There are a multitude of reasons that our ancestors are healthier than us. It may be true that they had shorter life expectancy than us, but the truth of the matter is that the reason we’re living so long these days is because of many of the artificial preservatives in our food. And although we live longer, we get sick more often and when we are sick, we get sicker than our ancestors did. Let’s take a look at why our ancestors were healthier than us because of different aspects of their diets and daily routines. You’d be surprised as to how much you can change in your own lifestyle to make it more primal so that you can live a healthier, more fulfilling life.
We’re often led to believe that too much meat in our diets can cause high levels of cholesterol and blood pressure (we’ll get to that in a minute), but without meat, we wouldn’t be here as we are today. Our ancestors ate much more meat than us and as a result, our brains and mental capacity are much higher than they would have been had we had the same diet we have today. The proteins in red meat and fish help boost brain activity and because we only eat a fraction of the meat we ate centuries ago, it’s thought that our brain growth has slowed significantly compared to our ancestors.
2.More “Natural” Exercise
It should be no secret that our ancestors of long ago worked much harder for their food than hopping in a car and buying prepackaged meat from the supermarket. The extra exercise involved with being outside all day provided a lot of natural vitamins such as vitamin E and D to the skin, resulting in a healthier lifestyle. Even our great grandparents spent a lot more time outside working for their meals and ended up with a lot more natural sunlight and nutrition from being outside. Hunting for food and working outside for their meals is part of the reason that our ancestors were a lot healthier than us.
As said in the point above, our ancestors got a lot more exercise than us. Apart from the nutritional benefits of getting more sunlight and fresh air for ourselves, the fact that they got more exercise while hunting for food has a lot to do with their overall better health. Food wasn’t easy to come by and hunting for it required a lot of daily effort on the part of the males. It wasn’t uncommon to sprint after prey to tackle it to the ground. And the females got in on the action as well. While the men were out hunting they spent a lot of time gathering fruits and vegetables and planting new ones, which leads us to our next point…
4.Fruits and Meat
It has already been mentioned that meat was much more of a staple in our ancestors’ diets, but in addition to the meat were a lot of fruits and vegetables. Without things like breads and pastas that were rich in carbohydrates, our ancestors had a much more balanced diet. While we have five food groups that we’re supposed to adhere to, our ancestors were pretty limited to the vegetable and meat group. Processed carbohydrates and dairy products weren’t readily available because they were either too hard to make or purchase and ultimately, weren’t a staple in the food groups like they are today. It’s not that these foods are necessarily bad for us, it’s that because our bodies didn’t evolve to process them properly in our stomachs, they’re a lot harder to digest and aren’t necessarily the type of food we should be eating.
Sugar has made its way into almost everything we eat these days and it’s pretty hard to avoid. It’s very tough for the body to digest sugars, especially the artificial kinds, so keeping them out of your body is a necessity. Sugar isn’t bad for you, as there are a lot of good sugars in the fruits you enjoy, but our ancestors didn’t drink any of the sodas or coffees that we drink today, so sugar intake wasn’t a problem.
Before drug companies started making billions of dollars in annual income off of our health, our ancestors used herbal methods to cure their ailments. There are many plants that grow freely in nature that are capable of curing our most common problems. From head colds to headaches, plants and leaves have helped the human race prevent problems and cure ones that spring into existence for thousands of years. Only recently have companies started capitalizing on our sicknesses and charging us money to cure all of our small ailments. If you were to take a step back away from the medicine cabinet and drug aisles at your local stores, you’d see that many of the active ingredients in the medicines you pay money for can be purchased in the same supermarket for a lot less money.
None of us actually read the ingredients list on the products we buy from the grocery store. We assume that the apples and oranges we pick up off the shelf are naturally grown and not riddled with fertilizers and artificial chemicals. The sad truth? They are. Our ancestors managed to add to their lifespan by not having to worry about foods treated with preservatives and chemicals. It is rumored that the preservatives in our food are helping our bodies live longer, but the quality of our health deteriorates as a result. The lack of preservatives in things like meat and vegetables, as well as the lack of food in their diets that needed preservatives to stay fresh, helped our ancestors live better lives.
How many times a day do you take a look at your life and realize that you just simply have too much going on? Our ancestors didn’t clutter their lives with the problems and stress causers that we do. Our lives have become overly complicated and have departed from the simple lifestyle that those before us led. Things like job security and family relations weren’t as big of a part of their lives as living was. They were able to put their priorities first and see that there were more important things to worry about, like their own survival, than the menial problems of the day to day. If you’re looking to improve the quality of your life and live longer, try leading a stress free lifestyle like your ancestors did. By getting rid of the clutter in your life, you’ll see that less stress really can lead to a healthier and longer life.
We all have cell phones, iPods, and TVs blaring at us at all times of the day. The distractions we have coming at us all the time aren’t helping us live a calmer life. Gadgets contribute to stress and fatigue, despite what you may believe. Our ancestors didn’t have any of the “luxuries” we have today and without all of the distractions, they were able to pay attention to their families and survival a lot easier. Gadgets may have been invented to help our lives, but in reality they’re only there to clutter them and the gadgets don’t help at all. Try avoiding posting to your Facebook account for a week and a half and seeing if you feel a little less stressed and have a little more freedom.
Lastly on the list could be thought of as a summary of all of the previous tips. We’ve all become obsessed with all of the ins and outs of our lives that we sometimes forget why we’re really here. Everyone has different goals in life and different aspirations and if you want to be healthier than you already are, pushing aside all of the things that are preventing you from achieving those goals will help. Happiness has a lot to do with overall health and because our ancestors were able to see their goals and how to achieve them, they were ultimately a lot happier than we are these days. If you think of your great grandparent’s lives or your caveman ancestors, you’ll realize that there wasn’t a whole lot to living. They woke up and followed the same routine every day towards happiness. Whether they had a very basic job to get by or wanted to travel the world, those goals were attainable because they didn’t have as many distractions. If you’re looking to do the same thing, declutter your life and find a much simpler path to happiness. Simplify your diet, simplify your gadgets and email checking, and get back to the basics.
Obviously, this article is the tip of the iceberg, knowing the size of this topic. Given the time and resource, I may actually end up writing a book on living healthy, the ancestors way. However, until then, I encourage you to make this article a motivation to explore this subject further. Here are some suggested readings from my personal bookmarks –
1. Zen Habits
2. Think Simple Now
Category: Health Fitness Tips - Health News
Tags: Healthy Living