I bet you can guess that this post will tell you that some of your favorite foods/snacks are unhealthy. To an extent, yes… but my main point is to give you some perspective as to why these health foods aren’t so healthy after all…
Let’s start with Phytic Acid… one unhealthy property of Grains, Nuts, and Seeds. P.A. is a natural outer coating, which protects the nut and the germ/bran portion of a grain. This layer exists to ward off passer-by animals to avoid consumption because it will certainly cause digestive issues, thus allowing the plant to fully thrive/grow. What kind of digestive issues? Malabsorption (causing nutrient deficiency) and inflammation (food intolerance, food allergy, bloating, cramps, gas, fatigue, etc.). When consumed, the acid can actually bind to certain trace minerals such as Calcium, Iron, Potassium, or Magnesium and prevent the digest system from absorbing these (and other) nutrients. So, while you may be eating a healthy food, the digestive system actually cannot break down nor absorb any of the food’s healthy properties. Soaking (8-12 hours) or Sprouting (3-4 days) Grains, Nuts, and Seeds prior to consumption can help release most of the Phytic Acid, but trace amounts may still remain.
Gluten is another malabsorption and inflammatory property, and it is found only in Grains (with the exceptions of Corn and Rice). Gluten is a Wheat Protein. The body’s digestive organs are lined with a protective mucosa layer. This layer prevents bacteria, fungus, parasites, and you-name-it from entering the body and wreaking havoc. Gluten yields antibody properties that can break down this mucosa layer and penetrate the body’s immune system. Gluten can actually create holes in the intestines and undigested food can pass freely into the bloodstream (called Leaky Gut Syndrome) – holy immune system freak out, Batman! Gluten and its anti-digestive properties can be attributed to many health and mental diseases found all over this country (and world). It makes sense because the American diet is FULL of Gluten-based foods: Bread, Pizza, Flour, Beer, Oatmeal, Cereal, Snacks and the list goes on! Now, I believe that everyone has a Gluten Sensitivity, it just depends on how sensitive a person is and how long they can tolerate its intake before health problems become prominent (a person can even have issues and not even be aware of those issues because they don’t know any different).
Omega -6 Fats, also known as Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFAs), are also prevalent in American diet with their presence in Grains, Nuts, Seeds, Above Ground Vegetables, and Beans (we’ll stick to Grains, Nuts, and Seeds for now). According to most Doctors, Hospital Journals, and the U.S. Government, Omega -6′s are healthy and anti-inflammatory. I call Bullshit! Why? Because a Omega -6′s molecular structure is highly unstable and are rapidly oxidized (rancid/spoil) at moderate temperatures and at moderate pressures – not only in cooking, heating, or food processing, but also in the heat and pressure of a 98 degree human digestive system. Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids are called Poly-’s because they have more than one double bond (extra flimsy). Monounsaturated Fatty Acids have one double bond (flimsy) and Saturated Fatty Acids yield no bonds (strong like bull!). If these Omega -6 Fats aren’t damaged prior to consumption from food processing, packaging, and transportation, they can certainly be damaged, turn rancid, and cause inflammation when consumed. Now, different Grains have different amounts of Poly’s, as well as different Nuts and different Seeds so it’s a matter of choosing a less-inflammatory one over the other, but is it really worth it in the end if they still cause inflammation to some degree?
We covered how Grains contain THREE anti-digestive/inflammatory properties, while Nuts and Seeds contain TWO anti-digestive properties. These properties can encourage acne, eczema, rash, attention deficit disorder, chronic fatigue, brain fog, dehydration, constipation, weight gain, weight loss, erectile dysfunction, lack of libido, bipolar, mood swings, estrogen dominance (stress, emotional imbalance), dysbiosis, candida overgrowth, chronic infections, low immune system response, thyroid dysfunction, insulin-resistance, sugar sensitivity, dairy intolerance, food allergy, poor sleeping patterns, and you get the point.
- Grains to avoid: Wheat, Rye, Barley, Spelt, Quinoa, Millet, Buckwheat, Sorghum, Corn (take note that most alcohol is derived from grains/contain gluten)
- Grains that are Ok: Rice, Gluten-free (still contains some gluten)
- Nuts to avoid: Cashew (toxic properties), Walnut
- Nuts that are Ok: [Soaked, Raw, Sprouted] Almond, Peanut, Brazil Nut, Macadamia Nut, Hazelnut, Chestnut, Pecan
- Seeds to avoid: Flaxseed [Oil], Linseed [Oil], Hempseed [Oil], Cottonseed [Oil], Chia Seed, Sesame Seed [Oil]
- Seeds that are Ok: [Soaked, Raw, Sprouted] Sunflower Seed, Pumpkin Seed