Raw Food Fundamental Nutrition Part 2

Raw food is gaining popularity with many individuals rightfully seeking better ways to increase health through food, while promoting greater harmony and sustainability among all people and the Earth.While this is a noble goal, one I aspire to participate in, this article points out some common misconceptions of raw food nutrition to assist in expanding your thinking and allow for more objectivity.

Raw foods are alive; however, many health educators and most nutritionist claim this is so because of the bioactive enzymes.While there is some truth to that statement, it is at best only half-truth.Raw foods not only contain bioactive enzymes but also bacteria.Most people are unaware of the fact that enzymes do not reproduce, breath, or eat. Therefore, enzymes are not alive!This is an important misconception.Raw foods are alive mainly because of the activity of bacteria.

Enzymes essentially are protein structures that act as keys to unlock nutrients by disassembling food into smaller particles for digestion to take place by trillions of bacteria.Imagine placing your car key in the ignition and the engine turns on.Just because the engine is now “alive” doesn’t mean the key is alive. Processing food by heat, freezing, dehydration and chemicals changes the shape and structure of enzymes.The enzymes are no longer able to fit properly into the ignition situated on cell membranes.

Therefore the enzymes are not able to perform their digestive task of disassembling food molecules into the microscopic particles that feed the bacteria in our gut; bacteria that perform the final stages of actual digestion.Because of this fewer nutrients are available for absorption primarily in the small intestine.Living foods such as sauerkraut, kefir, yogurt, kimchee, and miso, are “alive” because they are loaded with bacteria.And ironically we are a bacteria-phobic culture!

If you eat your unwashed vegetation you will be eating more “aliveness” because of the micro-organisms, not because of the enzymes.If you choose to consume raw fish, meat, dairy or eggs then you are taking in millions of bacteria to aid in the efficient digestive process. Just a little food for thought, according to bio-energy nutritional expert and author, Mark Mincolla, PhD he says “in every teaspoon of saliva there are at least 10,000,000 bacteria and 99.99% are necessary to enhance digestion.”

However, we must discern between eating raw conventionally and permiculturally (organic and bio-diverse) produced foods.Conventional plants will contain residue of pesticides, heavy metals and toxins as well as reduced nutritional quality from being grown in poor soil.And the feed-lot commercially raised animals get it all: pesticides, hormones, medication, GMO, and inhumane treatment.Freedom lies in the boycotting of such products in combination with purchasing properly raised animal products as much as possible.Note that bacteria that live off of sick animals produce sick microorganisms, resulting in potential risks to human health.The unhealthier someone is the more at risk they are of experiencing health setbacks from consuming these foods.

Animals humanely raised in an open prairie of annual grasses will produce nutrient-dense food, virtually free of pathogenic insult from microbes.In the last three years, I have consumed over 6,000 raw chicken and duck eggs, over 100 gallons of raw milk, and plenty of raw chicken, fish and meat along with raw fruits and vegetables with consistent improvement in my health.Having had a bone marrow transplant, I would be considered extremely vulnerable to potential pathogens because of very low immune system function.Every year my immune system is getting stronger because I have opened up a symbiotic relationship with the microbial world. It is the result of understanding raw food nutrition and basic human digestion physiology.

So what philosophy of eating do we follow?Vegan or Carnivore?

Some standard definitions for clarification:

·Vegans consume 100% from the plant kingdom

·Generally, vegetarians consume zero animal flesh thus can consume some honey, dairy and eggs thus would be referred to as lacto-ovo vegetarians

·Usually, an omnivore consumes about 70% of calories from the plant kingdom and 30% from the animal kingdom

·A typical carnivore consumes at least 70% of calories from the animal kingdom and 30% or less from plant kingdom with zero to minimal amounts of grains, nuts, seeds and legumes

There are five basic misconceptions relating to this topic of Vegan vs. Carnivore philosophy and lifestyle.Categorically they are spiritual, political, moral, anatomically, and nutritionally.All of these warrant discussion and I encourage you to research all points, however, this article presents general perspectives in human anatomy and nutrition.

Let’s start with the very basic anatomical structure and physiology of our body.I look at my hand and conclude that it resembles a claw more than a hoof, much like a carnivore.I look closely at my teeth and see a combination of sharp front teeth and dull teeth. I know that I can use them to tear meat off a bone.In a past life, I’ve even (without great pride) opened beer bottles with my teeth!Yet, when I look at a horse or cow’s teeth, they are all flat and dull.I’m giving this one to the carnivore in me. When I observe my jaw action, it predominantly moves up and down with minimal to zero side-to-side movement.Yet the cow’s jaw-action is heavily side-to-side in a grinding fashion. I must side with the carnivore again.Anatomically speaking, an herbivore has two to four stomachs while I have only one.And I have a gallbladder, useful for digesting animal fat, while the herbivore often does not.My entire digestive track length-to-body ratio is about 7:1, a dog or cat’s is about 5:1 and the herbivore’s is much larger, about 27:1.My digestive track is much closer to the carnivore than to the herbivore.Which side is winning?I’ve lost count.

Then there is this chemical called hydrochloric acid (HCL) that is produced in all carnivores. My human stomach can produce HCL levels around .8pH, which is perfectly suited to break down animal protein. Not to mention that my stomach empties in two to four hours while the sheep’s stomach never empties!The herbivore regurgitates plant matter to be further chewed as cud.My digestive system didn’t come equipped with the enzyme cellulase which is needed to break open vegetation cell membrane-cellulose.It is inside the cell where all the nutrients are and I simply didn’t come equipped with the parts.The herbivore has cellulase and thousands more digestive enzymes in combination with a huge fermentation vat for bacteria to aid in breaking down cellulose. According to my very basic research and empirical observations, I am perfectly designed to consume animal products of any kind.If I am designed to consume animal products then I just might have a need for some animal products in order to sustain my human body.The question you get to answer is what foods are right for the human body?

It is worth noting that a Vegan nutritional program cannot be maintained for long without the use of supplementation.Dr. Gabriel Cousens even agrees with this in his book Conscious Eating.And he is one of the world’s leading experts on raw veganism.He says that vegans must take at least a supplemental form of vitamin B12.Personally, if the leading expert in raw veganism says a supplement is required, I’m thinking there is a flaw in the dietary approach.I remind myself of the Hippocratic Oath “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

Now without animal products in the diet, eventually there will be an imbalance in EFA’s (essential fatty acids) or Omega 6 and Omega 3.The imbalance occurs because the nutritional fat content of nuts, seeds and grains and vegetable oils contains high amounts of Omega 6 and minimal amounts of Omega 3s, causing a large imbalance in this important ratio of EFA’s, reaching as high as 20:1. Experts suggest a ratio closer to 3:1 for healthy individuals and 1:1 for those with chronic health complaints.

Then there are saturated fats which come from animal fats, coconut and palm fruit.Raw butter from pastured goat, cow or sheep is the very best because of its small chain fatty acid structure which feeds, lubricates and supports the cells of our intestines, brain, and nerves.Did you know that saturated fats are required to make your brain’s transmitters actually transmit?Or those saturated fats make up 50% of your cells’ membrane?What about the need for saturated fat to properly digest and assimilate protein?Perhaps you didn’t know that saturated fat is needed for absorption of vitamins A, D, E, and K?And ironically we are a fat phobic culture- especially saturated animal fat!

Lastly, there is tryptophan, an amino acid that is the precursor to serotonin.Serotonin is the neurotransmitter derived from tryptophan; it regulates mood, appetite and sleep.It contributes to our inner sense of wellbeing.A diet low in tryptophan leads to reduced serotonin production resulting in mood swings, cravings and depression.Did you know there are no known plant sources of tryptophan?It only comes packaged in animal products!This could be one major reason so many vegans’ experience depression.

In the end, life is a smorgasbord and you are the chef cooking up health in your own special way.All the ingredients are your choice and the combination is unlimited.But the body cannot lie.If you are satisfied with your level of wellbeing, then accepting responsibility for your results is living the spiritual life.However, for me, health is unlimited, and I choose to eat according to my anatomical design and in such a way as to provide me with the most nutrient-dense foods for optimal function first, then taste and gratification second.Additionally, I am always bringing awareness to how I feel after I eat learning to master food as my medicine upholding the Hippocratic Oath.

Dan Hegerich

For further reading about this subject, please visit my website: www.absolutehealthandhealing.com