Why grains, nuts, and seeds are like Cactus’s

To discourage seed predators, pulses contain t...

 

 

What you say?  How are grains, nuts, and seeds akin to desert plants?  Well in nature, almost everything has a defense mechanism.  Especially big juicy things that would be eaten up right away.  We know this well in the animal kingdom.  Animals have the use of claws, sharp teeth, muscles, and movement to protect them from being prey.  In the plant kingdom, things like thorns, poisonous chemicals, and irritating substances provide protection.  In the case of grains, nuts, and seeds, this protection comes in the form of “enzyme inhibitors” and “anti-nutrients.”  Now personally, I don’t want to get into the science here.  Basically these are the plants way to protect itself until it is ready to germinate.  These will make you sick if you eat them raw.

So not everything can be eaten raw unprepared by humans.  However, i do not think this means that we should never eat them necessarily.  I don’t do well with much grains or nuts but some people might.  The trick here is doing it right.  Grains and nuts are two of the biggest causes of digestive disturbances in our world.  Even well-meaning “raw-foodists” may pick up some raw nuts and eat them with no preparation.

People make things like “instant rice.” and bread and pastas.  First of all, almost all gluten in this country is hybridized at this point.  This is why so many people have issues with it.  I personally don’t think anybody should be eating U.S. wheat but that is a different issue altogether.  The important thing is to look back into the past and see how our ancestors prepared and ate this stuff.  They certainly didn’t make instant rice, eat their nuts raw, or try to eat “inedible plants” such as potatoes without cooking.  So how do we take care of this problem?  Nobody can argue that there is a good amount of “calories” or “foodstuffs” in these foods.  They nourish a lot of the world.  And although i don’t believe they are the ideal foods for humans, they can and do work for some. Traditional societies always “soaked” their grains, nuts, and seeds.  You soak the dried grains in some water with an acidic medium.  This could be lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, lime water for corn, etc.  Raw nut’s and seeds can be soaked in salt water.

Soaking grains and nuts in water you say?  What could this do for me?  Well in short, putting these things into water makes the plant think its time to germinate.  This is where you hear about all these “sprouted” foods.  These are simply grain or seed foods that have been allowed to germinate.  So what happens is that the “enzyme inhibitors, anti-nutrients,” and all that stuff that make these hard on digestion for humans is shed off into the water.  The water also probably somewhat softens the fibers in grains making them easier to stomach.  So different things have different times for soaking.  You can soak raw nuts and then dry them in a dehydrator if you want the raw nuts still.  So soak your grains overnight or longer, cook them “traditionally.”  Don’t go for the roasted fried nuts, or the instant rice or the instant oatmeal.  Go for the real thing, prepare it properly, and see how it sits with you.  This is how nuts, seeds, and grains are akin to Cactus’s.

-Joe

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