Let me start by posing a question...If you were a builder, would you prefer to start with raw materials, or with a whole building that you have to break down to get the raw materials? Now think of your body as not just the machine but also the builder. It takes the food that we eat and turns it into this body. We are an accumulation of earth essentially, and the body has the innate intelligence to turn food into the most complex life form on this planet. Just like every machine, there is optimal fuel, and optimal building material; the same is true of the human body. If you were putting diesel fuel into a car that runs on gasoline it might run for a little while, but it would start breaking down quickly, not run smoothly, and even die prematurely. Knowing this, would you gradually start introducing gasoline into the fuel tank but still keep putting diesel in there, thinking, "well, it's probably gotten used to diesel so I don't want to shock the system?", or would you flush out the fuel system and immediately use nothing but gasoline? Are you starting to see where I'm going with this?
What we are doing currently, and have been doing for the last few thousand years, is introducing complex buildings that need to be broken down, and putting the wrong fuel into our human mechanism. (As a side note, eating is not about morality, social norms, or what is ethical. Eating is about giving the body the fuel it requires; the fuel it was designed to use for optimum functioning.) We have been giving it complex and too much protein, and cooked food. In other words, we have been manipulating the raw materials and even using materials that the body does not need or want. I will address each individually below. I will be using examples and analogies from some experts in the field of the human being. The true expert is nature herself, so let's examine the human body from the perspective that we will never truly know everything about it even if we continue to break it down into smaller and smaller parts. Do we better understand the nature of a frog if we dissect it or if we watch it in nature? We must therefore start looking at the human mechanism from a bigger perspective and not it's individual parts and systems like what modern medicine is doing today.
First, the proteins will be examined. It is trivial to look at each protein source and evaluate it because there are really only two sources of the building blocks for protein (protein is a complex assembly of amino acids into a three dimensional form used for various processes in the body, and DNA codes for what those proteins look like and do). The two sources are animals and plants. Animals produce very complex proteins, especially those that are closer to humans in DNA. The more complex the protein the more difficult it is for the body to break it down into usable amino acids. So if one were to eat meat, it is best to eat animals which are the farthest from humans on the evolutionary scale, such as fish, shellfish, etc. Animals also contain a much higher content of protein than plants. Plants have a simpler protein structure and less of it, due to the high content of carbohydrates. So these protein structures are easier to break down in the body and come in the proper ratio of amino acids. The body does not need to spend as much energy breaking down protein from plants as it does from animals, and this saves us energy. Another component is the energy each food carries with it. An animal at the moment of death releases large amounts of hormones and chemicals in response to fear and pain which end up in the meat we eat. That energetic component then enters us and we hold on to that energetic signature pattern, much in the same way seeing or being around a happy person can make us feel happy for a while. This does not happen with plants (there is, however, something to be said about the person growing and harvesting the food, because their energy can be transferred as well). Nature built this body, and built the raw materials it needs without needing to process anything. So really, we should be eating foods in their raw state. Which brings me to the second idea; cooked food.
When did we begin cooking food as a human race? And what other creature on Earth cooks their food? We use this fact as the thing that sets us apart from the other animals. But let's look at the health of these animals compared to the health of humans who have been eating cooked foods and foods not designed for us. Our lives are littered with health problems. Wild animals, as far as we have been able to study, rarely have these problems like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, tooth decay, etc. Domestic animals are a different story. We are feeding them what we think they should eat based on what we think we should eat, and cooking their food first. That's a story for another time. The human lifespan is also decreasing. You might argue that it has been increasing , but that is only because we are keeping people alive artificially, and the life is not a quality life. Cooked food can be looked at as the cause of disease (we can also look at artificial foods and chemicals in our foods, but I will leave that out for now because those are very recent additions). When a food is cooked, the vital proteins in the food are denatured. This means that they are broken down into a simple structure of amino acids which is then more easily broken down into individual amino acids. At first this may seem like a good thing. But there are other proteins that are in foods that are necessary for proper digestion to take place. These are enzymes. Enzymes are proteins needed for the breakdown of chemicals (that includes carbohydrates, fats, proteins) in the body. If these enzymes are denatured then the body will have to either use reserves of the enzymes or manufacture its own in order to do the job. Again, this uses extra energy and resources. An example I like to use is pasteurized milk. Many people who cannot drink pasteurized milk can drink raw milk. Why? Because raw milk comes with the enzymes necessary to break down lactose into galactose and glucose, the two sugars in milk. A similar problem occurs in all cooked food. If nature intended for things to be cooked, it would not package things the way it did. And if nature intended for us to eat cooked food, it would not have given us the enzymes necessary to breakdown these foods. It may not be as fast as cooking food, but it happens naturally. Truthfully it does happen faster, because we do not have to manufacture the enzymes for breaking down raw food, which takes time and requires the food to stay in our digestive tracts longer
Here are some things to consider when looking at digestion. Take a piece of fruit, a raw vegetable, a cooked vegetable, a raw piece of meat, and a cooked piece of meat. Put them all out on a counter in a room at 98.6 degrees (body temperature). Now, know that each one of these items takes different times to travel through the alimentary canal (digestive tract); fruit takes 2-3 hours, raw vegetable 8-9 hours, cooked vegetable 12-15 hours, raw meat about 24 hours, and cooked meat 24-72 hours. What would happen to each of those items if left out on that counter for their respective digesting times? This is what happens in the body as well. The longer something is in the digestive tract the more energy is being utilized to digest it too.
I believe (because nobody truly knows for sure, and I am currently on the path) that a diet rich in raw fruits and veggies is the ideal material for the human mechanism based on the previous arguments. There are many more angles to take and topics of argument, but these two are the main ones in my eyes. The only way to know for sure is to try it yourself. It may seem extreme in today's world to only eat raw fruits and vegetables, but people do a lot more extreme things in life, none of which could potentially cure them of disease and leave them with the most resilient, healthy body they could ever dream of.
If this is something that even remotely interests you, please reach out to me, and absolutely, without hesitation, start reading the books listed below. I hope to spawn some powerful conversations with this, and change peoples' lives.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GM0lU5Dq7eA (Tips to Eat Right. Watch any of his videos on food. They will make more sense than any physician or nutritionist ever will)