Eating for your heritage microbiome

I thought that it would be good to recap my belief of what the real super foods are. The logic is simple and should be seriously considered.

Our microbiome has evolved over thousands of years. It has become tuned to the available diet in a region. Classic Darwinism. Many alternative medicine types will focus on the dangers of new modern foods. I agree with their core model but they really blew it when it comes to what the older food diet should be! We tend to have two schools –“The Paleolithic diet, Paleo diet, caveman diet, or stone-age diet is a modern fad diet requiring the sole or predominant eating of foods presumed to have been available to humans during the Paleolithic era. “[Wikipedia] and food styles/processing that came into existence after the 1960’s. IMHO, both are very wrong.

Paleolithic ended 12,000 years ago or more. Skipping over twelve millenium of microbiome evolution does not seem rational; it assumes that the microbiome ability to adapt is extremely low and slow. On the other hand, those that attack recent food and diet changes, and jumping back just 60 years assumes an imaginary ‘golden era’ for the gut at a time when there was rapid changes of diet and food.

I wrote about this issue in an earlier post, What is the best diet?

I am a huge fan of Time Team and from it acquire some interesting perspectives. For most of the last two thousand years in Europe, water was not safe to drink. Safe drinking was wine or beer. If you are a northern european, wine was a luxury item… so it became beer.

From one time team episode, I learn that toddlers were given beer once they cease nursing (it was the safest thing to do!). It was not beer as we know it today. The barley malt would be used and reused, with each brewing cycle getting weaker and weaker beer (in terms of alcohol). It was this last cycle of beer that was given to toddlers.

The German Purity Law of 1516, defines what was to be used. It requires that ‘nothing other than barley, hops and water be used’ to produce beer.  No wheat. No Corn. Wheat was actually a luxury grain for most of this time in northern Europe.

What does Barley impacts… lots of bacteria, and I mean LOTS. See this page!

So, for a long time a common child would likely get barley or oats porridge for breakfast, served with weak barley beer. That was my father’s breakfast when he lived with his parents. Sugar was also expensive and a luxury.

Lots of root vegetables – swedes, turnips, and very very later, potatoes (not until after 1800!); in other words, high fiber vegetables.

During my recovery, it was interesting to note how often these specific foods show up as strong suggestions produced by the microbiome AI engine for my microbiome. It almost implied that going apostate from the food of my ancestors was the cause of ME/CFS.

We have lost touch with our microbiome heritage. Salad in winter is unnatural for northern Europeans. Season cycles of food is what our microbiome evolved to handle. In today’s world, we eat the same — year in and year out. IMHO, that is also unnatural.

Bottom line — give some serious thought to what your microbiome’s inheritance is going back many generations. All of us have a high percentage of the common worker in us, what did they eat?