Month: December 2016

Did Our Ancestors Eat Just Meat?

First off, this solely depends on where the ancestors lived on the plane, more importantly, did our ancestors eat just meat? Humans living in the northern cold climates had no choice but to eat diets composed mostly of meat. This was to keep up a protein-rich diet to help our ancestors to survive and eventually evolve. In the past, it was theorized that humans ate mostly meat and some in-season fruit, root, and greens that were raw. However, now scientists are changing their thinking about what our human ancestors ate 10,000+ years ago.

Recently, scientists found evidence that plants were cooked over 10,000 years ago.

Why does this matter? Think about all of the plants that are only edible after cooking. Also, cooking creates more nutrient-dense food, which has been proposed to have increased human brain size.

Paleo and primal diets have stressed the importance of foods that ancient (very ancient) ancestors used to eat. Primarily focusing on high-quality meat, fish and game, and some plant. In the light of this new research, it’s probable and possible that our ancient ancestors ate more plants than we previously gave our ancient Caveman and lady credit.

Scientists recently found evidence of ceramic pots and cooked plants inside of the vessels. Our caveman ancestors could have been boiling plants and processing different plants for a larger diet range.

Dr. Julie Dunne, lead author of the paper and post-doctoral researcher, said: “Until now, the importance of plants in prehistoric diets has been under-recognized but this work clearly demonstrates the importance of plants as a reliable dietary resource.

“These findings also emphasize the sophistication of these early hunter-gatherers in their utilization of a broad range of plant types, and the ability to boil them for long periods of time in newly invented ceramic vessels would have significantly increased the range of plants prehistoric people could eat.”

Is Donor Breastmilk Really Best for Preemies?

Should Preemies Use Donor Breastmilk?

 

Would donor breastmilk be best for preemies? You have probably heard the quote “breast is best.” This is true for all babies regardless if the breastmilk is from the baby’s mother or other sources. 

Preemies are especially susceptible to more illness and disabilities later in life. In the past, preemies have been mostly excluded from donor breast milk due to the fact that doctors and hospitals were concerned with the safety of the breast milk.

Research shows that donor breast milk CAN be incredibly beneficial for preemie babies. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the governing body for pediatric doctors, has embraced breast milk in the neonatal unit, if “proper safety measures” are used in the hospital.

The AAP does discourage buying donor breast milk from online sources and “milk-sharing”.

How is donor breastmilk safe?

Donors are screened for hepatitis and HIV, and the milk is pasteurized and sometimes the milk is cultured for bacterial contamination. Although pasteurization does kill “good” bacteria, this is seen as a necessary step for the vulnerable infant.

Why is breast milk best?

Breastmilk is the IDEAL nutrition for an infant. The list of benefits is long and even effects the child for the rest of his or her life. For a quick and dirty list, breastmilk helps fight off viruses, bacteria, infections, allergies, asthma, diabetes, obesity, certain cancers, reduces hospitalization, fewer ear infections, fewer respiratory illness, etc.

Mother’s breast milk is best for the infant, but if that’s not possible than using donor breastmilk could be the next best thing – even for preemies.

Photo by j2dread

Why “Mommy Brain” is a Good Thing.

Why Mommy Brain is a Good Thing!

Being a mother, 3 times over, one thing that seems to weaken every time is my memory and brain. The first couple years are usually a blur of late-night feedings, teething woes, bumps and bruises and trying to remember anything beyond this new bundle of energy.

Many times, I have talked with other moms about having “mommy’s brain”. Forgetting important events, showing up late or completely forgetting events never happened prior to kids. Now, it’s a weekly occurrence.

New research just out shows that “mommy brain” is a good thing!

Here’s what happens.

After giving birth, moms had greatly reduced gray matter in the brain associated with social interactions. These long-term changes were theorized to improve a mom’s ability to protect and nurture her child. AND the areas of the brain that retain memories and thinking functions had no changes.

These changes lasted for at least the first two years after birth. Researchers theorize that this is an evolutionary change for mother’s to develop emotional attachments to her baby. Further, the more changes to the mother’s brain, the higher the emotional attachment.

So, maybe “mommy brain” is a good thing.

What do you think?

Health Benefits of Turkey and Uses

It’s Turkey time again—time when you sit down with family, watch a football game if you’re so inclined, and pass the food with all the fixings but what are the health benefits of turkey? Front and center in the biggest food celebration of the year is turkey, the nearly ubiquitous Thanksgiving meat. Around 7 billion pounds of turkey (that’s 10 Empire State Buildings!) are produced yearly in the US, so if you’re a fan of the bird, you’re in luck. You can thank Sarah Josepha Hale, writer of the nursery rhyme Mary Had a Little Lamb, for convincing Abraham Lincoln that America should have an official turkey day.

Contrary to popular belief, though, it’s not the tryptophan in turkey that makes you sleepy. This is a widely believed myth. In reality, you get sleepy after a Thanksgiving meal because you simply ate too much. The overindulgence in carbs and sometimes alcohol contribute to blood sugar spikes that tire your body out. But that doesn’t mean that a big serving of turkey is bad for you! In fact, turkey (in moderate portions, of course) is a great source of many nutrients.

Why is Turkey Good for You?

  1. Vitamins. Turkey contains lots of vitamin B6, which improves immune function and supplements the body’s key systems. Vitamin B6 deficiency is relatively common.
  2. Selenium. The selenium found in turkey carries a whole host of health benefits—too many to discuss—but among them are noted improvements in Alzheimer’s patients, better management of diabetes, and less incidence of benign tumors. Many people are deficient in selenium, and if fish (another great source) is not one of your favorite foods, turkey is a great alternative.
  3. Tryptophan. This chemical isn’t responsible for making you sleepy—in fact, it helps to balance blood sugar (which is the actual source of the sleepiness problem; you just don’t get enough turkey compared to everything else you eat on Thanksgiving). Tryptophan is an amino acid that produces serotonin, a mood stabilizer. It improves mental health and immune function.

Those are just a few of the great things about turkey. But before you go out and buy packages and packages of turkey meat to snack on every day, there are a few things you should know. Buying packing turkey deli meat isn’t a good choice—it’s often loaded with sodium and is extremely processed, so there are many things besides actual turkey meat hiding in there. Slow-cooking or baking a fresh turkey is the way to go. But how do you know that your turkey is fresh?

How Do You Choose Good Turkeys?

  1. Don’t believe your grocery store’s “fresh” label without asking the butcher when the turkey was actually prepared. Many stores label their turkeys as “fresh” even though they were packaged 9 months or more ago!
  2. Turkeys that are raised and then sold the same day or the day after they are harvested have a more intense flavor and better texture than frozen turkeys, so if you have a local butcher or meat shop, that will likely be your best bet. Local turkeys are also much less likely to have been given antibiotics and a grain-based diet.
  3. Choose turkey meat that is supple. Grainy or excessively firm meat should be avoided.

Turkeys are a great, nutritious meal anytime, but they really shine during the fall season. Remember that on average, you can plan for about a pound of turkey per person. This season, make sure turkey is on the menu and share it around!

Article by: Carrie Ott

Photo by Mike_fleming