The Paleo Diet, by Someone who Ate It!

Food, Happy FaceDo you want to keep on-trend with the latest fashionable diet?

Then look to the Red Lady of El Miron, who ate the Paleo diet almost 19,000 years ago.

For her, it was no fad. The isotopes in her dental enamel, microscopic wear patterns on her teeth and the stuff embedded between them reveal that the meat of hoofed animals made up about 80% of her diet.

That means you might want to add red deer and ibex to your weekly shopping list. Pick up plenty of salmon too, as fish appears to have made up most of the rest of her diet.

If that sounds dull, fear not. Meticulous dental analysis reveals she also ate some starchy plant material, most likely to have been seeds, plus mushrooms, although probably in small amounts. Whether fungi were eaten for nutrition of for some other purpose is unknown.

Could the diet revealed by this unique fossil from Northern Spain make you live a longer, healthier life?

Although the surviving bones of the Red Lady suggest she was healthy, her age at death was between 35-40. This may well have counted as middle-aged for people who lived in Palaeolithic times, but won’t cut the mustard today.

Perhaps you had better stick to a balanced diet of five portions of fruit and vegetables a day?

Reference

Strausa, L.G., Gonzlez, M.R., Carreteroc, J.M. & Marin-Arroyob, A.B. (2015) “The Red Lady of El Mirón”. Lower Magdalenian Life and Death in Oldest Dryas Cantabrian Spain: An Overview. Journal of Archaeological Science. Available online from 03 March, 2015. doi.org/2t7.

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