19

votes

Are Herbs a missing link?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 07, 2011 at 1:10 PM

Do we do better with the inclusion of phytochemicals in our diet? To what extent?

Should they be used to regulate a carnivorous diet like the Masai might have been doing?

Have we evolved using herbs in addition to meat, not so much vegetables?

Who would not benefit from some green tea?

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on August 08, 2011
at 06:15 AM

If that was a joke I'm sorry for ruining it :(

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on August 08, 2011
at 06:14 AM

Just plug that diet into fitday or something, plenty of micronutrients. And I do think that for most people some fiber and carbs are better than none. Fiber ferments in the gut to short-chain fats which are beneficial and at least 50g of carbs keeps the thyroid from reducing its activity. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1249190 Some potatoes and spinach round out the diet well.

C2502365891cbcc8af2d1cf1d7b0e9fc

(2437)

on August 08, 2011
at 06:03 AM

Would you care to say exactly what is missing from a diet of "bacon, eggs and beef"?

66974b2cb291799dcd661b7dec99a9e2

(11121)

on August 07, 2011
at 07:11 PM

'second hand catnip' - too dam funny lol

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on August 07, 2011
at 04:05 PM

omg. i had just been wondering a similar thing, and was thinking about asking a question here, specifically about traditionally used spices but also culinary herbs.

  • 2870a69b9c0c0a19a919e54cb3a62137

    asked by

    (1520)
  • Views
    1.8K
  • Last Activity
    1286D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

7 Answers

best answer

7
C8521a858edd480815a55f683afff86a

(2065)

on August 07, 2011
at 04:48 PM

There is no doubt that throughout history we have used all kinds of wild plants to our benefit. I find that wild greens and other edible plants tend to be more "potent" than domesticated ones. They are often more nutrient dense but they also have more plant toxins. Therefore, many of these plants doubled as food and medicine. The herbs and wild plants we evolved using have pretty incredible therapeutic effects on the body and were probably used differently than we use our modern vegetables and plant foods. I use a great deal of herbs, both culinary and medicinal. I do consider them food though because I use ones that are nutritive and not as toxic. The more toxic/therapeutic ones should be reserved for times of real need.

Do we need these plants? I am biased because I love plants and I love eating wild foods, but I think there is a lot of evidence that they were/are important to the human diet. Even the Inuit who are so often used as an example of having a completely animal based diet found it a worthwhile use of their time and energy to gather wild plants and preserve them. I don't buy into the total dismissal of plant foods by some paleo gurus- it doesn't sit right with me. When one is consuming a diet heavy in meat and fat the benefit of that bitter element so often found in wild greens or herbs is so important. It gets the gastric juices flowing and aids digestion. Nearly every common culinary herb we use has some properties that aid digestion or help prevent bacterial overgrowth. It's no accident we use these herbs and spices.

6
149af6e19a06675614dfbb6838a7d7c0

on August 07, 2011
at 06:50 PM

When you eat an animal, you are eating the plants that animal ate. Hell, when you eat a plant, you eat the animal that the plant ate. When you eat grass fed beef, one of the best benefits is in the omega 6 to omega 3 ratio over conventional beef. Where does that ratio come from? The plants the grass fed beef eats or the corn that the CAFO beef eats.

1/3 of the medicines on Pharma's shelf come directly from plants. YES...herbs are needed. I feel they are in the last 10%, once you have cleaned up the first 90% (diet). After you have fixed your diet, enjoy learning about herbs. Most of the teachers I have met are vegans who give a new meaning to the word health "nut". BUT enjoy the class, keep your head down and learn from the truth that they do offer. Herbs give you one more arrow in your quiver of health building tools. When my kids need to calm the "F" down, I give them the herb catnip...not feed them the cat...you know...to get the catnip second hand.

66974b2cb291799dcd661b7dec99a9e2

(11121)

on August 07, 2011
at 07:11 PM

'second hand catnip' - too dam funny lol

5
Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on August 07, 2011
at 05:01 PM

Paleo at least as it is practiced around these parts isn't carnivorous, low in plants or even necessarily low carb. If you are doing nothing but eating bacon, eggs and beef then yeah there is probably plenty stuff that is definitively missing. Many newbies do make this mistake.

On the other end of the spectrum some people like that David Wolf-man are trying to make it out to be that herbs and such are the number one factor in health, while being completely deficient in various non-essential but important nutrients. If you look at our physiology, the things that we use most effectively are the nutrients that are most abundant in animals. We synthesize them ourselves but generally benefit from a whole lot more carnosine, creatine, alpha-lipoic acid, carnitine, and all of the stuff highly concentrated in the flesh of animals, and that stuff is usually pretty sufficient if someone is getting it right. I might get stoned but raw or very lightly cooked grass-fed meat supplies this stuff the best, so if someone is doing that animal-heavy diet correctly it is hard to see where they would need obscure phytonutrients, generally our own animal physiology has all we need as long as we supplement it with animal food and are healthy and free of dysregulation that impairs our own body's functioning.

Who wouldn't benefit from green tea? Probably everyone would benefit from it, but its effectiveness is inversely related to the healthfulness of the core of the diet.

Should everyone use spices that they do well with? Yes. And eat berries? Yes. Vegetables? Very important for various essential nutrients. And herbs and maybe consider some of the better supplements? Those would help. I'm just not going to call it a missing link.

C2502365891cbcc8af2d1cf1d7b0e9fc

(2437)

on August 08, 2011
at 06:03 AM

Would you care to say exactly what is missing from a diet of "bacon, eggs and beef"?

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on August 08, 2011
at 06:15 AM

If that was a joke I'm sorry for ruining it :(

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on August 08, 2011
at 06:14 AM

Just plug that diet into fitday or something, plenty of micronutrients. And I do think that for most people some fiber and carbs are better than none. Fiber ferments in the gut to short-chain fats which are beneficial and at least 50g of carbs keeps the thyroid from reducing its activity. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1249190 Some potatoes and spinach round out the diet well.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 07, 2011
at 11:21 PM

What herbs and spices do you find most nutritious/beneficial to health? I have been sticking with turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper, cayenne, ginger... what would you recommend to include that helps to scavenge estrogen, boost testosterone, increase mental cogency, energizes, etc. The works!

0
226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on August 07, 2011
at 08:12 PM

Put it this way, even if our species is truly strictly carnivorous, we must ingest other animals species that aren't and in their stomachs you will find plenty of plant compounds, particularly in fish.

0
5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on August 07, 2011
at 08:05 PM

Herbs=leaves=green leafy veg = good. While some herbs are so bitter that they would only be used in medicinal amounts, many are mild enough to use as veg and would also give flavor in addition to health benefits. Where do you draw the line between basil, cilantro, mint and dandelion greens, endive, watercress? I even eaten an Italian oregano salad that was indeed, mostly oregano. About a 1/4 cup per serving, so you could call it a small dish, a salsa or a relish. The line gets blurry between leafy green vegetables and herbs.

0
66974b2cb291799dcd661b7dec99a9e2

(11121)

on August 07, 2011
at 05:15 PM

Perhaps the question is how long have we been using herbs, etc? For probably 5000-10,000 perhaps (coinciding with the advent of agriculture)but before that who knows for sure. As stabby said we can get practically all we need from an animal based diet. Herbs, teas do have some benefits and certainly can be used for good health but as a staple or missing link I have my doubts.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!