What can our ancestors teach us about how to eat? A curious dentist in the 1930s wondered just that. His name was Weston A. Price, and he noticed Americans had bad teeth! He drew a connection between nutrition, poor dental health, and rising rates of chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes.
He saw that his patients' dental health was getting worse--more cavities, more gum disease, crowded teeth and narrow palettes. In his adult clients he noted that the worsening dental health was accompanied by other rising complaints, like arthritis, osteoporosis or diabetes. He wondered if this was from the changes in diet brought on by the Industrial Revolution. At the time of Price's research, foods like processed sugar and white flour were starting to become the norm in American households. He connected the dots, hypothesizing that his patients' worsening dental health was due to changes in diet. As the American diet became more processed and divergent from traditional foods, peoples' dental health and overall health declined.
Weston got a bee in his bonnet! He and his wife set out to travel the world in search of its' healthiest people. His travels took him to visit the islanders of the South Seas, to the Eskimos, to the highlanders of Scotland, to the Australian Aborigines, to the Peruvian Indians and beyond. He found groups of people that were, at the time, untouched by modern industry. They were living (and eating) the way their ancestors had for thousands of years. They were strong and healthy with good teeth, broad palettes and healthy facial structure. They were free of modern illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, cancer and arthritis.
The diets of the groups of people that Dr. Price studied really varied, however there were certain foods that were commonly eaten by these exceedingly healthy people. These foods and the work of Weston A. Price have become a foundation for today's primal foods movement and a springboard for the paleo diet. By combining scientific research with the wisdom of our ancestors we can reverse disease and find health and happiness. Schedule a consultation with me to get started on your Body Wisdom Health primal nutrition Wellness Program!
Here are 3 traditional superfoods that will keep you deeply nourished, in body and mind. Your ancestors would be proud!
Fermented Vegetables: Back in the day people didn't store their food in fridges, right? Instead, they often fermented it to preserve it. Most traditional societies had some form of fermented foods. Fermented vegetables like sauerkraut and Korean kim chi are packed with bio-available nutrients, beneficial bacteria, healthy fiber and digestive enzymes. You can't get better than that! Make sure your fermented veggies are raw. Pasteurizing kills the good stuff. Typical store bought sauerkraut is generally pasteurized and doesn't cut the mustard. Look in the cold section of your natural foods store for raw fermented sauerkraut or kim chi. It's pricey to buy, but cheap and fun to make! Check out this recipe.
Coconut oil: While coconut oil is only recently popular in the US, it has been used as a traditional superfood in many parts of the world for thousands of years. Coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids (MCTs), a type of healthy fat that burns easily and is not stored as fat. There is evidence that MCTs have a therapeutic effect on the brain, helping to prevent disorders like Alzheimer's. Because coconut oil is high in lauric acid, it is excellent for digestive health as well. Lauric acid stops the growth of bad bacteria in the gut, allowing beneficial bacteria to grow, which strengthens the immune system and overall health. Enjoy 1 to 2 tablespoons of organic, unrefined coconut oil per day. Fry your eggs in it, use it in your stir fry, take it right off the spoon, or put a tablespoon in your tea or coffee.
Bone Broth: Traditional peoples the world over have relied on the healing effects of bone broth. In the words of renowned author Sally Fallon, "Stock contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily--not just calcium but also magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulfur and trace minerals. It contains the broken down material from cartilage and tendons--stuff like chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, now sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain."
Bone broth has an important healing effect on the gut. It heals what's called, "leaky gut," a condition that contributes to digestive problems, allergies, asthma, auto-immune diseases, mental health issues, arthritis, joint pain and osteoporosis. Perhaps one of the reasons these conditions are on the rise is because of the loss of bone broth in our daily diets. To make your own, check out this recipe. To be sure there is plenty of the good stuff packed into your delicious bone broth, boil the bones for 12 to 24 hours or more. In doing so you call upon the wise traditions of our human ancestors over the millenia.
Body Wisdom Health's primal nutrition can help you heal chronic health problems, to find a healthy weight, and to feel energetic and AMAZING! Book your consultation with me today!