Thanksgiving may be the only time many of us are aware of the influence of Native American foods on what we eat. Yet, if some dietitians and devoted cooks had a say, that would change.
That’s because traditional American fare — from North, Central, or South America — contains a rich and colorful palate of heart-healthy foods, such as beta-carotene-packed pumpkin, fiber-loaded beans, and antioxidant-rich berries.
“Traditional Native American food [is] as varied as the Americas from which it originated,” Harold H. Baxter, DDS, author of the pending book Dining at Noah’s Table, tells WebMD.
Yet it’s all too easy to overlook Native American fruits and vegetables in our modern diets, experts say.
“We just don’t eat enough of most of these [traditional] foods any more,” says David Grotto, RD, author of an upcoming book on eating traditionally called 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life.
“Our cupboard used to be our medicine cabinet. A solution to a lot of what ails us may be getting back to these traditional foods.”