Vegetables vs. Fruit

Vegetables vs. Fruit

 Stopping all fruit and returning to a diet with plenty of cooked, not raw, vegetables often stops joint pain and other types of pain within a few weeks.

Stopping all fruit and returning to a diet with plenty of cooked, not raw, vegetables often stops joint pain and other types of pain within a few weeks.

by Dr. Larry Wilson — 

We often hear, “Eat your fruits and vegetables.” This statement implies that vegetables and fruits have equal benefits, but in my clinical experience, nothing could be further from the truth. Consuming a large amount of cooked vegetables is vital for deep healing. In contrast, eating any fruits at all can often be damaging to our health. I know this statement sounds controversial, so let us explore it in more depth.


What are vegetables and why eat them?

Vegetables are the roots, stems, leaves and flowers of edible plants. All human beings and most animals have been eating them for thousands of years. They contain many vital minerals, vitamins, amino acids, probiotics, fibers and other nutrients necessary for our health. In fact, substitutes for them are nonexistent. I find that people who do not eat a diet full of vegetables are less healthy in the long run, no matter how good they may look or feel today.

Most everyone needs to eat more vegetables than they currently consume. I suggest that 70 to 75 percent of the diet should be made up of cooked varieties. This works out to about three cups of cooked vegetables three times daily. You can steam, roast, stir-fry, bake or cook them in a Crockpot®.

The Vitamix®. An interesting cooking method, especially if you are a busy person, is the Vitamix, which is a very high-powered blender. Place some raw vegetables, with a minimal amount of water, in the unit. It first chops the vegetables and then cooks them in approximately five minutes by spinning them at a high speed. The result is a very nutritious hot purée.

In my view, this method of cooking produces food that is much easier to digest than raw green drinks, shakes or smoothies. The latter are usually made up of combinations that are hard on digestion.


Vegetable classifications

Vegetables are classified into the following groups:

1. Root. I suggest eating at least two cooked root vegetables every day. This category is the most yang because the vegetables grow underground, which may not seem important, but is vital today.

Among the more common root vegetables are carrots (one of the best kinds), onions, turnips, parsnips, radishes, rutabaga, celery root, beets and potatoes.

Root vegetables are also rich in an unusual form of calcium and contain dozens of phytonutrients that are needed today for our nutrition, detoxification of heavy metals and toxic chemicals, and for many other purposes.

2. Cruciferous. I suggest eating at least two cooked cruciferous vegetables every day. This family of delicious vegetables has been shown to have extraordinary properties that help prevent cancer and other common diseases. They include cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and a few others.

3. Green leafy. I suggest two large servings of cooked greens each day. They are very rich in magnesium, folic acid, and many vitamins and minerals that cannot be obtained elsewhere, no matter how many vitamin supplements or green drinks you swallow. They include spinach, kale, arugula, mustard greens, collard greens, bok choy, Chinese cabbage and others.

4. Other. Other vegetables to explore are squashes (in particular, butternut, spaghetti and acorn), celery, asparagus, rhubarb and mushrooms. I do not recommend these as often, as they can be either too yin or slightly toxic. However, a small amount provides variety, along with an array of tastes and smells.


Why cook vegetables?

Cooking has many advantages:

1. Cooking makes food more yang. The yang aspect, as it pertains to nutrition and diet, is one that most doctors and nutritionists overlook. However, I find it quite important. The human body is too yin today, and correcting this imbalance is wonderful for healing. This concept is further explained in books written by Michio Kushi on the subject of macrobiotics. The Chinese understanding of yin and yang I find less useful clinically.

To make the body more yang, most food must be cooked. Raw food is much more yin. Adding heat and even salt to food through cooking makes all food much more yang.

2. Cooking makes minerals and other phytonutrients in many foods more bioavailable. This fact is a matter of observation. Those who eat a lot of raw salads, for example, demineralize their bodies. Humans simply cannot digest raw vegetable fibers very well. We are not built to digest grasses like cows and horses.

Most people are mineral deficient, so any way to increase mineral absorption and utilization is beneficial. Foods today are lower in vital minerals than 100 years ago, mainly because the food is hybridized. These hybrids are designed to produce larger crops and resist pests but not to produce more mineral-rich crops. Sea salt and kelp capsules can be helpful for this deficiency.

3. Cooked food tends to be much cleaner and less toxic. It is rather easy to pick up parasitic infections and others from raw salads and other raw food, especially in restaurants. The cooking process destroys most parasite eggs and other pathogens.

Is cooked food “dead?” Cooking does not kill the food, but it can destroy a few vitamins, especially when overcooked. According to macrobiotics, cooking balances the nutrients in food. Vegetables should be cooked until they become soft, not crunchy.

What about salads? I do not recommend salads. They are too yin because they are raw. Also, we do not absorb enough of the minerals they contain. In restaurants, the ingredients are often not cleaned properly and can cause parasitic and other nasty infections.

What about vegetable juices? Ten to 12 ounces of vegetable juice daily for an adult, and less for a child, is excellent and will improve nutrition. Drinking more than this amount can cause the body to become too yin. Juice tends to be yin because it is raw, liquid and broken apart.

I suggest consuming about 10 ounces of carrot juice daily, provided its sweetness is tolerated. If it is too sweet, drink half and put the rest in the refrigerator for later. You can also add a few spinach leaves or a Swiss chard leaf, if desired.

What about shakes and smoothies? I prefer a cooked vegetable purée made in a Vitamix blender, as described above.

Ideally, do not add protein powders and other ingredients to the cooked vegetable purée. Protein powders, no matter how nutritious, are all quite yin, so they are not as good as whole foods, such as meat or poultry. For a complete meal, add some ground turkey, ground beef or ground lamb at the end stage of puréeing.


What are fruits? 

Fruits are the expanded ovaries of plants. This may sound strange, but plants have ovaries, just as animals and humans do. Seed production takes place in the ovaries. Instead of producing eggs, like human ovaries do, plants produce seeds, which are somewhat similar in structure to eggs. Plants, however, have no active way to spread their species, as do animals and humans, because they are fixed to one location.

To spread the plant species throughout the earth, the seeds are placed inside of tasty, sugary treats called fruits. In turn, birds and animals eat them. Most seeds are hard and indigestible; therefore, they are not damaged when eaten. Birds and animals do the job of spreading the seeds of plants through their digestive waste.

Some items we categorize as vegetables are really fruits. One way to identify a fruit is that it usually contains seeds; whereas, a true vegetable usually does not. For example, the following “vegetables” are really fruits: tomatoes, eggplant, all peppers, okra, squashes, string beans, cucumbers, peas and perhaps a few others.

With the exception of peas, string beans and winter squashes, I suggest avoiding or eating less of those foods, as they are much more yin than true vegetables.


Symptoms associated with eating fruit 

Fruit can weaken the cardiovascular system and can cause a shortened lifespan, among other disorders and problems.

Fruit can weaken the cardiovascular system and can cause a shortened lifespan, among other disorders and problems.

This section incorporates my own research findings and those of many others who have studied individuals who currently eat a lot fruit or have eaten a lot of fruit in the past. Common symptoms associated with fruit eating can include:

1. Attention deficit disorders, autism, cancers and other problems in children. Eating fruit is particularly harmful for fast oxidizers, which include most young children.

2. Irritable bowel syndrome, parasites, diarrhea and colitis. The digestive system is greatly harmed by eating a lot of fruit. Fruit eating definitely feeds yeasts and other harmful pathogens in the intestines. The digestive tract becomes more yin, fragile and “leaky.” Fruit acids, toxic metals and pesticide residues in fruit can irritate the digestive system. In many areas, the use of pesticides is required to grow some fruits. Organically grown fruit is better, but it may be sprayed with “natural pesticides” that can be toxic as well.

3. Cardiovascular problems. Fruit can weaken the cardiovascular system and can cause a shortened lifespan, among other disorders and problems. Fructose affects copper metabolism, which may be the reason for its negative effects on the cardiovascular system.

4. Pain syndromes. Stopping all fruit and returning to a diet with plenty of cooked vegetables often stops joint pain and other types of pain within a few weeks. Causes for the pain may be a zinc deficiency, a deficiency of sulfur-containing amino acids or the effects of sugar, fruit acids or some combination of all of these.

5. Diabetic symptoms. Fruit is very low in zinc, manganese and B-complex vitamins. These are needed to process sugars, which are at high levels in most fruits. The results are symptoms, such as pain syndromes and peripheral neuropathy, which may cause tingling, burning or numbness in the feet. Other symptoms may include frequent urination, fatigue, depression and others.

6. Weight gain. Many people believe that eating fruit will cause weight loss and then are disappointed when this does not happen. Fruit is not a low-calorie food. Also, the consumption of sugar in any form causes weight gain through many mechanisms, including an increase in insulin production and impairment of the thyroid and adrenal glands, causing some water retention.

7. Parasitic infections. These infections can occur because eating fruit makes the digestive tract more yin, making it much more habitable for parasites, which are “cold” infective organisms. Also, if the fruit is not washed properly or is eaten raw, this can contribute to the chance of infection. A damaged or somewhat delicate digestive tract may not be able to fend off some parasites commonly found in all foods and water supplies.

8. Pesticide poisoning. This occurs because most fruit is sprayed heavily with pesticides, even if it is advertised as organic. Even natural pesticides used on fruit can build up in the body and become toxic, thus affecting the liver and kidneys, in particular.

9. Toxic metal poisoning. Those individuals who eat a lot of fruit seem to be prone to mercury and copper accumulation, perhaps because fruit lacks the balancing element of zinc. High-fruit diets lack sulfur-containing amino acids, which are needed for liver detoxification of the metals and many toxic chemicals. Fruit also can contain a toxic form of potassium and perhaps phosphorus that is found in all N-P-K or superphosphate fertilizers.

10. Thyroid disease such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Fruit seems to make this condition worse, in my experience. It might have to do with a copper imbalance or mercury toxicity.

11. Mental and emotional symptoms. These kinds of symptoms are very common in fruit eaters and can include anxiety, depression, irritability and panic attacks. We know this because when a person with these symptoms stops eating a diet high in fruit, the symptoms often vanish within a few days to weeks.

12. Anger and belligerence. Another interesting symptom that occurs due to fruit consumption is the development of a stubborn, often belligerent and angry nature. This may be the result of a zinc or perhaps B-vitamin deficiency of some type. It also may be due to a more yin condition, which makes a person more fearful and anxious.

13. Loss of mental acuity. This symptom, also called brain fog, is very common in those who eat a lot of fruit. It is often caused by yeast overgrowth in the brain. Low iodine also may play a role or low levels of some of the B-complex vitamins. Taking supplements may help; however, a complete nutritional balancing program may be necessary to reverse the brain fog. For much more about this, read the article “Brain Fog” at

14. Yin disease. Another symptom, which is really a composite of many of those listed above, I refer to as “yin disease.” This is experienced as a general feeling of malaise or weakness, often coupled with several of the symptoms mentioned above.


Dr. Lawrence Wilson has a medical degree and has been in the health field for more than 25 years. His books include Nutritional Balancing and Hair Mineral Analysis, Legal Guidelines for Unlicensed Practitioners, Healing Ourselves and Manual of Sauna Therapy and The Real Self. He also co-authored Toxic Metals in Human Health and Disease and contributed to The Dangers of Socialized Medicine. or 928-445-7690.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 33, Number 3, June/July 2014.


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