FROM AN OLD BOOK(1971)BY A WORLD-FAMOUS
The Health-Building and Health-
Restoring Power of Whole Grains,
Seeds and Nuts
Paavo Airola, Ph.D., N.D.
A very young health-conscious couple, barely twenty years old,
with a three year old son, came to see me. I invited them for a
lunch: fresh fruits, raw nuts and sesame seeds, unsulfured
sun-dried figs and raisins, and yogurt - my typical meal. Both
youths, and their son, took some of the fruit, but didn't touch
the nuts, seeds or milk. Finally, I asked the boy if he would
like to have a glass of home-made yogurt.
"No, thank you," the boy answered, very politely. "Don't you like
milk?" I asked. "Yes,but it isn't good for me," the boy answered,
The father looked at me with a mixed expression of apology and
pride on his face for the good job of indoctrination he had done.
Finally he said to me:
"Well, milk is mucus-forming - so we don't give him milk at
I suggested that it would be advisable for a child of this age to
have some raw milk or yogurt, unless he is allergic to it. But
my words fell on deaf ears. They were convinced, after reading a
book on a mucus-less diet, that milk would harm their son. Then I
offered my guests some raw peanuts and almonds I was enjoying,
but they refused to touch them on the grounds that "peanuts are
not nuts",and, besides, "aren't all nuts acid-form-ing?"
Among all the great numbers of misled and confused health
seekers, the most pitiful and lamentable are those who have "read
a book". After reading one or two books on nutrition, usually by
some self-styled nutrition "authority" who is just as confused as
his readers, they think they know all the answers. Someone said
that peanuts are not nuts, but legumes. So what? Does this
revelation make them less fit as a food? Some will not touch
any-thing grown under the ground. Some will eat tomatoes together
with fruit because they are "acid". Some will not eat garlic or
onions because they are "too strong for the mucous membranes".
Some will not eat milk because "casein makes good glue".
Some will not eat honey because "honey is made for the bees".
Some avoid eating seeds and grains because they are
"acid-forming". Some others avoid grains because they are
"mucus-forming". Some hardly eat anything because they take
literally the advice given by some nutrition "experts" that you
should not eat proteins and carbohydrates at the same time,
proteins and acids at the same time, fats and proteins at the
same time, acids and starches at the same time, etc., etc. How in
the world can you avoid doing that when virtually every natural
food contains ALL of the named nutrients: proteins, fats,
starches, and carbohydrates? And so on, ad infinitum.
Can you see now why I was prompted to write this De-CON-FUSION
The nutritional value of whole grains and seeds
Seeds, grains and nuts are the most important and the most potent
foods of all. They contain the secret of life itself, the germ.
Through this germ in seeds the perpetuation of species is
accomplished. The spark of life in the seeds is of extreme
importance for man's life, his health, and his virility and
Our creator designated seeds as our most important food, because
the germinating power, the life-giving energy and the magic of
the seeds is the source of dynamic energy and reproductive power
"And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed,
which is upon the face of the earth, and every tree, in which
is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for
meat." Genesis 1:29
The nutritional value of seeds and grains is fantastic. Here is
just a glimpse:
Seeds, grains and nuts are gold mines of minerals, especially
calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and iron.
They contain most of the vitamins, particularly vitamins A, B
They are nature's best source of unsaturated fatty acids and
They are excellent sources of proteins.
Those who minimize the importance of seeds and grains in the diet
claim that grain proteins are incomplete. This is only partially
true. Many seeds and nuts do contain complete proteins.
Sun-flower seeds, soya beans, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds,
almonds and peanuts contain complete proteins. Those grains,
seeds and nuts that do not contain complete proteins can be
extremely useful sources of proteins if they are eaten in
combination with other protein foods, or with milk or cheese, or
with vegetables. A whole-grain bread sandwich eaten with a glass
of milk makes a complete protein meal, the incomplete proteins of
the wheat rendered complete by the combination with the complete
proteins of the milk.
Seeds and grains have been always a primary source of proteins in
man's nutrition. 53 per cent of the protein consumed in the world
comes from grains and seeds.
Grains and seeds - ancient foods
From the earliest primitive days of civilization, seeds have
formed an important part of man's diet. Man ate seeds from fruits
and wild plants, raw and untampered, even before he learned the
art of cultivation. In every part of the world, by every nation
and tribe, seeds and grains have always been valued as the staple
foods. In Asia, the principal part of any diet has always been
rice. In Scotland it has been oats. In Russia and East Europe -
rye and buckwheat. In the Middle East - millet and sesame seeds.
In Mexico and Central America - corn. In Europe and North America
- wheat. The long-living peoples of Hunza, Bulgaria, and the
Balkan countries rely heavily on grains, particularly wheat,
millet and barley.
There are those who claim that man is basically a fruitarian,
that fresh fruits and vegetables are man's best food.
Have they ever considered why the natives living in places like
Mexico, Central America, Africa or the tropical areas of the Far
East, where the abundance of most delicious fruits is available
year around almost free, go to great effort and hard work
cultivating various grains, seeds and beans and rely on these as
the dietary staple? Man has always instinctively recognized the
great nutritional value of grains and seeds. The grains such as
rye, wheat, oats, barley, buckwheat, millet, rice, corn, sesame
seeds, peas and all kinds of beans have been the basis of human
nutrition for thousands of years.
Grains - the black sheep of American nutritionists
The scare and confusion created by a few writers on the dangers
of mucus-forming and acid-forming foods must be responsible for
the anti-grain attitude so many American nutritionists have.
Also, the American "high protein-low carbohydrate" cult has some
part to play in the general disrespect that is afforded grains in
America's nutritional programs. Wheat particularly has become a
black sheep of American nutritionists, very unrightly so.
Europe's health authorities have a totally different view of the
virtue of whole grains. The International Society for Research on
Nutrition and Diseases of Civilization considers the whole grains
to be the most important foods for man. I have visited and
studied in many biological clinics in Europe during the past
20 years and without exception all of them use various whole
grain products as the staple of their therapeutic diets.
European biological clinics specialize in therapies for a
multitude of degenerative diseases. After the initial program
of body detoxification by fasting and other cleansing methods,
the patients are put on a special body-regeneration and
health-building optimum nutrition program in which whole grains
play an important part. Some clinics use whole soaked rolled oats
in the form of muesli. Some use sprouted wheat - as, for example,
in Dr. Kuhl's cancer therapy and Dr. Evers' multiple sclerosis
diet. All clinics use high quality grain breads, usually
sour-dough rye bread. Nutritious cereals from buckwheat (kasha),
mil-let, whole wheat (molino); rice, or mixed cereals
(kruska) are used in all European clinics and health spas.
Professor Kollath, Dr. Bruker, Professor Dr. W. Halden and Dr. F.
Grandel are some of the best-known scientists in Europe who made
a special study of the value of grains in human nutrition. They
all stress over and again that whole grain products are essential
for optimum health as well as for preventing and overcoming
Grains - gold mines of vitamins and minerals
Phosphorus is an important mineral for many of your body's most
important functions. The utilization of calcium is closely tied
to the presence of phosphorus. You also need phosphorus for the
proper utilization of fat by your body. Several of the important
B-vitamins can not be digested properly without a sufficient
amount of phosphorus in the diet. And phosphorus is an important
ingredient of the brain tissue - a mineral needed for mental
Fruits and vegetables are poor sources of phosphorus, although
they are excellent sources of calcium. Calcium and phosphorus
must be supplied by foods in the ratio of two and one-half to one
- two and one-half times as much calcium as phosphorus. Those who
live chiefly on fruits and vegetables and neglect eating seeds
and grains, might suffer from a lack of phosphorus. Grains and
seeds are nature's best source of phosphorus. *See Chapter 16 for
Recipes and Directions.
Iron is another vital mineral. Most American women, and an
increasing number of teenagers whose staple diet seems
to be processed cereals, hot dogs, doughnuts, hamburgers and
cokes, suffer from iron-deficiency anemia to a great extent.
Whole grains are the best source of iron; refined cereals and
white bread lack organic iron, because it has been removed in the
Magnesium is another mineral that is plentiful in whole grains
and seeds. Magnesium is one of the most important minerals and is
needed for a multitude of vital bodily functions. Seeds and
grains, notably almonds, barley, lima beans, corn, wheat, oats,
brown rice and Brazil and cashew nuts, are richest natural
sources of magnesium.
Zinc is coming into the limelight as one of the most important
trace minerals, hitherto neglected in nutrition research.
Recent research from many parts of the world has linked zinc
deficiency to such health disorders as infertility,prostate
disorders, and retarded genital development. There are five
million infertile husbands in the United States, and millions of
men suffering from prostate disorders. Grains and seeds are the
best natural sources of zinc.
Sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds in particular are very rich
sources. Other sources are wheat bran, wheat germ, brewer's yeast
and onions. Zinc, of course, is nonexistent in refined and
Wheat has been downgraded by many health writers and even
considered to be directly harmful to health. Wheat has been used
in human nutrition for many centuries. The Hunza people, known as
the "healthiest people in the world" use wheat as a staple in
their diet. Wheat is one of the most important sources of good
Although grains are excellent sources of important minerals and
proteins, what puts them into a special high class as important
food is their vitamin content. Seeds and grains are your best
natural sources of two of the most important vitamins: B and E.
All nuts, legumes, seeds and unrefined grains are rich sources of
most of the B-complex vitamins, especially B1, B2, B6, niacin,
pantothenic acid and folic acid. B-vitamins are important for the
health of the nerves, for mental activity, for the digestive
processes, for the heart, skin, etc. B-vitamins are also
considered to be anti-aging vitamins.
Vitamin E is a truly miracle vitamin. It is called by such pet
names as "reproductive vitamin", "anti-sterility vitamin",
"heart-saver vitamin", "anti-abortion vitamin", and the "sex
vitamin". The heart-saving property of vitamin E is due to its
oxygenating ability. Vitamin E oxygenates the tissues and
remarkably re-duces the need for oxygen. It also dilates blood
vessels and pre-vents excessive scar tissue formation.
Vitamin E is closely involved in many vital reproductive and
sexual functions. A serious deficiency of vitamin E can cause:
Degeneration of the epithelial or germinal cells of the
Diminished hormone production - both the sex hormones and
pituitary hormones which stimulate the sex
Destruction of the sex hormones by oxidation
Miscarriages and stillbirths
Female and male sterility
Premature menopausal symptoms
Vitamin E is, indeed, absolutely essential for the normal
function of the reproductive system. And healthy and plentiful
sex hormone production is essential for the healthy functioning
of the whole body. Diminished sex hormone production is one of
the main causes of premature aging.
Whole grains and seeds, and cold-pressed vegetable oils made from
seeds, are the best natural sources of vitamin E. Wheat germ and
wheat germ oil are particularly good sources.
Are grains and seeds acid-forming?
Yes, they are. And thank goodness for that! There are people who
read one or two books on alkaline-acid balance and, not being
well-versed in a difficult and confusing art of biochemistry*,
become so scared of acid-forming foods that they leave out all
(*1 call biochemistry an art, rather than science, intentionally.
Anything dealing with life and living subjects has to be more of
an art than an exact science) nuts and grains from their shopping
lists. Many writers have stressed the need for more alkaline
foods in the diet to balance the acid foods.
Alkaline foods are those that leave an alkaline residue in the
system in the process of metabolism. Acid-forming foods are those
that leave an acid residue. All fruits (even acid fruits such as
oranges or lemons) and vegetables are alkaline-forming foods.
Meat, fish, eggs, bread, grains and nuts are acid-forming foods;
they leave an acid residue.
The problem is that we need acid-forming foods for optimum health
just as much as we need alkaline foods. A deficiency of
acid-forming foods would be just as dangerous as a deficiency of
alkaline foods, if not more so. So all this fuss about acid and
alkaline foods did more harm than good. Acid-forming grains,
seeds and nuts are God given foods for man - so are the alkaline
fruits and vegetables. Milk and milk products are relatively
neutral in this respect.
By the way, your body has what is called the "alkaline reserve" -
a storehouse of alkaline substances that are used to balance the
chemistry when there is too much acid present. Therefore, you
don't have to worry that every meal you eat is properly
To solve this alkaline-acid confusion once and for all, here is
some good advice:
l. Eat the low animal protein-high natural carbohydrate diet
recommended in this book.
2. Avoid all refined, processed, denatured, starchy and sweet
3. Eat to your heart's delight of these three basic foods: 1)
grains, seeds and nuts, 2) vegetables, and 3) fruits, and
you'll never have to worry about acid-alkaline balance. These
foods are man's most perfect foods, and they have a
built-in natural acid-alkaline balance.
4. Milk, cold-pressed vegetable oils, and honey, which are all
largely neutral as far as acid-alkaline rating is
concerned, can complement the three basic foods.
Follow the above four rules and you will be availing yourself of
a diet with the greatest potential for optimum health.
Grains, seeds and nuts - storehouses of essential fatty acids and
Unsaturated fatty acids are vitally important in the optimum
diet. Lack of these fatty acids may cause eczema, dry skin,
dandruff, falling hair, kidney disease, diseases of the prostate
gland, and other health disorders. Grains and seeds, for all
practical purposes, are the only natural sources of these
unsaturated fatty acids, or vitamin F.
Cold-pressed oils that are sold in health food stores are made
from various grains and seeds, such as soy beans, sunflower
seeds, wheat, corn, flax seed, peanuts, sesame seeds, etc.
Vegetable oils are excellent foods and should replace margarine
and animal fats in your kitchen.
Lecithin is another food substance of which seeds, grains and
nuts are rich sources. Lecithin is a phosphorized fat that helps
in fat metabolism, is present in the body as the chief
constituent of semen, brain, and nerve tissues. Endocrine glands
contain large amounts of lecithin. The pineal gland is richer in
lecithin than any other part of the body.
Lecithin has also another important function that has been much
publicized in recent years - it is a natural emulsifier of fat
and it prevents cholesterol (which is fat) from collecting in
chunks and attaching to the walls of blood vessels, causing
arteriosclerosis. Thus, lecithin is a good preventive of
hardening of the arteries by its emulsifying effect on
Dr. Wilhelm Halden, of the University of Graz, Austria, report-ed
on recent statistics which show that countries where people eat
whole-grain bread and whole-grain cereals are relatively free
from ischemic heart disease. Chronic oxygen deficiency in tissues
is connected with coronary disease and heart attacks. Whole-grain
cereals, with their rich supply of vitamins B, E, essential fatty
acids and lecithin, facilitate a better utilization of oxygen
and, therefore, help to prevent arteriosclerosis and heart
disease. Wheat germ and wheat germ oil are the "dynamic parts" of
the grains and seeds. Vitamins B and E, as well as fatty acids,
are concentrated in wheat germ.
This ability of whole grains to contribute to better oxygen
utilization is of particular importance to modern man.
We are getting less and less oxygen into our tissues because of
air pollution interfering with oxygen absorption, the lack
of sufficient physical exercise, and devitalized, refined foods
from which wheat germ and vitamin E have been removed.
Pacifarins and cholesterol-absorbing activity
Recent studies made by Dr. Howard Schneider, of the Institute for
Biomedical Research of the American Medical Association, showed
that whole wheat contains a factor which has an anti-biotic
effect. In animal experiments this "resistance" factor, called
pacifarins, increased resistance to disease and prevented
salmonella infections in laboratory mice.
Pacifarins are found in the outer fractions of the wheat and
other grains such as corn, rye and rice - the parts of the
grains that are removed from the white flour in milling process.
Also, it has been found that whole grains contain an ingredient
that can actually lower cholesterol levels. Dr. Hans Fisher, of
Rutgers University, reported to a recent Nutrition Conference
that "wheat, barley, and oats all contain this
cholesterol-absorbing activity". He stressed the fact that it is
the hull portion of the whole grains that contain this
cholesterol-lowering activity. Unidentified valuable substances
In addition to all the known nutritive and protective
sub-stances, the whole grains, according to German scientist, Dr.
Bruker, contain many unknown, but valuable substances that are
unavailable in other foods. Research has indicated that these
unidentified nutritional substances in whole grains are highly
effective in preventing disease and maintaining optimum health.
Keep always in mind, however, that only the whole, fresh,
un-refined grains and seeds contain all these known and
unknown nutritive substances. They are largely destroyed or
removed in processing and refining. You can not benefit
from them by eating packaged breakfast cereals or white bread.
Best ways to use grains and seeds
All nuts should be eaten raw, never roasted. Many seeds, such as
sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds should be eaten
raw. Almost all seeds and grains can also be eaten in a sprouted
But grains and seeds can also be eaten in the form of breads and
cereals. Particularly sour-dough breads* are very beneficial and
easily digested. During the natural souring process, certain
substances are made more easily available for assimilation in the
intestinal tract. Also, valuable lactic acids develop during the
fermentation process. Lactic acid foods have been found to be
excellent health foods capable of preventing diseases and even
curing many illnesses, as demonstrated by Dr. Kuhl and others.
Millet, buckwheat, barley and oats make excellent cereals. Both
millet and buckwheat are truly wonder foods. Millet porridge* is
both a healthful and extremely delicious food. Buckwheat is rich
in proteins, minerals and rutin, one of the bioflavonoids.
Buck-wheat porridge* is the Russian national food. Because of the
rutin in buckwheat, Russians claim that buckwheat cereal will
build healthy blood vessels and also help to reduce high blood
pressure. There are also several ways to make uncooked cereals.
See in Chapter 16 the recipe for Waerland-Kruska, an excellent,
power-packed, raw cereal, full of enzymes.
You can see from the above presentation that whole grains, seeds
and nuts are powerful health-building and health-restoring foods.
Whole grains and seeds have been the basis of human nutrition for
thousands of years. There are no reasons whatsoever why they
should not continue to be so. Grains, seeds and nuts are the most
complete and most potent plant foods available to man. They
contain proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, essential
fatty acids, enzymes, trace elements, pacifarins and other
protective and nutritive substances in well-balanced pro-portion.
Whole grains and seeds should constitute a substantial part of
your macrobiotic diet for optimum health and longer life.
*See Chapter 16 for Recipes and Directions.
Entered on Keith Hunt's Website 2003