Food and evolution

Eating Meat Made Us Human, Suggests New Skull Fossil

Fragments of a 1.5-million-year-old skull from a child recently found in Tanzania suggest early hominids weren't just occasional carnivores but regular meat eaters, researchers say.

The finding helps build the case that meat-eating helped the human lineage evolve large brains, scientists added.

"I know this will sound awful to vegetarians, but meat made us human," said researcher Manuel Domínguez-Rodrigo, an archaeologist at Complutense University in Madrid.

Past research suggested prehuman hominids such as australopithecines may have eaten some meat. However, it is the regular consumption of meat that often is thought to have triggered major changes in the human lineage, the genus Homo, with this high-energy food supporting large human brains.

Given its importance to human evolution, scientists want to learn when eating flesh became a regular activity. Stone tools dating back about 2.6 million years to Gona in Ethiopia are often considered the earliest signs of the human lineage butchering meat, and contentious evidence suggests butchery may have existed at least 3.4 million years ago. "Despite this ample evidence, some archaeologists still argue that meat was eaten sporadically and played a minor role in the diet of those hominins," Domínguez-Rodrigo said. (Hominins include humans and their relatives after they split from the chimpanzee lineage.)

A fragment of a child's skull discovered at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, shows the oldest known evidence of anemia caused by a nutritional deficiency.
Credit: Dominguez-Rodrigo M. et al., PLoS ONE 7(10): e46414. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0046414

Now shards of a child's skull found in Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania suggest the infant suffered from a form of malnutrition seen in meat-poor diets. This hints that meat-eating was normally a regular part of the human diet at the time.

The skull fragment is thought to belong to a child somewhat younger than 2. It remains unclear what hominin it belonged to — likely candidates include extinct human species such as Homo habilis or Homo erectus, or perhaps the "Nutcracker Man" Paranthropus boisei.

The kind of bone lesions the researchers saw in this fossil are known as porotic hyperostosis, which typically results from a lack of vitamins B9 and B12 in the diet. This kind of nutritional deficiency is most common at weaning, when children switch to solid foods. The researchers suggested this particular infant died because of lack of meat, which is rich in B-vitamins. Alternatively, if the child still depended on the mother for milk, it may have been the mother who lacked meat.

These findings suggest that "human brain development could not have existed without a diet based on regular consumption of meat," Domínguez-Rodrigo said. "Regular consumption of meat at that time implied that humans were hunters by then. Scavenging only rarely provides access to meat and is only feasible in African savannas on a seasonal basis."

However, there are other potential causes for porotic hyperostosis besides malnourishment, such as malaria or parasites. "Basically, anything that correlates with low red-cell count — either due to an infection of the blood or blood loss, or nutritional insufficiency — can cause the marrow of the skull to ramp up its production massively, causing the hyperostosis," said paleoanthropologist John Hawks at the University of Wisconsin, who did not take part in this study.

Without animal fat and protein, our brains would never have reached such a volume, and intelligence would have remained at the level of the Apes

Still, Hawks noted that Domínguez-Rodrigo and his colleagues took alternative explanations for these bone lesions into account and were reasonably cautious in their interpretation of this data. "This is an interesting addition to what we know," Hawks told LiveScience.

Now, Domínguez-Rodrigo said, "research should try to find out how humans were acquiring meat regularly. What hunting strategies were used?"

Print Page

7 Reasons You Need to Drink Warm Salt Water Every Morning

The consumption of Sole (natural salt-water solution) has been shown to remedy health in a variety of ways. Here are 7 reasons you may want to consider drinking this mixture as well.

Pure salt is either praised or feared in the western world, with few too many physicians and even less of the public clear on it’s for detoxification and healing.

Known as Sole in many corners of the world (pronounced So-lay), salt water solution is a life-enhancing solution that supports the body’s natural ability to regulate and heal itself. The term Sole comes from the Latin “sol”, which means sun. In India, it is a common practice to drink salt water upon rising – something that would seem counter-intuitive to the Western world which has been taught salt is detrimental to health. But if 100% natural salt is used to make a concentrated solution, such a mixture is incredibly healing and good for your body.

   Really, it's good for you

Unrefined salt is actually incredibly beneficial for your body. It helps to balance blood sugar, keep your bones strong, regulate your metabolism, boost your immune system, and more!

Natural salt provides a number of nutrients and minerals (over 80 if one is counting) that the body recognizes and knows how to use. These minerals in naturally filtered salt water to create unrefined sea salt give it its vital grayish appearance, and its slight moistness keeps the salt and minerals in a form that the body can use.

   What happens when it is added to filtered water?

When salt is added to pure, filtered water, positive ions in the salt surround the negative ions of the water molecules, and vice versa. In result, a new structure is formed that has an electrical charge that is easily absorbed by the body. Simply put, water is no longer water, and salt is no longer just salt.

When ingested, the electrical charge in the solution works with the body to send electrical signals between cells, and has also been shown to assist the kidneys in maintaining fluid balance within the body.

As shared before, such a mixture in the morning is nothing new – many civilizations have used it as a healing aid around the globe for centuries. But now anecdotal and scientific evidence also supports its use for the following:


Everyone knows they need to drink more water, but according to Matt Stone, author of Eat for Heat: A Metabolic Approach to Food and Drink, consuming too much plain water can actually cause the body to become over-diluted.

When this occurs, it can put a tremendous strain on the body and slows metabolism. Because cellular health is dependent on a particular concentration of mineral and electrolytes, drinking large amounts of water can result in an unintended result. When extracellular fluid becomes diluted, this creates a stress response and the release of adrenalin. Stone says, “No other creature is so removed from its instinctual programming to the point of accidentally over drinking.”

When one consumes water with natural salt, the body can actually absorb and use the water you are taking in.


The process of digestion begins in the mouth, and consuming salt activates the salivary glands in the mouth which release amylase. This initial step for digestion is highly important. In the stomach, natural salt stimulates hydrochloric acid and a protein-digesting enzyme, both which help to break down food. It also stimulates secretions in the intestinal tract and liver to help with digestion. If one consumes Sole often, they may also experience regularity and increased absorption as well.


Trace minerals of unrefined sea salt may calm the nervous system. Salt is known to reduce cortisol and adrenaline, two dangerous stress hormones, therefore consuming a mixture of Sole can help promote a better night’s sleep.


Because of the abundant minerals salt provides, drinking it with water can aid in detoxification. Sole is also naturally antibacterial and can therefore help rid the body of bacteria which may be harmful to health.

Unrefined salt hides up to 90 different minerals that are found in our body, the difference between the snowy white refined salt and those we receive from nature, such as the Celtic green salt and Himalayan salt is huge.


A popular theory that surrounds osteoporosis and other bone disorders is that calcium and other minerals are used by the body in order to survive and neutralize acidity in the bloodstream. Because salt-water solution is full of healthy minerals and has an alkalizing effect, it is thought to help improve bone health.


If you seek healthy, glowing skin, drinking Sole may help you attain it. The minerals in the mixture are known to promote healthy skin: Chromium can help a dry scalp and reduces skin infections; sulfur keeps skin clean and smooth, and can help a dry scalp, eczema, and rashes that are often a result of sulfur deficiency. Zinc promotes rapid healing of wounds, boosts the immune system, and regulates the activity of oil glands. Iodine, as well, helps increase oxygen consumption and the metabolic rate of the skin.


According to two-time Nobel Prize winner Dr. Linus Pauling, “you can trace every sickness, every disease, and every ailment to a mineral deficiency.” Minerals are the foundation to sound nutrition and health; without them, no other system in the body works as it should.

When amino acids and enzymes don’t work because of vital mineral deficiency, vitamins and minerals do not get broken down or absorbed. Because most soil is depleted in minerals and the majority of the population consumes a highly refined diet, mineral deficiencies are more common than ever. Sole, made with unrefined, mineral-rich, naturally obtained sea salt, is a rich source of vital minerals like barium, bismuth, chromium, magnesium, selenium, zinc, titanium, and B2 trace minerals.

As shared on The Alternative Daily, the following are also reported benefits of drinking Sole on an empty stomach each morning:

~ Improves energy

~ Reduces blood sugar

~ Reduces muscle cramps

~ Regulates the hormonal system

~ Results in healthy veins

~ Aids in weight loss

You can create your own jar of Sole by following the recipe outlined here or by simply beginning with a ¼ – ½ tsp of sea salt in a 8 oz. jar of water each morning.

NOTE:  High sodium intake (prevalent in those who consume standard American fare – high saturated fat foods, highly processed foods, low-quality animal products) has been linked with atherosclerosis (heart disease), obesity, stroke, and other diseases of affluence.

Consider only beginning this regimen AFTER you have followed a plan to eliminate refined, processed foods from your diet and have detoxed for at least 3-4 weeks, having shifted to a high-quality plant-based lifestyle.

Allow your perception surrounding salt and it’s slandering to be reconsidered. You can be healthy by consuming salt water every morning, along with a healthy diet and commitment to positive, vibrant living.

Print Page

Herbal Remedy Medicine Cabinet

Starting an herbal remedy medicine cabinet is easy on the pocketbook and easy to do. The following herbs and plants are great to have on hand and are very easy to work with.


Great for: insomnia, anxiety, restlessness, colds, stuffy noses, tension, irritability, gas, indigestion, upset stomach, sore muscles, & is even safe for teething babies! Can help with bladder infections, kidney issues, and calming adrenals.

I keep the loose herb on hand, as well as in tea form as an easy herbal remedy . For babies, soak a washcloth in chamomile tea, ring it out, and let them chew on it for teething relief. Chamomile is a powerful plant with gentle properties that almost anyone can use.


Great for: boosting immunity, fever, colds, flu, coughs, sore throat, parasites, indigestion, ear infections, coughs, and is an over all general tonic.

I keep pure garlic powder on hand (no fillers) to add to everything I make: casseroles, soups, roasting vegetables, and my own spice blends. I also mince up garlic, put it in a small jar airtight jar, pour olive oil in it. Keep it in the refrigerator and you’ll have minced garlic. (It saves a ton of money and you can add ginger, too!)


Great for: relieving cramps (menstrual and muscle), headaches, fibromyalgia pain, indigestion, insomnia, nausea, and is a powerful aromatic herbal remedy.

I use peppermint in many ways. I always have a blend of mint tea on hand. I grow peppermint to juice every morning. I keep a small bag of dried peppermint on hand for when the kids get stuffy noses. I’ll heat up some water, add some peppermint leaf and essential oils to create a sinus steam. It works super fast. Keep tissues handy!


Great for: anxiety, keeping calm, restlessness, nervousness, fevers, colds, flu, and is a powerful anti viral.

Lemon balm is one of the key herbal remedy ingredients a person can have.

I keep a triple tincture of Lemon Balm on hand always. If you’ve ever used Rescue Remedy, it works in the same way. Just add some tincture to your tea.


Great for congestion (inhalation only) and as an insect repellent. Only use eucalyptus externally.

I add eucalyptus to the herbal remedy steam along with peppermint when my kids get sick. I use a dried leaf form for that. For bug spray, I use an essential oil added to rose water. Eucalyptus is also a key ingredient for a natural, homemade flea spray for dogs.


Print Page

The White Death

Why Sugar Is Called "The White Death" and the Sugar Cancer Connection

As good as it may taste, sugar is NOT your friend. It may “feel” like your friend when it comforts you (due to the beta-endorphin rush in your brain), but sugar is really your ENEMY. Truth be told, regular consumption of sugary foods is one of the worst things that you can do for your health. Modern scientific research has shown us, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that sugar in your food (in all its myriad forms) is taking a devastating toll on your health.

Take a look at the sugar consumption trends over the past 300 years:

~  In 1700, the average person consumed about 4 pounds of sugar per year.
~  In 1800, the average person consumed about 18 pounds of sugar per year.
~  In 1900, individual consumption had risen to 90 pounds of sugar per year.
~  In 2012, more than 50% of all Americans consume 1/2 pound of sugar per day — translating to a whopping 180 pounds of sugar per year!

In 1890, only 3 people out of 100,000 had diabetes. In 2012, almost 8,000 out of every 100,000 people was diagnosed with diabetes!

The “sugar rush” has been targeted at our children. American children are consuming about 10 times as much sugar as they were in 1900, especially in the form of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which is the average American’s greatest source of calories! Highly addictive HFCS contains fructose and glucose, but they are NOT bound together (as they are in table sugar) so the body doesn’t need to break it down. Therefore, the fructose is absorbed immediately, going straight to the liver, which turns it into fat (VLDL and triglycerides).

Sugar is connected to almost all diseases and disorders of modern life, and it is known that cancer cells feed exclusively sugar

According to Dr. Joseph Mercola:

“Fructose also tricks the body into gaining weight by fooling your metabolism (it turns off the appetite-control system). Fructose does not appropriately stimulate insulin, which in turn does not suppress ghrelin (the “hunger hormone”) and doesn’t stimulate leptin (the “satiety hormone”), which together result in your eating more and developing insulin resistance.” This process also suppresses the immune system.

But just because you avoid HFCS doesn’t mean that you’re in the clear. Excess intake of ALL processed sugars results in compromised immune function (decreasing the white blood cells’ ability to destroy bacteria), obesity, and diabetes.

And if that’s not enough, keep in mind that sugar is HIGHLY addictive! That’s right! Dr. Serge Ahmed of Bordeaux, France, has been working with rats and giving them the choice between cocaine and sugar. Guess which one wins, time and again?

That’s right … sugar!

It turns out that the sweet taste of sugar is more rewarding than the high of cocaine.

You see, sugar produces dopamine – a happy, feel-good chemical – in the brain. People get addicted to eating sugar, whereby they need it to feel “normal” and they undergo “withdrawal” if they cut sugar from their diets. If they go “cold turkey” for a few days, their brain will begin to produce dopamine on its own, but the discomfort of the withdrawal process keeps many “sugar addicts” trapped in their addiction.

   What is The Sugar Cancer Connection?

Due to the anaerobic respiratory mechanism exhibited by ALL cancer cell, sugar is cancer’s favorite food! And since half of the white sugar in the USA comes from sugar beets, you should remember that most beets are now genetically modified. This is another reason to stay away from the “White Death” isn’t it?

I personally recommend that you avoid white sugar, brown sugar, agave, and all artificial sweeteners such as aspartame/AminoSweet, sucralose, and saccharin. If you have a sweet tooth, it’s best to stick with 100% pure stevia, xylitol, raw honey, pure maple syrup, molasses, and coconut sugar. The bottom line: if you want to be and stay healthy, you MUST take control of your sugar intake so that it doesn’t take control over you.

   Ending the Sugar Confusion

It is easy to become confused by the various sugars and sweeteners, so here is a basic overview:

~  Saccharide = sugar

~  Glucose (aka “dextrose” or “grape sugar”), galactose (“milk sugar”), and fructose (“fruit sugar”) are all “monosaccharides” (i.e. single sugar molecules), known as “simple sugars.” The primary difference between them is the way your body metabolizes them.

~  Glucose is the form of energy you were designed to run on. Every cell in your body uses glucose for energy.

~  High amounts of fructose are very damaging to the body if it isn’t burned immediately for energy because it travels directly to the liver where it’s converted to triglycerides (fats). Excess triglycerides increase insulin resistance (and insulin production), thus contributing to diabetes in a “back door” fashion.

~  The simple sugars can combine to form more complex sugars, like sucrose (“table sugar”) which is a “disaccharide” comprised of 50% glucose and 50% fructose.

~  “Refined” white sugar (pure sucrose) is washed with a syrup solution, then with hot water, clarified (usually chemically) to remove impurities, decolorized, concentrated, evaporated, re-boiled until crystals form, centrifuged again to separate, then dried. By this point, any remnants of “natural goodness” and “nutritional value” have completely disappeared! Quite frankly, white sugar should be considered an “industrial product” rather than “food.”

~  “Brown sugar” is white sugar mixed with molasses.

                                    Brown sugar

 Make Your Own Brown Sugar - The recipe can be found here .

~  “Raw” sugar is not really raw—it has been cooked, and most of the minerals and vitamins are gone. But it’s probably a little better than refined white sugar because it has a little of the molasses remaining.

~  Aspartame or AminoSweet is a neurotoxic rat poison … need I say more?

~  Splenda (sucralose) is NOT a sugar, despite its deceptive marketing slogan, “made from sugar.” It’s a chlorinated artificial sweetener in line with aspartame, though not quite as harmful.

~  Honey is approximately 50% fructose, but in natural (raw and unpasteurized) form contains many health benefits. Buying honey that is local and unpasteurized is best.

~  Stevia is an extremely sweet herb derived from the leaf of the South American stevia plant, which is completely safe (in its natural form.) Green stevia is the whole plant, while white stevia is processed and can often contain other ingredients like natural flavors or dextrose – a form of sugar. 100% green stevia in its natural state is what you want.

~  Agave nectar is made from the agave plant, which is a cactus. Sounds natural, right? Like maple syrup from a tree, or honey from a beehive. Only it isn’t. Agave is HIGHLY processed while the end product does not even remotely resemble the original agave plant. Furthermore, agave is approximately 80% fructose (much higher than honey and maple syrup).

~  HFCS – high fructose corn syrup – is 55% fructose and 45% glucose. It is mostly genetically modified. Stay away!

~  Rapadura is the pure juice extracted from the sugar cane (using a press), which is then evaporated over low heat, whilst being stirred with paddles, then sieve ground to produce a grainy sugar. It has not been cooked at high heats or spun to change it into crystals, and the molasses is maintained in the sugar. “Sucanat” is the USA trade name for Rapadura.

~  Coconut sugar is made from the sweet watery sap that drips from the cut flower buds of the coconut palm. It has a low glycemic index (GI) and is rich in amino acids. It is typically less than 10% fructose, with sucrose being the primary component.

~  Xylitol is a sweetener known as a “sugar alcohol” (or polyol). Sugar alcohols are neither sugars nor alcohols – they are carbohydrates (with structures that happen to resemble sugar and alcohol). Xylitol is extracted from birch cellulose. Unlike sugar, Xylitol is slowly absorbed, does not cause a rapid blood sugar increase, and does not require an immediate insulin response from the body to be metabolized. Moreover, many studies have shown that it actually helps prevent dental cavities, ear infections and some evidence suggests that it helps prevent gum disease because Xylitol is an anti-bacterial.

 The glycemic index of individual sugar or sweeteners can read here.

Print Page

Hidden Dangers of tofu

   Food and Ingredients to Avoid on a Soy-Free Diet

It’s not easy to avoid soy if you have a soy allergy.  After all, it is everywhere in our diet, from processed foods to Asian restaurants. Fortunately for people with soy allergies, the Food Allergen Labeling & Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) requires manufacturers to list soy ingredients on product labels in plain, easy-to-understand language. Here's a refresher on reading ingredients labels.

Two exceptions to FALCPA exist related to soy labeling: if a product contains refined soy oil, manufacturers do not have to provide a call-out such as "contains soy"; and/or if a product contains soy lecithin as a releasing agent.

Research shows that soy proteins are present in soybean oil and soy lecithin. However, it is not clear if there is enough soy protein in these ingredients to cause a reaction in most people with soy allergies. Some people are more sensitive to soy than others, so follow your doctor's advice about these ingredients.

A little soy sauce, sesame oil and a pinch of spices, fry on the grill and there you have the time "a touch of Japan" on the table. No, you are mistaken. Today it is almost impossible to enjoy tofu, which is not destroyed genetically modified soy

In addition, FALCPA does not apply to "raw agricultural commodities" - fruits and vegetables in their natural state. It also does not cover eggs, milk, or meat, or other foods regulated by the USDA. Soy ingredients may be present in waxes or horticultural oils on fruits, or in raw or frozen chicken that has been processed in chicken broth.

Some statements on a food label may indicate cross-contamination with soy. These warnings are generally voluntary, so some manufacturers may not include this information, even if there is soy present in their facility.

~  "may contain soy"

~  "produced on shared equipment with soy"

~  "produced in a facility that also processes soy"

  Other Names for Soy

Soy is a common ingredient in many Asian cuisines, and may be identified by its name in other languages.

Some of the names for soy are:

Bean curd

Bean sprouts

Edamame (fresh soybeans)


Miso (fermented soybean paste)





Soy sauce


Soybean (curds, granules)



Tofu (dofu, kori-dofu)


   Soy Ingredients

Ingredients on a label are not always easy to recognize as soy. These ingredients are created from soy that has been processed in some way:

Hydrolyzed soy protein (HSP)

Mono- and diglycerides

MSG (monosodium glutamate)

Soy (albumin, cheese, fiber, grits, milk, nuts, sprouts, yogurt, ice cream, pasta)

Soy lecithin (see above)

Soy protein (concentrate, hydrolyzed, isolate)

Soybean oil (see above)

Teriyaki sauce

Textured vegetable protein (TVP)

   Possible Soy Ingredients

These ingredients may or may not contain soy. Call the manufacturer of the product to find out the source of the ingredient.

Bulking agent

Hydrolyzed plant protein (HPP) or hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP)

Gum arabic

Guar gum


Mixed tocopherols

Natural flavoring



Vegetable gum, starch, shortening, or oil

Vitamin E

   Foods That Likely Contain Soy

These foods often contain soy. You should be extra cautious about eating these foods if you are unable to get a complete ingredient list.

              Asian miso vegetable soup with very little tofu

Asian cuisine (Korean, Japanese, Thai, Chinese, etc.)

Baked goods and baking mixes

Bouillon cubes



Chicken (raw or cooked) that is processed with chicken broth

Chicken broth


Deli meats

Energy bars, nutrition bars

Imitation dairy foods, such as soy milks, vegan cheese, or vegan ice cream

Infant formula



Meat products with fillers, for example, burgers or sausages

Nutrition supplements (vitamins)

Peanut butter and peanut butter substitutes

Protein powders

Sauces, gravies, and soups


Vegetable broth

Vegetarian meat substitutes: veggie burgers, imitation chicken patties, imitation lunch meats, imitation bacon bits, etc.


Soy is a member of the legume family, as are other beans, peas, and peanuts. Most people with soy allergies can safely eat other legumes. Rarely, some people may have reactions to other beans or peanuts. Ask your doctor about allergy testing to determine if you are allergic to other legumes.

   Soy in Your Environment

Be aware of hidden sources of soy that may be in your medicine cabinet, shower caddy, or around the house.


The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network:

Sicherer S. Food Allergies: A Complete Guide to Eating When Your Life Depends on It

Joneja JV. The Health Professional's Guide to Food Allergies and Intolerances

Print Page
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...