Whole Grains – Why Eating Grains Makes Us Sick
Grains were not meant to be consumed by humans. Actually, grain products can be quite problematic when digested in the human body. And, you may need to sit down for this one: Grains are largely responsible for the diseases of civilization. Chronic diseases, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, auto immune disorders, strokes, and cancer all can be tied back to the consumption of grains.
Now, take a deep breath and keep reading because this is where it will start to make sense. We have to go back quite a ways to understand the problem with grains, about 10,000 years to be exact. You see, before then all human beings were hunter-gatherers. The spent their days hunting animals and gathering fruits, veggies, seeds, nuts, bugs.
Why should our Hunter-Gatherer Ancestry Matter to us today?
You are the same as them. That’s right, our genes (the info in our cells that makes us human) haven’t changed really at all for the last 40,000 years. Therefore, you are designed to eat those same things that our hunter-gatherer ancestors were eating – things from the earth and in their natural state.
Now, have you ever tried to eat a grain in its natural state? Chances are you have, in the form of corn. You’ll notice if you are observant, that not much is digested. Other grains such as wheat, rye, and barley are also hard to digest in their natural state and much harder to collect which is a major reason we were not created to eat them. It would have taken hours to collect just a few handfuls of wheat kernels and then eating them wouldn’t have netted many calories or nutrients.
About 10,000 years ago, with the help of agriculture and stones tools, humans began harvesting and grinding grains. This in a sense was our first processed food and it allowed us access to the calories in the grains. Now, technologies have advanced to allow us to produce processed grains on a large scale, enabling new “Whole Grain” foods to pop up on our grocery store shelves every month. Items like whole grain pasta, cereal and whole grain bread have become staples in the American diet. But because humans really have no evolutionary history with them, society has encountered major problems due to their consumption.
What is pH Balance?
There is something called a pH balance that your body strives for in different tissues, and it has to do with how acidic an environment is. For example, your stomach needs to have a very low pH (or high- to be able to digest your food. Your blood however, needs to have a much higher pH, slightly basic (alkaline) environment for you to continue living; in fact, your blood is one of the most tightly controlled environments in your body. Your body will fight and sacrifice other systems to keep it’s pH in the range of 7.35-7.45 (water is 7).
The Acidity of Grains
Grains, unlike fruits and vegetables, produce a large amount of acid when digested by the human body and allowed to enter our bloodstream. This means that your body must buffer that acidity to keep the blood pH in its narrow range, and the major way your body deals with this acidity is to draw calcium from our bones. Calcium is a basic (alkaline) element and if forced to, it will exit our bones to buffer our blood with a cost to our bone health. Your body has a hierarchy, and within that hierarchy blood health comes before bone health. This calcium loss due to buffering our grain laden diet is a major factor in the pain, suffering and millions we spend each day on osteoporosis in our country.
There are a few other ways your body can deal with this extra acidity.
- First, it can be stored away from our blood in our adipose tissue (fat), making it very difficult to lose unwanted pounds because your body does not want to have that acid back in the blood stream
- Second, it can be excreted through your skin, producing acne, boils, eczema and a host of other symptoms.
- Third, microforms also known as yeast, viruses & unhealthy bacteria thrive in acidity, so the more grains in a person’s diet, often the more susceptible they are to low grade or repeat infections as well (The pH miracle. Warner books, NY 2002 by way of Chestnut Innate diet p 56-58).
To live a healthy lifestyle, it important to consume a diet like our hunter-gatherer ancestors would have, one that is rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, lean healthy meats and if your daring, the occasional bug.
Alexis writes for Bonfirehealth.com, an online Health education company that teaches its customers how to live longer, happier and healthier lives. Bonfirehealth provides the resources, products and services that enable people to live a wellness lifestyle. Visit us at http://bonfirehealth.com/
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