Not only did Edgar Cayce have numerous recommendations on foods to be combined, and not combined, he also made it clear that how foods are prepared is just as important as what you eat. Here are three of his most popular recommendations:
- Avoid fried foods.
Many Americans have a love affair with their French fries, which reminds me of a story. I went into Trader Joe’s recently to meet a friend as we planned to do some shopping together, before having lunch next door. While waiting for her, I walked to the front of the store to look out for my friend. Just then, a mom pushing her young toddler in a shopping cart entered the store. At the entrance, mom grabbed an antibacterial wipe to clean off the handle on the shopping cart. Just as I was thinking – what a thoughtful mom – she said to the baby, in a sweet, adoring voice – “Eat your French fries, sweetie.” I had to conceal my laughter because the irony of this situation was just priceless. This mom – bless her heart – in an attempt to protect her baby from germs, wiped the shopping cart handle clean while simultaneously feeding her child carcinogen-laced junk food. I expect this mom had no idea that her baby’s French fries were actually more harmful than the germs resting on the shopping cart.
The reason Cayce recommended avoiding deep-fried foods is that when oil – any oil – is heated to a high enough temperature to fry food, the chemical structure of the oil is damaged. As a result, this creates free radicals. In order to understand the reason behind this recommendation, it is important to understand what free radicals are and how they affect the body. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause damage to living cells and thus can cause disease. Free radical damage is referred to as oxidative damage. A substance becomes oxidized when it loses an electron or hydrogen, or it gains oxygen. Oils heated at high temperatures undergo oxidation. If you’ve ever seen rust on a car, this is an example of the oxidation process on metal. The same oxidation process is harmful on human bodies. Oxidative stress plays a role in many diseases including cancers. Examples of free radicals include cigarette smoke, exposure to chemicals such as pesticides, exposure to radiation, foods that are deep fried, pollution, trans-fatty acids, alcoholic beverages, and the byproducts of normal metabolism.
Although light drinking of red wine has a beneficial effect on the body, particularly the cardiovascular system, heavy drinking of other types of alcohol initiates a free-radical process that has been linked to heart disease, stroke, liver cirrhosis, and other diseases. The body does produce a small amount of free radicals as part of its normal metabolic process, however, in a healthy individual with a strong immune system, these free radicals are destroyed by the action of free radical scavengers that occur naturally in the body. These scavengers are enzymes that neutralize free radicals. Some important enzymes that destroy free radicals are superoxide dismutase (SOD), methionine reductase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase. These scavenger enzymes are made by the body and act like an army; think of them as the first line of defense. So Cayce’s recommendation of avoiding all fried foods was to protect your body from disease.
- Steam vegetables in patapar paper.
Using parchment paper to steam veggies in their own juices preserves and retains the highest amount of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. This is easily done, especially during summer months by placing chopped vegetables in the center of a piece of patapar paper, drizzle with a little olive oil, add a few spices, wrap up and place on the grill for five to ten minutes. I used this paper last summer to grill asparagus and it was delicious.
- Avoid cooking with aluminum.
This metal is toxic to the brain and when foods are cooked in aluminum pots and pans, aluminum is absorbed into the foods. Many researchers believe that chronic exposure to aluminum contributes to neurological disorders, particularly dementia, autism, and Parkinson’s disease. I believe the manufacturing industry is well aware of this fact but as usual, greed in the U.S. often takes precedence over health. The sale of aluminum cookware is banned in many countries including Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, and Switzerland.