European Vegetarian Union

"Your Health and Your Food"

Lecture by Arne Windgqvist, Sweden

from EVU News, Issue 2/1999

Dear Friends!

Firstly I wish to thank the organisers of this EVU Congress, and especially Mrs. Sigrid De Leo, for giving me this opportunity to speak to you about the food of the future - as well as of today - about "Living Food".

The most precious thing in life is free. We cannot buy it, we cannot give it away or sell it. It is priceless. Without it, life can be pretty miserable. I am, of course, talking about our health. It is given to us.

Normally perfect health is our birthright. At birth we usually have the best health we ever will have, but how do we take care of it?

We take it for granted, and think it does not matter how we live, how we abuse our body, we still expect to have our health. We get sick now and then, but medical doctors take care of that.

Modern man has access to thousands of medicines, treatments, and "cures" for everything, from a simple cold to aids, and cancer. But it is hit or miss. Some get "cured", others become disabled persons for the rest of their life. For some a severe illness might end in a premature death.

We may ask ourselves; what is perfect health? A person who is overweight by ten or twenty percent, is not considered sick, as long as he is strong and vital, can manage his work etc. A person who drinks alcohol, and/or smokes is also considered healthy, as long as it does not go to excess. Same with people who drink 20 coups of coffee a day, and overeat three times a day, and so on. They are also considered healthy.

But real health, as I see it, and I know that most people do not agree with me, is when you are in full harmony with nature, when every single cell in your body is as pure as pure can be, when you feel strong, both physically and mentally, when you are full of initiative, and feel happy.

My life as a vegetarian started when I was 12 years old. Actually, before that age, I did not like meat or fish, but of course I had to eat what was served at home, but my mother was worried over what to give me. One day I came home and told my parents that I had heard that one could live on only fruit and vegetables.

The congress translation team working in a bus.
This was in 1931. I said I wanted to try it and my mother said it was all right. From the first day I liked the fruit and the vegetables, and since then I have stayed away from eating killed animals' bodies - carcasses.

After some years I left out the milk-products and after many years more, I left the cooked and the fried foods out of my diet.

Man is the only being on earth who heats his food before he eats his food. No non-human beings treat their food with fire.

Nowadays my food is fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, almonds and seeds. And I feel very fine. I cannot find any reasons to go back to cooked, adulterated food.

People say that one cannot exist on this diet. No bread, no boiled potatoes, no pasta, no soup, no oil, no sugar, no salt, nothing of what people consider to be essential to get all the nourishment we need. They say that in the cold climate which we have in the North, and during our long winters, we must have warm food. Well, I do not agree.

A person who has not been living on this natural diet for some years, and has made his own experiences of such a diet does not understand the value of it. It does not matter what schools and what examinations people have.

If they have no experience of their own, they will just not agree to such a diet.

I have been on this diet long enough to know that I can exist on it, and exist on it very well.

I say that boiled food is spoiled food, and bread food is dead food, but sun-cooked food is un-cooked food.

I know, and all those who have tried this diet honestly for many years also know, that this diet is the diet of the future, but not only of the future, it is also the diet of today.

It has taken me about 50 to 55 years of vegetarian life to reach this stage. I do not expect everybody to jump on this band-wagon tomorrow. But I would advice you to give it a serious trial when you feel strong enough to leave cooked food all together. When you have tried it for six or twelve months' time, you may judge the value of it for yourself. If you think that on such a diet one cannot achieve anything, which involves heavy physical work, and strong will-power, I will tell you that Sigrid De Leo, Ronald Persson, a vegan friend, and I myself, bicycled from Kiruna in the North of Sweden, above the Arctic Circle, to Stockholm, capital of Sweden, exactly two years ago. The distance was 1.410 kms. It took us 19 days, and we were eating only fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, nuts and seeds. One day we cycled 130 kms, and on the average 75 kms a day. We were tired at night, but we could well have cycled another 10 or 20 kms. Also cycling with us were two young girls. They cycled from Kiruna to Umea, about 700 kms, and another young girl cycled from Haernoesand to Stockholm, about 600 kms. We were feeling very fine all the time, and none of us got sick.

Ross Horne, a well known Australian author in the field of health and vegetarian food, writes in his book "Health and Survival In the 21st Century" about raw food:

Raw fruit:
the Natural Food of Primates.
by Ross Horne

"Fruit can provide the full complement of all required nutrients in adequate quantities, remembering that the requirement for protein and fat are much lower than generally believed. Therefore, instead of being considered merely an accessory to conventional meals, fruit should be considered in its own right as a staple food. The advantages of a fruitarian diet are:

  1. It provides complete nourishment with the minimum of extraneous substances capable of "silting" up the tissues.
  2. It is most easily digested, minimising the energy required for digestion (which is substantial), thereby minimising total food (kilojoule) requirements.
  3. It is palatable.
  4. It is easily obtained and easily prepared.
  5. It satisfies the appetite when sufficient has been eaten - fruitarians are always lean.
  6. Minimum but adequate protein is provided.
  7. Minimum but adequate essential fats are provided.
  8. Maximum energy is available from what is eaten, with only carbon dioxide and water, which are entirely non-toxic, as the by-products.
  9. It provides the body with adequate amounts of pure water.
  10. It results in a favourable alkaline internal state.
  11. Favourable intestinal flora predominate in the bowel.
  12. Non constipation occurs.
  13. No auto-intoxication occurs.
  14. The blood is clean and of low viscosity; there is good circulation with low blood pressure.
  15. There is the least wear and tear and least "silting up" of all the organs and tissues.

That fruit alone can ideally sustain human health and vigour, even without drinking water, indicates that it indeed provides the basis of man's natural diet. Further substantation of this view is that there are about forty distinct anatomical, physiological and biological features of humans which show unquestionably that the human body is designed mainly for a fruit diet, notwithstanding the fact that, like all animals, they can survive less successfully on a wide variety of foods. These features range from natural fondness for sweet foods, jaw and teeth structure, salivary secretion, length of digestive tract, size of pancreas, stereo colour vision and so on. In fact, in all these respects humans are practically identical today with the other higher primates in the wild, which, whenever possible, live on fruit.

Evidence of the suitability of fruit as a staple food and not just as an accessory to the conventional diet is to be seen by observing fruitarians who live entirely on a wide variety of fresh fruit, and who display lean youthful bodies, low blood pressure, clear vision and unimpaired faculties, even with advancing years.

A well-known human peculiarity never before connected with this argument but which provides almost conclusive evidence is that humans, like all primates, are incapable of making vitamin C in their bodies, whereas other animals can, (excepting guinea pigs and fruit-eating bats).Basing their arguments on this fact, it is strongly advocated by many authorities that people should take large amounts of supplementary vitamin C to compensate for this "error of Nature", which they put down to an unfavourable mutation in our evolutionary past some millions years ago. To prove this "unlucky mutation" argument completely wrong, and at the same time prove that man is a natural fruit eater, consider:

  1. The only mutations which persist to become a universal feature of a species are favourable ones. Unfavourable mutations cannot possibly do so.
  2. A genetic change preventing the synthesis of vitamin C in the body, to become universal to an entire species, must therefore have been, at the time, a favourable change.
  3. The only possibility of such a genetic change being favourable is for the species to have been already getting more than adequate vitamin C, and that any more was undesirable.
  4. The only source of "excess" vitamin C in nature is a diet of raw fruit.

(Only certain tropical fruits contain such high levels of vitamin C; many fruits contain only small amounts.)

Therefore it is clear that the human diet ideally should be based mainly on fresh fruit, and that past errors which have led to widespread vitamin C deficiencies are dietary - not genetic - errors.

A convert to fruitarianism was the Indian philosopher and statesman Mahatma Gandhi, who after experiencing poor health throughout his youth became a student of nature cure at the age of thirty-two. First he became a vegetarian and then a fruitarian. After six months as a fruitarian, he said (quoted from his book "The Health Guide"):

"A period of six months is all too short to arrive at any definite conclusions on such a vital matter as a complete change of diet. This, however, I can say, that, during this period, I have been able to keep well where others have been attacked by disease, and my physical as well as mental powers are now greater than before. I may not be able to lift heavy loads, but I can do hard labour for a much longer time without fatigue. I can also do more mental work, and with better persistence and resoluteness. I have tried a fruit diet on many sickly people, invariably with great success. My own experience, as well as my study of the subject, has confirmed the conviction that a fruit diet is the best one for us."

EVU Congress Widnau July 1999.

Arne Wingqvist
Centralvägen 8
18631 Vallentuna
Tel: +46 8 51173100
Fax: +46 8 51171800

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