The biggest lesson you can take away from this book is that food will either make you a mouth in the food chain or it will make you the food chain!
What you eat determines what grows inside of you. Whether you like it or not, your body will grow a vast range of living body cells including bacteria, yeast, fungi and other critters.
There is good and there is bad. Good being those that help protect your body and bad being those that want to eat your body.
What you grow inside of you depends on the food that you eat.
This is where fermentation knowledge from brewing beer, making kombucha or fermenting foods comes into play.
When brewing beer, what we are doing is simply feeding sugar to yeast. Yeast will then suck up all the oxygen and lower the pH to about 4 to 4.5 so they can grow. In other words they create an environment that is favorable to them.
In order to do that, yeast need the same 5 essential life components: water, minerals, pH, temperature and enzymes.
Whether the yeast grows or not depends on the right combination and level of each of the above.
The way to think of good vs bad bacteria is simple. The type of foods that you eat will change the environment inside of your body that will make it more favorable to grow different types of bacteria.
There is a reason for the color which we’ll get into later, but understand that the types of food that you eat are not only feeding your body cells, they are feeding ‘other’ living creatures.
Again, the creatures that grow depend on all 5 essential life components.
Some of them grow at different pH levels, different temperatures, different amount and combination of minerals and depend on different enzymes. This is the knowledge you’ll use to figure out if you are feeding your body cells or if you are feeding bugs that eat your body cells.
Ever wonder why people go into a food coma after a big thanksgiving meal?
Food is supposed to give us energy. Eating is supposed to increase our vitality, but over the last few years food seems to be quietly making us tired and sick.
Our food has progressively become more polluted and every year you feel its effects more and more. To have a good understanding of nutrition you need to understand how your body cells work. This would normally be a boring topic, but when you notice that beer fermentation and your body work exactly the same, you can grab a cold one and ponder on the topic.
When I first learned this information, it was through Dr. Jerry Tennant. He said that as your body becomes acidic then you:
a) Begin to feel tired (lose energy)
b) Start to grow bad bacteria/virus (start to become the food chain)
c) Body cells stop working (degenerative disease)
d) Start growing bad yeast
e) Start growing cancer cells
When I heard Dr Tennant say “yeast”, the first thing that popped into my mind was beer…
I ferment beer and I know that pH drops during fermentation down to ~4 to 4.5 and the graph for yeast growth looks pretty much the same in both brewing beer and the body. So after countless batches of beer brewing and seeing this firsthand it checked true for me. (See below how pH goes from 7 to below 4.5 during brewing)
Now, pH by itself can be misleading. Stating that your body is “alkaline” can be interpreted a few different ways and that’s not good, so we need to clarify this.
If you’ve been mildly exposed to this information you are probably aware of alkaline based diets, and people that sell alkaline products including water, etc…
These people are not exactly wrong, but the way most of their information is explained is very confusing and misleading. In order to better understand this you need to understand two things about body cells:
1) pH (voltage)
pH (potential hydrogen) is a way to measure acidity and alkalinity on a scale that goes from zero to fourteen where seven is neutral, anything below is acid and anything above is alkaline.
Lime juice for example is acid. Baking soda is alkaline. To keep it simple for the time being think of it this way: when you mix acid and alkaline, they neutralize each other. There’s more to it than that, but lets’ take baby steps.
This should begin to explain why some people chug down water with baking soda whenever they get acid reflux. The alkalinity in baking soda will counter the acidity in their stomach.
So people say, your body needs to have a pH around 7.35 to 7.45 pH, or what some simply call “alkaline”. (anything above 7 is alkaline)
The phrase “your body”, however, is unclear and needs to be clearly defined. Your body has different pH levels throughout. Your skin, for example, is acid with a pH of around 5.5, and your stomach is also acid with a pH around 1-2 (and needs to be acid to protect your body and for proper digestion.) That’s why drinking alkaline water may be good when you have acid reflux, but it’s a horrible idea when you need to digest food.
So let’s clear this up a bit.
What most people are talking about (even though they may not know it) when they say “your body is alkaline”, is the fluid surrounding the body cells. This fluid is called the interstitial fluid.
This is where the magic happens, where nutrients are delivered and this is what people refer as “the body” that needs to be kept alkaline.
This is not to be confused with the blood’s pH and it’s not to be confused with the pH throughout the digestive system.
If you were to refer to the blood’s pH when you say that the body is alkaline, or worse try to manipulate your blood’s pH, you can do things that will hurt you. Unlike the pH of the fluid surrounding the cell, the pH of your blood must stay between 7.35 to 7.45.
Your body will actually move heaven and earth to keep its blood pH between that range. If it gets below that, you get acidosis (blood becomes acid, sends you into a coma and possibly die). If it goes above that, you get alkalosis (blood is too alkaline and you get muscle cramps, or spasms)
Neither is good, so don’t try to make your blood alkaline.
Similarly, don’t confuse “alkaline body” with your digestive system, which essentially is a 40 feet bundled up tube.
Now, you don’t want to make this an alkaline environment either because the digestive system needs its own pH level in various places for your protection and for it to be able to digest food. pH changes back and forth throughout the digestive system. Your mouth, for example is more alkaline, stomach needs to be acid, and your intestines need to go back towards alkaline.
So you need to be clear that any reference to your body being alkaline is going to be referring to the fluid surrounding the cells…
It is the interstitial fluid that you want to keep alkaline, and most importantly, clean. This is where you want to have all the right levels of the 5 essential life components (water, minerals, pH, temperature and enzymes).
Also note that the interstitial fluid is the water part that carries the minerals and nutrients, much like the water used in brewing beer. In fact, think of your body as a huge fermenting vessel that grows bacteria, yeast or fungi, and the type depends on what you eat.
So let’s dig a little deeper into this.
When you cut an apple in half and leave it sitting, it starts to turn brown. We call that oxidation. Our body cells can oxidize the same way.
When our body cells oxidize we call it aging. All the wrinkles that develop in your body are just that, body cells oxidizing.
Free radicals oxidize your body and that’s one reason why your body cells become acid.