People enjoy pointing out that human ancestors used to eat meat. What they don’t tend to like is when you point out to them what sort of meat our ancestors on the plains of Africa used to eat. You can look at our unusually low stomach PH, to find out that our ancestors most likely had a diet that was full of bacteria that had to be killed. This implies that we were scavengers: We wandered around on the plains of Africa, hurrying to scoop up decaying corpses of other animals before the vultures could get to them.
And so when it comes to what your body is missing, I wouldn’t look for “protein”. All evidence suggests most people receive far more protein in their diet than we need. We benefit from low protein high carbohydrate diets, in other words, the exact opposite of what Americans like to think is good for them. Even strength training athletes don’t need a lot more protein, as the body gets more efficient at utilizing protein.
Rather, what the body is really missing, are microbially fermented foods. In nature, everything you eat would have been covered with fungi and bacteria. There would’ve been worms in the fruit you eat and those worms would have had bacteria that help them metabolize the fruit. What sets our food apart is its sterility. This brings me to Natto, my favorite microbial fermented food.
A lot of people these days will take Nattokinase to reduce their risk of blood clots. My honest advice would be to just stick to Natto instead. The reason is because Natto contains a cocktail of microbial products that serve to help the Bacillus subtilis digest the soybean and keep out other microbes that might want to take over the tiny little ecosystem they inhabit:
-Menaquinone-7 (vitamin K2), to remove calcium from your blood vessels and strengthen your bones.
-Isoflavones naturally present, to heal your endothelium
-Nattokinase, to break down fibrin.
But these are just the basics. As bacteria, you can’t break down a soybean with just one enzyme. Soybeans are how the soy plant reproduces, it will tend to protect these beans quite well from microbial decay. There are other proteolytic enzymes these Natto bacteria produce too.
But the bacteria do more. About 10-15% of their spores are made up of dipicolinic acid. Dipicolinic acid has an important effect when it enters our blood vessels, it causes your own human cells to produce more of the thrombolytic enzyme tPa. There are multiple substances in natto responsible for fibrinolysis. The nattokinase is heat-sensitive, but the dipicolinic acid’s effect should survive the heat.
I think one of the main causes of human aging, is the buildup of “molecular junk”, that is, stuff we produce that never gets removed and thus degrades our tissues. The body has never had a strong Darwinian incentive to remove such junk and thus it can readily build up. When it comes to the junk that builds up that would normally have been broken down by our exposure to bacteria in rotting meat, the incentive moves even further towards tolerating the accumulation of this junk.
One such type of molecular junk would be fibrin. Its accumulation seems to play a role in Alzheimer’s.
I feel like showing you one of my inspirations, the 86 year old Japanese bodybuilder Toshisuke Kanazawa:
What does he eat? Mainly rice, natto, and miso soup with eggs. He doesn’t eat meat or fish. The people using “soyboy” as an insult on Twitter and 4chan tend to look worse at twenty than this guy does at 86.