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Dr. Jo’s ‘ho-ho-ho’ to health |


Dr. Jo’s ‘ho-ho-ho’ to health

A SPIRITED SOUL - Jeannie E. Javelosa - The Philippine Star

It’s always great to learn new things about health and wellness and the most recent opportunity I had was over dinner and during a round-table Good News Kapihan we hosted at ECHOcafe. The one person I want to zero-in is a naturopath doctor I recently met who hails from my home province in Negros Occidental.

Dr. Albert Jo (pronounced as “ho”) is a pesco-vegetarian. He is like an encyclopedia of information in natural health and healing, using food as medicine for any illness.

OK, so I have read books upon books on natural health and healing, but listening to such practical tips, and in a localized version, was a treat. Dr. Jo owns his Rapha Valley farm located in Don Salvador, which offers farm tours (maximum of 30 people) and is planning towards a wellness destination. He’s been invited by the Department of Agriculture to speak to farmers around the country and is often invited to talk about health to groups.

His dedication to preaching wellness started when he had to rid himself of his high blood and diabetes. He said that alkaline water is the key to constant health. “Drink only alkaline water,” he said as he took out a gadget to measure the pH level from some bottled water he was carrying. While I know this, it sometimes is good to be reminded because we forget that we need to choose water with a pH level of higher than eight.

He swears by buko juice blended with oregano leaves as a power-puncher for the immune system. He also shared the Gerson therapy anti-cancer prevention tea: seep guyabano leaves for 20 minutes in hot water to keep the enzymes. Do not boil. Rather, drop the leaves into hot water. Guyabano leaves only target cancer cells!

Now back to keeping the body alkaline away from acidity (which causes illnesses), he said to eat raw honey pre-digested by the bees, because it is very good for the body for as long as it’s not cooked, heated or stirred into a hot drink. Turmeric in food or taken as a capsule helps fight cancer, arthritis and Alzheimer’s and lowers cholesterol. The humble kamote is much better than rice because of  its very high Vitamin A content. And for a wine-lover like me, Cabernet Sauvignon has the highest resveratrol, which is good for the heart.

Here are some of my notes I quickly jotted down while I was happily inspired by this man who embraces health and wellness 24 hours a day!

* Eat only fruits in season as they have the fullness of enzymes that heal and nourish. Fruits that are not in season, or even imported fruits, don’t have the same level of enzymes that are beneficial for the body.

* While vegetable protein alone can sustain life, people who eat fish should eat only deep-sea fish with scales. With all the mercury and pollution in our seas today, presence of scales on fishes are preventive measures of toxicity. Today, salmon are corn-fed in ponds and don’t have the same quality or Omega 3 fatty acids, which help the heart be healthy. The types of fish he identified as “OK” are tuna, black marlin, mahi-mahi and durado.

* He suggests to eat native and free-range chicken, which are naturally grown at their correct lifespan, and not pumped with growth hormones. 

* Singkamas or turnip juice helps asthma.

* Regarding oils, extra virgin olive oil should always be added fresh to the dish. Never cook and fry with this. When we fry and burn oil, it becomes carcinogenic and can cause cancer.

* Broccoli is the best protein with 43.3 percent protein but we need to be careful where they are grown since so much pesticides are sprayed on the flowers in commercial farms.

* Beans don’t have such a good reputation because they cause uric acid. However, Dr. Jo suggested to soak beans, nuts and even black rice to take out the acids in them.

* He claims that seven metric tons of GMO corn that Korea and Japan rejected were allegedly dumped into the Philippines, which the Filipinos are now eating. He continued by saying that when tests were done on the corn hair, it killed worms.

* We advise against eating too much meat, not only due to the hormones placed in commercial meat production, but also because our intestines were not made to digest meat! We humans are meant to eat “the fruits of the earth!” If we really are dying to eat meat, he suggested grass-fed beef and organic pork fed with herbs and grasses because these are still cleaner.

Dr. Jo is by no means alone in his advocacy for wellness in this way. He is one of many doctors-turned-naturopath who looks at integrative and preventive medicine and a holistic approach to wellness. He is already living the sustainable lifestyle in his farm — a connection to the earth by organically planting his food, consciously choosing preventive care of his body, making food his medicine, sharing with all the lifestyle that is so simple, practical and logical for us all today.

No doubt there was much more he wanted to share with me, but we ended our talk with him saying, “People should not watch TV when they eat because focus should be given on the food being taken.” How right he is! With all the negative things on TV, with our attention divided, how can we give awareness and thanksgiving to the food we nourish our bodies with? We are what we eat. We are the energies created from the energies that the food brings to our bodies.

In a recent trip to a supermarket, I realized I couldn’t reach out and just buy the things I used to buy — canned goods, snacks and drinks. In a recent family dinner in a restaurant, I couldn’t believe there was not  much I could order in the menu as it had such limited choices for healthy meals. It made me realize that the more informed we are, the greater the awareness at slowly shifting our life, our purchasing and eating patterns. And the greater the sense of responsibility there is in sharing this information. Now, I know exactly how Dr. Jo feels!

(For best results, consult your doctor.)

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