This section is from the "Nature Cure: Philosophy and Practice Based on the Unity of Disease and Cure" book, by Henry Lindlahr.
Leguminous Vegetables, such as peas, beans and lentils in the ripened state are richer in protein than meat (25 percent), and besides they contain a large percentage of starchy food elements (60 percent); therefore they produce in the process of digestion large quantities of poisonous acids, alkaloids of putrefaction and noxious gases.
They should not be taken in large quantities and only in combination cooked or raw vegetables. As a dressing use lemon juice and olive oil.
Peas and beans in the green state differ very much from their chemical composition in the ripened state. As long as these vegetables are green and in the pulp, they contain large quantities of sugars and organic minerals, with but little starch and protein. As the ripening process advances, the percentages of starches and proteins increase, while those of the sugars and of the organic minerals decrease. The latter retire into the leaves and stems (polarization).
In the green, pulpy state these foods may, therefore, be classed with Group II (Sugars) and with Group V (Organic Minerals), while in the ripened state they must be classed with Groups I (Starches) and Groups IV (Proteids).
Dried peas, beans and lentils are more palatable and wholesome when cooked in combination with tomatoes or prunes.
The Leafy and Juicy Vegetables growing in or near the ground are very rich in the positive organic salts and therefore of great nutritive and medicinal value. For this reason they are best suited to balance the negative, acid-producing starches, sugars, fats and proteins.
Lettuce, spinach, cabbage, watercress, celery, parsley, savoy cabbage, brussels sprouts, Scotch kale, leek and endive rank highest in organic mineral salts. Next to these come tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, radishes, onions, asparagus, cauliflower and horseradish.(See also Group V in "Dietetics in a Nutshell.")
Splendid, cooling summer foods, rich in the blood-purifying organic salts, are watermelons, muskmelons. cantaloupes, pumpkins, squashes and other members of the melon family.
The green vegetables are most beneficial when eaten raw, with a dressing of lemon juice and olive oil. Avoid the use of vinegar as much as possible. It is a product of fermentation and a powerful preservative which retards digestion as well as fermentation, both processes being very much of the same character.
Use neither pepper nor salt at the table. They may be used sparingly in cooking. Strong spices and condiments are more or less irritating to the mucous linings of the intestinal tract. They paralyze gradually the nerves of taste. At first they stimulate the digestive organs; but, like all other stimulants, in time they produce weakness and atrophy.