First Do No Harm

Whole Food Signatures
But this stuff just doesn't fly.
 


The following piece is posted all over the web and constantly forwarded by emailers from Singapore to Guam and from Russia to the USofA.

Nowhere, is this piece critically examined. It’s author, Anonymous, has somehow avoided even the slightest rational analysis, as every web site upon which I’ve found this seems to just publish it as if it were gospel.  Many of these sites want to give off the appearance of being authoritative, honest, and valid. Ironic?

Please read the article (if you’ve not read it already) and then jump to our analysis afterwards.

A stupendous insight of civilizations past has now been confirmed by today's investigative, nutritional sciences.  They have shown that what was once called "The Doctrine of Signatures" was astoundingly correct.

Referred to in the classical period of Rome as the "Law of Similarities" it is now called by scientists, "Teleological Nutritional Targeting".

It now contends that every whole food has a pattern that resembles a body organ or physiological function and that this pattern acts as a signal or sign as to the benefit the food provides the eater.

For instance:

carrot.jpg

A sliced Carrot looks like the human eye.  The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye...and YES science now shows that carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes.

tomatoes

A Tomato has four chambers and is red.  The heart is red and has four chambers.  All of the research shows tomatoes are indeed pure heart and blood food.

 grapes

Grapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart.  Each grape looks like a blood cell and all of the research today shows that grapes are also profound heart and blood vitalizing food.

walnut.jpg

A Walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebelums.  Even the wrinkles or folds are on the nut just like the neo-cortex.  We now know that walnuts help develop over 3 dozen neuro-transmitters for brain function.

 kidneybeans

Kidney Beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and yes, they look exactly like the human kidneys.

 celery.jpg

Celery, Bok Choy, Rhubarb and more look just like bones.  These foods specifically target bone strength.  Bones are 23% sodium and these foods are 23% sodium.  If you don't have enough sodium in your diet the body pulls it from the bones, making them weak.  These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.

 

avocardo.jpg

Egg Plant, Avocadoes and Pears target the health and function of the womb and cervix of the female - they look just like these organs.  Today's research shows that when a woman eats 1 avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight and prevents cervicle cancers.  And how profound is this? .... it takes exactly 9 months to grow an Avocado from blossom to ripened fruit. There are over 14,000 phytolytic chemical constituents of nutrition in each one of these foods (modern science has only studied and named about 141 of them).

 figs

Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow.  Figs increase the motility of male sperm and increase the numbers of sperm as well to overcome male sterility.

Kumura

Sweet Potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics.

 olives

Olives assist the health and function of the ovaries

 citrus

Grapefruits, Oranges, and other Citrus fruits look just like the mamary glands of the female and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts.

 onions

Onions look like body cells.  Todays research shows that onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells.  They even produce tears which wash the epithelial lasyers of the eyes

bananas.jpg

Bananas, Cucumber, Zuchini and more target the size and strengh of the male sexual organ.  It's true!

 peanuts

Peanuts have a profound effect on the testicles and sexual libido. Peanuts were banned as a food for males by the church ofin during the middle ages. Most people don't realize that arginine, the main component of Viagra, comes from peanuts.

On the sites referencing this piece, terms like “fascinating” and “amazing” are inaptly applied to it; while comments follow that claim, “I believe all of this and would like to learn more."

Well, I hate to disappoint all the thousands of web sites posting these AMAZING facts, but it seems that these are not facts at all and that the author composed it from myths, legends, and his/her own fantasy.

I’ve even kept the original spellings of the article, showing that the author apparently didn’t have a spell checker, let alone some encyclopedia to guide him/her in the writing.

Let’s start at the top.

Carrots

We all know that carrots are great for eyesight. You want great night vision, eat carrots. I knew one guy who ate so many carrots he couldn’t go to sleep at night because he could see through his eyelids.

And if you believe that….

Snopes has a great piece on where the night vision thing started. To paraphrase their article, during WWII the Brits started a rumor that their pilots ate lots of carrots and that’s why they could shoot down so many Nazi planes at night. This “rumor” was designed to cover up the simple fact that the Brits had developed Airborne Interception Radar and wanted to keep this technology a secret. Thus the myth of carrots improving eyesight was born.

In defense of the carrot, we must admit that there are many great nutrients that the body needs. Eyes need antioxidants. In fact, one therapy for cataracts is a stiff regimen of antioxidants. The antioxidants in carrots do help contribute to protecting the eyes.

Now, here is a little bit of information that will show you how carrots actually can help your night vision. However, eating lots of carrots will not give you “super” night vision.

Night vision begins as a biochemical reaction. I’m sure you’ve all heard about the rods and cones that pick up the light and transmit signals to the brain. The cones are for color vision and require lots of light. The rods require a lot less light and are for black and white vision. Have you noticed at night how colors are hard to determine?

Rods absorb photons (light) using a chemical called rhodopsin. One molecule of rhodopsin absorbs a photon and it splits into two molecules: retinal and opsin. Later these two molecules will recombine, at a fixed rate (which is fairly slow), to form rhodopsin.

The reason you can’t see well at night when you leave a lighted area is that your eyes have been converting all your rhodopsin into retinal and opsin and suddenly that huge amount of photons by the bright light is cut way, way down. The small amount of photons can’t find enough rhodopsin right away and have to wait till the retinal and opsin recombine (see, we told you it was fairly slow).

At night, a bright light will again blind you for a while, as you wait for all the retinal and opsin to recombine.

Now here is where carrots come in: the retinal in the eye is derived from vitamin A. Carrots give the body vitamin A. If you lack vitamin A, your body won’t have enough retinal to combine with opsin to make rhodopsin and you will suffer from night blindness…you won’t be able to see in the dark.

The Law of Signatures (yeah, right, it’s a law) would tell us that carrots look like rods and supply retinal for night vision, except that carrots look more like the cones and there goes the Law of Signatures out the window.

Tomatoes

All research shows that tomatoes are pure heart and blood food?

Tomatoes are charged with antioxidants and phytochemicals that every body simply needs. Studies of Italians (who love their tomato sauce) show they have less cancer (stomach, esophagus, mouth). The cardiovascular system needs antioxidants to prevent cardiovascular disease.

The main and most powerful antioxidant in the tomato is lycopene. Lycopene is a carotenoid; it gives the red color to the tomato as well as to rosehip, watermelon, and pink grapefruit. If you had a heart that looked like a watermelon, I don’t think you’d be long for this life.

Now, if the tomato, with its four chambers is so good for your heart, why is it that the lycopene from tomatoes is best absorbed by the body after being cooked?  Lycopene is great for the heart, but it is delivered better when in the form of ketchup or marinara sauce.

Lycopene protects the liver, lungs, prostate gland, colon and skin (where it is most often deposited). The tomato doesn’t look like the eye, but ongoing research seems to show that lycopene helps prevent macular degeneration. [Gerster, H. The potential role of lycopene for human health. J. Amer. Coll. Nutr. 16: 109-126, 1997]

The tomato’s carotenoids are the most vitamin A active, rivaling the carrot (100 grams of your average tomato has just half the vitamin A of the same amount of carrots). And don’t forget the vitamin C which every body needs for a healthy heart, although you can get more vitamin C from citrus than from a tomato. Depending on the type of orange, you can get 3 to 4 times the amount of vitamin C from oranges than from tomatoes. (And a red pepper has twice the vitamin C as the same amount of orange.)

However, we must give the tomato his due and tell you that recent research shows that lycopene is very protective of the heart. (And you can get it in a watermelon and other fruits). Lycopene is just a darn good antioxidant and studies show that it protects against Coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, and myocardial infraction. [Rao AV, Lycopene, Tomatoes, and the Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease, Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 3E2].

So, yes the tomato (in the form of ketchup, marinara sauce, and salsa) can protect the heart as well as a watermelon and those other red fruit. As for the blood food aspect, everything we put into our bodies makes up our blood, or as the Orientals would say, "Your blood begins on the end of your fork (chopsticks)."

Grapes

The French Paradox comes from the grape. French drink a lot of wine, they eat a lot of cheese, yet they don’t die of heart disease at the rates we would if we were eating as they are. However, again, grapes contain anti-cancer phytochemicals. Gapes come in many varieties: green, red, concord, and others. The concord seem to be the most cardio protective, followed by the red grape, containing the most resveratrol, antioxidants, quercetin and other polyphenols, which also keep blood platelets from sticking together, but grapes are also a great source of boron to prevent osteoporosis (and they certainly don't look like any part of our skeletal system). Wines contain these same phytochemicals, but you can get all the grape benefits from a good organic grape juice as well. We’ll let you have this one, but it’s still a stretch.

Walnuts

Walnuts do contain serotonin. We’ll give this wonderful brain food that. They also contain omega-3 essential fatty acids, vitamin E and vitamin B6. Real vitamin E protects the arteries and recent research has found that vitamin B6 slashes your risk of Parkinson’s disease. 

Walnuts can help relieve depression, but “We now know that walnuts help develop over 3 dozen neuro-transmitters [sic.] for brain function”

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter. According to Encarta [this Encarta link is dead as Encarta shut down in December of 2009], a neurotransmitter is a:

chemical carrying communication between nerves: a chemical that carries messages between different nerve cells or between nerve cells and muscles, e.g. to trigger or prevent an impulse in the receiving cell. Excitatory neurotransmitters trigger a nerve impulse in the receiving cell, while inhibitory neurotransmitters act to prevent further transmission of an impulse.

But “over 3 dozen”? This has yet to be proven. Additionally, many nuts contain serotonin and other brain nutrients, and none of them look like your brain. Flax seeds don’t look like your brain and they contain more omega-3s per weight than any nut. Cashews contain magnesium which helps to “open up” your arteries (lowering blood pressure); pecans and peanuts contain choline that aids memory; pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds contain l-tryptophan, an amino acid that converts to serotonin; while sunflower seeds are high in thiamin that supports memory and cognitive function; almonds contain riboflavin (which aids in memory) and also contain phenylalanine which stimulates the brain to produce natural pain killers and mood raising neurotransmitters.

Now, I’m sure we can all name someone whose brain resembles a pumpkin seed, but for the most part, all your nuts are just plain good brain food. And don’t forget our research into cardiovascular wellness (published in our cardiovascular section) that discovered how Scandinavians eat nuts following meals, a practice which lowers the incidence of heart disease.

Kidney Beans

We can debunk this one by reporting the simple fact that kidney beans contain phosphates. The kidneys don’t remove phosphates well, and if you have kidney disease, you are advised not to eat foods high in phosphates.

However, many sites that repeat this nonsense like to emphasize that it’s “a fact!” One site I found put it this way:

That's a fact! Kidney Beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and yes, they look exactly like the human kidneys.

God knows what he is doing, and all we have to do is stop talking and listen to his small still voice that he gave us through his holy spirit. He is everywhere, and in everything. We just need to look closer.

It was enough for me to see his miracles through the creation, gestation and birth of my children. He even had me before that: with the vastness of the universe. This has just floored me, to know that he also speaks to our health through the design of the food he has placed on this earth for us to consume.

I’ll bet this person is one of those who forwards every forwarded email s/he has received, from Bill Gates giving away his money to the little girl who’s been dying of cancer for years and wants you to forward this email to all your friends because the American Cancer Society donates money for every forward.

Celery, Bok Choy, Rhubarb

Bones are 23% sodium? Are you $#!ting me?

Celery, bok choy, and rhubarb are 23% sodium? Celtic Sea Salt is 85% sodium and this is salt.

When I orginally wrote this article, I wrote: "Why anyone would repost something so obviously and patently false is beyond me," but I've since discovered that though our bones are not "made up" of 23% sodium, our sodium stores are located in the bones. 

The chemical composition for bones is: Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2. The chemical symbol for sodium is Na. Is there any Na in the chemical composition of bones?

Here are some nutritional facts according to the USDA’s web site (we found the info on bok choy at about.com)

100 Grams of rhubarb contains 288 mg potassium, 4 mg sodium, 86 mg calcium.

100 Grams of celery contains 260mg potassium, 80mg sodium, 40mg calcium.

70 Grams of bok choy contains 176 mg potassium, 46 mg sodium, 74mg calcium.

Diets high in sodium can be a risk factor in osteoporosis. (One reason I always use Celtic Sea Salt).

This one is sheer bunk.

Egg Plant, Avocadoes and Pears

Apart from the simple fact that the word “phytolytic” is a very rare word that doesn't seem to appear in any dictionary (though I have found it in a few studies), this is another one that is pure bunk.

The only connection to the avocado and the uterus is that omega-3 essential fatty acids can help to regulate hormones. And we all know that omega-3s come from a variety of foods that don’t look like the uterus. We’ve also reported in the past on a German study that showed that women using fish oils faired better than those on HRT, though the fish has only a tenuous connection to the uterus, because amniotic fluid is amazingly similar to sea water. And, by the way, it takes 8 months for the avocado to mature from bloom to harvest.

The avocado is a cancer protectant. Studies in Great Britain show that avocados offer protection against oral cancers (which kills more than breast cancer). [Semin Cancer Biol. 2007 May 17]

The Hass avocado has the highest content of lutein among all the other 500 varieties of avocados, and also ranks high in other carotenoids, as well as vitamin E. Research at UCLA indicated that Hass avocados inhibit the growth of prostate cancers. [J Nutr Biochem. 2005 Jan;16(1):23-30]

Additionally, avocados are high in monounsaturated fatty acids (like olive oil) which have been shown to protect against breast cancer.

Interestingly enough, scientists tried to extract from avocados the phytochemicals that stopped  the growth of cancer cells, but could never get the same results. Apparently, it takes the whole avocado to do that job, duh. (See also An Herb is More Than its Active Ingredient.)

Many phytonutrients found in vegetables are absorbed more easily in fats (because they are fat soluble). Studies show that people who eat avocados (in salsa) absorbed nearly 5 times the amount of lycopene (from the tomatoes) than those who did not; over 8 times the amount of alpha-carotene and nearly 14 times the amount of beta-carotene; as well as more than 4 times as much lutein, than those who did not eat the avocado’s. [http://www.thehealthierlife.co.uk/article/3244/avocado-nutrition.html]

As for uterus shaped fruits and vegetables protecting, healing, maintaining the uterus, sorry, this is a myth.

Figs

Figs have powerful  antioxidants: polyphenol, the magic elixir found in green tea; high in fiber and quick energy; but they have nothing to do with sperm motility.

Sweet Potatoes

I’ve not quite figured out what “balance the glycemic index of diabetics” means. However, Sweet Potatoes just could be "the most perfect food."

From Health Fitness (health-fitness.com) in Australia, we get:

Sweet potato is a low-calories and fat free vegetable with an abundance of healthy minerals such as beta-carotene, Vitamin A, C and E, magnesium, potassium and rich in antioxidants.

These nutrients and minerals help to protect against heart attack and stroke, reducing blood pressure and maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance in the body cells. Studies on animals have also shown that diabetics would benefit from a diet which includes sweet potatoes as they help to stabilise blood sugar levels and to lower insulin resistance. Taking into consideration of fibre content, complex carbohydrates, protein, vitamins A and C, iron, and calcium plus the other aforementioned minerals, the sweet potato is ranked highest in nutritional value amongst other vegetables.

Yes, the sweet potato will stabilize blood sugar levels (as will cinnamon, sesame seeds, coconut, and apple cider vinegar), and some might look a bit like the pancreas but others seem to look like the State of Florida, a nuclear sub, a pocket gopher, and dog poop.

Olives

They look like a uterus? Ovaries? Ovum?

Olives protect the heart, fight cancer, lessen the severity of asthma and arthritis, reduce blood pressure, and control blood sugar benefiting people at risk for or with diabetes.

Grapefruits, Oranges, and other Citrus

These do NOT look like “mamary” glands. The author must be a fan of John Steinbeck who, while traveling through foothills and mountains, saw boobs everywhere.

Citrus fruit is just good nutrition. The bioflavonoids support healthy blood vessels (fight hemorrhoids) and support the lymph system.

It is true that following breast cancer surgery that citrus bioflavonoids will aid in relieving lymphedema, but the movement of lymph "in and out" of the breasts is not specific target of citrus fruit; the entire lymph system is supported.

Onions

Onions support a healthy immune system but have nothing to do with removing toxins from the body. Yes, they make you cry.

Bananas, Cucumbers, and Zuchini

" . . . target the size and strengh [sic.] of the male sexual organ."

It’s not true.

Male enhancement seems to be the Holy Grail of modern pharmaceutical medicine. I wasted way too much time checking this one out and found nothing. Absolutely nothing.

I did not, however, check out winter squash, and let me tell you, this one could be just the thing most men are looking for.

But you should also keep in mind that winter squash, like human beings, come in different sizes. So, consider yourself warned.

Peanuts

Hahahahahaha. I just can’t stop laughing over this one. I’ve not yet figured out the meaning to the word “ofin” though it's "ofin" repeated on the web. I had to contact two Catholic historians who quickly got back to me with their doubts that the church had ever banned peanuts. (Though I’ve heard a rumor that Charles Schultz did get special dispensation from the Pope.)

Inquiring further into the peanut I discovered that it came from South America and was brought back to Europe with the Spanish explorers, so it really wasn't around in the middle ages for the Catholic church to ban.

The only time online that anyone attempted to debunk this particular piece was over the last sentence: The main component of Viagra is not arginine.

Ironically, walnuts contain more arginine than peanuts which aren’t really nuts, but are legumes. 100 Grams of walnuts contains 3.618 grams of arginine, while 100 Grams of peanuts contains 3.013 grams of arginine.

Eating more peanuts (or walnuts) will not boost your libido, but it will keep up normal production of spermatozoa.

So, there you have it. The Doctrine of Signatures seems to have a few flaws in it. In fact, if I were you, the only signature I’d trust is my own.


Just a little Signature humor.

 


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