How healthy are you? - Ancestral Nutrition
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How healthy are you?

Defining “Healthy”

The World Health Organisation states healthy as being: ‘ a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity ‘.[1] In today’s world such a standard of health may seem unrealistic or unattainable to many. Do you consider yourself healthy? How do you define it?

Do you:

  • Work, exercise and eat what you consider a ‘balanced diet’, but feel tired and lack energy?
  • Need coffee or sugar in the morning to get started no matter how much sleep you get?
  • Have creeping weight gain?
  • Suffer from aches and pains that never used to be there?
  • Feel run down and more prone to infections?
  • Suffer from digestive problems like gas, bloating, constipation and diarrhea?
  • Suffer from chronic health complaints such as:
    • Type 2 diabetes
    • Autoimmune disease
    • Cardiovascular disease
    • Obesity
    • Asthma
    • Psoriasis, eczema or other chronic skin conditions?

Poor health can present in many ways, from tiredness to chronic fatigue, heartburn to irritable bowel syndrome, mood swings to depression, weight gain to obesity, the list is endless! But it doesn’t ‘just happen’! Nutritional and biochemical imbalances, environmental toxins, infection, your gut bacteria and some genetic predisposition can all play a role in the onset of poor health and disease.[2] [3] [4].

We live in an age where poor health and disease is endemic amongst most of the world’s population. Our modern diets are far removed from those of our ancestors.[5] Where they had to hunt or scavenge for the meat they ate and were restricted by the seasons for their access to fruit and vegetables, we have 24 hour access to sugar, refined carbohydrates and processed foods.[5] [6] Our genetics have changed little in 2.5 million years but our diets have altered dramatically in the last several hundred years, leading to an explosion in rates of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disorders and cancers.[6] [7] [8] [9]

Nutrition and diet cannot be viewed outside the context of evolution. We not only survived but evolved to thrive optimally on a diet that changed very little over millennia. As our diet began to change from one of hunting and gathering to agricultural, around 10,000 years ago, the gradual decline in the health of human beings began. [6] [5]

Fast forward to today: traditional hunter-gatherer societies that exist today exhibit far superior health to people in westernised countries, despite lacking access to modern medicine. Their rates of chronic disease such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer as well as degenerative diseases like arthritis are far lower compared to more industrially advanced societies.[6] [10] [8] [9] These ‘traditional’ cultures don’t have access to the processed foods and refined carbohydrates that most of us consume on a daily basis, their diet is far closer to that of our ancestors.     As the evidence seems to point towards our modern diets and lifestyles causing or contributing to this epidemic of poor health and disease that we currently find ourselves in, it would seem to make sense that we should try and utilise a diet closer to what our ancestors would have eaten in an attempt to not only prevent the onset of disease and poor health in the first place, but to try and reverse or improve these conditions where possible.