Do Grains, Breads and Cereals Have a Place in the Natural Human Diet?
By Tera Warner  

Unfortunately, humans have been so far removed from their natural environment and living conditions for such a long time, that most people have a hard time determining what the natural human diet would include.

We know that humans can survive on all kinds of different foods, but the valuable thing to consider is to what degree are humans surviving and with what quality of life? The rates of cancer, heart disease, arthritis and blood sugar disease are clear indicators that something has gone awry where human nutrition is considered. The Kleenex box has become a standard household item, but it doesn’t mean it's supposed to be this way.

Taking a stroll through the local “natural health food” store doesn’t bring us much closer to understanding either, because you’ll quickly realize that the majority of the foods are no different than the kinds of things you find in your average grocery store. They’ve just come up with more “wholesome” or “organic” versions of standard fare, but the aisles are as littered with packaged foods as any supermarket.

An astounding proportion of the foods that pack these shelves are breads, crackers, cereals, granola bars and other grain products.  But do these foods have a place in the natural human diet?

Whether we’re talking about grains or any other element of the human diet, it serves us to ask these three very important questions to determine whether a food is “natural” for human consumption.

1. Does it make sense?

2. Is it enjoyable in its natural state?

3. Does it bring positive results when we apply it as a diet?

Put yourself in a field of wheat and just try and make a meal out of what you find around you. Chances are you’ve never actually seen wheat in its unrefined state, but unless you’ve got a gizzard, it's going to be an awfully hard thing to eat! It would take you hours to produce a handful of grains, and then once you had them, what would you do with them? They’re not naturally very tasty.  Nor would you, surrounded by wheat plants, be naturally drawn to chomping on the stalks and spitting out the hulls.

Grains in their natural state are completely indigestible to humans, and while we have managed to do all manner of magnificent works of art with grains, it doesn’t make it any more naturally a part of the human diet.

1. Does it make sense?  No!

2. Is it enjoyable in its natural state?

Well, if the above mentioned chewing on stalks got you salivating, then you may be in luck. For the rest of us however, chances are good that grains and cereals in their natural state leave MUCH to be desired.

Even when grains have been stripped of the hulls and stalks we find them with in nature, most grain meals are drenched in salted and spiced sauces to make them more palatable.

So again, a resounding “No!” to question number two!

Which brings us to question number three:

3. Does it bring positive results when we apply it as a diet?

"Grain Damage", by Dr. Doug Graham, is a helpful booklet on the subject of grains and the human diet.  In it, he identifies over 12 chemicals in grains that behave similar to opiates in the human body. These chemicals are undoubtedly the cause for the very addictive quality of breads and cereals.  Further proof lies in the fact that many people experience relief from chronic irritability and mood “disorders” when grains and breads are eliminated from the diet.

Could it be worse?

Well, YES!

Phytic acid is found in grains and is known to bind with existing calcium in the body during the digestive process. It does this as a means of reducing the acidity that is caused by consuming grains in the body. To what degree the consumption of grains can contribute to conditions like osteoporosis would be very hard to determine because of the fact that there have never been any long term nutritional studies that have eliminated grains and cereals as a variable.

We know that they’re not particularly high in nutritional value, being very low in Vitamins A, B and C. They are a solid source of carbohydrate, and we need carbohydrates, but we can get them in sufficient quantity and much greater quality in fresh, ripe fruits!

Though we’ve been taught that whole grains are a great source of fiber, the fact is that the fiber found in grains is very irritating to the intestines. Many sufferers of Irritable Bowel Syndrome know this intimately, and the prevalence of grain consumption in our society is likely one of the major contributing causes of IBS.

Many children who suffer from concentration difficulties and irritability have experienced tremendous relief by eliminating these foods from their diet. Tonya Kay is a perfect example of someone who suffered with severe forms of “bipolar disorder” for 7 years and simply by switching to a raw food diet completely “cured” herself of the need to continue consuming toxic medications.

Are Sprouted Grains Any Better?

Well, as far as I’m concerned, NO! First of all, I could never imagine myself foraging for sprouted grains to make my daily meals.

While some people claim that the release of enzymes and digestion of natural sugars and vitamins makes grains more digestible, I don’t believe it makes them any more naturally adapted to the human diet.

We see the effects that these foods can have on people with eating disorders, emotional instability and obesity. I don’t believe it serves us to keep them in the diet. In fact, I believe it’s one of the very first things that should be eliminated from the diet of a person who wishes to improve their health, energy and general mood and outlook on life.

“What?! No Breads, Cereals or Pasta!!! What Am I Going To DO?!!”

Naturally, for people who are used to eating cereal for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch and pasta for supper, the idea of eliminating grains from the diet can seem nearly impossible and definitely a bit frightening!

Relax. No ones going to make you give up your noodles until you’re ready. But in the meantime, here is a valuable Step-By-Step approach to helping you made that happen:

A Step-by-Step Approach To Eliminating Grains from Your Diet

In order to start yourself on a progressive gradient of eliminating these foods from your diet, consider the following steps.

1.  Start by eliminating the glutinous grains.

If you’re not ready to make the jump to a full fledged raw food diet that is high in fresh, ripe fruits and vegetables, then at least start to move toward the grains that do not contain gluten. Because of the prevalence of gluten-intolerance in our society now (Celiac’s Disease) it is quite easy to find rice pasta in most food stores.

Gluten contains a chemical that behaves much like morphine, and frankly PMS will become a mysterious thing of the past when you get these nasty little niblets out of your diet for once and for all!

Eliminating glutinous grains from the diet does wonders for that “little rounded belly” most women tend to develop after a while. That lump of indigestible guck in the intestines virtually disappears after 3 days of eliminating grains and cereals from the diet!

2. Eat more sweet potatoes, and cooked starchy vegetables.

Fall in love with different kinds of starchy vegetables that have far fewer negative consequences to their consumption. The chances of finding a finding some potatoes in nature and sparking up a primitive fire are not impossible for me to imagine. While it’s certainly not as easy, practical or nearly as tasty as plucking a fresh mango from a tree and losing myself in its sweetness, I can still imagine the possibility. Cauliflower and celery root make wonderfully creamy soups (without the cream, of course)!

So if you’re not quite ready to eliminate cooked foods and go for the juicy trail of fruits and veggies, well, at least get off the grain train by transitioning yourself to more cooked, starchy vegetables.

3. Continue to increase the quantity of fresh fruits and veg in your diet.

It’s not hard to substitute a breakfast of cereal or toast for a fruit smoothie packed with bananas. Instead of pasta at supper, go for a baked potato with a BIG salad! Continue with this gradient and you will immediately start to experience the benefits of a diet that is higher in fresh fruits and veg. That little bread belly will disappear, your moods will stabilize and you’ll just start feeling better and better all the time!

Who knows, before long you’ll be signing yourself up for the 30 Day Body Enlightenment System and declaring yourself a Raw Foodist for LIFE!

It can be overwhelming to make sense of it all when you're just starting out. (Unless you've got a system!)

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