For all their trendiness, acai berries can actually be traced back to the indigenous tribes of the Amazon. That’s not all. From grains like teff, millet, amaranth, spelt, kamut and faro to elixirs like kefir and kombucha and herbs like ginseng and gotu-kola -ancient food is all the rage right now. Look closer… the latest cool entrant sitting in your kitchen pantry could well be a primordial relic.BACK WITH A BANG
We are waking up to the goodness of alternative and sprouted grains now, but our ancestors knew better. Barley was the food for gladiators and the Roman army since it was nutritionally dense and packed to the brim with fiber. What is ancient today was trendy once. What made it trendy back then was the need of that time, the lifestyle of people in those days. It is natural for these patterns to resurface, but always in an upward spiral and in an improved state.
`GO TO’ GRAINS
Ancient grains and beans deliver unique tastes and textures, pack a nutritional wallop, and invite innovation. A number of ancient grains are gluten-free. “They are often the `go to’ grains when people want to eliminate gluten from their diets. Quinoa, often referred to as `mother of all grains’, is packed with complex carbohydrates. It contains all the 9 essential amino acids. Similarly, amaranth was and is a nutritional powerhouse in Africa, Indian and the South American subcontinent alike. A complete protein, it has calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and iron.
We are using more ghee and coconut oil. We are trying out bedtime elixirs like hemp milk and turmeric instead of popping pills, and we are finding comfort in grandma’s warming spices. Ancient food practices are the norm today. Ancient foods are healthy in every way possible. Things like slow cooking, using cast iron utensils, dry roasting and steaming food wrapped in leaves should come back for the sheer nutrition and variety they bring to the dinner table.
Fermentation has always been a part of various food cultures since time immemorial. Apparently, there is a mention of fermentation in the Rigveda too.
Kanji, lassi, home-made curd, pickles, kefir, kombucha, miso, sourdough bread are all products of fermentation. Why is it trending now? Because prescription antibiotics are at an all-time high.
Many people don’t realize that most of these antibiotics kill the good with the bad. Fermented goods help reintroduce beneficial bacteria back in the body.