Dr. Charles Gerson never really intended to find a way to
cure cancer. When he opened his Sanitarium in pre-war
Germany, his intention was to find a cure for tuberculosis.
Dr. Gerson's theory was that bringing a person to peak health
through a regime of super-healthy diet, exercise and
environment will enable the body to harness its own resources
to fight and overcome degenerative diseases such as the
dreaded T.B. Beyond his expectation, he found that people
attending his sanitarium became cured of many other
conditions apart from the T.B. they came for, and one of
those illnesses was cancer. When Dr. Gerson fled Nazi Germany
and arrived in the USA, he focused his research more directly
on curing cancer and developed the now-classic Gerson
Healthy diet and exercise have always been regarded as key
issues in maintaining good health and improving resistance to
sickness. And people have noted that with the good health
comes a feeling of general well-being and alertness. The
effect of environment has received less attention, but there
is now a growing trend to look more closely on factors such
as coloring and harmony.
Many people "go on a diet" to lose weight, but nowadays,
regimes of diet and exercise have become the focus for
dealing with many of the ills and syndromes which beset our
society, from ADD to Chronic Fatigue.
For many people, "eating healthily" means using whole- wheat
bread, brown sugar, plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables,
avoiding food additives, drinking filtered water and natural
fruit-juices and taking regular exercise. These steps alone
can produce significant improvements in general family health
and will also help children's performance in their
Some diets resemble "weight-loss" diets, but other are based
on various concepts of healthy eating. Often, someone who
adopts such a diet finds that he loses excess weight, but
that is not the main purpose of the diet.
There are two distinct concepts of vegetarian diets. One
concept is that a diet of fruit and vegetables is healthier
than diets which include meat, fish and other animal
products. Another concept is that people should only eat
fruit and vegetables because it is wrong to kill animals and
eat them, a concept which is contrary to the Torah. It is a
mitzva to eat meat on Shabbos and yomim tovim
and for seudos shel mitzva, but some people do not
like meat or feel that they are healthier if they never eat
meat. Such people should ask personal shailos from a
Pritikin, Macrobiotics, "Fit-for-Life" and many other dietary
systems all aim to balance and regulate food intake to enable
the body to digest food efficiently and utilize it in the
best possible way.
Intensive research has revealed that the feeling of well-
being and alertness which comes with a good diet is not
simply a "good mood" but the result of the stimulation of the
production of various complex hormones and other chemicals by
the brain which result in a whole range of beneficial effects
to organs throughout the body.
As a direct result of this research, many dietary additives
are available which aim to supplement the deprived nutrition
offered by much of the processed foods available nowadays.
Some additives come as tablets and capsules containing
vitamins, minerals and trace elements. Their purpose is to
supplement the regular diet and help maintain a healthy body.
Other additives are sophisticated, complex hormone-like
compounds designed to boost the brain and nervous system.
Many of them claim amazingly beneficial effects, but most are
new on the market and their long-term effects have not yet
been thoroughly researched.
Similar to these products are concoctions of various herbs
which aim to offset the bad side-effects of unhealthy eating.
These straddle the border between dietary additives and
"natural medicine." Many of those herbs have been used for
hundreds of years, but just because a medication comes
naturally does not mean that it can be used recklessly or for
Some people prefer to try and get their balanced diet
directly from the food by growing food under the natural
conditions of yesteryear. These are the "organic" fruit and
vegetables which are grown without pesticides and on
naturally-rich soil and also include free-range eggs and
chickens, goats' milk and cheese, natural yogurt and other
Another source of "powerful" food is produced by sprouting
seed and beans. When seeds and beans begin to germinate, they
produce high concentrations of extremely healthy vitamins,
amino acids and other proteins. Sprouts are becoming
increasingly available commercially, but it is easy to
"sprout" at home.
Another source of super-healthy nutrition is from naturally-
occurring algae, such as blue-green algae and spirogira. They
are almost 100% high-power nutrition, though some types of
blue-green algae have been suspected of containing low
concentrations of unhealthy substances.
A growing practice is the use of special "juicers" to extract
the cell contents of green-leaf vegetation and vegetables.
These juicers are especially designed to avoid the high
temperatures of regular juicers which can damage delicate
compounds inside the plant cells during extraction. The green
chlorophyll of leaves and sprouts is very similar to blood
hemoglobin, and drinking a small glass of juiced leaves
infuses the body with an extremely potent and fast- acting
Of course, a healthy diet is only one aspect of a healthy
life-style. But when the gemora (Shabbos 140b)
suggests that it is a waste of money to use good-quality,
expensive flour and drink when a person can manage on low,
quality, cheap flour and drink, it responds that waste of
one's body is a greater wastage.