In the world of health and nutrition, there are few names as prominent and influential as Paul C. Bragg. An innovative nutritionist, health crusader, and wellness advocate, Paul Bragg dedicated his life to spreading the message of healthy living through proper nutrition, exercise, and positive thinking. Today, over half a century after his passing, his legacy lives on through the popularity of his books and trademarked health food products.
Early Life and Health Struggles
Born on February 6, 1895, Paul Chappuis Bragg faced health challenges from a young age. Suffering from numerous ailments including tuberculosis, he sought out alternative ways to improve his health beyond conventional medical treatments. Bragg was sent to Switzerland to recover from tuberculosis under the care of Dr. August Rollier, an advocate of raw fruits and vegetables and natural living. Within two years, Bragg was cured of his tuberculosis, and his personal quest for healing led him to explore the realm of natural health remedies and plant-based nutrition. (Apple Cider Vinegar: Miracle Health System, pp. 53-54)
As he would later write in his book, Apple Cider Vinegar: Miracle Health System, it was also during his youth that Bragg watched his father come home tired and aching from hard days of work and make himself a drink made of water, honey, and apple cider vinegar. His father would tell him, “Whatever is in this apple cider vinegar and honey drink relieves me of that chronic fatigue.” (pp. 50-51) Apple cider vinegar would later become a core tenant of the Bragg Healthy Lifestyle.
After his transformational recovery, Bragg was inspired to share his knowledge with others. He traveled extensively, immersing himself in various cultures and traditional healing practices to expand his understanding of nutrition and holistic health.
Founding Bragg Live Food Products
Paul Bragg opened his first health food store in Los Angeles, California, in 1912, making it one of the earliest health food stores in the United States. Bragg's Health Food Store became a sanctuary for health-conscious individuals seeking natural remedies, whole foods, and nutritional guidance. Over the coming years, Bragg’s stores would introduce several health products we take for granted today, including hand-juicers, pineapple and tomato juice, date sugar, seven-grain cereals, and digestive enzymes. (pp. 234-235)
In 1928, he founded Bragg Live Food Products, producing a range of natural, organic, and raw foods, including apple cider vinegar, nutritional yeast, and liquid aminos to health food stores. These products would become synonymous with the Bragg name and continue to be widely popular among health enthusiasts to this day. Bragg's commitment to using only the highest quality ingredients and eco-friendly packaging set a precedent for the organic food industry, long before it became a mainstream trend.
Promoting Healthy Living Through Books and Lectures
As a prolific writer and engaging speaker, Paul Bragg would reached wide audience through his books and lectures. His first book, The Science of Food and How to Eat It, published in 1929, became a bestseller, providing practical guidance on nutrition and health. Subsequent books, such as The Miracle of Fasting, Build Powerful Nerve Force, and The Bragg Healthy Lifestyle, further solidified his status as a leading authority on health and wellness.
Bragg's inspirational speaking events titled Bragg Health Crusades attracted thousands of eager listeners worldwide. He traveled extensively, spreading his message of vitality, longevity, and positive thinking. Bragg's emphasis on fasting, raw foods, and the power of positive thoughts resonated with many, leading to a growing following of devoted individuals seeking to improve their lives through his teachings. Fitness and juicing guru Jack LaLanne credits the Bragg Health Crusade he attended at age 15 as the inspiration behind his passion for spreading health and fitness. (pp. 7, 85)
Bragg’s Hollywood Connection
In addition to his extensive work with the general public, Paul Bragg's health and fitness expertise caught the attention of numerous Hollywood celebrities. Bragg became a trusted health advisor to several renowned stars, including Clint Eastwood, Greta Garbo, and Gloria Swanson. His health recommendations and nutritional guidance played a vital role in helping these celebrities maintain their physical well-being and vibrant appearances, which further helped bring his message to the masses.
Paul and his daughter Patricia Bragg also launched a health-centered TV show from Hollywood called Health and Happiness to spread their message. Their show included health recipes, exercises, and guest appearances from other famous health enthusiasts. (pp. 235)
Legacy and Continued Impact
Paul C. Bragg's legacy lives on, even after his passing on December 7, 1976. The principles he espoused continue to shape the health and wellness industry, with his products, books, and teachings remaining popular among health-minded individuals worldwide. The Bragg brand of products continues to be a symbol of quality and authenticity in the health food market and in supermarkets nationwide.
Paul Bragg's pioneering influence on the health industry can be seen in the continued emphasis on the interconnection between mind, body, and spirit that we today call holistic health. His advocacy for plant-based nutrition, exercise, and mental well-being has paved the way for numerous health movements and wellness trends that prioritize natural living and preventive healthcare.
Paul Bragg’s teachings on the importance of exercise, fasting, positive thinking, and a natural diet focused on raw fruits and vegetables is more relevant in today’s modern age than ever before. Surrounded by a culture of sedentary lifestyles, social pressures, and processed convenience foods, we should strive harder than ever before to follow Bragg’s example to mindfully choose the living fruits and vegetables our bodies need and prioritize our mental, spiritual, and bodily well-being.