Monday, March 24, 2008

118 degrees F.

That's an important parameter for a number of biological processes. Water starts its phase-shift to vapor at that point, the liquid expanding into steam. Because of this expansion, our bodies feel 118 degrees F at the cellular level as pain- this is where our mouths start telling us "too hot!". Now, directly related, food starts losing its precious natural enzyme content at the same temperature- this is a process of cellular breakdown as water starts turning to steam. Multiple sources advocate a raw diet, primarily to maximize natural enzyme content and therefore maximize nutrient uptake. The dotted line to draw between warm and cooked is 118 degrees F. Cooking food beyond 118 degrees starts breaking down the enzymes that were there naturally, which makes your food harder to digest and keeps nutrients from getting added to our bodies. A fourth interesting thing happens just below this temperature, related in process but not culinarily- sperm dies. See: The testicles are outside the body because sperm start dying at 95 degrees F. Soaking your nuts (doesn't have to be brine this time) in water almost at the pain threshold (116) removes fertility for weeks. Men in India are having great successes at voluntary birth control using this method, take that big pharma!

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