Mineral Depletion in Soil and Plant Foods + Solutions for Optimal Health
I look around me and I realize that many people don’t really think about why the body needs food. Yes, we eat when we’re hungry, we eat for energy and to get through our day without irritability and a growling stomach, but we don’t really ponder the beautiful, complex process that takes place when we eat, and how it allows us to live. When I see people chomping down on their lifeless steaks and mashed potatoes, I realize that many are not conscious of what it is that they’re eating, and put no mind into what their bodies actually require to work properly. I’ve been there, and I know this is because of the misinformation and lack of education on nutrition. But even in vegan diets, I’ve learned that here too, fundamental dietary processes are still often overlooked.
Take for instance, one of the most important components of our diet: Minerals.
Dr. Gabriel Cousens eloquently states in his book Spiritual Nutrition that “minerals carry the vibrations of all life. They are the holistic vibrations of creation. Just as gems are made of minerals, so are humans. It’s just that we are a little bit more complex.” Our bodies REQUIRE the replenishment of certain components and some of the most fundamental and essential are these life-giving minerals.
Many Diseases are attributed to Mineral Deficiencies
From a mineral standpoint, all disease conditions begin with a deficiency or a toxic substance taken into our bodies. And in this day in age, it is most common to follow a low-mineral diet regimen. Even in my own personal experience with raw living foods, I learned that the difference between a low-mineral diet and a high-mineral diet are significantly noticeable.
80-10-10: Poor Mineral Diet?
I started my raw foods lifestyle with the 80-10-10 diet, which focuses primarily on a high fruit / carb diet. I do think this diet is great for detox because fruits are the cleansers of the body. They successfully aid the body in flushing out toxins, and with this diet I was able to effortlessly lose 10 stubborn lbs. within the first month of my raw vegan journey. I know many other people have experienced weight loss and improved health with 80 10 10, and for this reason, I respect the concept. However, I did notice some side effects after following this diet exactly as it is recommended in the book for about 5 months. The most noticeable was that I constantly craved foods and snacks, and yes 801010’ers, I made sure to meet my daily caloric requirements. I needed very large amounts of fruits and vegetables to stay full, and this would only last for a few hours and inevitably leave me broke at the end of the week after so many trips to the grocery store. Dr. Doug Graham focuses on macro-nutrients, tons of carbohydrates, but generally overlooks the importance of micro-nutrients in his book. He doesn’t even believe in the concept of juicing, which is a bit strange to me. With the 80-10-10 diet something in me was just unfulfilled. So I kind of derailed a bit from 80-10-10 and started listening to my body which I was asking for more fats. I had a desperate need for avocados, nuts and seeds, so I intuitively added more of these to my diet, just to avoid going back to cooked food. I also noticed my teeth began to de-calcify, meaning it looked like they were losing white in the enamel as if they were becoming transparent or stained.
Why did this happen?
Because there’s something that our bodies require to function properly which is currently extremely difficult to find solely in foods: MINERALS. How can one diet ensure success for people living with completely different ranges of minerals in foods? Doug Graham must be surrounded with mineral-rich fruits all the time, but that doesn’t mean all his readers are. Plants can produce essential fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, chlorophyll, but the ONE thing they cannot make is minerals. Rather, they soak them up from the soil through their roots. But if those minerals are not in the soil, they are not going to be in the plant. And our bodies certainly cannot manufacture many of the essential vitamins and minerals we need to live. This is why we need to eat. For nourishment!
99% of the American people are deficient in minerals
As early as 1936, the U.S. Senate declared that “99% of the American people are deficient in minerals, and a marked deficiency in any one of the more important minerals actually results in disease.” This ties in with what happened after World War II when Bayer and other chemical manufacturers began diverting leftover chemical weapons from World War II into use as pesticides and fertilizers in commercial farming. By doing this, they inadvertently sterilized the bacteria out of our soils. The result of a loss of plant-derived vitamins and minerals is just one of the unintended consequences of “better living through chemistry.”
Mineral depletion in our soil
In essence, we can say that the soil, not only in the US, but in probably most of the world, is overworked and underfed. Since World War II, we’ve been using a 3 pronged fertilizer: nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. That’s all the plants need to be a plant. But what about the boron? Where’s the selenium, sulfur and copper? The result is diseased plants, endangered species and sick humans.
Repeatedly used soil that is not regenerated gets depleted. This is the result of the failure to replace the elements taken out during the growing cycles. Basically, this is soil exhaustion. With our “high technology”, we are pulling more energy and minerals from the soil than it can offer. The cycle gets worse with the soil becoming further depleted of trace elements and the animals lacking vital essentials for their health.
What Mineral Depletion Can do to Our Health
Minerals are used for countless body functions, so I will just share a few of the issues we can encounter with a lack of certain minerals.
• Copper deficiency is associated with the graying of hair.
• Calcium deficiencies undermines the power of memory, and tends to create qualities of selfishness, lack of want for people, depression, confusion, softening of bones, weak teeth and tooth decay, cramps in the calves, digestive problems.
• Iodine deficiencies include nervousness, weight gain, restlessness, slow mind, slow metabolism, mucus, and heart and lung difficulties.
• Iron deficiencies, which occur more in women when menstruating, as well as in seniors, include depression and melancholy, poor oxygenation, susceptibility to colds, low blood pressure, anemia, poor memory and speech.
• Silicon deficiencies tend to manifest as dental cavities, poor eyesight, swelling of connective tissues, cracking of the joints, buzzing in the ears, and sleepiness. Its deficiency in the body is also associated with a desire for tobacco and drugs.
• Sulfur deficiencies are associated with back pain, muscle cramps, inflammation and other muscle difficulties.
• Zinc deficiencies are associated with Alzheimer’s, paranoia, diabetes, PMS, depression, down syndrome, prostate cancer, various eye difficulties, slow healing, hair loss, alcoholism, and high blood pressure.
So what’s the solution?
Now that we have a better understanding of the importance of mineralization, it is useful to think about minerals as a key factor in achieving optimal health .
• Eat Organic as much as possible!
First and foremost, it’s very important to eat organic produce as much as possible. Organically grown produce generally contains more vitamins and minerals than conventional produce.
• Get your produce at your local Farmer’s markets.
In all likelihood, commercial grade food found in grocery stores is specifically the type of produce that is being grown in mineral-depleted soils. Not only that, but unless you’re living in California, the majority of the produce is traveling hundreds or thousands of miles before it reaches the store, meaning the food has lost some of its nutritional value through the long distances traveled.
• Eat Sea Vegetables.
Sea Vegetables are the most delicious way of getting some minerals into the body. Our blood is very similar to salt water. These minerals allow conductivity of electricity. We can see this in videos where wires are put into sugar or fruits, and the lightbulbs won’t light up, yet with minerals or mineral-rich foods, the lightbulbs light up! Minerals allow electricity to flow in our body. They are co-factors for vitamins and enzymes. The minerals must be in the soil in order for the plant to absorb them. My favorite Sea Vegetables are Kelp, Dulse, Wakame and Nori (the sheets used to wrap sushi rolls). Good brands are Main Coast (east coast of the US if you want to avoid any radiation issues) and SeaWeed Iceland (best in taste and texture).
• Juice your Vegetables
Juicing vegetables facilitates the body’s nutrient absorption capabilities. The 801010 diet had me eating these huge salads that took me about 1 hour to eat, but I can get the same amount of nutrients or even more through juicing, and it takes me about 20 minutes to juice from the prep stage to drinking the juice and cleaning the juicer. For example, iron is more readily assimilated from live fruit and vegetable juices than from solid foods. I try to always combine spinach and orange in my juices to increase the absorption of iron in my system.
• Take Mineral Supplements
If you don’t grow your own food and make your own compost, it is definitely a good idea to take mineral supplements daily. Also, if you’re an athlete or an active person, mineral uptake is extremely important! I do hot yoga and I sweat all my minerals out, so on my hot yoga days I make sure to drink my juices infused with mineral supplements. Through my extensive research, I’ve found that the best mineral supplements and brands are the following:
* (Vital Earth) Humic and Fulvic Blends
* (Omica) Shilajit (herb) – read the incredible benefits of Shilajit here.
* (Mother Earth Minerals) Gold and Platinum Angstrom Supplements.
(Gold and Platinum supplementation have successfully treated insomnia on 100% of test subjects. This research is cited in Dr. Gabriel Cousens book, Spiritual Nutrition).
I’ve found many testimonials of people noticing a huge difference in the way they feel by taking some of these supplements. As for me, once I started implementing Concentrace drops into my daily liquid meals, my appetite has reduced significantly and my teeth are back to normal! And I don’t have to buy as much food as I did with when I was solely following the 80-10-10 diet, so that means I’m saving money too! I still eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and more balanced now, equal amounts of fruits and vegetables, but I am now supplementing this diet with minerals, something Doug Graham doesn’t quite believe in. Maybe 70 years ago when soils were not dead, the 801010 diet on its own would have been ideal for most, but in my opinion, our environment is vastly different now and I do think that we need to seriously consider consuming large amounts of fresh juices and using supplements and superfoods in our diets. Fresh juices, raw foods, mineral supplements, an active lifestyle and a light implementation of superfoods can be a brilliant foundation to achieve your ideal weight because it reduces appetite and cravings for crap foods, and you’re giving your body everything it needs. And of course, quality should always be a priority.
I will be trying Humic and Fulvic Blends by Vital Earth soon and will post results. Shilajit is highly praised by Dan McDonald and I will be trying that soon as well. Generally all these supplements, with the exception of Mother Earth Minerals Gold and Platinum, contain all the major and trace minerals our bodies need. My plan is to rotate all of these supplements, meaning as soon as one is done, I’ll purchase another one and feel out the differences.
I hope that you have gained some insight into the importance of minerals in our diet. Please like and share!
One Response to “Mineral Depletion in Soil and Plant Foods + Solutions for Optimal Health”
[…] world) is depleted / low in minerals. It’s difficult to find produce grown in mineral rich soils. I wrote a whole post on this issue because when I was on the 801010 diet, I discovered I wasn’t getting enough minerals. This led me […]