I am so happy to see the interest in High Nutrient Dense (HND) whole foods increasing every month. Both in the people I work with and what I see in different parts of the country I travel to, I see more and more interest and enjoyment of HND foods.
Juice Bars are opening up all over the place now and smoothies are being offered in more and more cafés and restaurants. Kale salads are even showing up as exotic salads on some restaurant menus. Hooray! And the selection of Organic Produce keeps increasing in the grocery stores near us.
What makes me so happy about this is that when people eat HND foods, the risk of heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and even cancer goes down. I’ve seen this with the hundreds of people I’ve worked with. And from my experience, HND foods put an end to a lot of unnecessary suffering and expense that is caused by these diseases.
Heart disease is the #1 cause of death in North America. Diabetes has been diagnosed in over 30 million people in North America and we spend more than $250 billion on it every year. $250 BILLION! Yikes! And over 40 million people have arthritis, spending $140 billion each year on that.
Why do I call this unnecessary suffering and expense? Because almost everyone who has taken my courses and followed the HND food plan has experienced these conditions improve, and many no longer need their meds to deal with the high blood pressure, diabetes or arthritis. Some of them in just a matter of weeks.
And I’m not the only one who believes this is unnecessary. Dr. Joel Fuhrman points out that 1500 studies show that as processed foods go up in a nation, we see almost the same increase in heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer. The processed foods he’s referring to are pasta, bread, bagels, pretzels, mayonnaise, donuts, cookies, breakfast bars, sodas, and the like, particularly those with sugar or corn syrup and white flour. Ironically, these seem to be the majority of what’s on the grocery shelves these days.
So how do we fix the problem? I think it’s a simple change to HND foods. But could it be that simple? Well, there is a logic to it. The rise in these diseases that the studies report is because processed foods don’t have many of the protective nutrients that our bodies need to stay healthy. These are things like vitamin E, vitamin C, antioxidants, flavonoids and bioflavonoids, catechins and lignans. Big words, but they’re simply some of the micronutrients that are measured to determine if a food is HND or not. And these are the nutrients our bodies use to stay balanced and healthy.
These health-providing nutrients are found almost exclusively in four categories of whole food: 1) vegetables, 2) fruits, 3) beans & legumes, and 4) nuts & seeds. And these nutrients are found in the whole food form of the food, not a processed form like being canned or roasted or ground and then maybe adding isolated vitamins or nutrients to “fortify” them. Whole and fresh is the way to get these nutrients.
As we pointed out several months ago, the Standard American Diet (SAD) contains only 7% of these nutrient dense foods, whereas the HND diet is 98% HND foods. (If you want to review these charts, click here) 7% instead of 98%? I think that builds a pretty strong case for why eating a HND diet naturally restores and maintains great health and why the people I’ve worked with can get off their meds and live an active, pain-free life. Without these nutrients it seems our bodies do the best they can, but there are consequences. It’s like putting poor quality gas in a high-performance sports car and wondering why it isn’t doing well.
Here is a chart that Dr. Fuhrman put together that shows the relationship between how many HND whole foods populations in different countries eat and their rates of heart disease and cancer. As the amount of HND whole food goes up in a nation’s diet – the green bars – the percentage of deaths due to heart disease and cancer – the red bars – go down the same amount. Isn’t that fascinating?
In this chart, whole populations are reflecting the reason I emphasize HND foods so much. The more HND whole foods a nation eats, the fewer people die from heart disease and cancer. HND food is not the common diet in North America, but research shows time and time again that the more HND whole foods we eat, the less risk of heart disease, cancer and other chronic ailments we have.
The good news is, we don’t have to live in one of the HND countries to eat a HND food plan. It’s available to all of us wherever we live.
It’s easy to test it in our own experience. Click here to see a food plan that you can easily follow and experience the amazing results HND foods provide. The pictures on the left explain how much of each category to eat, and the column on the right lists the foods in the different categories. If you have any questions about this, just let me know. And if you would like to watch an excellent video from Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s PBS series explaining how we can have incredible health, click here.
Also, try the recipe below. It is a delicious HND dish I’ve prepared today for a potluck we’ll attend tonight.
To your Amazing Health,
MEXICAN BLACK BEANS
2 cups black beans, sorted on a plate, washed and then soaked overnight or 8 hours.
Drain in the morning (or after the 8 hours)
3 inch piece of kombu seaweed
1 large onion, diced fine
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 Jalapeño peppers, seeded and diced fine
1 medium red pepper, seeded and diced medium
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt (or to taste)
fresh parsley, minced to garnish each bowl
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon coriander powder
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon butter
After the beans are drained, place in a large pot and add purified water to cover beans by 1 inch. Add kombu and turn heat to medium to bring beans to a boil.
Add onion, garlic, turmeric, coriander powder, cumin, oregano and ground black pepper.
When beans reach a boil, turn heat to low and cover. Let cook until tender (approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours). Remove kombu and cut very fine and return to the pan. Add peppers, coconut oil, butter and sea salt. Stir well. Continue cooking beans an additional 10 minutes. Adjust sea salt to taste.
Garnish each bowl with minced parsley and serve.