With a reasonable variety of fresh vegetables legumes, grains, nuts, and fruits, also milk and eggs or their equivalents, the vegetarian can easily balance his diet to supply all his body’s needs. He should therefore not neglect to include in his diet as wide as possible a variety of such foods both cooked and raw, remembering that the latter are even more essential and more complete.
“If we plan wisely,” asserts Inspiration, “that which is most conducive to health can be secured in almost every land. The various preparations of rice, wheat, corn, and oats are sent abroad everywhere, also beans, peas, and lentils. These, with native or imported fruits, and the variety of vegetables that grow in each locality, give an opportunity to select a dietary that is complete without the use of flesh-meats.” — Ministry of Healing, p. 299.
Why is it, though, that some strict vegetarians rather than improving their health and building up resistance against disease, often suffer from malnutrition and become even more susceptible to various physical ailments than before they gave up flesh foods? — Because in most cases flesh food is discarded without supplementing the diet with a satisfactory substitute. Many have the mistaken idea that by merely increasing their intake of protein foods — nuts, legumes, and grains, they adequately replace the deficiency. By so doing they do not at all replace the deficiency, but instead unbalance the nutrients. Ever remember that flesh is composed of about 80% grass and 20% grain. Biological experiments unmistakably demonstrate that animals cannot thrive on whole grain proteins divorced from the associated leafy plants. The health seeker must bear in mind that often the immediate result of an unbalanced diet is constipation, followed by rheumatism or arthritis, if not by other even more dreadful and destructive diseases. Balance your diet, and Nature will take care of the rest.
The truth that the substances in superior quality flesh are derived from grain and grass, approximately 20% of the former and 80% of the latter plainly demonstrates that flesh is adequately substituted only by the proportionate use of both grain and leafy plants. Be not misled. Your body needs both grain and vegetable proteins in exactly these proportions. Indeed, they are all essential, and man’s constitution demands that for health and longevity there be neither a missing link nor a weak one in the chain of nutriments.
There is also another important lesson in the fact that just as the All-wise Creator did not bless any particular locality with all the riches of creation, but scattered and scientifically proportioned them throughout the earth. He has likewise carefully distributed the essential body-building and upkeeping materials throughout the food kingdom, has not placed them all in one plant.
To maintain perfect health, therefore, be sure to make use of all the thirteen types of foods grouped below, and give them the proper proportions in your diet. Approximately 80% of your diet should consist of the first eight classes of foods (Group 1), and 20% of the second three classes of foods (Group 2). The last two classes of foods (Group 3) are seasonings for all foods.