Days gone by, were we healthier?
Breakfast was always eaten, never missed, porridge or wheat bix, followed by a meal just like the image above.
We never worried about what goodness we would get from eating this and that, we ate what was put in front of us, and never asked questions, just thankful we had something to eat.
Most of it was homegrown and home-baked, we never had takeaways, anything like that was cooked at home.
These days we know much more about what makes us healthy and what doesn’t.
We understand good nutrition and exercise, we’ve got powerful drugs and incredible surgical techniques, that can help save and prolong our lives, so we should be much healthier shouldn’t we?
I can honestly save my parents never took me to a doctor in the early years of my life, we didn’t get sick very often, if we did there were all the home remedies, for curing this and fixing that, not like the doctors these days, that you cannot get an appointment until next week, by that time you are better, so that answers the question, “ARE WE REALLY SICK”?
Maybe we should stick to some of the old ways of curing our ill’s and wails.
Eating, exercising and aging healthy is easy to achieve if we look back to the twentieth century and how they lived without all the modern medicines, maybe we should rediscover the way our ancestors survived without all the drugs we have these days.
Were we Healthier In the 1950s?
Photo Credit – Steak and three Vegetables
You would think so, but when we make comparisons to how we lived 60 years ago, it’s surprising to find we don’t necessarily have the upper hand in the fit and healthy stakes.
Rates of diseases like diabetes and heart disease were lower and obesity wasn’t the major problem as it is today, now cancer deaths are taking over heart-related deaths.
In those days we never ever worried about our weight, in fact, we had good eating habits and were much more physically active.
Preparing everything that our family ate from scratch – we could not pull something precooked from the freezer, as a matter of a fact, never had a fridge until 1959, we only had a safe which was outside on the south side of the house, every time you wanted any chilled food you would have to go outside to get it.
You couldn’t open a packet or jar out of the cupboard and pull some precooked meal out, this meant we ate a lot less salt and fewer preservatives, and the large portion of our main meals was homegrown vegetables, which were naturally organic and most times not exposed to pesticides.
A sponge cake was my favorite special treat, made from our own eggs, and jam made from our orchard, with cream taken from the cream-can, we only had this on a special occasion, and that was it a treat I enjoyed.
Yes, our diets were much higher in saturated fat, food was cooked in butter or lard, rather than the so-called healthier oils, and there was no such thing as low-fat dairy products.
Pudding After Main Meal Midday
Our main meal of the day was midday, as we were farmers, we always had pudding after our main meal, but the thing about this is that you could work that big meal off in the afternoon before evening and just have a light tea before retiring for the day.
So you can understand the big healthy Breakfast to start the day, as we never had a heavy meal before retiring for sleep.
Photo Credit – Vanilla Cinnamon Rice Pudding
Never a week went by without having a pudding of sago, tapioca or rice cooked in many different ways.
My best treat for puddings, on special occasions, was sherry trifle.
I still make a trifle for Christmas, my family loves it.
Despite all this, we consumed fewer kilojoules than most of us do today, we never drunk all the flavored coffees, alcoholic beverages and soft drinks that we drink these days – all of which are laden with kilojoules.
Why Our Grandparents Hardly Ever Got Sick
Many of our ancestors of a century or so ago were hardly renowned for glowing good health.
Although infant mortality was high, many women died in childbirth and diseases like cholera, typhoid and influenza wiped out whole families, (like 1919 in NZ – in the flu epidemic, where many thousand lost their lives, which was world-wide).
A recent study shows that Europeans who lived in the 1950s mostly had much stronger immune systems than we do today.
While that is partly to do with their eating pattern, and exercise, it is also down to the yeasts found in the bread they made themselves.
What is Beta Glucan?
Beta glucans are sugars that are found in the cell walls of bacteria, fungi, yeasts, algae, lichens, and plants, such as oats and barley. They are sometimes used as medicine.
These yeasts contain compounds called beta glucans, which can help the immune system to fight off bacteria and viruses, according to research.
Beta glucans are considered to be so effective in boosting our natural defenses that they are being included in several cancer drugs currently being developed.
These days, most yeast-based foods like bread don’t contain beta-glucans because they’re removed during the refining process.
It is suggested to take beta glucan supplements, (as long as you don’t have a gluten problem such as coeliac disease) and eat around 10 servings of organic fruit and vegetables a day to boost your immune systems.
Three Things To Improve Your Health
1. Try cooking as many meals as possible from scratch, using fresh ingredients and no processed foods.
2. Grow some of your own food, even if it’s a few vegetables.
Vegetables can be grown in a container if you have a small section, such as tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, peas, beans, and capsicums.
3. Read the labels on all processed foods, if it contains ingredients like preservatives and additives, don’t eat it.