200 deg C. This renders it devitalized and, consequently, is not sproutable.



Most are imported from Europe (the European chestnut). Chestnuts have the lowest fat content of all major nuts (4-6%) which means they contain substantial amounts of carbohydrates (starch and sugar). As a result, they may spoil quickly, and should be refrigerated or frozen for storage. Usually sold in-shell.


Filberts (Hazelnuts)

Not viable, soaking has little effect on shelled nut.


Macadamia Nuts

Most are freeze dried and non-viable. Unprocessed nuts require 30-60+ days to sprout in-shell. This extremely progracted sprouting time means they might be rancid or rotten by the time the root sprout finally appears.



If you think Macadamia nuts take a long time, coconuts take the cake. They require 4 or more months to sprout! Supermarket coconuts probably won’t sprout because they are usually picked too green. You’ll need a fresh, mature raw nut with its husk intact. But, if you are able to manage it, sprouted coconuts are edible, and considered a delicacy


Sprouting Times

Type of seedamtsoak timesprout timeamt harvested
Aduki1 cup12 hrs3 dayshalf gallon
alfalfa3 tsp110 hrs3 dayshalf gallon
almond1 cup8 hrs2 days2 cups
buckwheat2 cups10 hrs2 dayshalf gallon
cabbage3 tsp8 hrs3 dayshalf gallon
clover2 tsp8 hrs3 dayshalf gallon
fenugreek4 tsp10 hrs4 dayshalf gallon
flax1 cup8 hrs2 days2 cups
garbanzo1 cup12 hrs2 dayshalf gallon
lentil1 cup10 hrs2 dayshalf gallon
millet1 cup10 hrs2 dayshalf gallon
mung1 cup12 hrs2 dayshalf gallon
oat groat2 cups8 hrs1 dayhalf gallon
pea1 cup10 hrs2 dayshalf gallon
quinoa1 cup8 hrs2 dayshalf gallon
radish3 tsp8 hrs2 dayshalf gallon
sesame1 cup8 hrs2 dayshalf gallon
sunflower2 cups12 hrs2 dayshalf gallon
wheat2 cups12 hrs2 dayshalf gallon
wild rice1 cup12 hrs4 dayshalf gallon




Free Health Insurance — Available To All

“The Doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.”
~ Thomas Edison

Food as a key to health represents a powerful challenge to conventional medicine, which is fundamentally built on drugs and surgery. The wide spread communities of nutrition professionals, researchers and doctors are, as a whole, either unaware of this evidence or reluctant to share it. Because of these failings, Americans are being cheated out of information that could save their lives.”
~ T. Colin Campbell, PhD – The China Study

In last week’s Health Tip, I provided much evidence showing that our entire society is geared toward disease and “disease care” rather than health and true “health care.”

This week I want to offer an alternative. See if you don’t agree that this alternative is vastly better, much less expensive, while offering superior results:

Modern Medicine Has Never Healed Anyone of Anything!

Think about that statement for a moment. Do you agree with it? Here are a few questions to prompt some thought:

Does modern medicine have the ability to restore “health” to the DIABETIC?

Or does having “health insurance” even matter?

The answer to both is “No!”

Modern medicine does not rid the diabetic’s blood sugar problem; in fact, most doctors treat only the symptom with drugs and insulin to lessen the symptom. Do these drugs eliminate the diabetic condition? Or do they merely chemically reduce readings while exacerbating the problem?

As the condition continues to deteriorate, what can the doctor offer besides stronger drugs or the amputation of a limb, or blindness, or an early death?

Does modern medicine restore “health” to the person with high blood pressure?

Or does having “health insurance” even matter?

The answer to both again is “No!”

Rather than restoring “health” by removing the high blood pressure problem, most doctors only treat the symptom with toxic drugs, while telling the patient they must remain on these toxic drugs the rest of their life. And what do these drugs do?

Besides chemically lowering blood pressure, these drugs often cause new and often more serious problems. As arteries continue to clog  due to a fatty diet, what can modern medicine offer besides more drugs, by-pass surgery, balloon therapy, and stents?

Do these modalities restore “health” to the patient or do they offer only temporary relief of symptoms while the fat continues to build up in the arteries, often resulting in a life-threatening heart attack or stroke.

Does modern medicine restore “health” to the person suffering with arthritis?

Or does having “health insurance” even matter?

The answer once again is “No” to both questions.

Most doctors treat the symptoms of arthritis (pain and swelling) with ever more powerful painkilling drugs in an effort to relieve the increasing pain and swelling.

Meanwhile, the arthritic continues to see their “health” deteriorate, often resulting in debilitating surgery or a wheelchair.

Does modern medicine restore “health” to the migraine sufferer?

Or does having “health insurance” even matter?

The answer once again is “No” to both questions.

Rather than ridding the migraine sufferer of their debilitating problem, most doctors prescribe powerful and toxic painkilling drugs in an effort relieve the symptom, which the sufferer has to continue to take in increasingly powerful forms while never eliminating the problem.

I could continue to list almost every physical problem for which a person seeks the help of modern medicine (other than accidents for which modern medicine is life-saving), and you tell me what problem the doctor, using his or her best knowledge and drugs, was able to eliminate.

Friends, “health insurance”, even the best and most expensive, paid for by the individual, employer, or government, does not have the ability to restore “health” to anyone for anything! Why is this so?

Only The Body Has The Power To Restore Health

Doctors can do their best to mitigate (lessen) symptoms, but neither they nor drugs have the power to heal the patient.

Before health can ever be restored to anyone, we must realize that all healing is self-healing and that all healing comes from the inside out and cannot come from the outside in!

Toxic drugs do not have the power to heal; in fact, they complicate the healing. The only power drugs have is to chemically relieve the symptom while at the same time poisoning the body and possibly creating new and often more serious problems than the drug was designed to help.

Many years ago, one of the 68 medical doctors who have gone through our Health Minister Traininghere at Hallelujah Acres, gave me a copy of the Physicians’ Desk Reference manual (PDR)It is a huge book containing over 3,000 pages.

Within its pages you will find almost every drug prescribed by doctors, along with a listing of all the adverse effects that drug is capable of creating. These adverse effects consume most of the 3,000 pages of the book!

Listen closely to the next drug advertisement on TV or read the fine print in that drug ad in a magazine. First it tells you of all the wonderful benefits that drug can bring – followed by warnings telling of all the bad things that drug can create within the body of the person who takes that drug –sometimes those adverse effects even include death.

Again, drugs do not have the power to heal – only the body possesses that power!

Where did that healing power come from?

This ability to heal was placed into the genetic coding of those first humans (Adam & Eve) by God. This self-healing ability has been passed from generation to generation in the genes, until it ended up in the body of every human being – including your body and mine!

God Built Self-Healing Into Each Of Us

You already have self-healing built into your body! And because of it, we have no need for “health insurance,” which is not “health” insurance at all, but “disease” insurance.

If we are currently sick and want to be made whole, we must cooperate with the body so that this built-in self-healing that God placed within each of us can manifest.

Modern medicine complicates both the problem and the “healing” process, making it more difficult for the body to do what God designed it to do: heal itself.

With that as a little background and introduction, let’s consider three areas: (1) How God designed the human physical body; (2) How God designed the body to function; and (3) How the body responds to various stimuli (e.g. drugs, food, drink, etc.):

1. We Are Fearfully And Wonderfully Made

“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;”
(Psalm 139:14)

No one can properly understand or appreciate the human physical body, without first acknowledging the body’s origin and designer – GOD!

“And the Lord GOD formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
(Genesis 2:7)

Yes my friend, after God had created this earth, He now had the building materials with which to create man – “dust of the ground” (minerals).

Then, in Genesis 2:7, using these dead minerals (“dust of the ground”) as building material, “GOD formed man.” But this “GOD formed man” made “of the dust of the ground” is dead and lifeless, similar to what we see when we look into a casket of a departed loved one at a funeral.  That is, until GOD “breathed into his nostrils the breath of LIFE and man became a LIVING soul.”

God Places Man In A Garden

“And the Lord God planted a garden eastward of Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.”
(Genesis 2:8)

Immediately after creating this first human (Adam), God places Adam in a garden, and then we read: “And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food…

Next we learn that after God created this first human, Adam, God said to Adam:

Behold, I have given you every herb (vegetable) bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat (FOOD).”
(Genesis 1:29)

Friends, there is nothing more important for a person to know after they are born, if that person is to have a healthy body and live a long and healthy life here on earth, than what we have just read! Let me explain why I make such a statement:

The physical body we each possess is a living organism, comprised of living cells, designed by God to be nourished with living (raw) plant-sourced foods!

All the foods found in the garden into which God placed man — and which God told Adam to eat for food — were living plant foods. That is, they were all foods that grew in the garden (fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts), which means they still contained their life force (enzymes).

When we consume these living foods God designed our bodies to be nourished with, and the freshly extracted juices thereof, our bodies have the nourishment and building materials neededto produce health!

When we cook these living garden foods, we destroy their life force (enzymes), and thus that living food is converted to a dead food by the heat.

Dead food cannot properly nourish living cells!

Death cannot produce life! This simple truth is the key to life, health, and longevity!

Please note that every animal in the wild, carnivorous or vegetarian instinctively eats its food in its raw and living form as they have done since God created them.

Only man, who has lost all natural instinct, will take what God has provided in its raw and living form in nature, and cook it — destroying all enzymes and life force.

When we go outside the garden to obtain our food (consuming animal flesh or dairy, refined sugar, refined flour, refined table salt, caffeine, saturated and trans-fats, etc.), we are in danger of doing great harm to the physical body.

Why? Because God created a physical body designed to functions properly only when it is provided the living garden foods He (God) designed that body to be nourished with!

The body malfunctions when a person goes outside the garden to obtain their food. This is the causeof most physical problems (other than accidents). The Bible says in Proverbs 26:2 that “The curse causeless shall not come.”

Almost every physical problem man experiences (other than injury from accidents) is caused by putting something into the body — food, drink, or drugs — that God never designed the physical body to contend with.

Our body is similar to an automobile in a way. Your car runs smoothly and properly when provided the right grade or octane of gasoline, but pings and knocks when it is given a low octane or contaminated fuel.

2. How Your Body Was Designed To Function

(a) Researchers tell us that the human physical body is comprised of approximately 100 trillion living cells! Whether it be our hair or nails, muscles or bone, flesh or blood, immune system or whatever part of the body you care to name, everything that comprises our physical body is comprised of living cells.

(b) Researchers also reveal that these 100 trillion living cells are constantly in the process of dying and replacing themselves at the rate of approximately 300 million cells per minute. Blood cells are dying and replacing daily, taste buds replace in about 2 weeks, surface layer of skin replaces in about 4 weeks, while bone cells take about a year.

(c) Research further reveals that as these living cells die and replace, the quality of each replacement cell depends on the building materials available to it. If that living cell is provided with living (garden) food, the nourishment God designed it to have, it will be of highest quality! But if provided with dead or non-garden foods, the new cell will be of poorer quality.

Friends, what I have just shared is the key to life, health, and longevity! And with this knowledge almost every individual can take control of his or her own health. Yes, with this knowledge each person can now determine whether they want to “be in health” (3 John 2) or live in sickness.

Here is how the Bible expresses this individual responsibility:

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man (or woman) soweth, that shall he (or she) also reap.”
Galatians 6:7

3. How The Body Responds To Various Stimuli (Food, Drink, Drugs)

The Hallelujah Diet is based on the Genesis 1:29 diet, the very diet God told Adam and Eve they were to consume to nourish their physical bodies. And who would know what the best source of nourishment was for the physical body than God, the very Creator of that body? The foundation of The Hallelujah Diet is solid, biblical, and cannot be refuted.

How is it then that, over the years, Hallelujah Acres has learned a number of reasons why a 100% raw, living, plant-sourced diet has some weaknesses?

This weakness is due to the quality and nutrient density of the garden foods available to us today, and the weakened physical bodies we have to contend with due to years of abuse.

Due to these factors, we encourage the consumption of freshly extracted vegetable juices, and we also allow 15% of the garden foods to be in cooked form. Also, due to research and personal experience, we encourage carefully selected supplementation to obtain maximum results.

The Hallelujah Diet

The Hallelujah Diet is comprised of approximately 85% raw, living, plant-sourced foods, freshly extracted vegetable juices, green smoothies and blended salads, 15% cooked, plant-sourced foods, and the use of some important supplements.

These foods (especially the juices, green smoothies and blended salads) provide the body withsuperior cell building materials, materials the body then uses to rebuild the immune system and restore health to the sick and maintain wellness once health has been restored.

Millions of people around the world have adopted The Hallelujah Diet, while tens-of-thousands have reported that when they adopted The Hallelujah Diet, most all of their physical and even psychological problems went away — and they don’t get sick anymore.

This editor has been on The Hallelujah Diet for over 36 years. While on this diet, I recovered fromcolon cancer in 1976 and a hemorrhagic stroke due to stress in 2001 — both without a doctor’s help or health insurance.

As I approach my 80th birthday, I still possess a strong and healthy body, with no physical or mental limitations that I am aware of, even though I stopped carrying health insurance 36 years ago.

Every Physical Problem Has A Cause

As mentioned above, the Bible tells us in Proverbs 26:2 that “… the curse causeless shall not come.”

This verse indicates that if I do not entertain the “cause” of sickness, the “curse” (sickness) “will not come.”

This explains why Christians are just as sick as non-Christians:

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”
(Hosea 4:6)

Don’t you think it is high time God’s people got back to nourishing their bodies with the foods God told us we should eat in Genesis 1:29?

Don’t you think it’s time for God’s people to manifest the health God designed for each of us?

You and you alone hold the key to your own health! Will you choose to “be in health”? (3 John 2). Your health is dependent on how well you nourish and exercise your body. Your health is your responsibility and no one else’s!

The Best Health Insurance Policy Available Anywhere & It’s Free

There is not a Health Insurance policy available anywhere, provided by the private sector or government, no matter its cost, that can restore health.


Because only the body has the innate ability to restore “health.”

Restoration of health can only take place when we provide conditions conducive to health within the body so that the body can do what God designed it to do – heal itself!

And there is absolutely no cost associated with this healing – because it is provided by God, FREE OF CHARGE!

Hallelujah & Amen!

Next week the good Lord willing and if the creeks don’t rise too high, I will share the solution to our current dilemma concerning disease care with a true health care program. Trust you will join us!

Today’s message starts with a musical cue. It’s a song lyric fromThe Fantasticks, the longest running musical in the world:

“Plant a radish, get a radish, and not a Brussels sprout. That’s why I like vegetables. You know what they’re about.”

The man who is singing is talking about the difference between raising kids and raising vegetables. But in many ways, we think the above lyric articulates the spirit of Hallelujah Acres and the way we feel about processed food.

Processed foods are loaded with additives. They have artificial stabilizers. They’ve been fortified and pasteurized and enhanced in ways that mask the fact that they have been stripped of their nutritional value. Fish is filled with mercury. And when you eat animal products, you don’t know what hormones or antibiotics may have been injected into the cow or chicken or pig.

And that’s why we like vegetables... and fruits...and other all-natural foods. You know what they’re about.

So please stick with these message series. You’ve been doing great so far, and we want to spend the rest of the year helping you do everything you can to live for a long, long time. That brings us to the subject of today’s lesson...


Are you a slave to sugar? Most Americans are because of the tremendous amount of refined sugar that is added to processed food and beverages to improve taste and shelf life. Too bad it doesn’t improve your health!

In Lick the Sugar Habit, ex-sugar addict Nancy Appleton, Ph.D. shares her personal journey of discovery about the devastating effects sugar has on health. What you learn can help you shed pounds and keep them off for good.

The sooner you break the habit the better.

learn more


No, we’re not talking about alcohol. We’re talking about the seemingly harmless beverages that can make the difference between weight-loss success and system failure.

The Party’s Over
History shows that refined sugar was considered a high society party drug in the Middle Ages. Today, sugar’s highly addictive nature, like a party drug, is causing deceptive, yet devastating effects across the Western world. Sugar is lurking everywhere in your supermarket, in places you wouldn’t expect to find it, like the meat aisle where sugar can be used as a preservative, or the pharmacy aisle where it shows up in vitamins and supplements, or the low-fat food aisle where excess sugar takes the place of oil in cookies, salad dressings, and other self-proclaimed “healthy” products.

And too much sugar has become far too common in the beverages we drink: high-sugar sodas, energy drinks, blended coffee drinks, and even so-called “natural” fruit drinks...which are often little more than sugar water with some fruit flavoring.

Drink Your Way Slim
Limiting or eliminating soda pop, fruit drinks, ice tea, hot chocolate, sports drinks, and any other refined sugar-sweetened beverage is the easiest way to get rid of empty calories. The research from population studies, experimental studies, and interventions to reduce cola consumption all show that higher body weights are more common in groups that drink soda pop and sugar sweetened beverages. That’s why none of these beverages are part of The Hallelujah Diet.

What about drinks made with high fructose corn syrup instead of sugar? One study found that a high fat, high sugar diet supplemented with high fructose corn syrup led to brain damage (in rats) in the hippocampus, a region of the brain associated with short-term memory and spatial navigation...and one of the first areas damaged in Alzheimer’s disease. So, not only does high fructose corn syrup contribute to obesity (as empty calories), it also leads to dementia.

Small amounts of natural sweeteners are fine. But sugar by any other name is still sugar, even if it is raw. So, even honey, agave nectar, and any other natural sweeteners and sugar substitutes, like stevia, have negative effects if used in large quantities.

Do yourself a favor and ditch soda and sweetened drinks. Instead, drink water with a squeeze of lemon or lime, even adding a small amount of 100% juice to a glass of water will give it flavor without too much sweetness.

Bottoms up!

Homework: Deconstruct Your Food
When you look at one of those currently popular oversized cupcakes loaded with frosting and bursting with cream filling, do you see a single serving of dessert? Perhaps, but deconstruct that cupcake and you’ll see that cupcake for what it really is...enough dessert to feed three or four people.

On the top of that cupcake, you’ve got the frosting equivalent of a full-sized candy bar. The cupcake topping itself is so big; it’s got the same caloric hit as a cookie. Then you’ve got the cupcake itself, made with several tablespoons of flour, sugar, and butter, but no nutrition. Finally, there’s the filling, another big portion of fat and sugar, equivalent to a small candy bar.

Your homework assignment is to deconstruct ten dishes you long for into their component parts. Do it with things like a fast food breakfast sandwich or a slice of pizza. And do it for beverages like the Caramel Macchiato that you enjoy at the coffee bar, too.

Once you realize how much food you’re actually eating in these dishes, you’ll never look at them the same way again...and that’s a good thing!

Yours in knowledge,
The Hallelujah Acres Information Bulldogs