Importance of Traditional Foods

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Delicious Homemade Bone Broth
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If you’ve read my blog much, you probably noticed that I’m big on homemade bone broth and fermented foods like sauerkraut and with good reason…

What are Traditional Foods?

Traditional foods are foods that were consumed throughout history before the modernization and industrialization of the food supply. These foods are not only free from additives, chemicals and many of the things we find in food today, but they were exceptionally nourishing. Though the specifics of traditional food varied by culture, many cultures included some variation of the following:

  • Healthy proteins like free range meats, fish or eggs
  • Beneficial fats from healthy sources including coconut based fats, handmade butter, tallow, lard, ghee and olive oil
  • Fermented foods like kimchee, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, atchara, etc
  • Bone broth or soups cooked with bone-in meat for the variety of minerals and gelatin
  • Organ meats
  • Vegetables, fruits and nuts, especially leafy greens
  • Sometimes tubers and root vegetables
  • Raw dairy and dairy products (in some cultures)

Why These Traditional Foods?

From a past article:

Besides it’s amazing taste and culinary uses, broth is an excellent source of minerals and is known to boost the immune system (chicken soup when you are sick anyone?) and improve digestion. Its high calcium, magnesium and phosphorus content make it great for bone and tooth health. Bone broth also supports joints, hair, skin and nails due to its high collagen content. In fact, some even suggest that it helps eliminate cellulite as it supports smooth connective tissue.

Fermented foods have been through a process of lactofermentation which preserves the vegetables and creates vitamins, enzymes and beneficial bacteria.

“Cultures around the world have been eating fermented foods for years, from Sauerkraut in Germany to Kimichi in Korea and everywhere in between. Studies have even shown the link between probiotic rich foods and overall health (PDF).Sadly, with the advances in technology and food preparation, these time-honored traditional foods have been largely lost in our society.”

As this article explains:

Anthropological data suggest that those cultures subsisting entirely or largely on native, unrefined foods prepared according to time-honored traditions enjoy better health than peoples consuming a largely refined diet of modern foods. Infertility, heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune disease, mental illness, obesity, dental cavities and other diseases were largely absent in cultures subsisting on a native diet of unrefined foods. Whole foods lead to whole health.

If you have the time, you can make mineral rich bone broth (recipe)  and fermented vegetables at home. I often make and consume both of these daily.

Traditional Food Resources

What is the biggest challenge you have with incorporating traditional foods like broth and sauerkraut in to your diet? What traditional food will you soon be trying? Share in the comments below!

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


8 responses to “Importance of Traditional Foods”

  1. Brandon Avatar

    what is the difference between traditional food and modern food ?
    what is the advantages and disadvantages about traditional and modern food?

  2. kati Avatar

    I got caught up in the weston price fad and used to make bone broth regularly in a slowcooker, but I noticed how much my energy costs doubled and the cost of good bones that it was almost the same as buying gelatin powder. Now I only do it occasionally and do not miss it , which frees up energy/time to make freshly squeezed vegetable juices.

  3. Philipa Avatar

    This may be a stupid question, but if I bought organic beef or chicken broth from the store…is that similar to bone broth? And stock would not have the same benefits, right? I just don’t have time to make this, but the prices on that sight were very expensive.

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      The ones at the store are extremely watered down and usually have additives that are harmful….

  4. Ana Avatar

    This bone broth “product” has me thinking. I don’t want to put down this website because I use it as a source of information for so many things, it would take me all day to list them. Now I figure the typical reader of this site has made a decision to exercise, eat well, favor natural/homemade from processed products and generally take the extra time to have a house and body free of damaging substances. Just as a quick example above the comment section I’m typing, there is a link to “Herbal Mouth Wash Recipe” which I haven’t followed (yet) but I can bet money it is more time consuming, than buying an almost free (with the right coupon) than an already made in the store filled with chemicals and who knows what inside.

    But we go through the process of “making” this and many other things because we believe it is better and it makes a difference. But we don’t have time to put cow bones in a pot with water with a handful of our favorite cooking “herbs” and let it boil for a bit, then remove the marrow from the core, use a portion and freeze the leftover? Seriously, we are going to get a PACKET of bone broth? I don’t have a problem with someone trying to make a living selling whatever they think they can sell, good for them I wish them high profits, but just like I won’t use my money to buy commercial Vapor Rub I sure won’t use it to buy a PACKET of bone broth.

  5. Tracee Workman Avatar
    Tracee Workman

    I haven’t quite made the jump to trying fermented foods yet, this would be such a great place to start! Thanks for the chance!

  6. Sarah Avatar

    My biggest challenge of incorporating traditional foods was taking the time to make them. I would like to try the soaked cereals or the fermented veggies or juice!

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