Are Grains Good For Us?

Are Grains Good For Us?
by Dr. David Klein
Adapted from Self Healing Colitis & Crohn’s 4th Edition
http://www.colitis-crohns.com

Are we designed to eat grains? That is, are we graminovores?

Graminovores are creatures that subsist on grains and/or cereals. Being graminovorous means we live from grasses and grass seeds, though grass eaters are really called herbivores. Strict grain eaters are called graminovores. Many birds in nature live on grass and weed seeds. Grass seeds include wheat, oats, rye, barley and rice which were developed by human mastery of nature only within the last 10,000 years. There are thousands of other grass seeds that occur throughout nature.

Of course, we’d all reject grass seeds as items of diet in nature. First, they are in a condition we can neither masticate nor digest, being heavy on starches. We would gag on the equivalent of a spoonful or two. You might try a mouthful of wheat berries without husks removed as you must eat them in nature—that won’t work for us. Further, if you ate a tablespoon of raw flour made from grass seeds (cereal grains), you’d gag.

As grass seeds neither attract, tantalize nor arouse us in their raw natural state, we can reject them as natural human fare even though most of the human race presently consumes grains. Thus, we are not natural graminovores.

Are we starch eaters? To test this question I will not ask you to do the impossible, i.e., take a hand full of grass seeds (presuming you could gather them in nature) and start chewing. Or, try a spoonful of flour of any grain. You’d choke up on the first spoon of it as your starch license (salivary amylase) would be speedily exhausted. This would amply prove to you that we were not starch eaters in nature when we had not mastered fire. Instead of being a palate-tingling delight, starches are a tortuous affair.

When humans can freely eat starchy roots, grains and tubers such as cassava, taro, potatoes and wheat in their raw state to satiation and proclaim the experience a gourmet treat, then both you and I might concede that we’re starch eaters.

Starches Are Second-rate Foods

Have you noticed how often we state that fruits are the foods to which we are biologically suited? We rank them as first-class foods and we rank starchy foods such as tubers, legumes and grains as second or third-class foods. One reason for this, as you may know, is that most starchy foods have to be cooked to make them tasty. Of course there are exceptions to this:

1. Some people like potatoes, yams, etc., raw.
2. Some mildly starchy vegetables, such as carrots, peas and cauliflower, are palatable in the raw state to most people.
3. Many legumes can be sprouted instead of cooked.

But despite these exceptions, starchy foods are not ideal for humans. Unlike sugars from fruits, which pass almost directly from the stomach to the small intestine for absorption, starches must be converted to sugar for the body to unlock their energy potential.

Most animals secrete starch-splitting enzymes called “amylases,” derived from the Latin word meaning “starch-splitting.” In humans, starch digestion begins in the mouth: our saliva contains an amylase called “ptyalin,” derived from the Greek word “ptyalon” meaning “saliva.” Ptyalin, also called salivary amylase, chemically changes starch into maltose, a complex sugar. Many other animals, such as pigs, birds and other starch eaters, but not humans, secrete other additional amylases to insure complete starch digestion. To be sure of adequately digesting the starch we humans consume, we must chew our food very, very thoroughly so it becomes well-mixed with saliva.

The starch that’s converted to maltose by salivary enzymic action is further broken down in the small intestine by the enzyme maltase into the simple sugar, dextrose, for the bloodstream can absorb only simple sugars, never starches nor complex sugars. (Dextrose is dextrorotatory glucose.)

Only 30 to 40% of the starch eaten can be broken down by ptyalin in the mouth. If starches are eaten with (or close in time to ingestion of) acid fruits (citrus fruits or tomatoes) or with protein foods, the ptyalin in the saliva that’s swallowed with the food cannot further break down the starch into simple sugars.

This is because ptyalin can only act in an alkaline environment, and the stomach environment becomes acid when proteins are consumed. The acids in fruits will also inhibit the secretion of ptyalin. Hence, you should take care to eat starchy foods (if you eat them at all) with vegetables and not with acidic or high-protein foods to insure the best possible digestion. We do secrete a pancreatic amylase in our intestine to digest starches not handled by salivary amylase (ptyalin). But starches often partially decompose in the stomach before they get to the intestine.

In addition to the often disagreeable taste of raw starchy foods, there’s a problem relative to human starch digestion which leads people to cook or sprout them. According to The Textbook of Medical Physiology by Arthur C. Guyton, M.D.:

“Most starches in their natural state, unfortunately, are present in the food in small globules, each of which has a thin protective cellulose covering. Therefore, most naturally-occurring starches are digested only poorly by ptyalin unless the food is cooked to destroy the protective membrane.”

If cooking can destroy the protective membrane around the starch cells, what is it doing to the food’s value? Cooking changes the minerals and proteins into unusable forms and destroys most vitamins!

Chewing only partially breaks the protective covering of starch globules and so raw starches can only be partially digested. While undigested foods cause pathogenic problems in the human body, the toxins ingested when we eat cooked foods (with deranged vitamins and minerals) cause even greater problems.

In light of how the human body uses starches by changing them to simple sugars through a complicated and only partially effective process, why not consider getting all your carbohydrate needs from fresh fruits which are already in the form of simple easily-digestible sugars? We don’t need starches at all and can thrive more healthfully without them.

Conclusion

Grains are unnecessary and not recommended — they are mucous-forming (setting up fermentation which causes flatulence, fatigue and brain fog), acid-forming (except for amaranth, millet and quinoa), clogging, constipating, sedating and require hours for digestion as the body attempts to convert the starches into sugar. The superior form of fuel for our cells is simple carbohydrate, as found in fresh, ripe fruits. Ripe fruits are not mucus-forming. The carbohydrate in ripe fruits is readily assimilated, provides instant energy, and ripe fruits promote health like no other food.

For more information on how to heal and create superior health via a fruit-based diet, read Self Healing Colitis & Crohn’s and Raw Revelation. These and many other extraordinary titles are available at http://www.vibranthealthandwealth.com/bookstore/.

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