Greetings! In today’s study, we shall learn about the importance of preserving the minerals in our food. Like the Word of God, our physical food is not to be watered down or stripped from the nourishment our bodies need. By God’s grace, let us “hold fast that which is good” 1 Thess. 5:21.
Loss Of Minerals From Foods
Damaged Foods Versus Natural Foods
This lesson takes on large proportions when it is realized that over half of the food eaten in the United States has been more or less depleted of the mineral content placed there by nature.
Let us be specific about this. When wheat is made into fine white flour, it loses two-thirds of its calcium, four-fifths of its iron, and five-sixth of its phosphorus, and the other minerals in similar proportions. And white flour if the food of the masses. It is made into bread, rolls, buns, biscuits, doughnuts, cake, cookies, crackers; pancakes, pies, and about everything. Bread should be the “staff of life,” but it has become a broken staff. This has been going on since white flour was invented. Its loss of minerals makes it impossible for it to contribute as it should to all of the processes of life recently mentioned and those we cannot name. As a rule, whole grain flours should be used.
“Religion will lead mothers to make bread of the very best quality…Bread is the real staff of life, and therefore every cook should excel in making it.” CD 315
Similar mineral losses are found in certain breakfast cereals, in corn meal, polished rice, and refined sugar. The cereals regularly used should be whole grain ones.
When Dr. Harvey W. Wiley, the “father” of our pure food laws, was living, he was so concerned over the health hazards in the use of white flour and denatured cereals that he made this statement before the New York Academy of Medicine:
“Our bread-stuff is dead food. It has no soul….I say this will all the earnestness of my soul….Woe to this nation unless it re-establish the fundamentals of nutrition which white flour and other denatured cereal foods have broken down.”
Vegetables are often cooked in water and the water discarded. This causes losses of minerals all the way from ten to seventy percent. They should be cooked without lying in water. “Water-less” cooking utensils are on sale in every city. Select those made of the right kind of material (stainless steel). Will discuss this matter further in a future study. Potatoes, as a rule, should be baked and the skins eaten; there is an abundance of minerals close to the skin. The eyes should not be removed as they are rich in vitamins.
Dry beans should not be soaked in water and the water discarded. The unnecessary losses of minerals and vitamins from foods by refining processes and by improper cooking methods are so common and so serious that “not more than a third of the calories of the average American diet carry with them any significant share of the vitamins and minerals which robust health demands.”
There are sections where the soil is more or less depleted of minerals and is not able to impart to vegetation the proper supply of minerals, but this loss is not usually as serious as that which is deliberately caused by those who process and handle foods.
Our bodies need all of the minerals God has placed in natural foods; any loss is serious; and knowing that foods grown in some sections are deficient any way, it becomes very important that nothing be lost in processing and preparing foods.
When you review the list of life processes which depend upon these minerals and then note how great and constant are the losses, you will understand why this daily loss of minerals is cause number one of disease, as stated below.
The Primary Cause of Disease
“From a purely physical standpoint mineral starvation is usually the primary cause of disease. Loss of mineral bodies impairs the food value of foodstuff, and moreover tends to make them poisonous. Mineral starvation, regardless of the caloric value of the food ingested, is followed by disturbances in the vital processes and activities of the human organism, a refused supply of vital energy, pollution of the blood, body tissues and juices, and the preparation of a tissue soil in which parasites thrive and multiply without hindrance.”
The following diseases are among those which are believed by some writers to be in part at least cause by mineral starvation; there are probably others:
Although the life processes of the body are dependent upon the presence of mineral salts, we deliberately throw away two-thirds of one from this food, four-fifths of this and five-sixths of that as the case may be, and go merrily on as if all will be well; and when calamity befalls, we blame some particular organ or gland for it, or the weather, or the neighbors, or say we inherited it, or think we got it by accident-or it just had to be. We place the blame in every place except the right place-upon ourselves, for it is our fault. Self is the enemy! Nonetheless, there is hope! By God’s grace, we can redeem the time. Find out in our next study some great food sources for minerals!
*study adapted from Abundant Health, by Julius G. White