Nature's design and rules to choose right foods for human
HOW NATURE DESIGNED WHAT FOOD ARE WE MEANT TO HAVE?All species of the animal kingdom are classified as carnivores, omnivores, herbivores, and frugivores. They all have different teeth, intestines and stomach, saliva production, stomach acids, general physique, and much more.
These differences indicate what they eat and how they can gather and hunt their food. It also indicates how they can break down the food to utilize and eliminate it. This food will leave them lacking and missing nothing - thriving and functioning optimally. No animal will wonder if they got enough nutrition, or if they are eating what is right for them. It is a natural process.
When we take the time to examine the human body, we will easily recognize the signs of a frugivore.
TEETH - The teeth of carnivores are cutting and tearing, designed to eat meat. We have primarily flat molars, not designed to rip, but for mashing and grinding.
JAWS - Our jaws move from side to side, not like a carnivore's only vertical movement. Also, our jaw muscles are very weak in comparison to that of a carnivore who has to hold its prey in its mouth and tear through it.
COLON - Our convoluted colons are quite different in design from the smooth colons of carnivorous animals. We are, like other primates designed to eat fruits that will digest very easily, and need to be held in a long digestive tract for optimal absorption.
CLAWS - Unlike carnivores, who have to catch hold of their prey, we do not have sharp claws. We would have a very difficult time ripping apart skin and flesh. Our nails are not claws, and our hands are like those of a frugivore - designed to pick and peel.
ALIMENTARY CANAL - Our intestinal tracts measure about 30 feet. That is about twelve times longer than our torso. This is what allows the slow absorption of sugars from our food. The digestive tract of a carnivore is only three times the length of its torso, and it has ten times the amount of acid. This way it will be able to digest blood and muscle very easily. If a primate ate the same thing, it would sit inside and rot, and that is what it does in humans.
SLEEP - We, sleep around 8 hours every night, while a carnivore will sleep around 18 to 20 hours per day. They need to sleep for digesting all the animal proteins.
Carnivores kill other animals with their claws and tear them apart, eating primarily their organs and drinking their blood.
Omnivores will eat from the plant and the animal kingdom. Most omnivores cannot live by grazing alone, and they are not able to eat some hard-shelled animals, or successfully hunt large or fast prey.
Herbivores eat only green plants and herbs. Some of them are also grazers, like cows. Herbivores are animals whose primary food source is plant-based. They have evolved digestive systems capable of digesting large amounts of plant material. The plants are high in fiber and starch, and this is what provides the main energy source in their diet. Many large herbivores have symbiotic bacteria within their guts to assist with the breakdown of cellulose.
Frugivores eat fruits, berries, and some tender leafy greens primarily. They can quickly grab ripe fruits off the trees. They have ‘hands’ to pick and teeth that can easily rip open a ripe fruit. The length of the intestines and the pH of the stomach acid shows that they are designed to digest fruits. Chimpanzees and other primates are frugivores.
Who are we?
We are frugivores. The natural diet of a primate is primarily fruits with some tender leafy greens, seeds, blossoms, some bark, pith, and an occasional insect. This is an essential realization to us because by eating what we are designed to eat, our body will be able to heal and restore.
From the above discussion, it is clear that all the species on earth are designed by nature in a certain way and that all the members of a particular species are meant to eat the same kind of food, that which nature intended them to. So, we as humans are meant to eat food that is specific to our species food as per the laws of nature. What is species-specific or natural food for us? How do we know what kind of food is good as per our natural design?
Here are the key indicators to know whether the food we are eating or want to eat is in accordance with our natural design:
Whole means food in its most natural state - free from processing, polishing, additives or any other measure to refine. But why whole? Consider these reasons:
Auto cutoff mechanism.
Whole foods, as designed by nature, are a packaged deal. That is, they have just the right proportion of nutrients, fiber and water such that they can be digested and eliminated by our body with ease. However, if we choose to alter its natural state and fragment it by removing its skin or subjecting it to high pressure or temperature etc., we end up disturbing and spoiling its naturally balanced design.
Natural foods in their original state have an auto cut off mechanism built by nature. One can never overeat foods in natural form. One will automatically stop when the body is full, whereas in non-whole foods there is no natural stop mechanism and we tend to overeat the foods.
Take the example of sugar and sugarcane. While sugar is extracted from sugarcane, it is a highly processed food item. Unlike sugarcane, it is devoid of all its natural nutrients, fiber and moisture. In its whole state, the sugar present in sugarcane is easy to digest but the refined sugar is difficult to digest, and leaves an acidic residue after digestion.
Plant-based food includes all that comes from plant sources like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds etc. It excludes all and any food derived from animals like meat, eggs, milk, etc. But why only plant-based food?
Consider the following rationale:
Our Anatomy - We are primarily frugivores and are designed by nature to eat plant-based food.
Solar energy - Food that comes from plant source is not only suited as per our anatomy but is also the best source of energy. Sun is the ultimate source of energy and all plant-based food is sun-cooked. When we eat such food, the vibrant energy of the sun that is assimilated and absorbed in that food is transferred to us.
On the contrary, animal-based food is not conducive to our digestive system. It is taxing for our body to digest, absorb and eliminate such food resulting in diminished health.
Digestion is the process by which our body turns the food we eat into nutrients to be used for energy, growth and cell repair. The moment food is ingested our digestive organs start working on it, and it passes through various stages of digestion, absorption & assimilation and finally elimination. The food that we eat should be conducive to our digestion process in the following ways:
The food we eat is the fuel that gives us energy for all our bodily functions. Digestion is the process that generates energy. It is also the most basic function for life and hence it is ongoing. Consider the energy produced by eating food as ENERGY-INPUT. And all the energy that is used up for various bodily functions as the ENERGY-OUTPUT. Now, it is a no-brainer to understand that the energy-input should always be greater than the output for us to be in a healthy state. So, the food that we eat should maintain the economy of energy by:
Being rich in nutrients - to be able to generate more energy.
Take less time to digest - such that the body gets some time off from digesting food and can focus on other important functions like growth and repair.
Require less energy to get digested - such that energy is conserved for other bodily functions.
Nutrition is one of the basic and most important needs for which we eat food. However, eating food may not be sufficient to get the right nutrition. Proper digestion of food is vital for efficient nutrient absorption. What facilitates the process of digestion?
Digestive Enzymes act as catalysts to speed up certain chemical reactions within the body. These are primarily made and secreted by the pancreas and small intestine. As they help in breaking down of food into smaller particles, they allow the body to absorb the nutrients easily. The three main enzymes responsible for breaking down of the most common food groups are:
Amylase - breaks down carbohydrates and starches into simple sugars.
Lipase - breaks down fats and triglycerides into glycerol and fatty acids.
Protease - are multiple enzymes that are responsible for breaking proteins down into amino acids.
Our body produces enzymes & we also get enzymes from the food we eat. Raw, whole & live foods contain enzymes in abundance. The enzymes made by our body digests those portions of the food that aren’t completely digested by their own enzymes. Our body’s enzymes act as a backup & give finishing touches to the natural digestion initiated by the enzymes in food.
What happens if we don’t eat foods rich in enzymes?
Our body has to work harder to digest food. This takes away the focus from replenishing old dead cells and building new ones.
It also takes away the focus from the elimination of toxic wastes in the body.
Poor cellular health and accumulation of waste lead to illnesses & diseases.
All food items that we consume are either alkaline, acidic or somewhere in between. Acidity (or alkalinity) is measured in terms of pH.
pH means the potential of Hydrogen. The pH scale represents that potential from 0 (most acidic) to 14 (most alkaline) with neutrality expressed at the middle point of the scale, at number 7. Pure water is pH 7. The human body should be slightly alkaline, between 7.35-7.4.
Our body constantly works towards a balance and equilibrium. It has in-built mechanisms to restore acid-alkaline balance whenever there is any sort of imbalance. The imbalance is primarily caused by consuming acid-forming foods as well as other lifestyle factors like stress, lack of sleep, etc. To keep the balance, the body needs to exert its energy resources. While factors like pollution may not be a factor that we have much control over, we can make out food-choices in support of the body.
Acid forming foods - include all kinds of animal products (like eggs, meat, milk and milk products), processed food, refined food, tea, coffee, colas, etc.
Alkaline forming foods (foods that have an alkalizing effect after digestion) - fruits & vegetables.
An acidic environment is detrimental for your health as the body starts kicking in functions to restore blood alkalinity in the process affecting the overall functioning of the body like an increased breathing rate, leaching of minerals, etc.