A new species of man may be evolving, according to medical researcher George Chaldakov, MD, PhD. This species is missing the factors necessary to balance its metabolism and to regulate inflammatory processes and wound healing. The result: a species that is overweight, lives with degenerative diseases such as diabetes, osteoporosis or arthritis, and dies of stroke, heart attack or cancer.
The evolutionary trigger for this new species is the calorie-dense, nutrient-deficient diet of Western civilization, the diet that most Americans and Western Europeans eat, says Chaldakov. The paradox, he notes, is that while this is going on, millions of people suffer and die from starvation in less developed and poor countries. Thus he is actively involved in popularizing the need for healthy lifestyle.
No drug will stop this evolution and here’s why. Medical and nutritional researchers now know that the nutrients in the foods we eat send signals to the cell that tell it how to read our genetic code, just like our own hormones and immune system molecules do. A highly processed and chemicalized diet essentially gives the cells a reading disorder. If the cell misreads the DNA or reads the wrong portion of DNA, it can’t make the molecules that keep our metabolism and inflammatory processes in proper balance.
There’s more. Think of DNA as life’s instruction book. The nutrients in our food send signals to our DNA to black out the portions that cause unregulated cell division (cancer) or to conserve energy (gain weight), for example. A nutrient deficient diet leads to the unmasking of this DNA and the cell starts to read and perform these DNA instructions. Not good.
Are you evolving into Homo obesus? The diets highlighted in my January article, now on my website, www.thedoctorcooks.com, can start you on the path back to Homo sapiens. While these diets seem very different from each other they have several common qualities. They are rich in minimally-processed, antioxidant-rich plant foods. They use minimal or are free of inflammation-promoting dairy products. When animal products are used, they are either wild or fed their natural diet, not inflammation-producing grains.
While you mull this rather startling idea over, enjoy this quick-cooking cream of broccoli soup from one of my favorite cookbooks, Yoga Kitchen by Faith Stone and Rachael Guidry. It’s dairy-free, instead using pureed raw cashews for the “cream.” Thus, it has none of the pro-inflammatory bad guys and it contains the heart healthy fat, oleic acid that you won’t find in milk. Cashews are also rich in antioxidants and magnesium.
If you have time, soak the cashews 6 hours to overnight. It increases their digestibility.
Cream of Broccoli and Cashew Soup
2 TBSP grape seed oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
4 cups fresh broccoli florets, peeled stems and leaves, finely chopped
5 cups vegetable stock or water
2 cups raw cashews
2 teaspoons dried dill
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add the onion and the garlic and sauté until soft. Stir in the vegetable stock and broccoli. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until the broccoli is bright green and tender.
Reserve 2 cups of the cooked broccoli. Puree the remainder of the soup until smooth. Pour the pureed soup back into the soup pot.
Place the cashews in a blender with just enough soup to blend into a smooth sauce. Stir the blended cashews into the soup pot. Add the dill and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the reserved broccoli and serve.
This article originally appeared Dr. Klugs monthly column, The Doctor Cooks, in the February 2008 issue of the Kansas City Wellness Magazine, www.kcwellnessmagazine.com.