Thursday, December 19, 2013

Combat Modern Disease by Returning to a Traditional Native American Diet

Nice enough tale but it is hardly the whole story or even much of it at all.  We do hear about mesquite flour for the first time and it can be added to that ever expanding list now gaining momentum as we set out to lower the wheat content in the human diet.

I have posted quite a bit about the application of crop tree line systems that produce a wide variety of nuts and fruit.  That will certainly be the future of agriculture.  It has just too much clear advantage as well as hugely expanding supplies of edible nuts, nut flours and nut butters.  Once done we will never go back.

The natives depended on the stew pot and wild vegetables were used as was smoked dry squash and corn meal to thicken.  All this added to a robust lifestyle hunting game endured fine health for everyone.

This can be stuck back together with effort that must include the youth walking the woods to groom them back into thriving production of food and game.

Combat Modern Disease by Returning to a Traditional Native American Diet

November 26, 2013
Carolanne Wright,

Containing many super-foods, the traditional diet of Native Americans offers great health. A diet rich in berries, roots, and nuts traditionally kept tribal members powerful and robust. As the modern diet displaced these nutrient dense foods, the health of Native Americans began to decline.

An article by the Organic Consumers Association reports on the need to combat the epidemic of diabetes and childhood obesity among modern Native Americans with a return to the traditional diet enjoyed by their ancestors.

Bea Medicine, a Native American Anthropologist, describes the change in diet:

“Traditional food staples of Indian tribes–wild game, berries, roots, teas, and indigenous vegetables–were high in protein and low in fat. That’s a switch from the modern Native American diet, which is high in fat and refined starches and sugars.”

Kibbe Conti, a nutritionist who works with tribes nationwide, continues:

“It started when Indian people were no longer free to live off the land. After the tribes were placed on reservations, they were fed government rations of processed food. Much of reservation lands could not be farmed. The shift from hunting, gathering and farming to a cash economy in the early 1900s forced family members to leave home in search of work.”

Today, tribal members consume a diet of government commodities, including cheese, canned meat, processed packaged food, lard and powdered milk.

In contrast, the super-foods enjoyed for centuries by Native Americans, such as mesquite, blueberries, sassafras, and hazelnuts, kept individuals thriving with an absence of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

Mesquite flour is a low-glycemic, gluten free, nutrient packed super-food. It is an excellent source of the amino acid lysine and is rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, and zinc. This healthy flour is also high in both protein and fiber. Since mesquite flour supports stable blood sugar levels and takes longer to digest than wheat flour, it helps one to feel satisfied longer.

Blueberries are an antioxidant power house, containing high levels of anthocyanidins and ellagic acid. Antioxidants help to counteract free radical damage that can lead to cataracts, glaucoma, ulcers, heart disease, and cancer. These mighty berries are a good source of vitamin C, manganese, vitamin E, and both soluble and insoluble fiber. Moreover, blueberries improve and protect brain function.

Native Americans utilized the roots, leaves and bark of the sassafras tree in a variety of ways. Sassafras tea helps to detoxify the body and treats high blood pressure as an effective tonic. Additionally, this herb is a useful diuretic that eases symptoms of arthritis and rheumatic conditions. Sassafras also provides relief from gastrointestinal problems, kidney ailments, and troubles with the skin. Due to some controversy over the essential oil safrole found in sassafras, it is recommended to not use this herb for longer than one month a year in moderate amounts.

The traditional diet of Native Americans included hazelnuts as well which have numerous health benefits. Hazelnuts are a good source of protein, fiber, vitamin E, iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Likewise, hazelnuts contain significant amounts of carotenoids, flavonoids, and proanthocyanidins which protect against urinary tract infections, heart disease, and cancer. Folate is found in high concentration, protecting against Alzheimer’s, depression, and birth defects.

Enjoy the super-foods of a traditional Native American diet as abundant vitality and well-being are healthfully embodied.

About the Author
Carolanne enthusiastically believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, natural foods chef and wellness coach, Carolanne has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of organic living, gratefulness and joyful orientation for over 13 years. Through her website she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people who share a similar vision.

No comments: