The Hadza people are one of the last remaining hunter-gatherer tribes in the world. For thousands of years, they have lived on the same land in Northern Tanzania living on a diet that consists of berries, tubers, and over 30,000 different mammals. This diet has been making ways around as people are growing more interested in how this diet can have great health benefits.
The Hadza diet primarily consists of eating whatever is found in the wild which include berries, tubers, honey and larvae straight from the comb, and meat from a variety of mammals. The interesting fact about this is that it also varies based on the seasons. During the dry seasons, they typically eat meat and tubers, and during the wet seasons, they eat more berries and honey.
This diet is starting to gain a great deal of attention, especially amongst the gut health-conscious. The reason for this is that through this diet by the Hadza people, they have remarkable healthy microbiomes meaning they have very healthy guts. The Hadza people get one hundred or more grams of fiber per day in their food on average. We typically get about fifteen grams on average. Now, this is not to suggest that you go and live the hunter-gatherer lifestyle. The idea is that we need to up the intake of fiber we have per day. Justin Sonnenburg, who is a professor at Stanford University made a statement saying that “Fiber is all that’s left at the very end of our digestive tract where these microbes live, so they have [Hadza people] evolved to be very good at digesting it.” Along with eating more fiber, it is also important to only eat minimally processed foods and have in-season fruits and vegetables readily available.
The hope through this diet is to increase the diversity in one’s microbiome. The research done by Sonnenburg shows that the Hadza people have one of the most diverse microbiomes in the world. They compared stool samples of the Hadza tribe to those of 17 other cultures around the world which included other hunter-gatherer communities in Venezuela and Peru and subsistence farmers in Malawi and Cameroon. Through these samples, the research showed an interesting trend that the further away people’s diets were from a Western diet, the greater the variety of microbes they have in their guts which also includes bacteria that is missing from American guts. So the next time you are considering taking up a new diet, try taking up the ways of the Hadza people.