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Benefits of Traditional Foods

Nutritional Benefits of Traditional Food

Foods from land and sea once provided everything for people. Today, a mix of market and traditional food is common for most people, but traditional food remains an important source of many nutrients.

A study in 43 Arctic communities found that on days when people ate both traditional and market foods, their diets were better than when they ate only market food.

When traditional foods were included in the diet, benefits were:

  • Less calories ­- helpful for weight control
  • Less saturated fat -- better for the heart
  • More lean meats and fish
  • More iron -- better for muscles and blood
  • More zinc -- better for wound healing and fighting infection
  • More Vitamin A -- better for vision and fighting disease
  • More calcium -- better for strong bones and teeth
  • Strengthened cultural capacity and well-being
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