HEADLINES Published February3, 2016 By Beatrice Asuncion

Israeli Scientists Discover Integral Part of a Caveman's Diet

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(Photo : Getty Images - Agung Parameswara)

Since 2012, health and fitness enthusiasts have been raving about the latest diet trend, the Paleolithic diet or simply Paleo. The concept, which has been around since mid-1970s, is grounded on the notion of ingesting foods available to humans during prehistoric times. Mostly people who indulge on the diet eat less carbohydrates and more animal protein.

Exclusions for the Paleo diet are pretty rigid. In order to be successful in this particular dietary endeavor, participants cannot eat dairy products, grains, sugar, legumes, processed oils, salt and alcohol. Thankfully, scientists from Israel have discovered one more thing cavemen used to feast on that some Paleo dieters might want to try as well.

Just this week, archaeologists from Tel Aviv University in Israel published a paper in the Quanternary Science Reviews  journal detailing their discovery at the Qesem Cave. According to the research, early man enjoyed eating not only large game and vegetables but also turtles. The study suggests that hunter-gatherers butchered and cooked tortoises as appetizers.

"We know by the dental evidence we discovered earlier that the Qesem inhabitants ate vegetal food," said Prof. Barkai. "Now we can say they also ate tortoises, which were collected, butchered and roasted, even though they don't provide as many calories as fallow deer, for example" explained Ran Barkai, an archaeologists from Tel Aviv University.

Dr. Ruth Blasco, lead author of the research has also explained the relevance of their discovery. According to Dr. Blasco, the result of their study shows a more in-depth portrait of the inhabitants of Qesem. It is proof that prehistoric humans are not only capable of such feats but might also have distinct preferences. 

"Maybe the inhabitants of Qesem were simply maximizing their local resources. In any case, this discovery adds an important new dimension to the know-how, capabilities and perhaps taste preferences of these people" explained Dr. Blasco.

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