Nutrition scientists, myself included, have been mulling about on similar topics for years,and I might boldly suggest that we haven’t made much progress. A pivotal medical article was recently published in the medical literature from researchers at Yale University. After they surveyed and scoured all the popular diets known to humankind, they essentially came up with this conclusion:
“A diet of minimally processed foods close to nature, predominantly plants, is decisively associated with health promotion and disease prevention and is consistent with the salient components of seemingly distinct dietary approaches.”
In other words, with all our scientific sophistication, the basic mantra remains the same – don’t eat too much processed food and eat a lot of plants.
Excellent advice, and I agree completely. Food journalist and best-selling author, Michael Pollan, has been preaching this idea to us for years and he’s never studied nutrition.
But how much science do we need to tell us what is already, perhaps, common sense? I would hope by now that it is general, well-accepted knowledge that it is in our favor to refrain from eating too much “junk food” and emphasize “whole food”.
Furthermore, no matter what the dietary approach is we are adhering our identity to, whether it’s Paleo, anti-inflammatory, low glycemic, detox, vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian, low-fat, low-carb, you name it, the core message remains the same — get your sustenance from plants.
Nutrition science is slowly (and somewhat begrudgingly) moving away from the three “musketeers” of protein, carbohydrate, and fat, and starting to explore the thousands of compounds that are in plants. An article I read a couple of months ago showed that the more we interact with plants by rubbing their leaves, the more healing compounds they produce. Plants are on our side. They want to be in close connection with us. Science and intuition tell us plants are truly the “ultimate nutrition.”
Aside from the benefits of organically-grown plants, what is emerging in plant science is to go smaller to get denser-packed nutrients. For example, microgreens, or the small leaflets of immature leafy greens (grown within soil within 7 days), are super-nutrition sources of healthy compounds like carotenoids, vitamin C, and vitamin K. We’d have to eat many more mature spinach leaves to get the same amount of nutrition in a handful of microgreens. Same thing for blueberries – the smaller the berry, the more we get of the skin relative to the sweet, sugary insides, so we can reap the benefit of proanthocyanidins, or the healing plant compounds that help us learn and remember information.
Small is “in”.
We can go even smaller when it comes to plants as we start talking about how the plants produce nutrition for us – into the realm of what I have termed “photonic nutrition”. Photons are small packets of light. When the green chlorophyll in the plant captures the rays of the sun, energy and nutrients are made, a well-known process called “photosynthesis”.
In fact, all nutrition we take in starts from sunlight. Nutrition, or the act of eating, is the process of light transfer from one species to the next, whether plant to animal to human, or direct from plant to human. We are all eating the products of light.
Even more fascinating is that science, particularly quantum physics, is latching on to the idea that we are not just eating light through the products of photosynthesis, but that we are beings made of light. Depending on our experiences throughout the day, we might feel like we are losing or gaining energy. When we feel we are drained, at the most micro level, we may be losing and leaking our precious photonic energy.
Influence of Light on our DNA:
Scientists in Europe and Japan have started to measure photonic emission from human beings. In other words, how much light we give off through complicated devices that do photon-imaging. The literature on biophotonic emission (light emitted from living organisms), which goes back to the mid-1980s, revealed that all life forms give off photons. One of the first articles demonstrated that DNA is an abundant source of these photons. The wavelength of light was shown to play a role in how the cell grows.
Cancer cells, which are growing out of control, give off many photons: “Photon counts were observed to be 1.51-4.73 times higher from the regions of untreated tumor than from normal regions.” Aside from the articles on food, infection, and cancer, biophoton emission is now being measured in people who are engaging in mind-body practices, such as acupuncture and Transcendental Meditation and Zen meditation. These activities appear to preserve our photons. Perhaps health is synonymous with keeping our photonic reserve intact.
Photons to measure life force quality in foods?
As a nutritionist, I am most interested in the application of photons to assessing the quality (freshness, shelf-life) of food. I hope that science continues to go more micro and atomic with our food rather than hang out at the been-there-done-that level of high and low macronutrients. Maybe one day we will have widespread tools on our smart phones that will enable us to measure the “light” or life force quality of food so we can better assess in knowing what food carries the most resonance for our body, mind, and spirit.
I can imagine that in the future, we will shift from reading diet books about what to eat and into technologies that can assess our photonic potential and that of foods so we can truly feed ourselves and become vital at the most infinitesimal level for big, life-changing effects.