In our over forty years of natural and organic foods experience as organic farmers, health food store owners and nutrition counselors, Julie and I have always had consistent messages about health: Food First, Food as Medicine, Foods Heal. And of coarse the 60’s favorite message, everybody, now, say it together: You are what you eat!!! And so, we hear many folks asking, “what can we eat to protect ourselves from the radioactive fall-out of the Fukushima reactor disaster?”
Since I strongly believe in Food First, that is our first line of defense against radiation. We know that the healthier a person is, the better her/his ability is to fight the ravages of toxins, be they radioactive or chemical, as in pesticides. So the main goal is to increase an individual’s health on a holistic basis. The stronger the immune system is, the increased ability to defend against the damage caused by toxins.
Foods that protect us from radiation damage are called radio protective foods. These radio protective foods are bursting with antioxidants, free radical scavengers, phyto-nutrients, and much more. I am talking nutrition powerhouses.
The Queen of all antioxidants is Vitamin C. Some people choose to get their Vitamin C from supplements, but I am a Food First kind of guy. Some foods high in Vitamin C are tomatoes, citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli, rose hip tea, kale and cauliflower to name a few. Choose organic when possible. Since C breaks down from heat it is a good idea to eat these foods as close to their raw state as possible. Steaming broccoli, kale and cauliflower helps to retain vital nutrients. In a preliminary study published in August 2010, a group of scientists in Ankara, Turkey concluded that Vitamin C might play a protective role against detrimental effects of mobile phone radiation in the brain.
I know that mobile phone radiation is completely different from the radiation being released in Japan and other nuclear events. However, my point is, since all radiation causes free radical damage and Vitamin C has radio protective properties that helps defend against free radical damage, go ahead and enjoy that organic orange!
It is an unfortunate quirk of fate that Japan is the only country to ever experience atom bomb attacks and now a nuclear power plant accident. It turns out, there were people who survived the horrible effects of radiation toxicity after Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
In Michio Kushi’s 1977 book, The Book of Macrobiotics, he describes how Dr. Tatsuichiro Akizuki, director of a hospital in Nagasaki one mile from the epicenter directed his staff to protect themselves and patients by consuming miso (soybean paste), brown rice, seaweed, sea salt, soy sauce and other macrobiotic foods. He did not allow any sweets. Dr. Akizuki observed that many survivors in the city succumbed to radiation toxicity, and yet, everyone in the hospital was saved.
Miso, wakame and other seaweeds, brown rice and tamari soy sauce may have radio protective properties. These foods are all from the traditional Japanese diet, made famous by George Ohsawa and then his student, Michio Kushi. They called their regime The Macrobiotic Diet.
Michio goes on in his book, about a study conducted by scientists at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. The scientists observed a large reduction in the absorption of radioactive strontium in mice fed the seaweed, kelp. These scientists were looking for a way to protect against nuclear fallout.
Current supplies of these Asian foods are available at organic and natural food stores. US manufactured miso is readily available so that is not such a big problem. Seaweeds are another story. The current inventories of seaweed on store shelves are fine, but much of it comes from Japan. Stores and distributors will sell out their current inventory and then need to replenish from producers in Japan. That is when we will probably not see any more imported Japanese seaweed for a while. A good substitute without sacrificing quality is seaweed gathered from the Maine coast. Organic brown rice is grown in the US and should be readily available. Kelp capsules are sold in Health Food Stores.
So enjoy that wonderful organic orange and strawberry fruit salad. Also, learn how to consume seaweed, they’re pretty good.
In conclusion, I would like to leave you with the following words:
I Get By With A Little KELP From My Friends!!!
COMING…Cousin Richie’s Nuke Protection Medicine Chest…Part 2…FOODS TO THE RESCUE
NEWS UPDATE…ordered Geiger counters and they have been shipped…will keep you posted
Consult a healthcare professional before taking any products mentioned or recommended. Pregnant and nursing women should consult their healthcare professionals. Kelp and other seaweeds contain iodine. Any person with hypersensitivity to iodine, hyperthyroidism or are taking a prescribed iodine medication should avoid Kelp, Wakame and other seaweed.