Watching Minding Your Mitochondria was a ‘lightbulb’ moment for me. In it Dr Wahls states that because of the way people in the developed world eat, we are in fact starving ourselves. We are alive because of complicated chemical reactions. If we are not providing the building blocks (vitamins, minerals, essential fats), those reactions cannot happen properly, leading to the wrong structures being made or structures simply not being made at all. It sets the stage for chronic disease…
Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Dr Wahls set out to discover a way of eating for optimal health and vitality. She reversed some of her symptoms, by becoming what she calls a ‘modern day hunter gatherer’. She suggests that each day we eat:
3 cups of green leaves
(3 cups is a dinner plate heaped high)
Green leaves are rich in vitamins B, A, C, K and minerals.
The B vitamins will protect your brain cells and your mitochondria (the mitochondria in each of our cells manage the energy supply for that cell).
Vitamins A and C support your immune cells.
Vitamin K keeps your blood vessels and bones healthy.
Minerals are co-factors for hundreds of different enzymes in your body.
Having a plate full of daily greens will dramatically reduce your risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
--> Have more kale (it has the most nutrition per calorie of any plant), more parsley, cooked greens and smoothies with greens.
3 cups of sulfur-rich vegetables
Your brain and mitochondria need sulfur.
Your liver and kidney need sulfur so they can remove toxins from your bloodstream
--> The cabbage family is rich in sulfur. Includes cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, turnips, swedes, radishes and kale.
--> The onion family is also rich in sulfur. Includes onions, garlic, leeks, chives, shallots.
--> mushrooms and asparagus also contain sulfur.
3 cups of bright colour (preferably 3 different colours)
Colour are flavonoids and polyphenols, potent antioxidants that will support your retina, your mitochondria, your brain cells and the removal of toxins.
--> You can get your colours from vegetables like beets, carrots, peppers, red cabbage, or you can get them from berries and brightly coloured fruit like peaches and oranges.
High-quality protein that’s rich in omega 3 fatty acids
Omega 3 fatty acids insulate the wiring in your brain; it also helps in the development of straight teeth and a larger brain.
--> Have wild fish (particularly salmon and herring) and grass-fed meat
In addition, include
organ meat once a week
Organ meats are concentrated sources of vitamins, minerals and coenzyme Q. They are particularly potent at supporting your mitochondria.
--> Try organ meats like liver, heart, tongue, gizzards or sweetbreads
seaweed at least once a week
Seaweed is a rich source of iodine and selenium.
Your brain needs iodine to make myelin, the insulation for the wiring. It also needs iodine to remove toxins, particularly mercury, lead and heavy metals. Adequate iodine lowers your risk of breast cancer and prostate cancer.
Dr Wahls states that if you commit to having these nine cups (three platefuls) of vegetables and berries every day before you have grain, potatoes or dairy, you will have dramatically increased the vitamin and mineral content of your diet, plus you will have dramatically lowered the risk of food allergies.
I listened to the talk several times, and made notes. Then decided to give it to try. What did I have to lose?
More next time.