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The Benefit of Knowing Your Ancestors

Each individual person has a heritage that dates back to when man was at it’s early stages in this world, around 160,000 years ago. The way that we ate then and the nutritional value of the foods were severely different from what is on our plate today. Nutritional value aside, can our bodies gain nutrients from the things we eat now? Or is it doing more harm to us than good? Scientists have announced that the world’s oldest grain silos are in Dhra, in what we now to be the country of Jordan. These sites date back 11,000 years ago and contains remnants of barley and an early type of wheat. However, the ancient Celtic Britons found it controversial to sow grain and instead stated to “live on milk and flesh.”

In any case it is said to take seven generations to adapt enough to a local environment to reap the full nutritional benefit of the environmental surroundings. So why is this important to know? Well, with my ancestors dominantly being from the Scottish, Irish and British Islands, my genetics may insist that an antibiotic-free, grass fed red meat-based protein diet is more sustainable for my body than eating wheat and grain. This comes from genetic preconditioning. Over time, my ancestors have passed down genetic information telling me that my body has more of a chance to absorb the nutrients it already understands at a genetic level.

So how does this information benefit you? Well, if your ancestors are from Western Asia or Eastern Africa, your genetics are likely to be preconditioned to absorbing nutrition from grains and wheat. However, like me, if not taking your diet into careful consideration when eating grain with the absence of your own genetic understanding, problems like Thyroid issues, Leaky Gut Syndrome, or Celiac disease can start to run it’s course in the body. Mind you, food from the grocery store produce section is nothing like it was 100 years ago due to low soil nutrient levels and the ethics of most agricultural communities today, and don’t even get me started on what’s in a bag of Doritos! But the point is, if you take just a little bit of time and learn about your more recent ancestry, (meaning don’t go overboard finding your nomadic hunter/gatherer ancestors from 11,000 B.C.) you can have a good grasp on what your body can really absorb, and what is ineffective for the optimal sustainability of your body.

A great source for finding these would be services like 23 and Me (Click Below) and DNAFit genetics testing, or even a site like ancestry.com could help you find what you’re looking for. Even if you don’t use the information for health purposes, it is still amazing to go back in time and find out certain quirks you might still carry from the people that brought you here.

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Written by Nick Stonestreet

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