If you are looking to avoid illness and prevent disease, it is important to go back to basics and start with nature.
Manmade drugs may seem like a good idea, but with the vast array of side effects and long term effects of pharmaceuticals, you could end up with something worse than what you intended to treat.
In the first of our two part nature's pharmacy guides we have written up a list of common raw fruits, vegetables, herbs, pulses and nuts along with the vitamins and minerals that they contain.
You can then cross check this against our A-Z of vitamins and minerals article to find out what ailments they can be used for.
|Alfalfa Sprouts:||Calcium, silicone, vitamins A, B complex, C and K.|
|Apples:||Carotenes, ellagic acids, pectin, potassium, vitamin C.|
|Apricots:||Beta-carotene, iron, potassium, fibre.|
|Artichokes (Jerusalem):||Inulin, iron, phosphorus.|
|Asparagus:||Asparagine, folic acid, potassium, phosphorus, riboflavin, vitamin C.|
|Banana:||Fibre, folic acid, magnesium, potassium, vitamin A.|
|Basil:||Volatile oils: Linalol, limonene, estragole.|
|Beetroot:||Beta-carotene, calcium, folic acid, iron, potassium, vitamins B and C.|
|Blackcurrants:||Phytochemicals, carotenoids, vitamin C.|
|Blueberries:||Phytochemicals, carotenoids, vitamin C.|
|Brazil Nuts:||Protein, selenium, vitamins B and E.|
|Brewer's:||Biotic, folic acid, iron, magnesium, vitamin B complex.|
|Broccoli:||Phytochemicals, folic acid, iron, potassium, riboflavin, vitamins A and C.|
|Cabbage (all):||Phytochemicals, folic acid, potassium, vitamins A and C.|
|Carrot:||Carotenoids, folic acid, magnesium, potassium, vitamin A.|
|Celery:||Coumarins, potassium, vitamin C.|
|Chard (Swiss):||Phytochemicals, calcium, carotenes, iron, phosphorus, vitamins A and C.|
|Cherries:||Flavonoids, phytochemicals, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C.|
|Chicory:||Terpenoids, folic acid, iron, potassium. Vitamin A when uncooked.|
|Chives:||Phytochemicals, beta-carotene, vitamin C.|
|Cinnamon:||Coumarins, tannins, volatile oils.|
|Cloves:||Volatile oils, particularly eugenol.|
|Coconut Milk:||Calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin B complex.|
|Coriander:||Coumarins, flavonoids, linalol.|
|Cranberries:||Phytochemicals, vitamin C and urinary antibacterials.|
|Cucumber:||Potassium, folic acid, silica.|
|Cumin Seeds:||Volatile oils, flavonoids.|
|Dandelion:||Phytochemicals, beta-carotene, iron.|
|Dates:||Fibre, iron, potassium, folic acid.|
|Fennel:||Volatile oils: anethole, anisic acid, fenchone.|
|Figs:||Phytochemicals, beta-carotene, potassium, ficin, fibre, iron.|
|Garlic:||Phytochemicals, sulphur compounds.|
|Grapes:||Vitamin C, flavonoids.|
|Grapefruit:||Bioflavonoids, beta-carotene, vitamin C.|
|Horseradish:||Phytochemicals, natural antibiotics, vitamin C.|
|Jalapeno Peppers:||Flavonoids, capsaicin, carotenoids.|
|Kale:||Phytochemicals, calcium, beta-carotene, sulphur, vitamin C, iron, folic acid, phosphorus.|
|Kiwi:||Bioflavonoids, beta-carotene, potassium, fibre, vitamin C.|
|Leeks:||Phytochemicals, potassium, folic acid, diuretic substances, vitamins A and C.|
|Lemon:||Limonene, vitamin C, potassium, bioflavonoids.|
|Lettuce:||Phytochemicals, potassium, folic acid, calcium, phosphorus, vitamins A and C.|
|Lime:||Bioflavonoids, limonene, potassium, vitamin C.|
|Mango:||Beta-carotene, flavonoids, vitamin C, potassium.|
|Melon:||Folic acid, vitamins A, B complex and C, potassium.|
|Mint:||Menthol, flavonoids, volatile oils.|
|Molasses:||Iron, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus.|
|Mooli:||Phytochemicals, magnesium, potassium, iron, vitamin C.|
|Oranges:||Calcium, vitamins B complex and C, limonene, potassium, bioflavonoids, thiamine.|
|Pak Choi:||Phytochemicals, beta-carotene, folic acid, vitamins B complex and C.|
|Parsley:||Iron, calcium, potassium, vitamins A and C.|
|Parsnip:||Inulin, folic acid, potassium, vitamins B complex and E.|
|Passion Fruit:||Phytochemicals, beta-carotene, vitamin C.|
|Peaches:||Flavonoids, potassium, vitamin C, beta-carotene.|
|Peanuts:||Zinc, protein, folic acid, iron, vitamin B complex.|
|Pears:||Vitamin C, fibre.|
|Peppers:||Phytochemicals, potassium, beta-carotene, folic acid.|
|Pineapple:||Vitamin C, enzymes.|
|Plums:||Malic acid, beta-carotene, vitamins C and E.|
|Pomegranate:||Phytochemicals, enzymes, beta-carotene, vitamin E.|
|Prunes:||Fibre, niacin, iron, beta-carotene, vitamin B complex.|
|Pumpkin:||Potassium, folic acid, vitamins A, B complex, C.|
|Radishes:||Phytochemicals, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C.|
|Rosemary:||Flavonoids, volatile oils: camphor, borneol, limonene.|
|Sage:||Phyto-oestrogens, thujone, phenolic acids.|
|Seaweed:||Potassium, zinc, vitamin B12, iodine, calcium, iron, protein, beta- carotene, fibre, magnesium.|
|Sesame Seeds:||Folic acid, magnesium, protein, vitamins B complex and E, calcium, niacin.|
|Sorrel:||Phytochemicals, iron, carotenoids, vitamin C.|
|Spinach:||Phytochemicals, folic acid, lutein, xeoxanthine, iron, beta-carotene.|
|Spring Onion:||Phytochemicals, potassium, folic acid, vitamins A and C.|
|Strawberries:||Phytochemicals, beta-carotene, vitamins C and E.|
|Sweet Potato:||Carotenoids, phytochemicals, protein, vitamins C and E.|
|Thyme:||Flavonoids, volatile oils: thymol, carvol.|
|Tomatoes:||Lycopene, potassium, flavonoids, vitamins C and E.|
|Watercress:||Mustard oils, beta-carotene, vitamins C and E, iron, phenethyl isothiocyanate.|
|Watermelon:||Potassium, folic acid, vitamins A, B complex and C.|
Most raw food, like our bodies, is very perishable.
When raw foods are exposed to temperatures above 116 degrees, they start to rapidly break down, just as our bodies would if we had a fever that high.
One of the constituents of foods which can break down are enzymes.
Enzymes help us digest our food. Enzymes are proteins though, and they have a very specific 3-dimensional structure in space.
Once they are heated much above 118 degrees, this structure can change.
Once enzymes are exposed to heat, they are no longer able to provide the function for which they were designed.
Cooked foods contribute to chronic illness, because their enzyme content is damaged and thus requires us to make our own enzymes to process the food.
The digestion of cooked food uses valuable metabolic enzymes in order to help digest your food.
Digestion of cooked food demands much more energy than the digestion of raw food.
In general, raw food is much more easily digested that it passes through the digestive tract in 1/2 to 1/3 of the time it takes for cooked food.
Eating enzyme-dead foods places a burden on your pancreas and other organs and overworks them, which eventually exhausts these organs.
Many people gradually impair their pancreas and progressively lose the ability to digest their food after a lifetime of ingesting processed foods.
Lack of digestive enzymes can be a factor in food allergies.
Symptoms of digestive enzymes depletion are bloating, belching, gas, bowel disorders, abdominal cramping, heartburn and food allergies.
Digestive enzymes are proteins specially tailored to break down foods into nutrients that your body can then readily digest.
The human body produces some 22 different digestive enzymes.
Many more are found in the fruits, vegetables, meats, grains, and other foods.
When you eat a meal, digestive enzymes that are released from your salivary glands, stomach, and small intestine immediately get to work to speed up the digestive process.
Each enzyme acts on a specific type of food.
Derived from the stems of pineapple, it is known for its healing and anti-inflammatory properties.
This natural digestive enzyme may also be helpful as a diet aid.
Pineapples have had a long tradition as a medicinal plant among the natives of South and Central America.
DGL (Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice Root)
A natural antacid, where the glycirrhizinic acid component of the root has been removed. DGL may stimulate our bodies defense mechanisms resulting in improved quality of mucous, lengthening of intestinal cell life and enhanced microcirculation in the gastrointestinal lining.
A tropical fruit containing active enzymes that help improve digestive and metabolic functions.
Derived from the fruit, inner bark and stems, Papaya Enzymes contain a high concentration of papain, a protein-digesting enzyme that quickly metabolizes the protein in foods.