At least half of your lunch and dinner plate should consist of vegetables, which are generally low in calories, high in nutrients (vitamins, minerals, and especially phytonutrients), high in dietary fiber (which helps with waste elimination and prevents diseases of the intestines), and natural enzymes (which help you digest your foods). Raw or Cooked? It comes down to one simple fact:
The fresher the vegetable, the more nutrition and enzymes it generally contains. Although many of the nutrients will remain in your vegetables even when you cook them, you can lose some of the vitamins, especially the watersoluble vitamins B and C, when you cook the vegetables. Cooking also breaks down some of the fragile enzymes. (Making soups with veggies may be an exception here, since most of the nutrients stay in the soup.)
The minerals and fat-soluble vitamins (there are only a small amount in most veggies) will have more stability during cooking. Thus, in general, eating vegetables in their raw state offers the most potential nutrition. We write “potential nutrition” because many people do not chew their food well enough to break them down and digest them sufficiently. Not chewing vegetables properly can actually prevent you from benefiting from their full nutrients. We suggest that you cook vegetables lightly to soften them a bit—as well as to maintain some of their freshness, texture, and flavor. This is especially important for the elderly or people with sensitive teeth.
Ideally, as you embrace a 50 percent vegetable diet, you want some raw and some cooked veggies. We’ll show you how to do this with cooked vegetable mixtures and veggie purées, which have the added benefit of already being broken down to digestible size! Eating fresh greens in a salad is a daily part of a good diet.
The organic mixed greens and lettuces, beyond the Iceberg Age, offer great nutrition and low calories, and, without tons of salad dressings, they are an important part of a weight reduction and maintenance program. Restoring the Acid/Alkaline Balance The acid/alkaline balance in your diet is also quite important. In fact, this relates to Elson’s belief that there is one primary disease: cellular malfunction. The first of two causes is the lack of necessary nutrients that your cells need to do their thousands of functions every moment of every day of your life.
Thus, you need foods that supply all the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, and phytonutrients. The second cause is toxins—the chemicals that we get from food, air, and water, plus metals like lead and mercury, all of which may interfere with enzyme and cell function. People suffering from diseases and disease-like symptoms typically have these deficiency and toxicity issues. It’s the overconsumption of acid-forming foods that leads to excess mucus and toxicity, and then inflammation and degeneration of 11 Why More Vegetables? the body tissues. This causes aging. Even the common cardiovascular diseases are now known to be caused by inflammation