Lenette: So, what was your biggest discovery in the research of your newest book, “Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future”?
David: I think it has to do with phycocyanin, the blue pigment that’s in Spirulina and blue-green algae. The research that I stumbled across when I was researching that part of the book was completely mind-bending. Basically what the blue pigment does is ramp up all your stem cell production, so if you take something like blue-green algae or an extract of it like these phycocyanin products that are out there right now, even a few that are made out of Spirulina, and then you take something that’s really strong in building your immune system, like medicinal mushrooms, and you do that as a one-two punch, it’s really powerful how quickly you can ramp up your immune response. I think that was one of the things that I kind of stumbled across and then I was just playing with it, and it just became an awesome adjunct to what I am doing. It’s just amazing.
Lenette: Wow. So you’re combining the two now? When you’re taking one, you’re taking the other?
David:Right. Exactly. And the reason why is because phycocyanin, the blue pigments of algae, is the original pigment that was on the Earth a billion years ago or however many billion years ago algae were dominating the Earth. The Sun was actually putting out most of its energy in the blue spectrum instead of the green, and therefore the plants were blue. Algae was blue. There are still residues of those blue pigments. If you look into nature and you look closely, you’ll see it. When you take in those blue pigments, instead of having that effect of rebuilding your blood like chlorophyll does, this has an effect of rebuilding your stem cells or rejuvenating you. If you couple that with something like medicinal mushrooms, like Reishi mushroom and its ability to rebuild your immune system, you have this ejection of stem cell colonies out of the bone marrow, and those get turned into immune system weapon cells like N-K cells, T-fighter cells, macrophages. All those things can be formed out of the stem cells and it can cause a huge jump in your immunity. It’s really powerful.
Sounds like a little [science] discovery, right? I’m so into superfoods. It’s my genre, but I take for granted some of the simpler things like the power of marine phytoplankton and just what that is alone is totally ridiculous. We went off on a little tangent, but I could go off on a lot of things that came up from this book.
Lenette: Awesome. What chapter are you most proud of in the book?
David:Oh, that’s a good question. I’ll tell you what I really liked finding. I liked finding, in the Marine Phytoplankton chapter, there’s a whole section on how marine phytoplankton form sulfur, and then the sulfur gets evaporated up into the atmosphere and forms clouds. That’s how the marine phytoplankton protects itself in the summertime from being over-oxidized. That little section of that chapter was really, really interesting. Let me give you another analogy to that. As spring comes in, the trees will put leaves on to block the sun so that it doesn’t overheat the ground, it doesn’t burn the tree or the bark up. The way that algae does it in the ocean, or phytoplankton or microalgae, is it will actually release sulfur, secrete sulfur, into the ocean water and then that goes up and forms clouds that protect the algae in the middle of the summer to protect the algae from being hit by too much radiation. It’s a very interesting cycle, and that was all figured out in the last 50 years. It’s a closed cycle, meaning the stronger the radiation, the more sulfur the microalgae will release and the more that will protect the oceans from excessive sunlight or radiation. That is the basis of our entire weather system on the whole planet.
Lenette: Wow. In hearing the benefits and properties in marine phytoplankton, I have never heard sulphur. But it actually does have sulfur in it? So it’s good for hair, skin and nails?
David:Yes. Just like Spirulina and blue-green algae to a significant degree as well are really rich in sulphur. So is hemp seed. There’s another little trick in there. If you take something like MSM and you mix it with marine phytoplankton, there’s a very interesting synergy there. MSM, or sulfur, comes into existence in algae as a substance called DMS. It’s oxidized into a substance called DMSO and then evaporates off into the clouds.
Lenette: What is your longer definition of “superfoods” now and how has it really evolved for you in the past decade?
David:One of the things about superfoods is that they are plant-based so that they are controllable in terms of contamination. Animal foods; we don’t know what kind of water those animals are drinking. We have no idea what kind of conditions they’re in. I knock out things like salmon, or things that are thrown into the category of superfoods as superficial. We go to something that’s a plant. We go to something that is both a food and a medicine, so it has medicinal/herbal components. It also has food/caloric component. We also go to food that has 20 different tricks under its sleeve, not just two or three like a regular raw food would have. A good example of that is the Goji berry. Goji berry has its medicinal side which is like polysaccharide content of its sugars. Anywhere from 35-50% of the total sugar of the Goji berry is actually a very long-chain sugar that has very powerful immune system qualities. The other side of the Goji berry is it’s nutritive. It’s a complete protein source so it’s actually like fuel and it has good calorie value. If we go deeper, we find it’s a secretagogue. It helps to release Human Growth Hormone; it’s the only food to ever be shown to do that. It’s one of the highest antioxidant foods in the world. It contains substances which flip around the aging process, that help us produce more hormones, not just human growth hormones, but all hormones. It just goes on like that. We could continue to look at that. Spinach doesn’t have all that. Spinach is just like one thing, or broccoli. People say, “How come you don’t talk about broccoli?” and it’s like, “Where were you those 10 years I was talking about broccoli?”
Lenette: What are a few of the superfoods covered in your book that might be new even to people who already incorporate superfoods into their lifestyle?
David: Why don’t I just give a general list of them all? Some people are new to the information. Goji berry, Cacao-raw chocolate, maca, blue-green algae, Spirulina, marine phytoplankton, Chlorella, bee pollen, honey, propylis, royal jelly, yacon root products, Noni, Aloe vera, kelp, hemp seed, Acai, camu camu berry. That’s about it. A good rundown of some of the superfoods in that book that are covered pretty in-depth.
Lenette: There’s nothing in it coming from left field or right field. Those all seem pretty familiar to me. I know you’ve talked about a lot of those.
David: If you’re into live food and you’ve been paying attention to what’s going on, then it will fit right in to what you’ve been hearing about. There’s nothing completely out of left field in there.
Lenette: It seems like so many of these superfoods work synergistically with each other. Is there a way that you have laid it out, or is there an easy way for us to remember what to take with what else?
David: I kind of represent the antithesis of the food-combining theory. What I actually recommend is that you play around with the stuff with total fun and joy in your heart. Just play around with it the way you played around with food when you were a kid. Then you find out that you could just throw all this stuff into a smoothie into certain combinations that are right for you. For example, I’ll do Spirulina in the summer or if I’m in the tropics, but I don’t really do Spirulina when I’m in the temperate climates of the world. It’s more of a tropical algae. Blue-green algae, however, or marine phytoplankton are cold weather types of plants or superfoods. I would do those more in the northern climates. When you’re mixing together, I think some review of the climate of where you are, your altitude, the overall time of the season, plays a little bit of a factor in what you should mix together. Other than that, it’s kind of a free-for-all.
Lenette: Okay. Which chapter gave you the most trouble in gathering the research numbers for?
David:That’s a good question. Let me think about that. Probably Aloe vera. Surprisingly Aloe vera had some of the least amount of material out there that I was able to get access to. That really surprised me because with the popularity of Aloe out there and all the different uses that there are for this amazing superfood and how little information and how few books have been written about Aloe vera, that was shocking.
Lenette: It seems like it’s hard to get really solid numbers for raw foods and superfoods, even recommended daily allowance, whatever that even means. I remember hearing you at one of your lectures talk about you went and got your Goji berries tested by three different people trying to get the vitamin A percentage and they each came back with completely different numbers. And you were kind of over it.
David:And even Vitamin C. There is no Vitamin C in a dried Goji berry. Robert Young, of Young’s Living Essential Oils, had put out these statements that the Goji berry had all this Vitamin C in it and this and that. Then you come to find out later that actually that’s not true at all. So there is a lot of misinformation like that out there all over the internet. I feel like with this book “Superfoods” that I’ve kind of distilled and gotten rid of all those myths. Like it just makes it real clear what each food does, what’s in it, and it’s very well scientifically backed. In the back of the book there are all these scientific charts, for example what’s in a Goji berry, what’s the protein, what’s the breakdown of the carotenes, what’s the content of the antioxidants, all that stuff for every superfood.