25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
A good broad overview, especially for folks new to Paleo/Primal/Ancestral concepts.,
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This review is from: The Paleo Manifesto: Ancient Wisdom for Lifelong Health (Kindle Edition)
I just finished John Durant's new book, The Paleo Manifesto. It would be a total misunderstanding to say it's "another book on the paleo diet." If your only concern is what to eat and why, you might want to pick up Jaminet's Perfect Health Diet, a book that Durant himself cites. Paleo Manifesto is a very broad overview regarding what it takes for humans to thrive in an environment that shares very little in common with any historical time period.
I think my favorite section is a historical overview of humanity running from our animal predecessors to man living today. Within this section, I particularly enjoyed reading about the adaptations ancient Jews made when living in densely populated areas. Despite living more than two-thousand years before the discovery of the Germ Theory of disease, early Jewish peoples, through the Law of Moses, adopted hygienic practices that were remarkably successful at reducing the impact of agrarian civilizations' biggest scourge, communicable disease.
Another theme running throughout the book is the rediscovery of "why", with respect to many cultural practices. For example, South American Indians pre-processed maize/corn using a process called nixtamalization. When Europeans started raising and eating corn they never adopted the process. Many Europeans who ate this corn developed pellagra, a terrible disease caused by niacin deficiency. Now with the benefit of hindsight we know that nixtamalization freed up niacin into a readily absorbable form. The book covers many such rediscoveries.
The sections on exercise, fasting, sleep, thermoregulation, hunting, are as much narrative/self-discovery as they are instructions on adaptations the reader should make. The book does a good job weaving n=1 research, historical traditions and modern science together into a very readable package.