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Nutrition and Physical Degeneration
A Comparison of Primitive and Modern Diets and their Effects
- Read in 13 minutes
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- Contains 8 key ideas
Based on the author’s meetings with many of the world’s indigenous people, Nutrition and Physical Degradation presents a comparison of the health of those who consumed only local whole foods and those who had begun to include processed foods in their diet. The author found that the latter suffered from problems with their teeth, bodies and brains, while the former remained strong and vigorous. Having investigated the differences between processed and local whole foods, the book argues that diets made up of processed foods lack the requisite vitamins and minerals for maintaining a healthy body.
Key idea 1 of 8
The natural, local diets of indigenous people equip them with healthy bodies.
Who are the healthiest people in the world?
Is it those who are forever committing themselves to the latest diets? Or is it those slaving away on the treadmill or the crosstrainer?
The answer is neither. Instead, the secret to good health can be found in the nutritious diets of the world's indigenous people.
Their diets are based on locally sourced foods high in vitamins and minerals. Take, for example, the Eskimo population of the Arctic. They eat caribou and some types of whale meat, and they also eat smaller quantities of seaweed and berries that they collect and freeze for consumption during winter.
Such diets have massive health benefits. For instance, they provide indigenous people with healthy teeth well into old age, without the help of toothbrushes or dentists. While, for example, Eskimos wear their teeth down to the gumline, the gum tissue itself doesn't recede. The flesh around the teeth is also healthy and the population is largely free from gum-tissue diseases like gingivitis.
Furthermore, Eskimos don't have fillings, even though they don't clean their teeth. This is because the minerals in their food generates saliva that hardens the teeth and protects against the bacteria responsible for tooth decay.
Another benefit of indigenous diets is that the bodies and organs of those who practice them are strong and resilient to disease. One doctor, who had over 30 years of contact with Eskimos and North American Natives, didn't report a single case of malignant disease in those who had stuck to their traditional diets. Also, any problems with their kidneys, stomachs, appendices or gallbladders were very rare.
The highly nutritious diet of indigenous societies is the result of centuries of development. Ancient skeletons found in the Andes, on the South African coast and in the Rhone Valley in France show that nearly all have excellent teeth and very few have tooth decay.