Admit it. You’ve seen the green juices that pepper grocery and discount store shelves and thought, yuck! But why? Have you tried one? We all know how good dark green foods like broccoli, kale and spinach are for us, and how they are necessary to eat (or drink!) if we want to be healthier. So what are we so afraid of? Perhaps it was the overcooked, limp and soggy broccoli our mother served up next to the mashed potatoes and pork roast that by comparison tasted, well, flavorless.
Actually, those green juices you see at the store are sweet, tangy and unexpectedly good-tasting. But they’ve got nothing nutritionally on the types of super green foods that David Sandoval talks about in his book, The Green Foods Bible.
I must confess I’m not a fan of anything that refers to itself as a bible, because it assumes it has all the information you would ever need on a certain subject. True to the title, Sandoval’s book contains a wide melee of information that isn’t always organized in a way that makes it easy to read, and starts to feel like a PowerPoint presentation complete with jammed-together histories and snippets of random information. Yet there’s a lot there to find and benefit from once you get used to his style.
As a renowned public speaker and radio host with over 20 years of research into the healing benefits of green super foods, his writing style evokes a sense of being in the same room with him, perhaps in a conversation. This research has led him to create his “Plant Based Nutrition Program,” which the chapters delve into, and a wide variety of patented supplements, which are merely noted near the end of the book.
Just what makes something a super food? Sandoval explains in almost mind-numbing detail the range from cereal grasses to algaes and amla fruit to cruciferous veggies, leafy greens and sprouts to water plants. This includes wheat and barley grass juices, all manner of algae from spirulina to chlorella to giant brown kelp, broccoli to cabbage and a huge variety of veggie sprouts you can easily make at home.
More specifically, according to Sandoval, “green foods are loaded with an abundance of digestive enzymes, and they promote friendly bacteria and neutralize excess acidity,” which is the exact opposite of most modern Western diets. But what we often don’t realize is the cumulative effect this kind of diet has on us until it’s not longer an easy fix:
“Many of the diseases for which modern medicine has no cure are the result of complex, extremely gradual changes at the cellular level. Those changes are a direct consequence of a lifelong diet made mostly of processed, sugary, fatty foods. An intensive plant-based diet program is the fastest and most effective way to rejuvenate the body at the cellular level and to give it the raw materials it requires to rebuild itself and function most efficiently” (39).
This rebooting is necessary if disease has already begun: “Almost any chronic disease boils down to a few common denominators: Inflammation, oxidation, lack of alkaline factors in the diet, lack of enzymes in the diet, lack of trace minerals in the diet, difficult or stagnant eliminative function, toxic exposures.” Sandoval also extols the plethora of ways these foods keep you healthy if you already are.
The truly spiritual element of Sandoval’s The Green Foods Bible really isn’t evident until the end of the book, but it’s essentially the understanding of what takes place when we put something into our bodies that we know will nourish it, even if we don’t understand exactly how that happens:
“No analysis of a food done in a laboratory can give us a complete picture of what a food becomes when we ingest and digest it.”
Believing what we can’t see always requires faith, but Sandoval seems to be saying that taking that leap of faith through healthful foods will take us to new levels of awareness of the world around us. The message boils down to being mindful of what we eat and where it comes from.He states the life-enhancing power of green foods best:
“What you are really doing by shifting to a green foods lifestyle is maximizing your own body’s natural healing powers. The human body—and the bodies of most animals—are designed to heal themselves.”