The origin of the vegetarian diet and dietetics in general is placed at the dawn of the great movements or religious ethical systems and doctors, which appears as health and ritual purification.
Throughout all its evolutionary process, the diet appears marked as a healthy, physical and spiritual behavior pattern, in the context of a moral medicine.
Today, it has been a big shock when as Occident has resurfaced with the eating habits of today. People tend to classify it as an effective technique in scientific medicine to improve the health of the body, but we cannot put aside the ethical and spiritual overtones.
The pioneers of a vegetarian diet in the twentieth century based their dietary choice in improving health, strength and regeneration of their children and also in spiritual matters. Felipe Torres (1960) and Bellsolá (1974 ) write about vegetarian precursors. Great characters from different eras were vegetarians and convinced their followers of the tremendous importance of diet. These authors collected references from Homer, Zoroaster, Buddha, Pythagoras, Hippocrates, Plato, Epicurus, Celso, Seneca, St. Augustine, St. John Chrysostom, Santo Domingo, Leonardo da Vinci, Cervantes, Spinoza, Newton, Voltaire, Franklin, Linnaeus, Rousseau, Goethe, Huffeland, Emerson, Letamendi, Tolstoy, Edison, Gaudi, Gandhi, Russell, Teilhard de Chardin , etc. . Adventists also did movements based on religious feelings, with some confrontation with the scientific world for fear of being attacked.
Even when considering the first diet studies and epidemiological methods people are afraid that these studies can bring down the diet. It tells the story of speaking Harbinge in 1948 with the Dean of the University of Lomanlinda said: "If you find that a vegetarian diet is deficient, put in evidence" to the respondent. “If poor, we must be the first to meet that." ( Patria1999).
The naturopathic medical approach to throughout career, was considered to diet regime as a key foundation of life, and mostly vegetarian diet.
The origin of the word "diaita" is Greek and was used by the Greeks, especially by Pythagoras and his school students. The "Diaita physin Kala" is the line management system that regulates life, man, microcosm of the macrocosm of the universe, to regulate the body, purifying it.
The "diaita" for Pythagoras, Hippocrates, in the V century BC, was a part of medical technology that helps maintain healthy man's balance and improve the patient. (Lain1986). In more current times, for Spanish naturopathic doctors, this diet regime means regulating our life according to human nature.
The medical diet includes lifestyle, diet, exercise, rest, baths, profession, relationships and social norms. Diet along with exercise help maintain and restore health.
The Hippocratic medical art left the regime fact of life care as an important part of its performance. A physician is considered Hippocratic when remains true to its healing and dealing first with the scheme of life. The dietary to be followed in the Middle Ages will be based on so-called “unnatural res” as light, air, food and drink, movement and rest, sleep and wakefulness, secretions and excretions , and the passions (the environment and education).
Why unnatural? The explanation is given by Arnau de Vilanova in his "Introductorium medicinalium speculum" that has three parts.
*Natural Res: belonging the nature of man. They are:
- The elements: fire, air, earth and water.
- Humors : blood, phlegm, bile and black bile .
- Members : Heart, liver , kidney, brain .
- Complexions or temperaments .
- The virtues as attractive, retentive and expulsive .
- Operations : hunger, etc. secretion .
- The spirits.
* Unnatural Res or environmental situations that favor.
* Res against nature: disease-causing situations.
Sobriety and diet go together in this medicine in the Middle Ages, along with morale. The main executors of this medicine, doctors proposed Arab and Jewish dietary code very similar to the present, with a tendency to a vegetarian diet. The Christian monastic orders reforms in the base and the vegetarian diet is present: Carthusians, Trappists, continue to maintain a vegetarian diet and fasting, as part of their order of life.
This double body and soul is in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries with works such as the "Treaty of sober life " of Luig Cornaro (1558) and " Hygiesticon " Leonard Leys ( 1641 ) The most influential book in naturopathy and the vegetarian diet will be "Macrobiotic " written by Christoph Wilhelm Huffeland (1762-1836) . Teodor Hahn (1824-1883), influenced by the ideas and treated with hydrotherapy Huffeland by Rausse, is the first to bring together the idea of vital force by prescribing hydrotherapy and vegetarian diet, for medicinal purposes. In 1852 and 1857 writes "The natural diet, the diet of the future." (Die diät naturgemässe der zukunft day ). At this same time, another year later (1858), Lorenz Gleich Naturheilkunde proposes the word: Naturopathic Medicine. Edouard Baltzer (1814-1887) founded the first German Vegetarian Association joins the vegetarian diet the moral and economic, proposing it as a form of social healing. Alexander Hais (1853-1924) published in 1892 the book "Uric acid as a factor in the causation of disease" , which refers drop healing . This book will be reprinted 10 times in 10 years.
Among the German doctors who support the vegetarian diet and investigation of it, especially the acid-base balanc , is Lahmann ( 1860-1905 ).