Quantcast

8 Tricks Your Ancestors Knew About Preparing Healthy Food

By Yes! Editors

Traditional food preparation techniques do more than just preserve food. They remove natural toxins and increase nutrients, as well as the body’s ability to fully use them.

Here's a list of time-honored food preparation and preservation techniques, some of which you can try at home:

Arugula sprouts. Photo credit:
Shutterstock

1. Fermenting—Acetic acid, lactic acid, and alcohol act as natural preservatives. Improves digestibility because microbes have predigested. Can create new nutrients, especially B vitamins. Adds helpful bacteria.

2. Soaking—Improves digestibility. Reduces phytic acid, allowing absorption of more minerals, such as iron and calcium. Soaking grains breaks down phytic acid, a substance that prevents the absorption of minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc. Also, as grains soak, vitamin content increases, especially B vitamins.

3. Sprouting—Deactivates enzyme inhibitors, making the sprouted seed more digestible.

4. Nixtamalization—Soaking corn with lime (calcium hydroxide) or wood ashes (potassium hydroxide) increases digestibility and bioavailability of niacin, protein, and calcium. Decreases phytic acid and harmful mycotoxins.

5. Pounding—Removes the bran or hull of a seed or grain, which contain most of the antinutrients. Increases digestibility.

6. Drying—Removes moisture, slowing bacterial growth. 

7. Salt curing—Draws water out of cells, killing microorganisms and preventing spoilage. Salt denatures meat proteins and produces glutamate, which enhances flavor.

8. Smoking—Dries meat and adds phenolic compounds that bind to the surface of the food and act as antioxidants, preventing rancidity.

Visit EcoWatch’s FOOD page for more related news on this topic.

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Natural Resources Defense Council

By Emily Deanne

Shower shoes? Check. Extra-long sheets? Yep. Energy efficiency checklist? No worries — we've got you covered there. If you're one of the nation's 12.1 million full-time undergraduate college students, you no doubt have a lot to keep in mind as you head off to school. If you're reading this, climate change is probably one of them, and with one-third of students choosing to live on campus, dorm life can have a big impact on the health of our planet. In fact, the annual energy use of one typical dormitory room can generate as much greenhouse gas pollution as the tailpipe emissions of a car driven more than 156,000 miles.

Read More Show Less
Kokia drynarioides, commonly known as Hawaiian tree cotton, is a critically endangered species of flowering plant that is endemic to the Big Island of Hawaii. David Eickhoff / Wikipedia

By Lorraine Chow

Kokia drynarioides is a small but significant flowering tree endemic to Hawaii's dry forests. Native Hawaiians used its large, scarlet flowers to make lei. Its sap was used as dye for ropes and nets. Its bark was used medicinally to treat thrush.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Frederick Bass / Getty Images

States that invest heavily in renewable energy will generate billions of dollars in health benefits in the next decade instead of spending billions to take care of people getting sick from air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels, according to a new study from MIT and reported on by The Verge.

Read More Show Less
Aerial view of lava flows from the eruption of volcano Kilauea on Hawaii, May 2018. Frizi / iStock / Getty Images

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could be gearing up for an eruption after a pond of water was discovered inside its summit crater for the first time in recorded history, according to the AP.

Read More Show Less
A couple works in their organic garden. kupicoo / E+ / Getty Images

By Kristin Ohlson

From where I stand inside the South Dakota cornfield I was visiting with entomologist and former USDA scientist Jonathan Lundgren, all the human-inflicted traumas to Earth seem far away. It isn't just that the corn is as high as an elephant's eye — are people singing that song again? — but that the field burgeons and buzzes and chirps with all sorts of other life, too.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A competitor in action during the Drambuie World Ice Golf Championships in Uummannaq, Greenland on April 9, 2001. Michael Steele / Allsport / Getty Images

Greenland is open for business, but it's not for sale, Greenland's foreign minister Ane Lone Bagger told Reuters after hearing that President Donald Trump asked his advisers about the feasibility of buying the world's largest island.

Read More Show Less
AFP / Getty Images / S. Platt

Humanity faced its hottest month in at least 140 years in July, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said on Thursday. The finding confirms similar analysis provided by its EU counterparts.

Read More Show Less
Newly established oil palm plantation in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay

By Hans Nicholas Jong

Indonesia's president has made permanent a temporary moratorium on forest-clearing permits for plantations and logging.

It's a policy the government says has proven effective in curtailing deforestation, but whose apparent gains have been criticized by environmental activists as mere "propaganda."

Read More Show Less