Learning from our ancestors

Balance.  Moderation.  Variety.
It seems to be the key ingredients to living well and that includes eating well. Whether you were recently celebrating Passover or Easter you more than likely enjoyed good food amongst friends and probably overate a little…or a lot.  Without really meaning to.

Never mind the Passover Brisket.  I will pass over that one. On Easter Sunday we had dinner at a friends house.  Spiral ham with pineapple, homemade scalloped potatoes, caesar salad, etc.  Of course dessert afterwards and then we all went home with a selection of curated individual goody bags from Purdy’s filled with chocolate easter eggs, bunnies, English toffee, etc.  But it’s a special treat and thank goodness it’s only once a year. It should really be guilt free but we always complain later that we should not have gone for that second third helping.  Why do we have friends that make it so darn difficult?  Why are they such good cooks?

Anyway I’m way off topic because where I was meaning to go with this post was to talk about ancient foods being the key to preventative medicine.  Our grandparents used to talk about the many ways people of their time used to heal themselves for common health issues and illnesses.  It’s just something to discuss and consider.

The use of traditional remedies, usually homemade preparations and herbal infusions was common practice. The lack of readily available medicines and healing remedies now known to us existed but were not as widely accessible as today. This forced our ancestors to focus more on prevention as a priority.  It’s a good start.

Hippocrates’ famous quote “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food”, dating back to 400 B.C., reflects this ideal of focusing on prevention.  The concept of using food for prevention is even found as far back as 2000 B.C., with the Egyptians using honey, garlic, radishes and turnips as well as figs, nuts, salts and spices in their daily diets to fortify the body.

Honey, for example, is one of the oldest recorded foods, used for preventative purposes.  Its unique chemical composition, low humidity and high acidic levels create a low pH environment (3.9 on average), an unfavourable atmosphere for bacteria and other micro-organisms to grow.  Raw honey is a true natural antibiotic. I put a teaspoon of raw, organic unfiltered honey in my lemon water almost every morning to help protect my immune system.  I now add turmeric, cayenne + fresh ginger to the mix.  You can never be too sure.

Vinegars, salts and spices have also been important cornerstones in the diets of our ancestors.   Vitamin C, although it was not discovered until the 1900’s, played a critical role in the everyday diets of the past. Water soluble vitamins found in fruits and vegetables were not yet understood however they were known to consume large quantities of fruits like oranges and lemons high in vitamin C.

In the Amazon of Peru, natives have historically consumed Camu Camu, a superfood that we know today is packed with the highest concentration of natural Vitamin C in the world.

Eating well means to ingest diverse food each day to get the nutrients your body needs to support and maintain good health.  It’s all about balance, moderation and variety.  Even without technology, our ancestors understood this and there’s still much to learn from them.

We can only do our best.

Source: Jorge Urena (founder, president & CEO of UHTCO Corp. – a Canadian company dedicated to create, manufacture and distribute the most unique high quality products from Peru).

 

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