You might not have realised it, but you probably eat a lot of grains without even noticing! What does this mean for our bodies? Let’s take a look.
We eat too many grains
Grains have been getting a lot of attention recently because nutritional experts don’t agree on whether eating grains is a good idea.
Some say that grains are deficient in minerals and eating too many of them can cause weight gain. Other say that the fibre provided by them is perfect for regulating appetite and preventing constipation, etc. So what is the deal?
What experts do agree on is that almost everyone eats too many refined grains, and these do lead to bad health, overweight and a variety of deficiencies.
So have we always eaten grains as a species? The answer is no. Scientific and historical research shows that humans haven’t always eaten grains at all, and the human body isn’t designed to function well on them. Ah-ha!
Grain consumption actually began around 10,000 when people started growing food in fields instead of gathering it from their wild environment. During the hundreds of thousands of years before that, people didn’t eat grains on a regular basis, and brain function and physical ability was better as a result. Since then, studies show a steady, consistent decline in human strength.
Why is this? Well grains contain phytic acid, which blocks the absorption of several minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc. Sprouting the grains (and nuts and seeds) actually breaks down this phytic acid. These ancient peoples did just this, by allowing the grains to sit in the fields for enough time for them to begin to germinate.
To boot, when grains aren’t freshly milled and delivered to us, like most flour around the world, the nutritional benefits don’t reach us either, even when sprouted.
We now eat these unsprouted grains almost every day. This means that you might take calcium or another supplement, but it can’t get into your system due to the phytic acid in your body! Osteoporosis alert!
So why are doctors recommending them in such high quantities? Unfortunately, the grain industry is presenting an easy and healthier alternative to white bread by drilling the whole wholegrain regime. The sad truth is that grain consumption just isn’t natural to us, and the carb load that they provide plays havoc with our hormonal levels.
The main hormone affected by grains is insulin. When too much glucose in the form of carbs enters the body, it gets stored as fat. If the carb consumption is very high, the body also produces cortisol and adrenaline to handle the shock. This isn’t the best way to go for health and actually creates inflammation.
During the last 100 and something years, grain consumption has gone crazy, as have chronic diseases, average body weights, and fertility has fallen.
So grains aren’t nutritious, you might be thinking? When compared with other foods like vegetables, fruit, protein-sources and healthy fats, no. They offer much higher nutrient profiles with no side-effects.
Grains actually contain a water soluble protein called gluten. It’s in wheat, rye, and barley, and grains like corn, rice and oats also contain similar proteins that can cause health issues when consumed on a regular basis. They break down the microvilli in your small intestine, which can lead to leaky gut syndrome, allergies, autoimmune diseases and all sorts of digestive issues.
Lectins are mild toxins that inhibit digestive tract repair. They can cause immune responses as the body tries to get rid of them. This may lead to:
- Depression, anxiety and schizophrenia
- Autoimmune diseases
Studies have shown that a no-grain diet can lower cholesterol, blood pressure, reduce inflammation, promote weight loss, alleviate dermatitis and acne, reduce the risk of heart disease and increase your fertility and energy levels. Wow.
So do away with the pasta, bread, pastries, desserts, rolls, crackers, corn, potatoes and cereals. Give it a go and see if your health doesn’t improve. When looking for alternatives, look to soaked nuts and seeds, fruit, vegetables, fish and meats of all kinds for optimum nutrition. Making smoothies and juices is also a nice way to get nutrition into your body and lose those pounds you are hoping to wave good-bye to!