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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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May 09 2012

Is It Primal? – Cashews, Fermented Soy, Vinegar and Other Foods Scrutinized

By Mark Sisson
183 Comments

Last week, I scrutinized the “Primality” of ten commonly wondered-about foods. It garnered a lot of follow-up comments and emails, so I figured I’d do another round. This time I only covered eight, but I hope you’ll forgive me. If you’ve ever wanted to know about cashews, wheatgrass, fermented soy, vinegar, almond milk, hummus, royal jelly, or green coffee bean extract (and let’s face it, who hasn’t?), this is the perfect post for you.

Let’s dig in, shall we?

Cashews

In all my years doing this stuff, I’ve never really properly addressed the suitability of cashews. Today that ends. Cashews are the seeds of the cashew apple, a delicacy of Brazil, and the interior of their shells are lined with a poisonous resin called cashew balm. Cashew balm is used in insecticides, so don’t go shelling your own cashews. So what’s the deal? Are they good to go, as long as you avoid the balm?

The cashew is high in monounsaturated fat (7.6 g per ounce) and, while it contains a decent amount of omega-6s (2.2 g per ounce), it’s lower in polyunsaturated fats than Primal favorites like almonds (3.5 g per ounce).

The cashew is, however, one of the richest sources of phytic acid in the nut and seed world, containing more phytate than almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, and chestnuts. For that reason, I consider it helpful (and perhaps paramount) to soak your raw cashews before consuming them – especially if you’re trying to get over tooth decay or combat osteoporosis.

The big problem I see with cashews is the tendency of folks to gorge on the little guys. It’s just something about a roasted, salted, buttery cashew that promotes overeating. Be wary of that.

Verdict: Primal. Whatever you do, just don’t put the balm on!

Wheatgrass

This is a perplexing one. On the one hand, it’s wheat. We hate wheat. Wheat is anything but Primal. On the other hand, it’s grass, and aren’t we Primals always going on and on about the benefits of grass-feeding? So what’s the deal?

Wheat starts out as a “grass,” technically, and wheatgrass juice is derived from cotyledons of the common wheat plant. The cotyledon of a grass is the part of the seed that becomes the first leaves to sprout upon germination. After a chemist found that feeding his ailing chickens fresh wheatgrass improved their health and increased their egg output, the wheatgrass craze was ignited.

I’m not sure I follow. I’m all for fresh wheatgrass for chickens – heck, I’d even juice it for them if it meant more eggs – but I fail to see the relevance to human diets. Is there nutrition in wheatgrass? Sure. Is it accessible to humans if we pulverize the cellulose and extract the juices? Probably. But just check out the Wiki article, which has a table comparing the nutritional content of wheatgrass juice to spinach and broccoli. Spinach is clearly superior, almost across the board, with more magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium, and beta-carotene. Plus, it tastes better (read: not like lawn clippings) and is a lot less expensive.

Is it gluten-free? Well, maybe. Since gluten is mostly found in the endosperm of a wheat grain, and wheatgrass is just the grass, not the seed (let alone the endosperm), it’s probably gluten-free. I wouldn’t recommend it to celiacs, but I doubt it’s a big issue here.

Verdict: Could be Primal, but why? It’s probably great as ruminant feed.

Fermented Soy

I’ve said my piece on soy before: it’s potentially phytoestrogenic, mildly carcinogenic, mineral-binding, and goitrogenic. Its oil is in everything nowadays, and most of our animals are a third soybean meal. Bad stuff all around. But that was about soy-based products and processed soy; what about fermented soy? What about miso, natto, and tempeh? We’re big fans of fermented foods in general around here, so it stands to reason that fermented soy might enjoy a slightly different reception. Let’s see.

Fermentation makes the much-ballyhooed soy isoflavones biovailable to humans. Without fermentation, we can’t really make use of them.

Traditionally-fermented tempeh has reduced levels of phytic acid.

Fermented soy sauce displays increased levels of antioxidant compounds (and it seems to be totally free of soy and wheat allergens).

And though you may not be aware of this fact, natto – the widely reviled sticky pungent fermented soybean – is the richest source of vitamin K2 (MK-7, as opposed to the MK-4 found in animal foods) in the food world. It’s also much lower in phytic acid than unprocessed soybeans.

So, while soy is definitely not Primal, fermentation brings it a lot closer to the fold. Perhaps a longer post is worth writing. What do you think?

Verdict: Not Primal, but pretty good (and far better than unfermented soy).

Vinegar

Is vinegar Primal? Well, I have a post on “how to make red wine vinegar,” so it can’t be that bad, but let’s dig into it all the same. After all, you guys like details.

The primary component of vinegar is acetic acid, a product of fermentation by acetic acid-making bacteria. Acetic acid is a corrosive agent that can cause permanent damage to eyes, skin, and (I’d imagine) various orifices. It’s even flammable. Wow. Sounds awful, right?

Not so fast. Table vinegar – the kind you put on salads – is mostly water, with around 4-8% acetic acid (which is actually a short-chain fatty acid, a la butyric acid). The dangerous corrosive agent, then, is highly diluted before it reaches your mouth. I wouldn’t recommend guzzling shots of vinegar (except on a dare, perhaps), but it’s not a problem in the context of normal consumption. Besides, there are actual health benefits to using acetic acid dilute, I mean vinegar:

In type 2 diabetics and people with insulin resistance, vinegar improves insulin sensitivity when taken with a high-carb meal.

Eating potatoes with a little bit of vinegar reduces the postprandial blood sugar and insulin response.

Both 15 and 30 mL (one or two tablespoons) of daily vinegar reduced body weight, waist circumference, triglycerides, and other symptoms of metabolic syndrome in obese Japanese subjects, absent any other interventions.

Vinegar (albeit vinegar with higher levels of acetic acid) can act as an organic herbicide.

As for distilled versus fermented vinegar (like cider vinegar), there may well be qualitative differences, but that’ll have to wait for a future post.

Verdict: Primal. Acetic bacteria have been around longer than we have.

Almond Milk

I’ve never been very impressed with almond milk. It’s extremely watery and low in calories, which makes me feel like I’m wasting money on it. It doesn’t have much taste, unless you add sugar, in which case you’ve just added a bunch of sugar. It often contains dubious ingredients, like fortified vitamins and carrageenan. It’s very much a processed food.

But is almond milk Primal? Sure, in theory. Grind up some almonds, mix with water, and strain them to produce a “milk” uses nothing but Primal ingredients and practices. There’s nothing overtly “wrong” with that. But there’s also nothing very exciting. I’d guess if you make it from scratch, there’s a good chance your milk contains a decent amount of the nutrients inherent to almonds, like magnesium, vitamin E, various phytochemicals, but there’s also a chance that a lot of it is retained in the solids.

Personally, I’d just eat the almonds.

Verdict: Primal.

Hummus

It certainly isn’t Primal, seeing as how it’s pretty much just a bunch of mashed chickpeas, which are legumes. But good hummus, prepared with soaked, lightly fermented chickpeas, high quality extra-virgin olive oil, preserved lemon, tahini made from sprouted sesame seeds, pungent garlic, sea salt, and pepper? Skip the pita bread and opt for carrot sticks or celery slices (or just a spoon) and there are far worse ways to cheat.

The problem is most hummus isn’t that good. It’s made with industrial oils, which are full of rancid omega-6 fats. It’s made with canned garbanzos, which are likely rich in BPA and full of phytic acid. It’s got stabilizers and preservatives and that, while perhaps not all “that bad,” make for a subpar, processed food. And if you’re going to cheat, I implore you to use the good stuff. If you’re willing to make your own hummus, soak your own garbanzos, preserve your own lemons, etc., then hummus won’t be too bad. It’ll be free of BPA, low in phytic acid, full of healthy, Primal ingredients like olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and tahini, and it will taste pretty darn good. Extra points for fermented hummus.

Verdict: Not Primal, but not all hummus is created equal.

Royal Jelly

I already covered fructose-rich bee vomit in a previous post in which I deemed it a relatively safe(r) sweetener, but what about one of the lesser-known products of the apiary, royal jelly?

Royal jelly is kinda like bee colostrum. When a queen is dead or dying, and the worker bees (don’t get any ideas, guys) need to make a new one, they select a few larvae and feed them royal jelly for the rest of their lives. The jelly (which workers secrete from glands located in their heads) is rich in nutrients and contains a special growth-promoting protein called royalactin (which turns larvae into queens by speeding up growth and ovary development). All larvae receive royal jelly for at least three days, but only the future queens get it indefinitely. Queens also live for as long as five years, while the workers live for perhaps a month. The only difference between a worker and a queen is that the queen gets royal jelly for life. Other than that, they’re genetically identical.

But does royal jelly make sense as a food source for humans? Probably not, as a well-run hive can only make about half a kilo of royal jelly in six months. As a supplement? Maybe.

As in bees, royal jelly can prolong the lives of other insects, like the fruitfly, via royalactin. I wonder if royalactin could do the same for vertebrates, too.

It might be good for brain health. Oral royal jelly has been shown to stimulate the production of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), a promoter of neurogenesis, in rodents. And recently, it improved cognitive abilities in mice dosed with a potent neurotoxin designed to initiate neuron death.

It might help with male infertility. In one study, vaginally applying a peri-coital mixture of royal jelly and honey improved the ability of men with lower sperm motility to impregnate their mates when compared to a control group.

A recent study, however, found that royal jelly had an adverse effect on the reproductive function of male rats. And though it’s pretty rare, royal jelly can be a serious allergen for some people.

Whatever you do, I’d be careful.

Verdict: Primal, but it’s not snake oil and it isn’t innocuous. Make absolutely certain that you’re ready for this jelly (I had to do it).

Green Coffee Bean Extract

As recently seen on Dr. Oz, green coffee bean extract is touted as a powerful weight loss supplement. Though Mehmet casts a dubious shadow on the things he endorses, I thought I’d take a look into this one. I mean, coffee beans are known sources of antioxidants, so it isn’t out of the realm of possibility, but I’m only familiar with the roasted, brown kind of coffee bean. What’s the deal with green coffee beans (and their extract)?

Coffee contains chlorogenic acids, organic compounds that have been shown to benefit glucose tolerance in humans. Green coffee bean extract (GCBE) also contains chlorogenic acids, and a recent study found that GCBE supplementation reduced body fat and resting heart rate in obese human subjects, though researchers weren’t sure whether the caffeine content of GCBE was partly responsible.

Why not just drink coffee, you might be wondering? I’m actually wondering the same thing. As noted above, coffee also contains chlorogenic acids, caffeine, and can improve weight loss. Coffee also tastes phenomenal. I see little evidence that GCBE is doing anything that coffee is not.

Verdict: Primal, but not nearly as delicious as real coffee.

That’s it for today, folks. Keep sending in your queries, and I’ll do my best to get to them. If I ever amass enough, maybe I’ll throw together another “Is it Primal?” post. Take care!

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183 thoughts on “Is It Primal? – Cashews, Fermented Soy, Vinegar and Other Foods Scrutinized”

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  1. Do roasted cashews, which ARE easy to overeat, contain the same amount of phytic acid as raw-unsoaked cashews?

    1. Soaking is what really does the trick. I’d guess that roasted cashews have a little less phytic acid than raw-unsoaked but I’d still soak them. Better chance of you not overeating them if you do this too since its extra work.

  2. The royal jelly verdict got me thinking — are milkshakes Primal?

    1. “Oral royal jelly” got me thinking too, but in a humorous NSFW mode.

    2. I would believe their benefit of coercing all of the males to sprint to the yard would override the poor nutritional content when served cold. But I wonder what happens when you warm it up…

    3. What do you mean by “milkshakes” exactly? It depends on what you add to it.

      Smoothies are Primal all the way…

  3. So… my brother and my sister both died with glioblastomata. I perk up when people mention glial cells. Rolling the dice, would royal jelly, do you think, retard or exacerbate a glioblastoma?

    I know you don’t know. I’m just inviting some speculation.

    1. My husband died at 48 of GBM too….! Sorry for your loss…I just try to do the right thing with eating as best I can…hang in there!

    2. Sorry for your loss, Ion. Working in rehab, I’ve seen the results of glios. Don’t really want to weight in on royal jelly, but as Mark has pointed out here, and others have mentioned as well, cancer cells seem to thrive off glucose. Seems the best thing you could do, diet wise (other than eating as Primal as possible,) to avoid the same fate would be to eat low carb (50 grams or less a day on average) and fast intermittently if you aren’t already. Just my two cents.

      Good luck and good health!

      1. Cancer cells or tumors are glycogen obligate so yes they do thrive on glucose and in theory cannot survive without it.I have read many books where poeple have reversed their cancer by eating a whole raw food diet, e.g veg and salad.

  4. I’m wondering about tapioca. I thought I read that it’s not very good for you, but lately I’ve seen more “primal” recipes using tapioca flour. My first inclination is that people using it are the ones trying to keep their lives full of baked good rather than really embracing basic primal foods. But then, I’ve always loved warm tapioca as dessert. If I could have tapioca (not out of the box filled with sugar and preservatives), I’d be a happy girl.

    1. I second this one. I’d love to know more about tapioca. My daughter is a big fan of homemade tapioca pudding and being able to have the occasional cheat for it without feeling too bad would be nice.

        1. Here in Brazil’s northeast tapioca flour is always sold and stored at home soaked, we call it “goma de tapioca”, and only dry it as we consume. I particularly treat it as I would rice, but wonder if the very long soaking process (sometimes weeks) that was initially used by the natives helps making it primal.

    2. Tapioca flour is a highly refined starch and not paleo friendly!! Its glycemic index is 94 (bad). So I don’t recommend tapioca pudding even if its homemade.

    3. Tapioca is made from tubers of the cassava plant. Basically in the same category as white potatoes. It’s high in carbs, so it shouldn’t be an everyday item, but fine as an occasional indulgence.

      As an aside, I make pao de queijo – rolls made with tapioca flour and cheese – for Thanksgiving and similar occasions. They’re a lovely gluten-free alternative to the normal thanksgiving rolls.

        1. i also love bubble tea.

          but Most commercial bubble tea is too sweet. i dont’ know what they use for sweetener or creamer. hopefully not HFCG, hydrogenated creamer!

          i have seen tapioca bubbles pre-cookded (wet) sold in package in stores. they may have been added colors & preservative to keep them from mold.

          (coking from uncooked (dry) tapioca pearls is rather tedious process.)

          if you can make bubble tea @ home, it should be ok.

          regards,

        2. I make a bubble tea-like drink with chia seeds. It’s just a teaspoon of chia seeds soaked in tea with a little coconut milk.

      1. Yeah but its tree sap and all you do is boil off water to make it, so I think that it’s legit question. If honey is ok in treat size amounts then why not maple syrup (the real stuff)

        1. the real problem i think, with honey and maple syrup, is the very high carb/sugar/fructose content. Grok certainly had access to honey, but probably ate it rarely. Native Americans had maple syrup, but i’m guessing they used it sparingly.

        2. I’d bet that when Grok got his hands on some honey he ate it all up before anybody else could see that he found it. Then took a nap.

        3. Real maple syrup is primal. It’s used in Mark’s recipes and (I believe) recommended over honey.

        4. From my understanding… if you aren’t trying to loose weight honey and maple syrup are primal, it just has to fit in to your 100-150 grams / day maintenance. Remember that you need to include as much healthy carb food in to that 125 grams as possible and honey / maple syrup are pretty much empty calories. It primal because Grok had access to it, but that doesn’t mean its nutritious. If Grok had unlimited access to the honey supplies he could have been fat and unhealthy too. Use it judiciously and infrequently.

      2. Around here there are tons of maple syrup farms. I rarely eat maple syrup but I was always curious. Fresh local syrup usually runs about 15-20$ for a small bottle. It’s 100% syrup boiled down from sap about 20km from here (11miles or so? I think?)

    1. Marathon runners have been studied for acute cardiomyopathy and elevated serum cardiac enzymes after their events. Freaky stuff.

      I’m sure it’s occurring in all sorts of athletes, not just marathon runners.

  5. Id like to know more about Worcestershire sauce.

    To be more precise the Malt Vinegar that’s in it.

    1. Malt is barley, so a no go. But, I recently found a gluten free brand. Still not great but better?

      1. I’ve been using pureed sardines as a replacement, but it’s not the same. I suspect as much because it’s missing the fermentation, but fermenting meat scares me. I would pay good money to anyone who figured out and sold a good book on homemade Worcestershire sauce.

        1. Anchovies would be a better substitute than sardines. Mediterraneans traditionally use anchovies in sauces and dressings to boost the umami, much as Worcestershire sauce is used in British and American cooking. They can be diced fine and practically melt into cooked foods and dissolve in salad dressing. A good combo to approximate Worcestershire would be anchovy, balsamic vinegar, and some seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic, onion). As the commenter above mentioned, probably not a good idea to attempt to ferment your own fish, but letting the mixture sit for a couple of days in the fridge would help the flavors mingle.

    2. I don’t know what Worcestershire sauce you’re using but it shouldn’t contain Malt Vinegar. Lea & Perrins ingredient list:

      Ingredients: distilled white vinegar, molases, water, sugar, onions, anchovies, salt, garlic, cloves, tamarind extract, natural flavorings, chili pepper extract. Contains anchovies.

      According to their web site it is fully gluten free.

    1. No on the agave nectar. It is processed and almost pure fructose (that’s why there isn’t a big effect on blood sugars)

    2. Agave nectar is pure refined fructose, and possibly worse for you than HFCS. The health community really got it wrong on this one. Not primal.

  6. For the coffee one…. coffee is gross.

    What is there in coffee that I don’t get from black/green teas?

    1. Awesomeness – that’s what.

      And what goes better with a nice, primal cigar than a cup of espresso?

      1. I agree. Even the smell is bad. What bothers me is people calling it a bean. Coffee is a toxic fruit seed. Fruit seeds evolved to not be digested, but to pass through and still be viable. No way our ancestors were eating coffee seeds. Now the coffee fruit would be primal, but you can’t find it outside of coffee growing locales.

        1. If coffee is a toxic bean, then what about cocoa? Same thing? You’re not going to take chocolate from my life, are you?

      2. If you hate coffee, your drinking the wrong coffee. Not all coffee is created equal.
        Be careful with gluten free products. They can elicit an insulin response worse than grains or sugar. They are very high GI.
        Nuts (and the legumes cashews & peanuts) can be dangerous due to being easily over consumed – especially when coated in chocolate, but that is just a no-no.

      3. Haha, I love coffee so much I drink it black, iced, usually decaf and without sugar.. Coffee is amazing at any temperature, but hot ones make me pee all day!

    2. I am 44 years old and have never had a cup of coffee in my life, I have tried it occassionally (like 3 times) but think it tastes gross too, my sister doesn’t like it either, two people in one family seems unusual!

      1. Coffee is addictive, have it enough times and you will ‘like’ it. Your mind/body gets used to the chemicals and makes you ‘like’ it. Most people that try plain coffee the first time are are repulsed by it. I’m a coffee drinker but I have to admit I don’t like it that much (I do like the cream added) but it’s very addictive and if it’s around I’ll drink it.

        Let’s be honest here, coffee is not good for you in any way really, probably harmful for what it does to your nervous system and body. But people are addicted and justify it. It’s not obviously killing people like cigarettes, and supposedly has antioxidant properties (which have not been proven to actually do anything good for people and may be harmful), so it’s easy to justify (people justify a lot worse).

        Do you think our ancestors were gathering poisonous seeds, roasting them carefully, then boiling them (in non existant cookware)? Likely coffee evolved by someone trying to make a tea like substance to avoid hunger when they were starving.

    1. My nutritionist advised me to bake them. I have a mold allergy, and the raw ones are full of mold. 350 in the oven until toasty brown – mine is convection and takes about 11 minutes in a flat pan, one layer.

    2. Nuts are seeds, and just like most other seeds, contain some type of gut-irritating lectins. You shouldn’t have a problem if you eat them in moderation once every three days, but most people overdo it on the nuts.

    3. raw almonds give me a bellyache. if i bake them or eat store bought roasted, it’s better.

  7. Hummus just got a thread recently. My advice and that of several others: make baba ghanouj instead (unless sensitive to nightshades due to the eggplant). Much lower carb, Primal, delicious. Just finished lunch that included braised short ribs and roasted veggies with roasted eggplant baba.

    1. Sorry, grilled veggies and grilled eggplant baba. Get that nice smoky flavor!

    2. Thank you for that suggestion!!! Brilliant!!! I love baba ghanouj and had not thought of it.

  8. I have gone from snacking on cashews all day long to tossing a few on a salad or Asian dish. As for soaking them, naw, I don’t think so.

  9. Good to know about the soy sauce, I’d been using it for stir-fries anyway, figuring that fermentation would take care of any potential issues.

    1. Try San-J organic, low-sodium, wheat-free (by definition), naturally brewed Tamari. I think it blows soy sauce out of the water.

      Just dip the edges of some thinly sliced daikon rounds into it…

    1. seconded! I love miso soup..ditch the tofu, up the seaweed, and hope it’s primal…

      1. Mark covers miso in the fermented soy section of today’s article.

  10. I think you should really be a lot more excited about almond milk. It is my favorite: coconut milk is often too sugary for my taste, but mainly for the reason that you can make delicious smoothies with it.
    Good article, thanks.

  11. How about soy lecithin. I use Whey Protein Isolate (Bluebonnet). It’s organic and the ingredient list is all “clean” except for the soy lecithin. Is it okay to take?
    Thanks so much.

    1. Looking at bluebonnet container right now, even though i know the answer—-there isn’t soy lecithin in bluebonnet.

      1. Germaine – They just started adding it. If you go to their website it’s on the ingredient list. I emailed then about the discrepancy and they confirmed that it’s in there.

        1. That’s too bad, they were one of the good ones…lucky for us here in Colorado, we have natural grocers which sells their own completely pure whey concentrate from new Zealand for 8.60 a pound. Nothing added whatsoever. Stopped buying bluebonnet when I discovered it. Anyway, thanks for the heads up! I don’t do anything with the s word, and that stupid lecithin is in everything. Watch out in your dark chocolate…

    2. You’d be better off using other more natural sources of protein such as meat or eggs! Hard boiled eggs are a quick dose of quality protein and omega-3’s!

  12. One of my GF cookbooks mentions that white vinegar may have traces of gluten in it, so for those that are particularly gluten sensitive, I’d say stick to apple or wine vinegars.

    1. Just a quick note, a shot glass of apple cider vinegar is the quickest, safest treatment for mastitis

    1. i use white vinegar in a homemade housecleaning solution. i eat salads etc, with Apple cider vinegar. sometimes rice vinegar.

  13. It’s interesting how individual food intolerances are. I can eat a ton of macadamia nuts with no adverse reactions. I can eat quite a few cashews (though avoid placing myself in situations where that’s possible) also without much effect except an increased desire to eat more later that day. But if I eat more than a handful of almonds in a day, I experience bloating and waistline discomfort. For comparative purposes, we can break these foods down to the ratios of macronutrients they contain, but this ignores all of their differences in micronutrients and phytochemicals, some of which may be problematic for some individuals.

    1. Aloha Aaron,
      Thank you for posting this! You may be the first person I’ve seen post on here who mentions nuts making them hungrier, bloated, or having “waistline discomfort.” Maybe it’s the nuts that are derailing my progress with PB! I’ve been trying to eat PB for a month and a half now and honestly I feel happier (as in, cut my antidepressant dose in half and still feel better than before PB!) and healthier overall and my skin has cleared for the first time since pre-puberty (I’m 30), but I’ve actually gained fat and my stomach is more bloated than when I started. I’ve been eating quite a few nuts throughout my PB experience… perhaps they have something to do with this! I appreciate that your post made me think to look at this part of my new diet… hopefully I’ll find a way to balance things so that I can stay PB and be happier, healthier, AND thinner / less bloated!

      1. me three. Cut out nuts. It sucks, but I think it has to be done for a lot of people.

    2. Hi Aaron,
      Are these blanched almonds? Or ones with the skins still on? The skins, i.e. the bran, is where the phytic acid is. The macadamia nuts are very low in phytic acid.

      A friend soaks almonds in the refrigerator and then slides the skins off.

      1. Hi Don,
        Not sure if the skins are still on. I buy almonds already shelled and lightly roasted. I have soaked raw almonds a couple of times before roasting them myself, and I think I tolerated them better that way, though I don’t remember removing a skin layer.

  14. “This is a perplexing one. On the one hand, it’s wheat. We hate wheat. Wheat is anything but Primal. On the other hand, it’s grass, and aren’t we Primals always going on and on about the benefits of grass-feeding? So what’s the deal?”

    Thanks for the LOL, Mark!

    1. That cracked me up too. I was imagining clipping the lawn with my teeth.

      Just one more thing the neighbors would be amused by… they already stare at our goats and chickens.

    2. grass feeding the ruminants, karen, not us! ruminants process the grasses (solar energy in a plant form) for us and make it safe for us to eat as the ruminants animal body meat –

  15. Im wondering about certain lactogenic foods and herbs. I’ve been primal for about 2 years now and I’m currently breastfeeding. But I’m having trouble keeping up with my son’s nursing needs (I didn’t have this problem with my first child). I’ve read that hops, hops flowers, nettle leaf, raspberry leaf, oats, oatstraw, alfalfa and fenugreek can all help boost milk supply. Obviously oats would be out for me, but what about all the others? I’m guessing the herbs would be ok but I’d love some guidance on all the aforementioned lactogenic foods. Thanks!

    1. Not sure if it’s primal, but when I nursed I took torula food yeast (similar to brewers yeast). Not good if you are prone to candida though. If you can tolerate it, you’ll have more milk than he can drink, and it will be packed with B vitamins.

    2. I *just* read somewhere (Chris Kessler’s site, maybe?) that there was a study that showed that breastfeeding mothers who ate a high-fat diet created more nutritious breastmilk, but not more volume. So keep eating lots of your healthy primal fats, too! Maybe the volume isn’t necessarily as much of an issue?
      Personally, a pint of Guinness every afternoon — wisdom passed down from my mom — worked for me! Hey, it’s fermented.

      1. Oh, I love that image! Feet up, baby welded on and a glass of brew to toast the day just gone, fantastic!
        Cheers

      2. I know that when I switched to real animal fats and dropped the vegetable oils my milk supply shot up. It was instant – good cream in, good cream out 🙂

        Good to hear that even if your supply doesn’t increase, that the nutrition does.

        That would be my main suggestion – make sure you’re eating lots of good quality fats – meat fat, grass-fed butter, high-fat cream added to everything; coffee, dessert (fruit and cream), hot cocoa (just cocoa powder, hot water and cream), and any dish that you’d normally add milk to, splash some cream in too (like scrambled eggs etc)

    3. Amanda,

      The raspberry leaf, alfalfa, and fenugreek all help with milk supply; I don’t know about the others though and I can’t eat oats or oatstraw. You can take supplements of alfalfa and fenugreek, and drink teas of raspberry leaf (one of my favorites) and fenugreek. So many of us seem to experience supply problems with the second or third child, and I think it has a lot to do with the fact that you are now taking care of 2 or more children, rather than just focusing on one, and that REALLY changes things! Make sure you are getting enough rest, drinking lots of water, and keeping stress low. And who knows, maybe its just a temporary supply issue which I think every nursing mom has experienced. Good luck to you!

    4. I’m a midwife and we always recommend women who are concerned about their supply to take fenugreek supplements. I have also heard that raspberry leaf can be useful. I can’t see how these would not primal. Fenugreek can make your milk smell a bit funny though

    5. I had the same problem. Bit naughty but a dark beer/stout does wonders for milk supply.

  16. Interesting that a good chunk of the weight loss experienced in the GCBE study came during the wash-out periods. One group lost a substantial amount during the wash-out period after placebo, haha. Actual weight loss numbers during high dose and low dose periods are less sexy than the authors state in the conclusion.

    1. Where were you able to get the full article? I have only been able to find the abstract.

      Mark, from my understanding the amount of chlorogenic acid is greatly diminished after roasting the beans to use for coffee. Green coffee beans are too bitter to be used for anything else. Studies have shown mixed reviews for cholognenic acid but supposedly the dosage was low. This new study used higher doses of GCE.

  17. Why eat all these processed foods? I thought primal meant food that Grok ate.

    1. Sorry, really late reply here! I just wanted to say that Primal & Paleo are not about ‘what a caveman WOULD HAVE eaten’ but what his body was able to digest. We live in a technological era where we can do things like ferment, soak etc. Just because Grok wouldn’t have been able to make almond milk doesn’t mean it doesn’t fit in with what our digestive systems have evolved to cope with.

    1. Hi Derek,
      Mark has covered these topics already 🙂
      Use the Search function at the top of the page and you should find all you need to know!
      Happy reading

  18. I love hummus! Back in my veggie days I always made it myself from soaked chickpeas and it was completely different from the store bought stuff, Mmmm. I feel a “cheat” coming soon (with carrot sticks and cucumber slices of course)

    1. You don’t have to give up your hummus,as I just replace the garbonzo beans with zucchini. When I was doing a raw, vegan diet I would make this version of hummus and no one could tell the difference. It primal and delicious!

  19. Just a caution about using nutritional data to compare foods. The section of your article discussing wheatgrass rightly said that just because it’s good for chickens, doesn’t mean it good for humans. This would hint that the nutrients may not be bioavailable to humans. Then you compare spinach to wheatgrass using nutritional data without regard to the bioavailability of the nutrients in spinach. I used to make this same mistake using nutrition data. I would urge your readers to learn about the anti-nutrients present in many plant foods (phytates, oxalates, goitrogens, etc…)

  20. I’m guessing Chia seed is good for ALA’s but is also missing the other good Omega-3’s… so not a good replacement for wild fish… but I thought I’d throw it out there since I’ve heard it brought up a few times recently. Wondering if it’s beneficial to add a bit into the day, in addition to our vital omega supplements?

    1. Most that I’ve seen have oats in them, so they wouldn’t be primal. I make my own, using a variety of chopped nuts, shredded coconut, sunflower and/or pumpkin seeds, and some kinds of dried berries. I don’t think I’ve ever made the same recipe twice and use whatever mix of things I have on hand. Toast all of that (minus the dried berries) in the oven for a few minutes, then pour over a mixture of some honey, coconut oil, a teaspoon on vanilla extract, and whatever spices you like (cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, or what suits your fancy), stir to combine and bake stirring often so it doesn’t burn. My kids love this for snacks, for a “cereal” in the morning, or over yogurt. There are a lot of recipes online if you want exact measurements, but granola is pretty easy to just play around with.

  21. I never had a problem with Royal jelly, but then again I think the Bee Pollen is far superior due to all the nutrients and trace minerals you get, as well as the health benefits and the price.

    I would like it if next time you covered Bee Pollen Mark.

    1. I agree…eat a couple of tablespoons a day of bee pollen…as well as a 1/4 tsp of 3x royal jelly…great food right from Mother Nature’s cupboard. Can’t get any better than that.

  22. Thanks for covering some grayer foods.

    In response to wheatgrass, I experimented with a supergreens mix once and my dad looked at me skeptically and said, “Humans aren’t ruminants.”. Touche.

    Personally, I think fermented soy lies in that really fuzzy area where if something is prepared in a traditional way, it becomes more acceptable. There was a post on this in the past: if musk or fermented tofu become Primal, then does that lead to good fermented sourdough bread being Primal? I like the simplicity of eating foods in their most natural form, and all this traditional soaking, sprouting, fermenting, and whatnot seems to be getting away from eating what our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate.

    I have absolutely no knowledge on the topic, but when I picture Grok, I don’t really have an image of someone fermenting tofu. I really think it belongs in the 20 portion of the 80/20 philosophy.

    1. LOL – your Dad is so right, the reason they can digest it, is because they ruminate (ie: ferment) it in their stomachs. Then hoark it back up and rechew. So, unless we grow some more stomachs and start rechewing our food I think grass is out! As for horses they have a giant appendix, the cecum, to digest their grass – ours is kind of little and very useless, and I don’t even have one LOL

  23. “…vaginally applying a peri-coital mixture of royal jelly and honey improved the ability of men…”

    What the what? I’m not grasping this one, but I’m not saying you should include a diagram, either. Maybe it’s best if this is left unexplained.

  24. “unless you add sugar, in which case you’ve just added a bunch of sugar.” haha so basic. I used to buy almond milk but then started feeling the same way about it being a waste of money and just switched to canned coconut milk instead. I’ve also made my own macadamia nut milk which came out incredibly creamy and decadent. I highly suggest people try that out if they are looking for a substitute.

  25. it’s great to hear that soy sauce would be okay for someone with soy or wheat allergies. For celiacs or gluten intolerant, watch out because it can be enough to cause a reaction. Look for a wheat free soy or tamari sauce.

    I loved the first sentence about wheat grass, haha!

    1. Since I can’t have gluten or soy, I use a product called Coconut Aminos in place of soy sauce. Its a great substitute and my whole family likes it.

      1. I second the recommendation for coconut aminos! It continues to ferment after packaging, so be careful when opening. 🙂

      2. If you have candida issues then also beware of coconut aminos. I bought a bottle (not cheap in the UK) and spent all nightr itching due to Candida.

  26. Better than spinach is lamb’s quarter, also called wild spinach (though it’s closer biologically to quinoa than mono-cropped spinach).

    Most importantly, the growing soil condition is really the best qualifier for nutrient density. I live in Yukon, and the soil here is replete with minerals, so our lamb’s quarters and other wild edibles completely blow away any farmed produce- even organically grown. One taste really demonstrates this very clearly.

    I recommend more education and experience with wild-gathering rather than more education and experience with grocery-store gathering. I spent years learning about what goes into manufactured and farmed foods, learned to navigate the grocery store, and then three years ago, realised that I could have spent that time learning how to navigate the abundant forest that surrounds me, so I’ve been doing that instead. Wild mushrooms still baffle/scare me a bit…

    When in the grocery store, I just stick to things that don’t (need to) come in packages (except select meats), and it works out fine. 🙂

    More wild gathering!!! It’s fairly easy to learn to identify and prepare regional edibles (easier than grocery-store navigation, in my opinion), and if you’re in a big city, I can understand why it doesn’t work so well, but a week-end trip to a forest somewhere can yield a huge amount of produce, and you also get to benefit from being in the forest!

    1. erm. if you were reading the same article then you would have seen that they are EXTREMELY high on phytic acid..
      So technically primal but not a good idea if you want to retain your minerals.

  27. What about raspberry ketones that Dr. Oz promotes for losing weight?

  28. i work for a supplement company so I have a little more info to share about Green Coffee Bean Extract.

    There are actually a few Doctors (not just Oz) getting excited about this product because of the early studies and trials.

    Supposedly the Chlorogenic Acid in pre-roasted (green) coffee is highly concentrated and it blocks sugar to the blood stream. It has nothing to do with the caffeine.

    I guess we will know the real results soon – because people are calling us ordering by the truck loads!

  29. A bit of trivia – cashews are in the same family as poison ivy (so are mangoes). Eating a lot of cashews can intensify a person’s reaction to poison ivy, should they be exposed to it.

    Regarding mangoes – given you indulge – good idea to wash the skin before peeling and not eat too many at one time.

  30. So happy about the hummus! Fermented it will be…on homemade crackers. Yum.

  31. I would definitely like to see more on the soy variants vs the world. Not to mention the amount of GM soy that appears to have taken the industry. I can’t help wonder if like white rice in Japan, where processing and dietary habits are more at issue.

  32. Not so sure about cashews being primal:
    Cashews are be the only nuts (well along with chestnuts) that a diabetic person would require insulin for……

  33. Where can you buy bee pollen? None of the health food stores carry it and I haven’t heard of any beekeepers near me (in Hampton Roads VA).

  34. That wiki on wheat grass was interesting. Did anyone click on the talk link and read this page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Wheatgrass ? Interesting discussion.
    I don’t know much about it, except that people I’ve talked with who take wheatgrass juice on a regular basis and who also consume other raw greens say that they notice an incredible difference from the wheatgrass. Maybe because the nutrients are more bio-available in that form? I’d like to see some more thorough research than one wiki page that many people agree needs editing. Time to do some digging on the net.

  35. I figure apples/cider knows to turn into vinegar all by itself, so…it’s primal.

    Plus if you spray it full strength on weeds, it works better than Roundup!

  36. I’m so confused about soaking cashews. I’ve heard no more than 2 hours, and I’ve heard no more than 7. I’ve heard you need warm water, and I’ve heard that overnight in the fridge is fine. And I was pretty sure about using salt, until I saw this from the FAQ at http://www.westonaprice.org:

    Q. When soaking nuts, why is the salt needed?

    A. The salt helps activate enzymes that de-activate the enzyme inhibitors. For grains, we soak in an acidic solution to get rid of phytic acid. Nuts do not contain much phytic acid but do contain high levels of enzyme inhibitors. The method imitates the way the native peoples in Central America treated their nuts and seeds–by soaking them in seawater and then dehydrating them.

    If the problem with cashews is the phytic acid, should we soak in an acidic solution? Would an acid AND salt work?? I’d love some speculation on this subject, even if there are no definitive answers. Nuts aren’t always fantastic in smoothies, but cashews are amazing, so I’d love to figure out how to make them healthy (:

  37. I love these posts! Very informative. I’m glad to see that my beloved soy sauce is okay after all. Thanks a bunch, Mark!

  38. Hi Mark,

    I’m wondering what the nutritional differences are between various types of vinegar. In particular, we use balsamic vinegar a lot.. mostly on salads, but also as a reduction over fish, veggies, etc. Do your statements about vinegar hold true for balsamic as well? How about rice vinegar? I don’t know how it’s made, but I’m going out on a limb and assuming that rice is involved.. so probably not primal? Thanks!

  39. anyone though about this – wild almonds are poisonous yes? how could almonds be primal when domesticated almonds are what we eat now and we probably learned the hard way eating any amount of wild almonds earlier? there’s a german primal blogger that flatly refuses almonds as a primal food for this reason and it kinda makes sense–

    ideas?

    1. Hi Ravi, could you provide info on the german blogger? Have been looking for good paleo info in german. Thanks, Barb

  40. You promised information on sprouts, but I didn’t see any. I’m wondering how on earth Brussels sprouts could not be primal?

  41. mark…..you seemed to have skipped right over the sprouts issue……

  42. Please see below as to why the green coffee bean is not like drinking coffee:

    So, let’s dig into Green Coffee Bean, starting with the question, “how does Green Coffee Bean work against weight gain?” Believe it or not, the key is not the caffeine! It is a very important natural active compound called Chlorogenic Acid. Chlorogenic Acid works by inhibiting the release of glucose in the body while at the same time boosting the metabolism or the “burning” of fat in the liver. These two mechanisms combined work together to inhibit the absorption of fat and eliminate weight gain.

    You might wonder if you can get the same effects from the coffee you drink with breakfast in the morning – and the answer is no. When you roast coffee beans to give them that distinct color, aroma and flavor, you are also removing the Chlorogenic Acid, which is the key to healthy weight loss. Green Coffee Beans, in contrast, are unroasted, have little aroma, are bitter, and contain over 50% Chlorogenic Acid. Roasting Coffee Beans destroys the Cholorgenic Acid, which is the key component to supporting weight management. Remember, as I’ve always said, “bitter is better”.

    http://drlindsey.com/2012/04/19/the-super-bean-that-burns-fat-fast-2/

  43. Raw cashews aren’t really raw. They are steamed. They are steamed because of the poison that is on the interior of the shell. If you want raw cashews that truly aren’t cooked, you have to look really hard.

  44. What are “lightly fermented” chickpeas? When I was eating them I would cook dry chickpeas in my crockpot. How would I ferment them? –Thanks!

  45. CASHEEEEEEWWWWWWSSSSSSSSSSSS i love em! i rarely buy them, but when i do i usually eat alot! but i dont feel bad at all after it haha

  46. I swear sometimes that, just as I think of a new primal question, I open up the blog and there is my answer!!! I just love it.

  47. JUST A FEW QUESTIONS FOR ANYONE WHO HAS TIME PLEASE
    1. Does balsamic vinager have any gluten in it?
    2. Are macadamia nuts good for you. Are they low in omega 6
    3. What is primals stance on using beauty products with wheat in them ie does this soak into your bloodstream and effect you like it would if you eat them?

    Thanks guys

  48. I have a book, called Survival on Land or Sea, that was written during WWII, and was in a waterproof container on every lifeboat. It was especially helpful to survivors of sunken ships who made it to an island. One of its statements is that raw cashews are poisonous and must be cooked. I checked that out years ago and was told that no such thing as “raw cashews” are sold. They are all cooked before release into the market.

  49. I’ve been trying to figure out why any vinegar containing dips that come in contact with my daughters skin leaves a red rash for awhile. Thank you! I now believe it to be the acetic acid and can try out making our own sauces but diluting the vinegar even more (half water, half table vinegar to start). 🙂

  50. I once read that cashews are a bad idea for diabetics,so i remember,no cash. Sometimes when my stomach gets upset i take apple cider vinegar and my stomach feels better preety quik.Its also good for diabetics who are going to eat that occasional carb type meal.Take beforehand.

    1. So….soaked, then roasted cashews with a “chaser” shot of vinegar…on an occasional basis is…”ok”?!

  51. “You put the balm on? Who told you to put the balm on? I didn’t tell you to put the balm on. Why’d you put the balm on? You haven’t even been to see the doctor. If your gonna put a balm on, let a doctor put a balm on.” – Jackie Childs

    🙂

  52. I just love, love, love cashew nuts! Rightly said though, they are very easy to overindulge in..I can eat over 2 lb in one sitting and have some more later on the day..Cashew nut butter is also delicious, add a bit of vanilla and erythritol and you have white chocolate cream – unfortunately just way too delicious to stop before the whole jar is gone, hence a rare treat for me. I don’t know if it’s the quantities I eat or not, but they definitely have a negative impact on my blood sugar levels, although not immediately, but maybe a few hours after eating them.

  53. Over-brewed kombucha is what I’ve been using for a vinegar substitute in salads. It’s not worth using my good kombucha for cooking, since the good bacteria die at high temps, but for cold or room-temperature applications, it works GREAT!

    The problem with coffee beans is that the high temperatures of roasting deactivate the antioxidants. If coffee’s your thing, look for a low-temp roasting process.

  54. The debate over agave continues….my understanding is that unprocessed (i.e., raw) agave syrup IS, in fact, primal. As primal as sweeteners can be, that is. And that it would compare to coconut nectar. Any science on this from anyone out there?

    1. Actually, agave is processed, highly at that. It has a fructose-glucose ratio that just doesn’t occur in nature and hence not very good for you to put it mildly. Just google agave or you can even put ‘agave processed’ and it will give you plenty of science on the matter. As a former raw vegan, I’ve done plenty of research on it myself and after an initial spell of enthusiasm I actually came to the conclusion that the stuff is more harmful than not.

  55. Amanda, I am a midwife and mother of 5 with a nursling myself. Fenugreek should be fine as long as you don’t have a chickpea allergy (they are in the same family) and as long as you are not diabetic per it’s purported affect on insulin. You commonly see recommended: 3 caps, 3x/day, for 3 days. You will probably smell like a walking pancake, as fenugreek used to be utilized as a way to flavor maple syrup. If you smell like syrup, but there’s no increase in supply, then I loooove Goat’s Rue; it’s a fast a ting herb!

  56. Amanda, I am a midwife and mother of 5 with a nursling myself. Fenugreek should be fine as long as you don’t have a chickpea allergy (they are in the same family) and as long as you are not diabetic per it’s purported affect on insulin. You commonly see recommended: 3 caps, 3x/day, for 3 days. You will probably smell like a walking pancake, as fenugreek used to be utilized as a way to flavor maple syrup. If you smell like syrup, but there’s no increase in supply, then I loooove Goat’s Rue; it’s a fast acting herb you can use in tincture or encapsulated form. Brewers yeast is also used occasionally. Alfalfa, nettles, and red raspberry leaf are great for their nutritional/mineral value, however are not strong galactogogs.

  57. absolutely certain that “you’re ready for this jelly (I had to do it).”

    Lol! Really Mark? A Beyonce lyric? I don’t know if it’s more frightening that I know that or that YOU know it. Hilarious and wrong on every level.

    Another great article, btw.

  58. “Coffee . It lifts you up, calms you down, why, all little kids in mexico drink coffee everyday.” Mike Ditka, kicking and screaming.

  59. Aha! So eating potatoes with vinegar reduces the insulin response. In Canada, we always have a bottle of (usually white) vinegar on the table with salt and pepper. Heinz and other producers make little packs for fast-food places, and many, if not most, put vinegar on their french fries.
    We always get a chuckle when we drive across the 49th, even to a town near the border, and find a cafe or drive through, so we can confuse the clerk/carhop by asking for vinegar.
    Of course, now that I know the bad stuff about spuds, it is off the menu for us, but at least when we put vinegar on the fries, we were doing (some) good!

  60. I wonder why you tout almonds as a source of vitamin e given the fact that the proportion of alpha-tocopherol therein is quite high — relative to gamma tocopherol? Alpha tocopherol reduces levels of gamma tocopherol in the body. OTOH, gamma tocopherol has no such effect and, in fact, stabilizes alpha-tocopherol levels. Furthermore, it is the delta- and gamma-tocopherols that have been shown to be particularly effective at preventing LDL oxidation etc. (insert the numerous vitamin e-related health benefits here). This may help explain why, for all their PUFAs, walnuts demonstrate important clinical health benefits on several levels.

    All this is to say that I hope you will tackle the finer points of Vitamin E. Look into tocopherols and, incidentally, tocotrienols. This is not new stuff — there’s research from the 70s and 80s that is well-corroborated through to the present. (See Google Scholar.) These attributes may go further in elucidating the health benefits of seemingly dangerous foods; that yet might well be included in a healthy primal lifestyle!

  61. Why eat hummus when you can have baba ganoush/mutabal instead? It’s pretty much exactly the same thing as hummus, just made with yummy roasted eggplant instead of the chickpeas.

    I’m known to be OK with an occasional bean salad now and then, and I still pick mutabal over hummus any day because it’s 5x tastier.

  62. I use organic almond milk to make a protein shake from whey and hemp protein powders. Goes well with the supplements in the morning. A little bit of organge juice and a dab of vanilla extract sweetens it up and makes it taste a bit like the old orange julius. Not sure if all that qualifies as primal, but it sure helps start the day when I’m in a hurry.

  63. After reading Roald Dahl’s story Royal Jelly, I won’t touch the stuff. I don’t want to turn into a bee!

  64. Please do write the fermented soy entry! Love my dashi miso with wakame.

  65. I’ve had the distinct pleasure of eating cashew fruit before, when I lived in sub-Saharan West Africa. While the nut is addictive, there is something sublime about the fruit itself. It’s VERY juicy and sweet, and immediately after eating it, your mouth automatically becomes dry. It’s the strangest sensation, but what I wouldn’t give to eat one cashew fruit again.

  66. Sooo wait a minute … I *always* made my own hummus (using pretty much the same ingredients as mentioned in this article) because the pre-made variety is 1. expensive and 2. not nearly as good.

    This is great! Adding all the other stuff will make it sufficiently healthy to dip my carrots in? EXCELLENT 😀

    I really do have to try that sprouting thing, though. I just soaked the dried beans over night in water. Sprouting means you just soak them for 15 minutes a few times over 2 days, right? (At least that’s how I’ve done it before, but never for making hummus)

    And those bonus points for fermented hummus are going to be mine, mark my words! Sounds way too interesting not to give a try 🙂

  67. coconut sugar? I just bought some and says on the packet that Indonesians have been using it for centuries for medicinal purposes and a sweetener. I’m hoping to get my father off the artificial sweeteners and that it’s not too bad to eat.

    1. Sandy:

      I just bought some too!

      Not sure if there are any health benefits, ,but it seems more wholesome than cane sugar.

      I just used it in a cake recipe I adapted to paleo with some substitutions (almond flour and coconut flour instead of all-purpose flour), and I used 1/2 the sugar the recipe called for (i.e. 1/2 cup coconut sugar instead of 1 cup cane sugar) – and the cake is plenty sweet.

      I hope Mark will enlighten us on coconut sugar and its the benefits (or lack thereof). 🙂

      Susan

      1. Hi Susan, Thanks for reply and thanks for the advice about using less in recipes. I’ve just discovered coconut flour and so far have used it in pumpkin pancakes (with rice flour) and last night had pan fried oysters dipped in the flour. From what I’ve read is a better flour to use than all the rest so hopefully all the coconut hype is true!
        cheers, sandy

  68. Come on now, haven’t you seen dogs and cats eating grass. Well they do that because their sick and innately they know they must eat this to survive. So I can’t believe you don’t know this. It’s not a primal food. It’s a medicine, a daily detox in your smoothie, or in my case in my juice drink. Look up Chlorophyll and you find that most things on it are facts that most don’t understand. It’s basically a detoxifier and we all don’t eat perfectly, and a little wheatgrass now and then is a perfect way to feel better about the chemtrail that just crossed your yard, or without labeling them, all the toxins that were handed and must take in whether or not we want to, and wheatgrass, yes WHEATGRASS can pull them out of your body. Ann Wigmore wrote a book all should read and I’m sure if you’ve been in health this long you know about it. It contains ALL the known elements of nature in it. That’s why it ( yes the FDA owns the word) so I’ll use conquers cancer, just like it did my dad’s blood cancer and he lived for 35 more years. If you discard it, it should feel like loosing millions.