Some recognize it as Decolonizing Diet, Ancestral Diet, or Tribal Food Sovereignty. In short, following an ancestral diet means eating wholesome, natural, organic Indigenous foods just like our ancestors did for thousands of years.
One of the main reasons many people have been on a modern day diet is easier access to food. You can fulfil your cravings quick and even get the taste that suits your taste buds. However, health experts have been encouraging people to look back to the past and try the food that human ancestors ate. That is because of the growing link between modern style of eating and diseases.
Experts believe the effects of ancestral diet could help reduce the prevalence of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. Such conditions have been affecting millions of people in the countries across the world. However, our ancestors didn’t suffer from such diseases. That could be due to their diets that focused on nutrient-dense, whole foods. Another potential evidence that food played a role in their health is that today’s hunter–gatherers also have low rates of chronic diseases.
For example, there are no Hadza adults diagnosed with diabetes in Tanzania, while the Tsimané people in Bolivia have an 80 percent lower rate of atherosclerosis compared to people in the U.S. The Maasai community in Kenya that relies on red meat, blood and milk is also known for little to none cardiovascular diseases.
Our ancestors and modern-day hunter-gatherers eat more animal-based foods, which contain good amounts of high-quality protein, calcium, iron, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins B12 and K2. Such nutrients are commonly found in seafood, red meat, pastured eggs and liver. Surprisingly, some hunters also loved vegetables. Some benefits of the ancestral diet come from plant-based foods.
Vegetables are not as calorie-dense as animal-based products. But they contain high amounts of vitamin C, carotenoids, flavonoids and prebiotic fibers, among other essential nutrients. Vegetables are known for helping maintain healthy microbiome and digestion. The ancestral diet also includes grains and legumes, fruit, nuts and seeds.
Another reason to try ancestral diet is the absence of refined sugar, flour and seed oils. Such food products have been linked to overeating and inflammation that contribute to modern diseases.
Studies suggested that Paleolithic ancestors lived only until age 30. But researchers focused on rates of infant mortality. However, anthropologists said that if modern hunter–gatherers survive childhood, they could live for an average of 68 to 78 years. And because of their lower risk of chronic disease, their elderly people might have better quality of life compared to people of the same age in urban areas. Following an ancestral diet and combining it with modern medicine may lead to lower health risks and longer lifespan.
Studies showed that the ancestral populations that eat animal and plant foods have better microbial diversity than people on industrialized diet. One research found that people in urban areas who had diverse microbiome because of Paleo diets had health as good as traditional populations, the Inuit, Hadza and Matses.
Ancestral diet removes refined sugar, grains and seed oils from one’s daily meals. Avoiding these modern products helps reduce markers of inflammation, leading to improvements in blood pressure, waist circumference and lipid profiles.
One study showed that people who consumed less added sugar, refined grains and processed foods could significantly reduce weight in 12 months. The ancestral diets provide foods that are more satiating, which help people consume fewer calories.
After adapting to an ancestral diet – free of alcohol and other mind/mood altering substances – your body will be stronger and more responsive to your physical fitness goals because it’s not being zapped with unnatural preservatives and additives contained in processed foods and drink that are detrimental to your body’s biochemistry. Your emotional wellness will also benefit significantly because your brain and body biochemistry will be in harmony. Ultimately, your entire being will function at an elevated level. The re-Indigenization of diet and dedication to eating ancestral foods is simply a return to this holistic lifestyle. Make no mistake; this is not a fad diet. Re-adapting to ancestral eating and should be a permanent shift to be passed down for future generations to enjoy.
By adapting to this elevated lifestyle, we will create positive economic repercussions as well. We will stop supporting fraudulent food, drug and alcohol corporations who care only about money and not about health. You have the power to positively impact intertribal food commerce by participating in the efforts of Tribal Food Sovereignty through gardening, hunting, gathering, trading and buying from local farmers. Tribal Food Sovereignty is an important nation building tactic which empowers our people through self-determination, ultimately leading to a vibrant and joyous life for us and future generations to come!
The true measure of wealth is the quality and availability of food and water! Eat for longevity. Restore the spiritual tie to real food.