Paleolithic men didn’t live by woolly mammoth alone, says John Williams, PH.D., an archaeologist trained in prehistoric cultures and a lecturer at the University of Colorado at Denver. Food remnants discovered at Ohalo II, a 23,000-year-old archeological site on the banks of the Sea of Galilee, show how our ancestors really filled their plates. The good news: you can do the same. Just ditch the drive-thru and club some whole foods instead.
PALEO STAPLE #1: FISH
The bones of freshwater fish, primarily tilapia and carp, were abundant at the site, and a portion of a fishnet was even preserved.
PALEO STAPLE #2: FRUITS
Paleo people gathered wild figs, wild grapes, and a variety of date called Christ’s-thorn fruit from surrounding hills, and ate them at this site. These paleo snacks provided sugars for quick energy and a host of beneficial antioxidants.
PALEO STAPLE #3: GRAINS
Wild strains of grains like barley and emmer wheat were staple foods. The grains were ground into a meal for gruel or used to thicken stews. They were the hearty and healthy distant relatives of today’s refined grains, but they were only minimally processed.
PALEO STAPLE #4: OLIVES
Wild olives were also picked from the trees on local hillsides and carried to the camp at Ohalo II. Together with wild nuts, they provided healthy monounsaturated fats.
PALEO STAPLE #5: VENISON
Animal meat was a large component of the diet for these hunter-gatherers. Remains of deer and gazelle were most abundant. They ate a lot of water birds as well. Probably tasted like chicken.
ADINA STEIMAN – Men’s Health