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Quinn on Nutrition: Traditional nutrition

Joe Donnell is a member of the Lakota Sioux tribe in South Dakota. He can also be the chief director of Warriors Circle, a ministry that trains indigenous individuals to be leaders of their communities. As we drove to Eagle Butte reservation, I picked his mind concerning the Native American weight-reduction plan.

He informed me how his forefathers subsisted on presents from the land reminiscent of buffalo and freshwater fish. A favourite on this space is walleye, a fish native to the Lake Erie space, northern U.S. and Canada.

“I’ve been living off fish for the last couple of months,” Joe stated, describing his efforts to enhance his health. “And I still cook it in the traditional way _ over an open fire. We put a stick through the mouth of the fish and place it whole on the fire. The scales and skin act as a natural barrier to allow the heat to cook the meat without burning it. I cook it until the guts start to boil out of the mouth. Once that happens, cook it for another 5 minutes and then all that’s left on the inside is the meat.”

We laughed about how this may be interpreted in a prepare dinner ebook. And I in fact took observe that our native brothers and sisters get a healthy dose of omega-Three fat in every chew of their fire-roasted walleye.

He then informed me about wild turnips (“timpsila” in Lakota) that have been historically harvested and eaten uncooked or boiled into soups. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, these wild prairie turnips present protein and power with minimal fats. And they’re a very good supply of nutritional vitamins and minerals together with calcium and iron.

“They still grow wild out here but fewer and fewer people pick them now,” Joe lamented.

I discovered it fascinating that Joe’s ancestors have been true locavores; they made good use of food sources round them. He described how early tribes would dry buffalo meat into jerky and blend it right into a ball with chokecherries _ berries native to the northern U.S. These meat-berry snacks required no refrigeration and have been handy excessive power meals for lengthy journeys.

“And do you know about bitter root?” he requested. “Pow Wow singers still use it for their throats.”

Sure sufficient, based on info from the National Library of Medicine, bitterroot (Lakota identify, “Sinkpe tawote”) is the bitter-tasting root from a plant that was utilized by native cultures for food and medicinal functions. It was one of many delicacies eaten by Lewis and Clark on their expedition in 1805 and is the official state flower of Montana.

Although not a lot analysis has been capable of show its effectiveness, concoctions of bitter root have been used for hundreds of years for sore throats, coughs and different health circumstances.

Sometimes it pays to not ignore the goodness in our easier primary meals. Thanks for the reminder, Joe.

Barbara
Quinn
Nutrition
Column

Walleye: A dietary feast

Barbara Quinn is a registered dietitian and authorized diabetes educator affiliated with Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula in California. She is the writer of “Quinn-Essential Nutrition” (Westbow Press, 2015). Email her at to [email protected]


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