An Insight To Betafood
Dr. D. C. Jarvis was a prominent medical doctor who headed the Jarvis study group and authored Folk Medicine: A Vermont Doctor’s Guide to Good Health. The book, and many of the traditional remedies in it, was the subject for discussion and observation for the group.
Dr. Lee and Dr. Melvin Page were both part of the Jarvis study group, consisting of practitioners and researchers. They both believed in the principal that food was therapeutic, and in pursuit of that principle, they both found themselves under government scrutiny and pressure in the 50s, stemming from their outspoken view about whole food nutrition and its therapeutic value.
This article has all the earmarks of the Jarvis study group. I can almost hear Dr. Lee discussing the nutritional merits of the goosefoot family to this astute group.
Royal Lee, D.D.S. 1952
The broad, thick, chlorophyll-rich green leaves of the Goosefoot family— beet, spinach, and chard—provide one of the richest sources of life-giving foods that’s readily available. However, dietitians who study ordinary food analysis charts formulated on the basis of the total content may be led to false conclusions, as these usually show a relatively low (two or three percent) protein content. Actually, the solids run about 10 percent, and if we analyze this solid material, we now find that the protein content is high, averaging 24 to 46 percent of the ash minerals. (P.215, Chemistry and Technology of Foods). So, if you want to increase the protein in your diet and you’re a vegetarian, eat plenty of fresh, green-leafy vegetables from this unique family.
Iron and its Synergists
Garden beets are one of the richest storehouses of assailable iron. In one list of several hundred food sources of iron, beets stood in fourth place – exceeded only by dry beans, soybeans and parsley (highest). When you consider the low-starch content of beets and evaluate other vegetable sources of iron, beets have the highest level compared to other food sources of iron. Also, you may recall that the juice of beets is acidic due to the presence of organic acids (including citric, malic, tartaric, malonic, and others), and that iron is best absorbed in an acid medium, the natural environment afforded by beet juice. Copper is also necessary for the utilization of iron and is present in beets in a significant amount.
Organic Mineral Source
Iodine (depending on soil), manganese, silica, chlorine, potassium and zinc are all present in these leafy green vegetables. Zinc is particularly important in carbohydrate metabolism, being necessary for the formation of enzymes, which utilize sugars and starches as they go through changes in the body – called intermediate processes. It is zinc which seems to potentiate the action of insulin.
Sugars and Pectins
Beet root is nature’s sugar factory, producing dextrose, levulose and sucrose. By the action of sunlight on the leaves the plant produces chlorophyll. Pectins and galacturonic acid groups are also present. These aid in the detoxification processes of the body and are able to produce bulk in the intestines which is soothing and promotes the growth of favorable bacteria.
Amino Acid Source
An analysis of beet leaf solids shows the following amino acids present: arginine, histidine, lysine, tyrosine, tryptophane, cystine, and methionine. The figures indicate that they are a well-balanced protein of high biological value. It is interesting to note that the pulpy byproducts from the processing of sugar beet are sold to cattle ranchers as a high-quality protein food. This shows man’s dietary ignorance. He typically takes for himself the devitalized calories, giving away the natural, protein-mineral-rich portions of his foods to feed his animals.
Nutritional Notes and Comments: This article definitely gives us an insight into Dr. Lee’s passion into whole foods and his understanding of these natural remedies. Why they were used and why they worked is quite obvious when you think about it. John Courtney offers us a thought-provoking narrative, from working alongside Dr. Lee creating things like Betafood and AF Betafood, to support the gallbladder and proper absorption of oils and fats, using beet greens.
From John Courtney’s narrative: “We knew bile helps eliminate toxins from the body. For example, if you create a lot of dust, or if you work in a flour mill and breathe flour dust, it goes down into your lungs. Your blood then picks it up and carries it over to the liver. The liver acts like the oil filter in your car. It removes toxins from the blood and dumps them out of the body through the bile from the gallbladder. The bile then takes the toxins to the intestines for elimination, in the process helping them to balance the pH in the gut for overall digestion.”
“So, the bile assists in the elimination of toxins, creating better digestion of the foods we consume and absorbing fatty acids. But what happens if the bile gets thick like cream due to your diet and lifestyle? It does not flow smoothly, making the liver toxic and derailing your fat metabolism. If you cannot digest fats properly and you eat a meal that contains fats, you will start to burp immediately. This is a symptom of possible gallbladder trouble due to the bile being too thick. So we must then thin the bile with Betafood (beets and beet greens thin the bile). Vitamin A and F help the bile duct contract, pushing that thick creamy bile through. Dr. Lee loved this product because it also works great for stopping sugar cravings, and you know how he felt about sugar.”
With John Courtney’s description we can start to understand how those simple remedies using beet greens and beets helped support good fats and oils to be absorbed properly. This can create healthier looking hair and skin, as well as helping to control blood sugar levels. How many people think about depression being part of riding that blood sugar roller coaster ride?
So if you have these symptoms, you might want to think about having some beet and beet greens. Just shred them in a food processor, then add a little olive oil and apple cider vinegar with some garlic and ginger. Add salt & pepper to taste and place in the refrigerator for one hour. This is a great way to enhance a green salad or eat by itself. You can keep it in the refrigerator for a week and have a little bit at a time.
Sidelight: We at IFNH thank Leo Roy MD and James Bartley for their donation of articles, audio tapes and other educational material to the foundation that has made articles like this possible. Both knew and worked for Dr. Lee and John Courtney.
Dr. Leo Roy had a heart attack at 32 years of age working in a busy Hospital in Montréal. A year later he drove 600 miles to Milwaukee to meet with Dr. Lee and John Courtney to discuss the merits of vitamin therapy. After the meeting, he became a major advocate for whole food therapy and started lecturing for Dr. Lee for the next 12 years. Leo helped establish the first Naturopathic school in Canada.
James Bartley met Dr. Lee after having a heart attack and being discharged from the Army at the age of 29 in 1936. He met Dr. Lee at a conference on nutrition and soon went on to represent the Therapeutic Food Company, which was later renamed Standard Process due to pressure from the FDA. James was driving until he was 98 and had his second heart attack while on a walk at 102.
This material is an excerpt from IFNH’s new patient support book to be released in the late fall.
John Brady, III