One of the most interesting books I have read since becoming a raw-foodist is Sapoty Brook's Eco-Eating (a book Nature's First Law now imports from Australia and distributes in North America.)
Sapoty Brook is a long-time raw-foodist who developed a remarkable chart based on the concept of balancing the dominant minerals in foods: Calcium (Ca), Phosphorus (P), Sodium (Na), and Potassium (K), for optimal performance.
The CaPNaK chart is one of the best in existence. It objectively replaces some of the subjective classifications of foods coming from macrobiotics. Its value for us consists in the knowledge of which foods are acid-forming (phosphorus dominant) and alkaline-forming (calcium dominant) and which foods are yin (potassium dominant) and yang (sodium dominant), based on their minerals.
I have found Sapoty Brook's chart tremendously beneficial. I present the chart to you because I think his concepts, along with my Sunfood Triangle, provide an excellent understanding of how to use foods to stimulate the body to achieve certain effects or to balance.
Sapoty Brook's deductions are as follows:
That you must eat a healthy balance of foods so that the dominant four minerals (Ca, P, Na, or K) all balance against each other. Perfect balance would put you right in the center of the chart. You can move this balance around, producing different types of effects and stimulations. For instance, if you eat foods high in sodium and phosphorus (cooked animal foods), you need to balance that stimulation out with foods high in calcium and potassium (fruits and green vegetables) - this is right in line with the food combining principles Natural Hygiene has taught for decades. If you eat foods high in potassium and phosphorus (avocados and bananas), you tend to crave foods high in calcium and sodium (spinach and kale).
The chart exposes some of the raw-food myths. In general, most fruits are slightly acid-forming, not alkaline-forming. Almonds, we see, are phosphorus-dominant foods, and are not an excellent source of calcium. Carrot juice, long-recommended for its alkalinity, is also found to be phosphorus dominant and thus acid-forming to a certain degree.
Also, the chart helps us to understand cravings. I have known many new fruitarians eating too much potassium-rich foods without balancing with sodium-rich foods, such as kale or seaweed. They typically end up craving and eating salty cooked foods, such as corn chips or potato chips. Cravings for cooked foods may actually be cravings for minerals.
The importance of organic sodium, in particular is evidenced by the chart. I have worked with many people who have spent years eating a low-sodium raw-food diet; they have found that their digestion improved and endurance increase when they added more sodium-reside foods (kale, celery, dulse) into their diet.
Calcium, phosphorus, sodium, and potassium are not the only minerals in foods. Other alkalizing minerals include magnesium, iron, and silica. Other acid-forming minerals include chlorine and sulfur. These are usually secondary and tertiary minerals in foods. Sapoty Brook's chart is still very accurate, because foods high in magnesium (such as olives) are usually high in calcium; foods high in chlorine (such as avocados) are usually high in phosphorus too.
To clear any confusion: Many alkaline fruits contain citric acid and other acids; thus they will have an acid pH reaction in digestion, but because of their high content of alkaline-forming minerals (calcium, magnesium), their reactions can be alkaline in the body tissues. Thus, they usually alkalize the body and neutralize the acid-forming mineral residues. However, if one is already deficient in alkaline minerals, citric acid will not be broken down properly and thus citrus fruits will be acidic because the alkaline minerals within the food cannot be accessed properly.
Ripe hot peppers are not directly and accurately identified in the chart. By experience, I classify them as alkaline fruits. They are acid in digestion (like citrus fruits), but alkaline in the tissues if broken down properly. I have found they balance against phosphorus foods, such as avocados and nuts.
The fact that Brook includes animal foods and cooked foods in his chart does not mean I endorse their use. But the chart is included to help people make the transition into a raw plant-food regime while feeling balanced and healthy.
The philosopher Spencer wrote that perfect correspondence always prevails in Nature - one thing is always balanced by another. You will find by incorporating The Sunfood Triangle in conjuction with the CaPNaK Chart that a great balancing occurs and an incredible health arises.
Not all foods are listed in the CaPNaK chart. If you would like a book with the pertinent information on natural foods to see where they fit into the chart I recommend the book, Whole Foods Companion, which Nature's First Law distributes. It is written by my friend Diane Onstad, whom I first met while doing research at the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation many years ago. It is a wonderful book, and the best I have seen in the field.
Alkaline-Yang
-100X
Alkaline -2X
Ca Calcium-residue -1X ox +ix
Alkaline
-100X
P Phosphorus-residue
Acid-Yin
1000X -100X Acid-Yang
Logarithmic r«glon Acid
P Phosphorus-residue
Acid-Yin a
Food Index
Acerola 1X0.0V
Alfalfa Sprout -IX -0.3V
Almond See NUTS 10X-1.0Y
Apple 1X O.OY
Apricot 3X-0.1Y
Artichoke 3X -0.3Y
Asparagus 3X -0 3Y
Avocado 3X -0.3Y
Bacon-100X-1.0Y
Bamboo Shoot 10X -0.3Y
Banana 3X-0.1Y
Barley, Pearl 1X-1.0Y
Bean See Green Bean
Beef Steak -3X -1.0Y
Beer -1X-03Y
Beet Green -10X 1.0Y
Beetroot -3X -0.2Y
Blackberry 2X 0.1Y
Blueberry OX 0 OY
Bok Choy 2X -0 1Y
Breadfruit 3X -0.1Y
Broccoli 2X 0.3Y
Brussels Sprout 2X -0.3Y
Buckwheat 10X-1.0Y
Bunito. Bean -100X 0.1Y
Burrito, Beef -100X -0.3Y
Bumto, Cheese -100X 0.2Y
Butter-100X 0.0Y
Cabbage OX 0.2Y
Candy. Mars Almond -10X -1.0Y
Cantaloupe Melon 2X -0.1Y
Capsicum See Green Pepper
Carambola 1X -0.1Y
Canssa 2X O.OY
Carob 3X 1.0Y
Carrot -2X 0 0Y
Carrot Juice -2X -0 3Y
Casaba Melon 1X 0.0Y
Cashew 3X -10.0Y
Caulinower 1X -0.3Y
Celery -10X 0 1Y
Chard (Silverbeet) -10X 0 3Y
Cheese, Cheddar-100X 1 0Y
Cherimoya Insufficient Data
Cherry 2X 0 0Y
Chestnut 3X -1.0Y
Chicken Drumstick -10X -1.0Y
Chickpea 3X-1 0Y
Chilli See Green Chilli
Chive 3X 0.3Y
Chocolate, Milk-10X O.OY
Coconut OX -1.0Y
Coconut Water-2X 0.1Y
Coffee. Black OX O.OY
Collard -1X 1.0Y
Com 2X-1.0Y
Com Chips -100X -1.0Y
Crabapple 2X O.OY
Cranberry 1X 0.0Y
Cream -3X 0 1Y
Cress 3X O.OY
Cucumber 1X 0 OY
Currant 3X O.OY
Custard-Apple 3X0.1Y
Dandelion Green -3X 1.0Y
Dock (Sorrel) 3X 0.3Y
Dunan 3X -0.3Y
Eggplant (Aubergine) 2X -0.1Y
Elderberry 2X O.OY
Endive 1X 0.3Y
Feijoa 1X O.OY
Fig 2X 0.2Y
Flounder-10X -1.0Y
French Fries & Salt -10X -1.0Y
Gai Choy See Mustard Green
Garlic 1X-1.0Y
Gluten OX-1.0Y
Gooseberry 2X O.OY
Grape 2X O.OY
Grapelruit 1X 0 OY
Green Bean 2X0 1Y
Green Chilli IX -0 1Y
Green Pepper (Capsicum) IX -0.
Guava 2X -0 1Y
Hazelnut See NUTS 10X -1 OY
Hijiki -100X 10 OY
Honey OX 0 OY
Honeydew Melon 2X O.OY
Ice Cream -10X 0 3Y
Jackfruit 3X O.OY
Java-Plum -1X 0 OY
Jujube 2X O.OY
Kale -10X 1.0Y
Kelp (Kombu) -100X 10.0Y
Kidney Bean 3X -1.0Y
Kiwifruit 3X -0.1 Y
Kohlrabi 3X -0.1 Y
Kumquat 1X 0.3Y
Lamb Chop -3X-1.0Y
Leek 3X O.OY
Lemon 1X 0.1Y
Lentil 3X-1.0Y
Lettuce 2X 0 3Y
Lime 1X 0.2Y
Loganberry 1X O.OY
Longan 3X -0.2Y
Lychee 2X -0.3Y
Mammy-Apple -1X O.OY
Mandarine (Tangerine) 1X 0.2Y
Mango 1X0.0Y
Mangosteen OX O.OY
Margarine-100X 0.1 Y
Milk, Breast -1X 0.2Y
Millet 10X-1.0Y
Miso-1,000X -10.OY
Mullberry 1X O.OY
Mung Sprout 2X -0.3Y
Mushroom 2X-1.0Y
Mustard Green OX 1.0Y
Nectarine 2X -0 1Y
Nori Sheet 10X -1.0Y
Oheloberry OX O.OY Okra 2X 0 3Y 1Y Olive Oil See OILS OX O.OY Olives. Canned -100X 1.0Y Onion OX -0 1Y Orange 2X 0 3Y Orange Juice 2X -0 1Y Orange Peel 2X 1 OY Papaya 2X 0 2Y Parsley 2X 1 OY Parsnip 3X -0.3Y Passion-Fruit OX -1 OY Pea 3X-1.0Y Peach 2X -0 1Y Peanut See NUTS 10X -10.0Y Pear 1X0.0Y
Pecan See NUTS 10X -1.0Y
Persimmon 1X -0.1 Y
Pine Nut See NUTS 10X -10 OY
Pineapple 1X O.OY
Pistachio See NUTS 10X -10 OY
Pitanga IX 0 OY
Plantain 3X -0.3Y
Pomegranate 2X -0.1 Y
Potato 3X -0.3Y
Potato Chips -100X -1.0Y
Potato, Sweet 1X -0.1Y
Pricklypear 2X 0.3Y
Prune 10X-0.3Y
Pummelo 2X -0.1 Y
Pumpkin 2X O.OY
Pumpkin Seed (Pepita) 10X -10.OY
Quince 1X-0.1Y
Radish 1X O.OY
Raisin, Seedless 10X -0 3Y
Rambutan -1X 0.1Y
Raspberry 2X 0.1Y
Rockmelon See Cantaloupe
Rose-Apple 1X 0.2Y
Roselle 1X 1.0Y
Salmon, Canned -100X -1 OY
Sapodilla 0X0.1Y
Sapote (Marmalade Plum) 2X 0 1Y
Sapote. Black Insufficient Data
Sapote, While Insufficient Dala
Sapote, Yellow |nsufr,cient DaJ
oardine. Canned -100X -1 OY
Snapper-3X-1.0Y
Sorrel See Dock
Soursop 1X -0.1 Y
Soybean 10X -10.OY
Soybean Sprout 2X -0.3Y
Spinach -3X 0.3Y
Spirulina NZ -100X 10.0Y
Spirulina USA-IOOXO OY
Squash. Summer (Zucchini) 2X O.OY
Squash, Winter 3X 0.1Y
Strawberry 2X -0.1 Y
Sugar, Brown OX 1.0Y
Sugar, White OX O.OY
Sugar-Apple 1X-0.1 Y
Sum Choy -1X 1.0Y
Sunflower Oil See OILS OX O.OY
Sunflower Seed 10X -10.0Y
Tamarind 3X -0.3Y
Tangerine See Mandarine
Tea. Black OX O.OY
Tofu OX O.OY
Tortilla-10X-1.0Y
Turnip -3X0.1Y
Turnip Green 3X 1 OY
Wakame -1.000X 10.0Y
Walnut See NUTS 3X-1.0Y
Watercress -3X 1.0Y
Watermelon 1X O.OY
Wheat 3X-10.0Y
Wheal Bran 10X-10.0Y
Wheat Germ 10X-10.0Y
Wine OX O.OY
Yeast, Torula 10X -10.OY
Yogurt -3X 0.3Y
Zucchini See Squash, Summer
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Raw food diets can be great way to not only lose weight but also led a much healthier, natural lifestyle in general. Most raw food diets are plant based with at least 75% of the diet composed of raw food.