Last night we watched an episode of a show on Netflix called “Medicine Men Go Wild.” If you haven’t seen it, it’s about 2 identical twins, doctors, who travel around the world to indigenous tribes studying their medicinal practices. It’s pretty fascinating. In the episode we watched last night, the two men traveled to a remote part of Siberia, where a small village of 400 people not only survive, but thrive on a diet consisting of almost all walrus, whale and reindeer. The doctors tested the blood of 4 male villagers and found that their cholesterol levels were incredible by American standards. Of course, not surprising with such a high intake of Omega 3′s and healthy fats. One man, however, ate more processed foods than the others for “convenience” and his blood levels were still good, but not nearly as good as the other 3.
It got me thinking about our ancestral heritage and whether eating foods close to the traditional diet of our ancestors would be best for us. First off, I think the fact that there were no processed foods thousands of years ago is already getting us off to a good start. But putting that aside, does our DNA tell us what foods are best for us? I may, for instance, do great with rice, as that is a staple of middle eastern food, and I am half East Indian. But another person from another area of the world that has not used rice as a staple may not do well with it at all. Maybe God knit us together with certain dietary propensities because that is what is good for us. If our DNA was placed in us to live in a certain region, wouldn’t it make sense that we would do better with those foods than other foreign foods? Unfortunately, I think we have messed this up by trying to “play God” and introduce man-made, convenient, processed foods into our diets.
Superman is of northern European descent. A traditional northern European diet consists of a large serving of meat, poultry, or fish, accompanied by small side dishes of vegetables and starch. The traditional diet is high in protein, primarily from meat and dairy products, and tends to be low in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. I find this incredibly interesting, as we’ve discovered Superman does best when he eats a high protein, low starch diet. And eating a high dose of fish seems to give him an extra boost.
This is why I think it’s vital that we each find out what works for us, and not make a blanket claim of the “perfect diet” or the “only way to eat healthfully.” I truly believe each of us has different needs physically, emotionally and spiritually. There is no perfect diet out there. That being said, I also believe everyone could benefit from eating whole foods in their original state as opposed to processed foods. Eating meats, veggies, some fruits and minimal starches could probably improve the quality of life of many, many people.
All this being said, why is it that if we are sensitive to certain foods (let’s use sugar as an example), we crave them? Why do we feel a need to eat sweets if we are only hurting our bodies by eating them? Well, when you eat foods you are sensitive to, it causes an increase in your heart rate. Try it. It’s a simple test and is used by many homeopathic practitioners. Check your pulse, eat a food your sensitive to, and check your pulse again. You will see a temporary increase in your pulse rate. Because of this surge, you actually experience an increase in energy and may have feelings of well-being. If you’re feeling fatigued, you are going to naturally reach for a food that will give you a quick boost, even if it’s on a subconscious level. The long-term effect of eating a food you are sensitive to is more fatigue, more achy joints and the other symptoms you are experiencing. But the subconscious reaches for immediate relief from that fatigue. It’s a horrible cycle of catch-22.
Another potential cause for craving a food we’re sensitive to is an overgrowth of candida, a very common problem. Candida feed on foods we most commonly crave, i.e. sugar and refined carbohydrates. Although emotions can often play a role in these cravings, when candida get hungry they want to be fed, and you crave the food they want to eat. Many cravings for sugar and refined carbohydrates are caused by a candida overgrowth.
So, what can you do about this?
1. Give your immune system a boost. Using a good probiotic is a good start. Building up the “good” bacteria in your gut can help to cleanse the candida. See a naturopath or homeopathic doctor you trust, and they can direct you toward a probiotic that would work for you.
2. Starve the candida. Eliminate sugars for 3-6 months. You may experience “die off” symptoms when you starve candida. This would include flu-like symptoms, fatigue, gas and bloating. There are products to help with starving candida, and you can also find this information out from a naturopath or homeopath.
HERE is some more information about candida, and what you can do to help rid your body of it.
Do you notice you do better with foods that may come from your “ancestral line?” Or do you think this is a pile of rubbish?