One Habit Our Ancestors Had That We Need Today For Better Health

Cave men and women

Looking back throughout our evolutionary background may provide us with valuable nutritional information


We all have some idea of the ‘paleo diet’ in one way or another.
I followed this diet for years until I couldn’t anymore.
That comment isn’t to disregard the diet itself. Still, I cannot handle higher than average amounts of animal protein due to my compromised gut sensitivities; hence, I have given up eating animal protein indefinitely.
We all have different genetic make-ups and allergies that stop us from eating particular foods.
So in that sense, it’s important to listen to your body first and then allow it to provide the best judgement on your winning foods.
Given that obesity and disease are widespread these days, it’s not uncommon for researchers and dietitians to look back on our ancient roots to find out what we may take and use for better health today.
Returning to the paleo diet and its richness in fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds with its influx of lean meat — you can’t flaw it much compared to the disease-filled Westernised diet.
In addition, Westernised diet advocates fill their plates with processed foods high in sugar and saturated fats. Paleo diets avoid these foods completely — for a good reason.
But there is one key nutrient that’s missing from the paleo diet.
According to a study published in the Harvard Gazette, the oral microbe of a 100,000-year-old neanderthal showed the presence of bacteria that is adept at breaking down starch.
This finding might suggest that our ancestors had more carbs in their diet than was previously known.
To further this study, the much-loved University of Sydney showed that humans had more starch digesting enzymes in their saliva than other primates, suggesting that our ancestors specifically evolved to eat a starchier diet.
A diet high in starch was necessary for the advancement of human civilisation.

Carbs are necessary (the good quality ones)

All this endless chatter about cutting or lowering carbs may not be the answer we need for better health.
A research team at the University of Sydney found that the human brain uses 25% of the body’s total energy budget. That’s quite a large amount, considering that the brain only accounts for 2% of the body’s mass.
Our brains also use up 60% of the body’s available glucose. So to advance the species, humans require plenty of fuel for our large and powerful minds.
That fuel isn’t prominently derived from meats, plants, or fruit — but from the necessary starches.
You might also say that the brain relies on ketones when glucose is unavailable, which is also beneficial.
There are befits from both alternatives.
We can gather here that our brain can switch depending on the regularity of nutrient sources.

Key take away

This isn’t a free ticket to go and buy doughnuts and bagels, though. Our paleo diet friends have the gist in telling us to avoid processed foods.
Still, there is some wisdom in how our ancestors ate, sticking to good quality starches filled with fibre and gut-healthy bacteria to help us thrive through life and keep that good old brain in better condition.
What do you think about adding more starches into your diet, rather than avoiding them like the plague (as we may have once done!)

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