Eat Like a Hadza?

Dr. Shawn Talbott (Ph.D., CNS, LDN, FACSM, FACN, FAIS) has gone from triathlon struggler to gut-brain guru! With a Ph.D. in Nutritional Biochemistry, he's on a mission to boost everyday human performance through the power of natural solutions and the gut-brain axis.

Here’s a very nice article discussing the pros/cons of trying to eat diet more similar to our “hunter-gatherer” ancestors.

The example here is the Hadza tribe of Tanzania – which has been shown in previous research to have a much more diverse microbiome due to their massive intake of dietary fiber (approximately 100-150 grams of fiber per day – compared to the paltry 10-15 grams that most Americans actually ingest daily and the 20-40 grams recommended by the Institute of Medicine).

Eating “more” fiber is one of the most important general dietary approaches that you can take to nourish your gut microbiome – but there are also “targeted” approaches that employ specific probiotic bacteria, prebiotic fibers, and phytobiotic nutrients to restore microbiome balance and optimize gut-brain-axis function.

Read the full article HERE and see some of my highlights below:

This fascination with the gut microbiome is increasingly drawing the support of mainstream science. Researchers suspect that changes in the microbiome can affect virtually everything about health, including mental health. A handful of studies have even linked changes in gut bacteria to depression and anxiety.

Dr. Shawn Talbott, Ph.D., a nutritional biochemist who studies the microbiome, gut-brain-axis, and mental wellness, told CareDash that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables along with a probiotic and prebiotic supplementation regimen could improve gut microbiome diversity.

“In general, ‘more diversity’ is better than ‘less diversity,’” said Dr. Talbott. “The best way to promote microbiome diversity is to eat a lot of high-fiber foods, like the Hadza do, on the order of 10x what a typical American might consume.”

Dr. Talbott says he wouldn’t necessarily recommend the Hadza diet, but he does suggest that people should consume a wide range of high-fiber fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains.

“Eating fewer processed foods and more “whole” foods has been associated with a wide range of health benefits and reduced risks for every modern disease including cancer, heart disease, obesity/diabetes, irritable bowel diseases, depression, and many more,” said Dr. Talbott. “We’re learning that many of these health benefits are mediated through interactions of the diet with microbiome, immune and inflammation pathways.”

About the Author

Exercise physiologist (MS, UMass Amherst) and Nutritional Biochemist (PhD, Rutgers) who studies how lifestyle influences our biochemistry, psychology and behavior - which kind of makes me a "Psycho-Nutritionist"?!?!

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