According to the stats, more than 80% of American adults use coffee to get going in the morning. Increasingly, we’re getting collectively pickier about what we drink, too. A report released this year by the National Coffee Association found that, for the first time in 67 years, more than half of all coffee consumed daily was classified as “gourmet.”
But let’s be honest. There’s a lot of junk in that category—syrups and whipped toppings, soy milk and sugar galore. It’s a damned shame because coffee can offer big health benefits when done right. When done even better? Well, let’s take a look.
One of the more exciting developments over the past few years has been the explosion in population genetics research. People are a diverse lot, and even though we’re all people who essentially want the same things out of life (and we’re working with the same basic machinery), there’s a lot of wiggle room. It’s not just information for curiosity’s sake. The information researchers are uncovering about human ancestry can have real ramifications for how said humans should eat.
A couple years ago, I wrote a post laying out a few guidelines for using your personal ancestry to inform your diet. Today, I’m going to talk about another one: polyunsaturated fat metabolism.
If you don’t already keep a few cans of high quality tuna packed in olive oil in your pantry, this recipe is a great reason to start. The meal comes together quickly, with dazzling results. Cherry tomatoes and garlic are seared in a generous amount of olive oil, then comes the tuna and even more olive oil to make a richly flavorful sauce.
The sauce can be tossed with your favorite zoodles (zucchini noodles) or other vegetable-based zoodle varieties, but noodles aren’t necessary to make this meal great. If you don’t want to deal with noodles, just grab a spoon and dig in. The tomatoes and tuna are delicious on their own.
Most people learn about ancestral health through books and blogs, which makes sense—Primal folks tend to be big readers, and the complexity and depth and constant evolution of the knowledge almost requires the written word for proper transmission. But a well-produced, beautiful film with great content has a unique effect on viewers. The combination of video and audio are more convincing than prose to our lizard brains, making documentaries a great vehicle for the introduction of a radically new idea. Skilled creators in the paleo space have taken note, producing some excellent ancestral health documentaries.
Doesn’t hurt that we’re right, of course.
And though “ancestral health documentary” is definitely a sub-genre that’s on the smaller side, trends are emerging. Earlier documentaries were celebrations and explorations of (and introductions to) the relatively young lifestyle, intended for individuals hoping to gain control of their own health. Future documentaries are looking at the bigger picture—how ancestral health can help the entire world and the natural environment get healthier. In today’s post, I’ll go through some of the standouts, explain what they offer, look to some upcoming movies, and track the trends.
For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions. First, is power yoga—a more “intense” version of yoga that includes strength exercises—a suitable alternative to strength training for aging women? Probably not, but that doesn’t make it bad or wrong to do. Second, what’s the deal with pelvic floor dysfunction after menopause? What’s the best way to improve that situation? And third, is the Keto Reset right for older women with osteoporosis?
Let’s find out:
Research of the Week
Two years of 15% calorie restriction slowed metabolism and reduced oxidative stress in older adults.
Food allergy linked to nature and nurture.
Creating art—even if you aren’t great at it—lowers stress.
Chronic nicotinamide riboside supplementation increases NAD+ (an important anti-aging marker) while being well-tolerated.