Some things never change. People have always wanted to live healthier lives, and eating appropriate foods is considered a key part of healthy living. Both now and a hundred-years-ago, people worried that they were getting soft, and living lives not as conducive to health as their ancestors. Here are some excerpts from an article in a 1920 magazine on how to be healthier:
To Raise a Family in Whose Arteries the Blood Leaps
It is a matter of comment among many soldiers that the old men of Europe kept things going while the young men were at war. Women and graybeards kept the state alive, and took care of the nation’s affairs.
It was no rarity to see men seventy years of age in the morning look after the stock, and then go into the fields for real hard work.
What makes these people so hardy?
They live differently than we do.
It must be the simple life which provides these people with the panacea for a healthy old age. They do not know anything about dietetics. But neither do they know anything of high living. Their fare is of the simplest.
Can it be the fact that they eat meat but once a week that keeps them in such excellent condition? An excessive meat diet, while producing in life’s first half extraordinary energy and restless activity, leaves the body a used-up, empty shell after forty-five.
Can it be that on account of eating denatured grains (white flour bread) our children are suffering from eczema and eruptions?
Vegetables cooked in steam, and prepared with only butter, a little salt and pepper, will soon build up a run-down constitution.
Wild growing foods are bitter and full of fiber; they act in the stomach vigorously, like a brush. The bitter principles activate a copious flow of bile. The harness of the substance and the fibrosity required strong chewing. The vigorous exercise of the organs brought about a being with strength and muscular development.
Simple fare and correctly prepared foods will imbue the person with the chaste health of the country lassie. It will not develop excessive fat or obnoxious pugnacity.
American Cookery (January, 1920)