Home   |   Contact   |   Help

Get Our Newsletter
Sign up for our free newsletter to get training tips and stay up to date on Catalyst Athletics, and get a FREE issue of the Performance Menu journal.

Go Back   Catalyst Athletics Forums > Nutrition > Paleo Diet

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-17-2008, 07:18 AM   #1
Darryl Shaw
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 708
Default Traditional Australian Plant Foods (Bush Tucker).

The Aborigines have lived in Australia for at least 40,000 years, and in all those long generations the land provided them with everything they needed for a healthy life. They also learned to manage their country in such ways that its resources renewed themselves and were not used up.

How did they do this? To quote Edward Curr, an early settler, they 'tilled their ground and cultivated their pastures with fire'. By controlled burning, they kept the bush open and allowed the growth of new seedlings in the ash-bed. Aborigines in Arnhem Land still do this. Many Australian plants will re-grow quickly after a fire; indeed some plants such as the grass-tree (Xanthorrhoea spp.) flower more prolifically after fire.

At least half of the food eaten by Aborigines came from plants, and it was the task of the women to collect them. Just as we eat root vegetables, greens, fruits and seeds, so did the Aborigines. Fruits, seeds and greens were only available during their appropriate seasons, but roots could usually be dug up all the year round, because the earth acted as a natural storage cupboard. Important foods were replanted. The regular digging-over of the soil, and the thinning out of clumps by collection of plants, together with burning to provide fertiliser, is not very different from what we do in our own gardens, and the whole country was in a way an Aboriginal garden.

Darryl Shaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2008, 07:38 AM   #2
Arien Malec
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2,035

On this theme, I'd recommend the book 1491 -- it really pokes a major hole in the vision of paleo man as living in harmony with nature. Humans all over the world engaged in massive reshaping of nature to suit their needs.
Arien Malec is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2009, 07:40 AM   #3
Darryl Shaw
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 708

Australian Aboriginal plant foods: a consideration of their nutritional composition and health implications.

Janette C. Brand-Miller and Susanne H. A. Holt.

Human Nutrition Unit, Department of Biochemistry, University of Sydney, NSW and
CSIRO Division of Human Nutrition, Adelaide, SA, Australia


For at least 40-50000 years, plants played an important but supplementary role in the animal-dominated diet of Australian Aboriginal (AA) hunter-gatherers. New knowledge of the nutrient composition and the special physiological effects of their foods provides another perspective in the current debate on the composition of the ‘prudent’ diet and the diet on which humans evolved. In the present paper we have calculated the average nutrient composition of over 800 Aboriginal plant foods (in total and by food group) and highlighted the differences between these and modern cultivated foods. The data enable us to calculate the absolute contribution of plant foods to total food and nutrient intake of traditional living AA. If plants provided 20-40 % of the energy in the diet (the most likely range), then plants would have contributed 22-44 g protein, 18-36 g fat, 101-202 g carbohydrate, 40-80 g fibre and 90-180mg vitamin C in a 12500kJ (3000kcal) diet. Since all the carbohydrate came from plant foods, the traditional AA diet would have been relatively low in carbohydrate (especially starch) but high in dietary fibre in comparison with current recommendations. Over half the carbohydrate could have been in the form of sugars derived from fruit and honey. The low glycaemic index of their carbohydrate foods, however, would generate a relatively low demand for insulin secretion and this characteristic may have protected AA from a genetic predisposition to insulin resistance and its consequences (non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, coronary heart disease, obesity). The dietary pattern and active lifestyle of recent hunter-gatherers such as AA may be a reference standard for modem human nutrition and a model for defence against diseases of affluence.
Darryl Shaw is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:20 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9 Beta 3
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Receive emails with training tips, news updates, events info, sale notifications and more.

Submit your question to be answered by Greg Everett in the Performance Menu or on the website

Submit Your Question

Catalyst Athletics is a USA Weightlifting team of competitive Olympic-style weightlifters with multiple national team medals.

Read More
Olympic Weightlifting Book
Catalyst Athletics
Contact Us
Products & Services
Weightlifting Team
Performance Menu
Magazine Home
Subscriber Login
About the Program
Workout Archives
Exercise Demos
Text Only
Instructional Content
Exercise Demos
Video Gallery
Free Articles
Free Recipes
Recommended Books & DVDs
Olympic Weightlifting Guide
Discussion Forum
Weight Conversion Calculator