This section is from the book "The Natural Food Of Man", by Emmet Densmore. Also available from Amazon: How Nature Cures Comprising a New System of Hygiene.
"If a human being subsists upon food which contains a large proportion of lime, a large proportion will enter into the composition of the chyme, the chyle, and the blood; and as from the blood the deposition of lime takes place, the greater the amount of lime that blood contains, the greater will be the amount deposited in the system, the greater the degree of ossification, and the sooner will be produced that rigidity, inactivity, and decrepitude, which make him old and bring him to premature death.
"On the other hand, if the food and drink taken to nourish and support the body are selected from the articles which contain the least amount of lime, the least amount will enter into the composition of the chyme, the chyle, and the blood, the less amount will there be to deposit, the less the degree of ossification, the less the rigidity, inactivity, and decrepitude, and the longer the life of the manl"
Dr. Evans gives over twenty pages to tables of the analysis of foods, which show that fruits and nuts have the least proportion of earthy matter, as compared with their nourishing properties, of any of the foods now used by man; next in order are animal foods; then come vegetables, third in the order; and fourth and last are the pulses and cereals, which are shown to have the largest amount of earthy matter. The following quotation is from page 74:
"From the foregoing analyses we see that fruits, as distinct from vegetables, have the least amount of earthy matter : most of them contain a large quantity of water, but that water in itself is of the purest kind - a distilled water of nature, and has in solution vegetable albumen.
"We also notice that they are to a great extent free from the oxidised albumens - glutinous and fibrinous substances, and many of them contain adds - citric, tartaric, malic, etc. - which, when taken into the system, act directly upon the blood, by increasing its solubility, by thinning it; the process of circulation is more easily carried on, and the blood flows more easily in the capillaries (which become lessened in calibre as age advances) than it would if of a thicker nature. By this means the blood flows easily in vessels which have been perhaps for years lost to the passage of a thicker fluid. Further, these acids lower the temperature of the body, therefore the process of wasting, combustion, or oxidation, which increases in ratio to the temperature of the body, as indicated by the thermometer. .
"Speaking of the ancients, Hesiod, the Greek poet, says : 'The uncultivated fields afforded them their fruits, and supplied their bountiful and unenvied repast.' Porphyry, a Platonic philosopher of the third century, a man of great talent and learning, says: 'The ancient Greeks lived entirely upon the fruits of the earth.' Lucretius, on the same subject, says:
"'Soft acorns were their first and chiefest food,
And those red apples that adorn the wood.
The nerves that joined their limbs were firm and strong;
Their life was healthy, and their age was long. . . .
Returning years still saw them in their prime;
They wearied e'en the wings of measuring Time :
Nor colds, nor heats, on strong diseases wait,
And tell sad news of coming hasty fate :
Nature not yet grew weak, not yet began
To shrink into an inch the largest span.'"
I hope ray readers have carefully read the preceding extracts from "How to Prolong Life." If so, it will be clearly seen that Dr. Evans has made a most valuable contribution to a vegetarianism in the absolute sense - to living on food procured exclusively from the vegetable kingdom. And since fruit is universally admitted to be the ideal and aesthetic diet, advanced Vegetarians may well rejoice over Dr. Evans' championship of an exclusively fruit diet.
In addition to those arguments in favour of fruit eating, with which Vegetarians are familiar - namely, that fruits abound in cooling and corrective acids, that they are filled with water more exquisitely distilled than science can yet compass, and that their free use opens the portals of the system and cures and prevents many diseases - Dr. Evans contends (in which view I do not concur) that the amount of needed nitrogen in food has been very much over-estimated, and that fruit eaters can get this nitrogen in some mysterious way from the atmosphere; and he has made, in my judgment, a most important contribution to advanced Vegetarianism, in pointing out that nuts and fruits are the most free of all foods from earthy matter, and hence from liability to cause ossification and decrepitude.
Earnest attention is called to the following further extracts from Dr. Evans' book. It will be seen that he places fruits and nuts as first in their fitness for the promotion of health and longevity; animal foods are placed second; vegetables third; and last, and worst, are placed the pulses and cereals, which, from their excess of earthy salts, are of all foods best calculated to induce ossification of the joints and tissues, thickening of the arteries, and consequent and inevitable premature old age, and that decrepitude and imbecility universally but wrongly reckoned a necessary condition of senility.
It is curious and interesting to observe that this order, in which Dr. Evans has classified foods, corresponds with what all philosophical students will agree must have been the experience of the race since its entry upon our planet. At first man, with no tools, agriculture, or fire, could neither kill or catch animals, raise cereals, or cook either the one or the other; and must have subsisted - like all animals below man - on foods spontaneously produced by nature; hence nuts and fruits must have been the first foods utilised by man. Next came the slaying, cooking, and eating of animals; wild tribes of men existing on the earth to-day are substantially unacquainted with cereals and agriculture, subsisting on foods spontaneously produced, supplemented by the flesh of animals. And last comes agriculture and cereal eating.