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Chapter 5 - Emerging Knowledge of the Bioactivity of Foods in the Diets of Indigenous North Americans

Schauss, Alexander G

Bioactive Foods in Promoting Health, 2010, p.71-84

Elsevier Inc

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  • Title:
    Chapter 5 - Emerging Knowledge of the Bioactivity of Foods in the Diets of Indigenous North Americans
  • Author/Creator: Schauss, Alexander G
  • Publisher: Elsevier Inc
  • Language: English
  • Subjects: Camassia quamash ; Sonoran Desert ; Shepherdia argentea ; North America ; maize ; Stenocereus thurberi ; Carnegiea gigantean ; bioactive foods ; inulin ; Amelanchier alnifolia ; Lithocarpus densilorus ; Viburnum trilobum ; Amaranthus hybridusaldose reductase ; Prunus virginiana ; diabetes ; obesity ; Native and indigenous diet ; Pacific Northwest
  • Is Part Of: Bioactive Foods in Promoting Health, 2010, p.71-84
  • Description: Indigenous people did not separate nutrition and medicine the way the modern world does today. Edible plants often functioned as food for sustenance, and at the same time contained compounds with medicinal properties. Today, food scientists are finding that native foods are not only nutrient-dense food sources but also rich sources of bioactive phytochemicals. A database search of wild plants growing in North America and their ancestral use by indigenous people suggests the need for a significant increase in funding for research to fill gaps in our understanding of not just their nutritional value but also their phytochemical characterization and bioactivity. The need for the study of native foods is made all the more urgent given the high prevalence of obesity and metabolic syndrome among indigenous populations. Establishing foods that could aid in protecting against or mitigating the progression of diseases such as diabetes concomitant to re-establishing these foods in the diet of indigenous people could temper the ethnic differences in the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes. The prevalence of diabetes for American Indian elders in the United States is three times higher than the national average. Similar differences are found among most Native Americans and indigenous populations in Canada.
  • Identifier: ISBN: 0123746280
    ISBN: 9780123746283
    DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-374628-3.00005-0