Anne Hart, Photography. Exquisite holiday decor figurines at the former William Glenn store, Sacramento, 2009.
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Could anyone in your family have an allergic reaction to fava beans? Your family needs a balance of nutrients, but some people at any age respond better to certain foods and worse to others. For example, for some individuals, fava beans can be fatal if they have inherited a specific genetic variation. You may wish to see the article, "Fava bean allergy -- real but rare - SFGate."
Symptoms of fava bean adverse reactions: In susceptible humans, within a few minutes of inhaling pollen or several hours after eating the beans, an allergic reaction occurs with dizziness, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain and sheer prostration. Blood appears in the urine, which turns reddish-brown to black. Anemia develops within a few hours or a day. Male children are the most frequently affected and apparently all fatalities have been children. That's the worst-case scenario.
Favism, the severe hemolytic anemia, occurs only in susceptible individuals who have inherited a deficiency of an enzyme, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase. This genetic trait occurs among people of the Mediterranean region and among black Africans. Most individuals not of this ancestry have this enzyme and are not affected. But how do you know whether someone in your ancestry had this gene variation? Fatalities caused by an adverse reaction to eating fava beens have been children, according to the article, "Fava bean allergy -- real but rare - SFGate."
People born in certain parts of the Mediterranean, Caucasus, and Middle East, for example the Kurds, and others who didn't know their ancient ancestors inherited that genetic variation because they came from other countries far away from Kurdistan or the Levant may not realize they've inherited the gene for fava bean adverse reactions or even fatalities from eating fava beans. That's why sometimes some of the older nutrition books were onto exploring certain ancestral diets research and health.
Should parents consult books written in 1938 for the best advice on what diets are healthiest for children in the USA? For example, should your child's diets emphasize fish, red meat, white meat, vegan, ovo-lacto vegetarian, or a little of everything? On the other hand, if your child has a condition, the food best for the child is the food the child's body responds to in the healthiest ways when tested.
Yet the older books seem to be on target as far as letting a child's body be his or her best doctor when it comes to choosing what type of food in balance is best for your child's teeth, bones, and general health. One of the best articles on nutrition appeared back in 1938: The Medical Aspects of Decline of Population. J.A.M.A., 110:908, 1938.
In one 73-year-old book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, by Weston A. Price, DDS, there is a remarkable account of which foods eaten by indigenous peoples led to immunity to most (or in many cases all types of) tooth decay and which foods quickly led to rampant tooth decay. It seems that the more indigenous, 'natural' diets that were eaten, the less tooth decay, and the more processed foods eaten, the more tooth decay.
What may be an interesting finding is that inland people who ate small animals and no seafood, but had a diet heavy in meat and some vegetables, had a high amount of tooth decay, whereas those who lived on fresh water clams who lived inland and particularly those living near the coast who ate lots of fish, shell fish, and sea vegetables, had little or usually no tooth decay, when Dr. Price studied indigenous peoples around the world.
What was in the seafood that was missing from the animal meat from small animals?
The Maori of New Zealand, for example were studied for their resistance to tooth decay, and they had a diet heavy in seafood. But those who ate modern, processed food such as sugar, white flour, and canned food products, had heavy tooth decay. Dr. Price's book was written in the middle 1930s. Today, dentists will tell you that taking cod liver oil or a combination of krill oil and cod liver oil with your COQ10 is good. Other dentists who are not up to date with COQ10 research still will tout the good results from cod liver oil, if the oil is pure and not full of mercury.
The moral of this history is that ancient and indigenous peoples seem to have arrived at good results from foods. for example, according to the book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, the Chinese wrote a treatise 1,600 years ago naming more than 60 best foods for eyesight. More than 20 of those foods named contained helpful amounts of vitamin A, which today scientists know in specified small doses (and not toxic doses) can help eyesight, for example, in helping to prevent night blindness or rapid aging of the eye.
One of the most important developments to come out of these investigations of primitive races is the evidence of a rapid decline in maternal reproductive efficiency after an abandonment of the native foods and the substitution of foods of modern civilization. This is discussed in later chapters.
In the book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, Dr. Price writes, "It was particularly instructive to observe the diligence with which some of the isolated Maori near the coast sought out certain types of food in accordance with the tradition and accumulated wisdom of their tribes. As among the various archipelagos and island dwellers of the Pacific, great emphasis was placed upon shell fish.
"Much effort was made to obtain these in large quantities." In the book, there are photos of two boys "who have been gathering sea clams found abundantly on these shores." The book describes the abundant fishing techniques of the Maori of New Zealand and how the teeth of those on indigenous diets are free from cavities.
In New Zealand and in other areas of the world that Dr. Price visited, he noticed people with cavity-free teeth had consumed large amounts of abalone and some edible kelp. (Too much kelp will overstimulate your thyroid, but a little is nutritious.) And back in New Zealand, the Maori at the time he observed the indigenous people were eating large amounts of mollusks found in New Zealand, the Toharoa. So basically, the islands people studied were eating mainly seafood and sea vegetables.
The indigenous Maori studied in the 1930s by Dr. Price also ate a special species of grubs with a highly nutritious type of fern root, which grows abundantly in that area of coastal New Zealand. Fishing took place at low tide.
On the other hand, those people in New Zealand studied who didn't eat indigenous Maori diets were daily consuming high amounts of white flour, sweetened goods, syrup and canned goods. And those Maori who adopted the processed foods type diet with sugar and white flour had what was to be expected-- effects similar to that experienced by others anywhere else in the world after using processed foods similar to what people eat in industrial, urban countries around the world.
Dr. Price wrote how the tooth decay among the whites of New Zealand and Australia was severe. He showed by photos how striking is the similarity between the deformities of the dental arches which occur in the Maori people who were born after their parents adopted the modern foods, and those of the whites.
The book also showed how the children may have inherited facial deformities as well as dental predisposition to tooth decay based on what their parents ate when the children were in the embryonic stage. He illustrated the high incidence of facial deformity in children of parents who recently adopted a diet of processed foods. On the other hand, people eating a diet rich in seafood, had few, if any dental cavities.
The dentist also documented cases of TB showing up in indigenous peoples around the world who recently adopted a processed foods diet rich in sugar and white flour, syrups, and canned food. In the book, the diet of perfection as far as sound teeth and resistance to diseases such as TB emphasized a diet high in seafood. In the 1930s, there wasn't that much mercury in the fish, especially in the Pacific Islands (before the a-bomb tests there).
The most interesting point was the tooth decay found in people eating a high meat diet of small animals and some vegetables and the lack of tooth decay in those on a diet high in seafood, sea vegetables, and green vegetables along with some root vegetables.
In the book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, on page 453 of the 527-page paperback version, the doctor notes, referring to the Maori of New Zealand on an indigenous diet, "the fact that they were able to maintain an immunity to dental caries so high that only one tooth in two thousand had been attacked by tooth decay (which is probably as high a degree of immunity as that of any contemporary race) is a strong argument in favor of their plan of life."
A shorter version of the book is online which you can read at no cost at the Gutenberg free book site, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. If you want the paperback version, it's available in paperback from Amazon.com new or used or from the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation. Or you can download it as an ebook that you buy from Gigabooks. The book also is in most public libraries. Also check out the site, Cavities & Nutrition I | A Natural Notebook.
The reason for looking at some of these older books is that while the U.S. population was having their arteries hardened by transfats that replaced traditional extra virgin coconut oil or even cultured raw butter or the Mediterranean diet's use of extra virgin olive oil in use for thousands of years, few people were hearing about these nutrition books being written by doctors and dentists traveling around the world looking to see what people ate who had no tooth decay for generations.
The conclusion emphasized how seafood with a little sea vegetables protected against tooth decay more than just eating small animals and some vegetables. Today, we have doctors telling people to take their omega 3 fatty acids such as cod liver oil or krill oil in balance with their omega 9 fatty acids from avocados or almonds and with a balance, but not an overload of omega 6, such as found in extra virgin olive oil. Yet excess omega 6, for example, from peanut butter, puts the oils out of balance. Researchers are studying whether omega 6 in excess hardens arteries. See the articles, Omega 3 Fatty Acids - Clogged Arteries and Atherosclerosis and Fish Oil Dosage | How Much Fish Oil To Take.
Also research these statistics: The annual all-cause death rate of vegetarian men is slightly more than that of non-vegetarian men (.93% vs .89%); the annual all-cause death rate of vegetarian women is significantly more than that of non-vegetarian women (.86% vs .54%) (Wise Traditions 2000 1:4:16-17). Source is the Dietary Myths site.
The debate continues on the topic of whether more vegetarians get less cancer. Some scientists note that the phytochemicals in plants switch off the genes that help cause cancer. And other scientists say that industrial food processing supplies more meat with more bacteria because of the high demand and is cruel to animals. So the research continues.