Adelle Davis’ legacy is celebrated today as: “The first lady of nutrition whose writings are the foundation of health.”
Adelle Davis, one of the country’s best known nutritionists, was born in 1904, and lived an active 70 years. In 1938 she received her Masters from Purdue University , graduated from University of California at Berkeley , and took postgraduate work at Columbia University and the University of California at Los Angeles before receiving her Master of Science degree in biochemistry from the University of Southern California Medical School . Throughout her career, she worked with physicians, beginning in New York with dietetics training at Belluvue and Fordham Hospitals, her first job at the Judson Health Clinic.
Later in Oakland, California and then in Los Angeles, she worked as a consulting nutritionist with physicians at the Alameda County Health Clinic and the William E. Branch Clinic in Hollywood as well as seeing patients referred to her by numerous specialists. After planning individual diets for more than 20,000 people suffering from almost every known disease, she gave up consulting work to devote her time to her family, writing, and lecturing.
Adelle Davis was the author of four best selling books: “Let’s Cook It Right”, “Let’s Have Healthy Children”, “Let’s Get Well”, and “Let’s Eat Right To Keep Fit”.
Adelle Davis was a visionary. When going back through her history it is amazing to realize the impact Adelle had on the most recent and popular diets that are the craze now. Dr. Barry Sears, author of “The Zone” speaks very highly of Adelle Davis and her impact on his discoveries. Thirty years ago Adelle Davis was a supporter of Dr. Atkins, founder of “The Atkins Diet”. Adelle Davis was the pioneer of the nutritional revolution. Her teachings and writings influenced people striving for health and wellness long before our time.
Adelle Davis’s Nutritional Philosophy
Adelle lived and wrote in the post-World War II era, which was enthralled with freedom of choice. The motto of the Health Food Movement, if indeed one of the many could be chosen, was “Freedom of Choice in Nutrition.” Blind freedom is “not freedom, but license”, and Adelle was determined that her clients and readers would not be in the dark about the scientific basis of nutritional education.
Adelle Davis gives us the kernel of the research in nutrition, based on experiments and scientific writings that she read voluminously and thoroughly. She received her Masters Degree in Biochemistry from the University of Southern California, and practiced professional nutritional counseling for 35 years, applying to thousands of cases, the solid scientific research she had made herself thoroughly responsible for.
Adelle Davis noted that the body does best when all of the known nutrients have been available, as well as fresh food sources for obtaining nutrients yet to be discovered by science. She writes so often, “When the diet is made adequate…” The key to this philosophy is knowing the amounts of nutrients that the body requires under given conditions, one can make educated decisions about what substances to include in the diet. This is true freedom of choice in nutrition. Without knowing the research, one cannot judge what amounts are necessary to avoid vitamin deficiencies.
The crux of her findings boil down to this: deficiencies in vitamins, mineral elements, or other nutrients can cause illness that is reversed when the nutrients are added to the diet in an educated way, and “when the diet is made adequate” in all other respects.