Super Foods From Ancient Civilizations

Dates fruit. Pile of fresh dried date fruits in a basket.

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With the introduction and huge popularity of the Paleo diet, people are asking themselves, what exactly did ancient cultures eat before they took up massive farming and agriculture endeavors?

Perhaps a better question would be are you eating healthy? Or do you only think that you are? Some people eat a salad for lunch every day and believe that this makes their diet healthy, even if they pick up some fast food for dinner on the way home. How much do you really know about what makes up the staples of your diet? Should you try to incorporate the staples of ancient civilizations into your modern day world?

Unfortunately, many of the herbs and tinctures that were used for centuries are difficult or impossible to find, so you would have to create those yourself.  Also, so many of what were once considered to be healthy staples are now GMO or so devoid of nutrients due to compromised soil that eating them is no guarantee of anything.

Consider growing as much of these ancient foods for yourself, to ensure your body gets the optimal nutrition that the ancients once did.

Keep reading and learn what some of the oldest civilizations on the planet consumed:

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The Romans

 Some of their foods were imported from Mesopotamia, but common foods were beets, garlic, rosemary, basil, cucumbers, olive oil, herbs, mustard, cumin, artichokes, and olives.

They also consumed plenty of eggs, cheese, honey, raw milk, and flat, unleavened bread called emmer. This bread was usually dipped in wine or olive oil. For meat, Romans favored wild boar, lamb, duck, geese, chickens, fish, and shellfish. Of course, all their meat was free range and antibiotic free!

The Aztecs

Their regular diet included plenty of corn (non-GMO, of course!), tomatoes, beans, peppers, avocados, all types of squash, and amaranth. Chocolate was reserved for warriors and nobility, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t indulge in a piece of dark chocolate a few times per week. The Aztecs were also fond of chia seeds. They used honey to flavor most of their drinks, which generally came from fruits or the juice from cactus.

For meat, the Aztec diet included gophers, fish, iguanas, crayfish, and plenty of insects, including ants and grasshoppers. They raised domesticated turkeys, ducks, and sometimes even ate their dogs when they got to be too numerous, but they rarely ate larger game such as deer. They did enjoy a variety of mushrooms and thought that they could cure just about any disease. Not sure about eating dogs, but they were right about the mushrooms!


The Chinese

Recent archaeological finds show that many Chinese used bronze for cooking, and that steaming and stir frying foods has been going on for more than 3,000 years. The Chinese were some of the first farmers in the world, growing peas, beans, cabbages, and peppers. They loved grains such as wheat, millet, hemp, and soy. They also ate barley and bamboo shoots. For meat, it was common for the ancients to consume pheasants, deer, turtles, fish, ducks, geese, chickens, sheep, pigs, cows, camels, and dogs.

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The Egyptians

They loved their fruit! Grapes, figs, dates, melons, plums, pears, apples, apricots, and cherries. Some foods were reserved for the upper class, but in general, most common meats were duck, partridge, quail, geese, pigeons, and ox. Bread and beer were common at most tables, and honey was a primary sweetener, but it was expensive. The Egyptians also enjoyed celery, lettuce, Old World gourds, melons, turnips, peas, beans, chickpeas, and lentils. They also used olive oil for their cooking.


The Incas

Their diet was somewhat similar to the Aztecs in that they ate tomatoes, squash, chilies, and mushrooms. However, the Incas had a wide variety of altitudes from which to obtain food, so they ate hundreds of varieties of edible tubers, such as potatoes and sweet potatoes. Another root called ullucu, which is something like a cross between a carrot and celery, was also consumed. They also consumed corn, like the Aztecs, and no meal was complete with it. They ate llamas when they needed to, but these animals were more prized for their wool. Commoners ate plenty of guinea pigs and their entrails were often used in soup. When hunting was good they ate various types of deer, bear, and even foxes. They also ate frogs, ants, grasshoppers, caterpillars, and beetles. Some of these foods would be difficult to find today.

Don’t get caught up in the latest diet fad. Eat your fill every day of raw, organic superfoods and fill your day with energy, vitality, health, and immunity.