What's the Best Diet? Healthy Eating 101

Advice from the past: how a healthy lifestyle was maintained in Tsarist Russia

Health is priceless, our forefathers also understood this. You can't buy health - it is the mind that gives it, - they said, and they approached everything wisely. Of course, then medicine was significantly different from modern medicine, and it was really dangerous to get sick. Therefore, special attention was paid to strengthening the immune system. Physical activity, a clear daily routine and moderation in food - this was the lifestyle of Ivan the Terrible's contemporaries. Of course, along with housekeeping and other signs of the time. Some of the rules from the lifestyle of our ancestors should be adopted by us.

Advice from the past: how a healthy lifestyle was maintained in Tsarist Russia

Photo: istockphoto.com

A diet rich in vitamins and feasts without overeating

The diet of a resident of Tsarist Russia, for example, in the 16th century, strongly depended on his social status: boyars and other powers that be ate better than their subjects. However, meat, poultry and fish from time to time appeared on the tables of peasants. The food was based on vegetables, fruits, nuts and cereals. These are all fiber-rich foods. They ate radish, turnips, horseradish, peas, apples, cherries and other berries, as well as a lot of fresh herbs. They cooked barley porridge, pea noodles, fried mushrooms and fermented cabbage. Vegetables pickled in vinegar were always in store. As is known today, it is a source of probiotics that are beneficial for the intestinal microflora.

Advice from the past: how a healthy lifestyle was maintained in Tsarist Russia

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All production was natural, without artificial preservatives and dyes. It was possible to preserve the freshness of products in cold cellars and glaciers. They rarely suffered from overeating and being overweight, the people said: Moderation is the mother of health.

Several times a year the Orthodox kept fasting, when meat-eaters allowed themselves meat only on certain days. Although they raised livestock for this, more often the carcasses of wild animals and birds that were hunted in the forest appeared on the table: hare, jerboa, black grouse, duck. Fish - a source of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids - could always be eaten. In the rivers they caught carp, bream, perch, sturgeon. During the spawning season, herring could also be caught in fresh waters.

Traditional Russian delicacies - pancakes and pies - were also on the menu, we know about this from Domostroi Archpriest Sylvester. They mostly ate healthy sweets, and in small quantities: apple and berry marshmallows, honey, watermelons and melons, natural molasses. Even Shrovetide was celebrated differently than in the 21st century: brushwood, nuts, kernels, cakes, cones, curd mixture, boiled milk, dry fat cottage cheese were served to the table.

Advice from the past: how a healthy lifestyle was maintained in Tsarist Russia

Photo: istockphoto.com

Popular drinks were jelly, sweet and fresh, fruit drink, lingonberry water and bread kvass - a pantry of vitamins of groups A, B, C , E. And no sweet sodaki! Drunkenness was also not welcomed: women were not allowed to drink at all, and men drank only at feasts (feasts in honor of the dead) and feasts on special occasions. Until the 15th century, intoxicating drinks were weak: wine, mead, beer. They learned to make pure alcohol later.

Advice from the past: how a healthy lifestyle was maintained in Tsarist Russia

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Physical activity and tempering

For a long time people paid great attention to hygiene ... The bathhouse was supposed to go every week.

One of the most important points of health care was hardening. They usually washed themselves with cold water early in the morning. They swam not only in a hot bath, but also in cold rivers, and in winter - in ice holes. Although they did this not only for recreational purposes, they also attached ritual significance to such bathing. There was also a custom to wash with dew - on the day of Agrafena the Bather, which falls on July 6 according to the new style.

Advice from the past: how a healthy lifestyle was maintained in Tsarist Russia

Photo: istockphoto. com

We got up and went to bed early in Russia. The evening was dedicated to rest, prayer, evening meal. And they also engaged in handicrafts: weaved, weaved on a spindle, made dishes. However, the sedentary lifestyle of our ancestors was definitely not. They looked after livestock, worked a lot around the house and in the field, often to the detriment of their health. But the precautions were still followed. In the summer, work was interrupted at noon. Reasonable owners knew how dangerous heat and sunstroke was. On hot days, the body was not overloaded with heavy food, they drank a lot of water.

They also had an active rest. The Russian writer and historian N.M. Karamzin wrote: Folk games and fun, until now uniform in the Slavic lands: wrestling, fistfighting, running to run, have also remained a monument of their ancient amusements, representing us the image of war and strength.

Advice from the past: how a healthy lifestyle was maintained in Tsarist Russia

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Protection for immunity from natural herbal decoctions

Health was strengthened not only by tempering, but also with different herbal infusions. Diseases were treated with folk methods. Only wealthy people could afford foreign healers, although they did not have modern medicines at all in their bottles, but often the same herbs. Most of them can be found easily at the pharmacy today. Decoctions were made on the basis of nettle, wormwood, plantain, birch sap. Today it is known that terpenoids in wormwood are excellent at fighting viruses, and chamazulenes accelerate the process of tissue regeneration. Nettle infusions stimulate the immune system and have hemostatic properties thanks to vitamin K. However, such remedies have contraindications. For example, sensitivity to various allergens.

Advice from the past: how a healthy lifestyle was maintained in Tsarist Russia

Photo: istockphoto.com

Drinks based on milk and honey have been used to promote health and treat colds. used valerian medicinal and motherwort heart. For cramps - lemon balm, for inflammation of the stomach - oregano, for headaches - mountain ash and other herbs. There were a variety of recipes for coughs, ulcers, physical weakness and heart ailments in the literal sense of the word. known about the beneficial properties of mineral waters. They were called hero-drinking or sour water.

Advice from the past: how a healthy lifestyle was maintained in Tsarist Russia

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