Prana Index Diet
The Myth of Low Fat and Low GI
"Low-fat" and "Low-GI" numbers have convinced us that highly refined biscuits, cereals, and snack bars are nutritious. Processed foods are a large part of the modern diet, and according to the World Health Organization, they are soundly to blame for the sharp rise in obesity and chronic disease (1).
It is time for a health value index for whole foods.
We need new numbers that can tell us how fresh, how vital, how nutritious food is. The "Prana Index" is a measure of how close food is to something that was once alive itself. "Prana" is the Sanskrit word for energy or life force. High Prana food is the best way to stay healthy and to stay slim.
High Prana foods have the following characteristics:
The RDI levels of basic vitamins and mineral are not enough. "Nutrient-dense" means that there are adequate vitamins and minerals for every gram of food energy present. Don't make your body use up valuable nutrient stores just to metabolise your excessive carbohydrates.
It is not just about vitamins and minerals anymore. There are thousands of essential nutrients in nature including enzymes, sulfur compounds, and antioxidants.
Phytochemicals are a special class of accessory nutrient. They are the pigments responsible for the natural colour of fruit and vegetables. Phytochemicals protect against heart disease, degenerative disease, and damage by ageing. They act as antioxidants and improve immunity.
Fermented foods such as natural yoghurt, miso and pickles contain bacteria that are beneficial for digestion and the immune system.
Fats and oils
As long as they are not processed or heated vegetable oils, fatty foods are high Prana foods. Natural oils from unprocessed meat, fish, eggs, avocado, dairy, nuts and seeds provide important nutrition for cell membranes, the nervous system, and hormone balance.
Soluble fibre such as inulin from root vegetables and lignan from flax meal are healthier options than grains.
Protein builds muscle, skin, organs and immune cells.
Animal products contain stress hormones if the animals were raised in inhumane conditions. There is more beneficial Prana from meat, eggs, and dairy grown in healthy, humane environments.
Produce and meat lost nutritional value if it is left to sit.
Prana is highest in raw foods. Many foods such as fruit, vegetables and even some fish and meat, can be consumed raw or very lightly cooked. Raw foods contain more enzymes and accessory nutrients
Because it is grown in rich soil, organic produce contains higher levels of many nutrients, including trace minerals. Organic food is also free of harmful pesticide and antibiotic residues.
The energy value of pure water speaks for itself. We are 70% water! Herbal teas and diluted juices also contain the benefits of pure water. Caffeine and alcohol deplete it.
Prana is greatest in food that is naturally brightly coloured, nutrient-dense, and derived from plants and animals that were healthy, and that were recently alive. The best foods are raw or lightly cooked garden vegetables and fresh meat.
The further the food is from its source, the less Prana it will contain. If it is very heavily processed and high in sugar, food will steal the body's nutrients and deplete Prana.
The Prana Index ranks foods on a scale of 1 to 10. Aim for a Prana average of 7. This is possible even for those of us with busy schedules. And remember, if it has a label, it probably has low Prana! Whole foods are, by definition, not packaged.
|Linseed meal||Raw sunflower seeds Homemade muesli||Raw almonds
Pumpernickel or spelt bread
|Wild berries straight from the bush||Organic blueberries||Non-organic frozen berries
|Non-organic stone fruit||Non-organic apple|
|Rocket, spinach, chard, herbs from the garden||Fresh herbs
Organic rocket, spinach, bok choy
Non-organic rocket, spinach, bok choy
|Fresh raw fish minutes from the ocean||Sashimi (raw fish)||Organic lamb
Unsweetened sheep's milk yoghurt
Tinned wild salmon
Rare lamb chops
|Wheatgrass, freshly pressed||Organic freshly squeezed vegetable juice||Non-organic freshly squeezed vegetable juice||Fresh orange Juice|
Processed peanut butter
Conventional breakfast cereals
Processed sweet biscuits
|Frozen peas, corn etc.||Iceberg lettuce|
Fish and chips
|Protein bars||Ice cream
Take away pizza
|Bottled orange juice||Cappuccino without sugar
Wine or naturally brewed beer
|Cappuccino with sugar|
Negative (zero Prana) foods:
- Refined sugar
- Soft drinks
- Margarine, vegetable oil spread
- Spirits, commercial beers
- Cheese-flavoured snacks
- Artificial sweeteners
Sample MENU for a "7"
|Weekday 1||Weekday 2||Weekend|
|Oat muesli w. raw seeds = 7
Plain sheep�s milk yoghurt = 7
Spring water = 7
|Porridge = 7
Linseed powder = 8
Honey = 4
Herbal tea = 7
|2 Free-range eggs = 7
Bacon = 4
Pumpernickel bread = 6
Butter = 5
Large fresh organic vegetable juice = 10 (x2)
|Mid AM||Mid AM|
|Cappuccino, no sugar = 3||Organic peach = 9|
|2 Sushi rolls = 6 (x2)
Spring water = 7
|Wholemeal bread = 3
Tinned tuna = 5
Organic rocket = 10
|Large serving organic baby spinach = 10 (x2)
Sprouts = 9
Free range chicken breast = 7
Avocado = 8
Olive oil and apple cider vinegar- 6
|Mid PM||Mid PM|
|Fresh vegetable juice = 9||Organic blueberries = 10
Raw almonds = 6
Spring water = 7
|Coffee = 3
Spring water = 7
|Organic lamb chops = 8
Brown rice = 6
Steamed organic broccoli = 9
Butter = 5
Diluted fruit juice = 7
|Coconut milk curry = 5
Free- range chicken = 7
Organic bok choy = 10
Organic carrots = 8
Rice noodles = 3
Wine = 3
|2 Fresh fish = 8 (x2)
Fresh herbs = 9
Potatoes = 5
Cos lettuce- 7
Goat cheese = 6
Tomato = 7
|Fresh blueberries = 9
Coconut milk = 5
|Herbal tea = 7||Quality chocolate = 4
Mineral water with fresh lemon = 8
|Average = 6.8||Average = 6.6||Average = 7.2|
(1) BBC News World Edition, 3 March, 2003.
The term Prana Index is ©Copyright Sensible-Alternative 2002-2013
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