In the old hunting days (or if you go to countries like Sri Lanka where some cultures still hunt), the number one goal when you are out hunting animals is to make sure you are the hunter and not the hunted.
You don’t want a pack of lions to ruin your hunting party by eating you. That’s the danger out there.
You’d think that plants and grains are harmless creatures, but that’s not always the case. Take cactus for example. There are some varieties that are edible and nutrient rich. They protect themselves with thorns.
How do grains, seeds or nuts protect themselves against being eaten?
The job of anti-nutrients is to bind with minerals so that enzymes from bacteria become inactive.
This is the importance of understanding the essential 5. In order for digestive enzymes to work there needs to be at least a certain level of moisture (water), pH, temperature and minerals. Without minerals, you get nothing.
That’s why whenever you are trying to lacto-ferment food, or simply sprout some seeds, you want to use water with minerals.
The goal is to use up all anti-nutrients until the seed or grain has no more and gives in to digestive enzymes.
In the case of sauerkraut, it’s easy to understand why adding salt water ferments cabbage. The minerals in salt overwhelm the anti-nutrients in cabbage and allow the digestive enzymes from bacteria to break down the cabbage.
This is why eating sauerkraut is better than eating raw cabbage. Your body does not need to use minerals to get rid of the anti-nutrients.
This is why you want to soak nuts in water (with minerals) before eating them.
This is why you want to soak grains in water (with minerals) before you eat them, or in the case of the Beer Diet Project, ferment the grains and drink them… hello beer!
I must be clear about the last statement though. When I say ferment, I’m referring primarily to lacto-fermentation, which yields beer styles that are sour and low alcohol such as Berliner weisse or the old version of white Belgian wits.
These are beer styles that to my knowledge you can’t get from any commercial brewery and it’s the primary reason why I enjoy home brewing.
Most people don’t realize that when they are eating certain foods, they may have anti-nutrients which rob their body of minerals. The amount of minerals used may be only a trace amount, but if you do that for 10 years, 20 years, 40 years, you’ll begin to see the effects of mineral deficiencies, especially if you eat starch and proteins that use up too many minerals to break them down.
I didn’t start writing this book because I knew or understood nutrition. I began writing this book to keep track of my thoughts and to teach myself nutrition.
I don’t know about you, but my body did not come with a manual. While your body and mine may be similar, they are different models and your body may need a slightly different manual.
Treat this website as a buffet table, take what you like and leave the rest behind. Use it as a model to create your own manual.
What I’m about to start covering deals with digestion. This is like talking about car engines. While they follow similar concepts, some of us have small engines and some have big engines that may need different added components.
The goal of this chapter is to understand how digestion works so you can transition from the Standard American Diet to Living Foods and beyond.