The Changing Face of Nutrition
In order For Homo Sapiens and animals to survive, there are 5 basic needs namely; oxygen, water, sleep, shelter and food.
Regarding basic nutrition, Man has the ability to be deprived of food for quite long stretches as the body compensates by drawing from the fat reserves of the body. However, when these run out lean muscle will be metabolized as a food source, with drastic results. One only needs to caste one’s mind back on the horrendous visuals in the concentration camps during world war 2 to illustrate a point.
In terms of nutrition, mankind has evolved through enormous periods of time and due to survival of the species has arrived to experience the sophisticated era of the 21st century. It is a known fact that 12,000 years ago the planet was a daunting and dangerous place for survival.
Foraging is what kept early man alive, the era of “ape men” who survived by hunting animals, by fishing and eating plants.
Horticulture followed. Now the production of crops showed great progress, which led to the Agrarian stage. Man now not only grew crops, but did so using implements.
The march forward continued arriving at Industrialization, this being the era of machines. Then finally the Informational age, that of technology which dominates our very existence today. Perhaps with an element of fear, but a unique form of progress.
Reverting to the issue of nutrition, pre-historic humans survived on roots, grasses and suchlike . A caveman’s diet in a Mediterranean climate could have included dates, figs, plums and the fruit of the cactus plant.
History portrays that 30,000 years ago apple trees were abundant and a variety of wild berries were plentiful in parts of Europe.
As far back as 8,000 to 10,000 years, humans took a leafy green plant and transformed it into a different product, this being the forerunner of our modern cabbage, cauliflower, brussell sprouts and broccoli all derived from a single pre-historic plant variety!
Some research reveals that seeds, nuts, legumes and dairy, played no part in the hunter/gatherers diet, and that we as humans have basically been unable to adapt fast enough to handle many of the foods available since the advent of agriculture.
These earlier people did not suffer from the chronic illnesses known today, this is why the Palio diet [named after the paliolithic era] mimics as best possible the caveman’s eating patterns.
Most of us today are eating foods that our own evolved bodies appear to need, such as refined foods, trans fats and sugars, which some believe to be the root of degenerate diseases suffered today.
Vegetarianism, once a fad, is now very much a way of life for untold numbers of people and has its roots in ancient India and Greece, with the creation of eating patterns that excluded violence to animals.
This manner of consuming food became more widespread in the 19th and 20th centuries and its popularity will no doubt ensure its survival.
Excluding genetic factors, we are in many ways masters of our own destinies. This does not stop at nutrition as caring for our bodies with exercise and periods of rest from daily stress or important “me time” could promote longevity. Previously for the more privilege in society, more and more women are deriving the benefits of visiting a health spa like Mowana Spa at the Indaba Hotel in Fourways for a Makoya Morning Retreat or Full Day African Rejuvenation Pamper which relaxes the body, revives the mind and rejuvenates the soul. One should aim to visit a spa at least once a month to regain a feeling of wellbeing and balance.