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Benedict Lust (1872-1945)

Historically speaking, the first health-food store to operate in the United States was established by Benedict Lust in 1918. Lust came to the United States from Germany in 1892, and his store carried a few herbs imported from Europe. He also sold books on health, including one on water healing, written by Father Sebastian Kneipp. Lust opened a spa in Butler, N.J. and later in Tangerine, Florida. Considered the Father of Hydrotherapy, Lust thought he could carry on this work in the United States and used this health food store to be his missionary headquarters.

Bernarr Macfadden (1868-1955 )

Bernarr Macfadden was called the Father of Physical Culture, according to Jim Bennett, author of www.bernarrmacfadden.com. A life-long advocate of physical fitness, natural food, outdoor exercise, and the natural treatment of disease, Macfadden was called a kook by many, and arrested on obscenity charges. Macfadden was denounced by the medical establishment, and campaigned tirelessly against processed foods, and prudery.

Paul Bragg(1881-1976)

Crippled by Tuberculosis as a teenager, Paul Bragg developed his own eating, breathing and exercising program, according to his biography on Bragg Live Foods. He excelled in running, swimming, biking, progressive weight training and mountain climbing.

Bragg has been called the father of the health movement in America, and gave lectures about his philosophies.

"'I remember going to one of his lectures as a child in 1949," says Esther Gordon, a life-long vegetarian. "He took an entire loaf of white bread, balled it together and hurled it at the floor. He said, 'Ladies and gentleman, this is what happens to white bread in your stomach.'"

Bragg's introduced pineapple juice and tomato juice, juice therapy, and honey and date sugar to the United States.

 

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