When Kobe Bryant tore his Achilles in 2013, shockwaves were felt all across the southland. As the sole of the city crumbled to the floor, every soul in Los Angeles took a collective gasp. Their leader had fallen. What did this mean? Was their season over? Would Kobe ever come back? Little did they know, that unfortunate injury to their aging star would not only end his season, it would also affect them in ways far beyond their fantasy teams. As odd as it may sound, Kobe’s injury would even affect their diet.
In Deep Nutrition, Dr. Catherine Shanahan takes her readers beyond the kitchen and into the lab, explaining the science of epigenetics – the science gene expression – and how our diet actually affects who we become. According to Shanahan, we aren’t just what we eat, but rather, we are who our food tells us to be. To the human genome, food is more than just a combination of fats, carbs, proteins, and calories. Food is information.
“The nutrients and chemicals we consume tell our cells what to do,” says Shanahan. “It tells them when to divide, which protein to manufacture, and even what type of cell to become. What’s the key to being healthy, then, is eating foods that send the right messages.”
In a way, it’s almost as if our food acts as a culinary technician, constantly operating our internal switchboard with every spoonful of food that goes down our gullet. That stimulus tells our genes to switch on and off, and on and off, according to what its specific genetic code has told it to do. Some stimuli tell our body to store the food as fat... some tell our body to gain muscle... some tell our body to fall asleep... the list goes on and on. Again, you aren’t what you eat, you are what your food tells you to be.
Shanahan adds, “Epigenetic researchers study how our own genes react to our behavior, and they’ve found that just about everything we eat, think, breathe, or do can trickle down to touch the gene and affect its performance in some way.”
But if what we eat is so important, how can we know we are eating the right things? With so many fad diets out there, how can we actually know what to put on the menu? In Deep Nutrition, Shanahan takes us back in history - and across the world, even - to do just that. According to Shanahan, after doing extensive research on different cuisines across the world and over time, she found that all healthy cultures had a handful of staples in common. She calls them the “four pillars” of the human diet. Without fail, all traditional cultures ate:
1) Raw plant and animal products
2) Organ meats
3) Fermented and sprouted foods, and, you guessed it…
4) Meat cooked on the bone and bone broths.
During his illustrious career, the late Kobe Bryant was lauded for an almost unparalleled work ethic. His ability to play through pain and overcome injury was regarded by most as second to none. And yet, after reading Deep Nutrition, one might begin to wonder whether his speedy recovery was due only to hard work and good genes. Maybe it was because he was listening to a little-known nutritionist, who made him eat things that told his body to heal.
Maybe there was something in the water.
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Here’s a link to the book: https://www.amazon.com/Deep-Nutrition-Your-Genes-Traditional/dp/1250113849/ref=sr_1_1?crid=28L93KYS6SC9F&dchild=1&keywords=deep+nutrition+by+catherine+shanahan&qid=1598320856&sprefix=deep+nu%2Caps%2C262&sr=8-1