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10 Super Foods from Ancient Times that Promote Health
Our modern way of life comes with many useful, cool technological advances as well as time saving conveniences. Our ancestors would certainly be both confused and in awe of the way we live today. It makes one wonder if they would even be able to recognize some of the food we eat today. (Fruit roll up anyone?)
Americans consume many processed foods that, while filling, are sorely lacking in many essential nutrients and it shows in our endless chronic health conditions. Here is a list of the top 10 health foods that our ancestors ate as a part of their overall healthy diet that contributed to their health.
1. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes were sent to Europe via Christopher Columbus but they were eaten throughout Central America for thousands of years before that. Sweet potatoes are unrivaled in their levels of vitamin A, which is vital to the health of our eyes, skin, and hair.
They also provide a good source of other vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, copper, fiber, vitamin B6, manganese, and potassium. That’s a whole lot of healthy goodness in one little vegetable!
2. Bone Broth
Bone broth from grass fed cows or free range, organic chicken bones is extremely nutritious and is almost unheard of in today’s American diet. Bones should be boiled from between as few as six to as many as 40 hours will release minerals into the broth that the body can easily absorb.
Bone broth contains a multitude of antioxidants, vitamins, as well as essential minerals.
This is the original super food for people who experience food sensitivities, autoimmune responses, bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine, and other digestive problems.
3. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds have more than twice the protein of any other grain or seed!
Chia seeds also have more than 5 times the calcium in milk as well as an essential trace mineral, boron, which is important in helping the body absorb calcium.
They contain both omega-3 and omega-6.
This tiny seed packs a whole lot of health into one little package!
4. Coconut Oil
Besides being great for your hair and skin, coconut oil has such a long list of health benefits; it’s hard to know where to start!
Coconut oil has antimicrobial, antifungal, antibacterial as well as antioxidant properties which can help everything from kidney problems, high blood pressure, bone strength, improved immune response, and proper digestion, just to name a few!
If you haven’t tried coconut oil, add it to your diet today!
Find out other uses for coconut.
5. Grass Fed Beef
Unfortunately, most of the cattle in America are grain fed, GMO grain to be exact, and pumped full of antibiotics, vaccines, and growth hormones.
In the past, cows were allowed to roam freely in pastures, eating various grasses.
Meat from grass fed cows have twice the conjugated linoleic acid per serving as grain fed cows, as well as more omega-3’s, and DHA.
Higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid have been connected to a reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, and easier weight loss.
This fermented tea has been around for more than 2,000 years.
In ancient China it has been called the “Immortal Health Elixir.”
This tea is super rich in B vitamins, which not only increase your energy levels but also decrease inflammation in the body.
Since kombucha is fermented it has probiotics which improve both immunity and digestion. This is sold in health food stores or make your own at home!
Maca is a root from Peru and is sometimes called “Peruvian Ginseng”, and although it is not an actual member of the ginseng family, because it has been used for hundreds of years as a way to increase stamina and energy.
Maca is said to be an aphrodisiac and can improve both fertility and sexual performance.
Maca offers many health benefits such as relief from fatigue, symptoms of menopause, as well as infertility.
8. Green Tea
Antioxidants are found in many fruits and vegetables but according to a study done by Tufts University, green tea has higher antioxidants levels than blueberries or spinach.
A certain form of antioxidants called catechins are found only in green tea and are perhaps the most potent of all antioxidants and therefore have the most potent cancer fighting abilities.
Green tea is also rich in chlorophyll, which is a natural detoxifying agent. Although green tea has natural form of caffeine, not to worry! This is a healthy type of caffeine that is actually good for your body, so drink up!
See also tea selection and brewing guide.
This is an ancient dish from Korea that is a mix of fermented vegetables and spices.
It is well known in Korea for its healing benefits and research has shown kimchi lowers both blood pressure and body weight.
There are other research studies that show that kimchi can reduce atherosclerosis as well as autoimmune responses.
Kimchi is easily made at home but if you buy some at the store is sure to look for brands that don’t contain added sugar or salt.
10. Goji Berries
You may have heard about these delicious little berries recently.
They are absolutely loaded with healthy nutrients! Besides containing all 18 amino acids, goji berries have more beta carotene than carrots, more iron than spinach, as well as tons of vitamin C. Goji berries also have many trace minerals as well as being packed with antioxidants.
These little berries pack a lot of healing power as studies have shown they can improve Tcell function, improve appetite, decrease the signs of aging, as well as improving sleep patterns.
Read more why you should sleep.