There are many different schools of thought fighting for our attention when it comes to healthy eating. Paleo, vegetarian, vegan, raw, organic only, very low calorie, calorie dense, superfoods only and everything in between. For some people diet becomes akin to religion. They put it on a pedestal and consider any philosophy that disagrees with their views heresy. After several years of experimenting on myself, reading different books and articles, and studying centenarian eating habits, I have currently come to the conclusion that diet is one of several factors that determine a person’s health and longevity. With the best diet for anyone consisting of fresh, locally grown food.
Consider how different the diets of many groups of centenarians are. Some eat meat, a few do not. Some eat grains and beans, others don’t. Some eat chocolate and bacon and drink alcohol.
Among the longest living people in the world are the Hunzas (who love apricots and their seeds), people from the mountains of Azerbaijan (whose main staple is fermented milk), the Okinawans in Japan (who focus on the the sweet potato), the Sardinian centenarians (with their love for olive oil, red wine and even pork), and the Costa Rican centenarians (who consume water high in calcium and magnesium, and beans). Aside from rarely overeating, one of the crucial similarities between all of these groups is that they eat mostly local food.
Often they eat what they grow and catch themselves, and hence they have a very strong connection to the earth, and a better ability to stay grounded in the face of life’s adversity.
People, just like plants and animals, need to adopt certain lifestyles in order to thrive in certain climate zones and to shed these same lifestyles if they move somewhere else. Through exposing ourselves to the sun, water, wind and earth of the place where we live, we ground ourselves to this place.
When it comes to grounding through food, what we eat literally becomes us (our bodies). With the energy in this food, we are constructed and powered.
Look around you, see what edibles thrive in your zone. Eat them, and you too will thrive. If you are not a vegan for ethical reasons, eat small amounts of fish, milk products and eggs that thrive in your country. This way you too will thrive.
If on the other hand, you eat produce that will not grow in the place where you live, eat artificial produce or simply food that was not grown in a manner that allowed it to thrive throughout its life, then it will be detrimental to you. This food will create a disharmony within your body.
I tend to believe that truth likes simplicity. And that answers are already all around us. Do not disregard the wisdom of your ancestors. Live in a climate and environment that complements you and your constitution, and embrace the local produce through a simple and straight-forward diet with a low carb footprint.