Making Foods Digestible & Fit for Human Consumption
Also see Grains, Nuts, Seeds & Legumes Must be Properly Prepared (legumes are beans and peas from pods, also called pulses.)
Did you know that meats, eggs and “good” fats are the easiest foods for our bodies to digest compared to carbohydrates (any foods not classified as protein or fat)?
Meats, eggs and “good” fats require very little of the body’s resources in order to digest them, while carb digestion needs many enzymes, which puts a burden on the digestive system, particularly the pancreas. Carb digestion also requires more of the body’s resources and energy in order to digest them and maintain blood sugar levels.
However, you can fulfill all of your body’s blood glucose/sugar requirements very easily by consuming only meats, eggs, and natural fats. That is because 58% of protein and 10% of fat can be changed into glucose by the liver on an “as needed basis.”
Many modern foods, such as processed milk products, bread, pasta, etc. are extremely difficult to digest, but "traditional preparation methods" made food easy to digest and helped the absorption and utilization of nutrients. They include:
- Preparation of grains by soaking and sour leavening to neutralize difficult-to-digest components and nutrient blockers.
- Soaking nuts to remove irritants and toxins.
- Long soaking and cooking, or even fermentation, of legumes (beans and peas from pods).
- Fermentation of many types of tubers vegetables, such as cassava (tapioca root, yucca root or arrowroot).
- Fermentation of condiments and beverages.
- Consumption of protein foods (meat, eggs, fish and milk products) with plenty of natural fat and not Unnatural Fats & Oils That Damage the Entire Body.
- Use of gelatin-rich mineral bone broths. Gelatin acts not only to bring food into contact with digestive juices, it also soothes the intestinal wall. Bone broths cooked long enough brings out more of the minerals and bone marrow. See the Mineral-Rich Bone Broth Recipe.
- Cook vegetables to neutralize toxins and break down cell walls (fibers, called cellulose) that we cannot digest. Cook them until they change color and are also very soft, which means the cellulose wall has been broken down so enzymes, nutrients and minerals can be released. Some vegetables, like Swiss Chard, require long cooking times, about 60 minutes, in order to break down the cellulose cell wall. Save the water used in cooking to add to soups and broths. For more information see Raw Versus Cooked Carbs (Plant Foods).
How to Make Meats More Digestible
Note: Digestion also denatures protein by unfolding the protein molecules so they can be separated into amino acid molecules.
- Aging meats, which was traditionally done by hanging complete animal carcasses, before butchering or removing the skin, in a place that is 32@deg; to 40° F long enough, which depends upon the size of the animal. It takes about 6 weeks for a deer carcass to age long enough so the meat is tender and delicious.
- Curing meats can be done by air-curing, dry-curing, or wet-curing. Traditional curing is a different process. Essentially, salts of various kinds enter the meat (via a rub or a soak). The meat is optionally cold-smoked. Then the meat dehydrates for months. When the meat is rubbed with salt and left to sit, that’s dry-curing. When the meat is submerged in a brine (salt and water), that’s wet-curing.
- Soaking meats in an acidic medium also pre-digests (denatures) them, which is done by marinading them. Acidic mediums include lemon or lime juice, tomato juice, apple cider vinegar, whey, etc. If meats are marinaded long enough the acidic medium actually cooks them, just as if heat had been used, see Marinade Recipes.
- Cook meats or eggs until done to medium, but do not overcook them on high heat. Cooking proteins actually pre-digests them, called denaturing, which is also what digestion does. Overheating or overcooking meats and eggs makes them lose moisture and binds the protein molecules tighter together which makes them harder to digest or unfold as described above.