Stephan over at Whole Health Source wrote an interesting article a few years back alleging that paleolithic (and some extant) hunter-gatherers did (and do) utilize wild legumes.

Stephan cites several examples:

The !Kung San from southern Africa, who in amenable regions eat large amounts of wild tsin beans. Tsin beans are about 33/33/33 fat/protein/carb, kind of a cross between a peanut and bean.

The Australian Aboriginals, who ate a lot of acacia seeds. These days, acacia fiber is a popular prebiotic supplement, but the whole seed was a legume providing ample protein, fat, and calories for the native inhabitants.

The tribes of the American Southwest, who ate the starchy legumes of the mesquite tree.

The Neanderthals of Shanidar Cave, Iraq and Spy Cave, Belgium, whose dentals fossilsshowed residues from wild legumes related to peas and fava beans.

With regards to the Neanderthals, I doubt they formed a large part of their diet; they were well-known fans of animal flesh. I don’t know that they should form a large part of your diet, either. But legumes were there. As I said earlier, someone had to stumble upon and eat the wild versions before domesticating them.

Okay, so in that sense, legumes are “Primal.” There is ancestral precedent.

But that’s not enough to sanction their use. We’re not in the paleo re-enactment businesshere. We plumb the anthropological record for hypotheses, but we check them against the current scientific literature.

What does research say about legume consumption? Aren’t they full of anti-nutrients? See more…

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