In Chapter 4 the methods used by Dr Bircher-Benner were described, showing some of the remarkable results he obtained in Switzerland and at the Royal Free Hospital, London, using raw food as the only method of treatment of chronic disease such as rheumatoid arthritis. The rich source of enzymes available through eating raw foods makes them a highly suitable addition to the calorie restriction diet, in terms of prevention and enhanced well-being. Raw food days or meals, though, should not be thought of as a treatment for anything in our particular purpose.
The menus discussed in the previous chapter offer the chance to include at least one raw meal daily as a main meal (salad or fruit) and such an approach is highly recommended. It is also possible to further boost the benefits of raw food eating by allotting a day a week to raw food only (a day a week is only a suggestion; it could just as easily be a day a fortnight, or a weekend a month, or any odd day that the mood takes you, whatever is easiest for you). On such days, increase the intake of vegetables and fruits so that you meet your calorie requirements mainly from these sources, with protein and fat being derived from fresh nuts and seeds, or as a single exception to the raw food theme, by a small amount of pulses/grains (say a rice and lentil savoury).
As long as you are getting fairly dose to your calorie, protein and fat requirements (the exact meeting of all needs is not something to become obsessed about) the benefits of raw food eating will be felt, and will add appreciably to the value of the programme. Some people follow raw food eating all the time, and feel nothing but good results. The social difficulties of this might create stress, however, so the suggestion offered is that raw foods should be the main part of at least one meal daily, and that a day every now and then (weekly, fortnightly etc.) should be allotted to raw food only. Raw food patterns are not an alternative to fasting but an addition.
In Chapter 8 I described the potential that free radicals have for creating cellular damage and havoc. In the next chapter one of the additional life extension health promotion strategies which will be outlined will be the use of antioxidant supplements which can assist the calorie restriction diet to keep free radicals under better control.
Another method is also available. This is not as a self-help measure, however, but one which has powerful anti-free radical potential. It is chelation therapy, and it uses an artificial amino acid called EDIA. EDTA was first developed to treat people suffering from heavy metal toxicity in industry, such as lead poisoning in shipyards following the painting of ships with leadbased paints. EDTA was used to chelate (chemically bind) with the lead, allowing its elimination from the body. Other benefits were observed after its use, and Elmer Cranton, writing in The Journal of Holistic Medicine (1984 6:21) states the case as follows:
EDTA can reduce the production of free radicals by a millionfold. It is not possible for free radical pathology to take place or be accelerated by metaUic ions in the presence of E1~A. Traces of unbound metallic ions are necessary for uncontrolled proliferation of free radicals in living tissues. EDTA binds ionic metal catalysts, making them chemically inert and removing them from the body.