‘When we become ill a good 80% of the condition can be put down to a lack of knowledge and understanding of the body’s needs. Faith in medicine and medicine alone cannot give us back our health when we are unwell – we must return to a natural way of life since the majority of our illnesses are caused by unhealthy lifestyle and nutrition.’
These words are taken from Alfred Vogel’s book Die Nahrung als Heilfaktor (Nutrition as a Healing Factor) which appeared in 1935. The Pioneer of Natural Health was convinced that a life in harmony with nature meant eating as naturally and as healthily as possible. If you only eat unadulterated foodstuffs there is no need to worry whether you are getting too many or too few vitamins. He used to say that nature provides us with everything we need for a healthy mind and a healthy body. Here are Alfred Vogel’s ten principles of nutrition:
1. You are what you eat! Eating should be pleasurable and good for the health. Food should be organic and as fresh and natural as possible – then it will taste good and also be healthy.
2. Basically, make sure that you eat foodstuffs that are as natural as possible as well as being rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals. Fats in the form of good vegetable oils and fish, which contain omega fatty acids, are recommended.
3. Eat slowly and chew well. (Well chewed is half digested.) Eat light meals in the evening – vegetable dishes, salads, thin soups and fresh fruit.
4. Food should be fresh and well prepared (not cooked in fat) to retain valuable nutrients. Hot dishes lose of lot of nutrients in the process of cooking. They should never be reheated. Ready made or pre cooked products should be avoided; when this is not possible, check the vitamin and mineral content and opt for something such as frozen or canned peas.
5. Get into the habit of going for a walk after meals. This is good for both respiration and digestion.
6. Set aside fasting days. Single, or if possible, regular days set aside as juice only, fruit only, sauerkraut or rice only days can be beneficial to the gut.
7. Drink less coffee and alcohol. Give up nicotine. These substances tend to irritate organs such as the stomach and intestines.
8. Make meals more appetising by using herbs, sprouts, shoots, garlic, grated horseradish and lemon juice. Eating should be a pleasurable experience.
9. Eat in moderation. Alfred Vogel believed that we could reduce the amount we eat by 40% to 50% and still get all the nourishment we need.
10. Alfred Vogel himself lived mainly as a vegetarian and ate a naturally alkaline, wholefood diet with a high proportion of raw food just as people living in harmony with nature still do today.
Alfred Vogel expressed his thoughts on healthy nutrition at various times in different publications: in the book Die Nahrung als Heilfaktor (Nutrition as a Healing Factor) (1935), in the classic work Der kleine Doktor (The Nature Doctor) (1952) as well as in the book Die Leber reguliert die Gesundheit (The Liver – Regulator of Health) (1960). The magazine A.Vogel’s Gesundheits-Nachrichten (Health News) gives information on nutritional trends on a regular basis and a delicious A.Vogel recipe can be found in each issue. To this day, Alfred Vogel’s publications continue to be relevant and can be ordered through the Online Shop (german).