6 Ancient Superfoods We Should Actually Bring Back

Screw your acai berries, I want blood soup
6 Ancient Superfoods We Should Actually Bring Back

Theres a bit of a trend nowadays, split between the twin bullshit disciplines of wellness and biohacking, that keeps championing forgotten foods of the past. Head into any $16 salad place, and youll probably be given your choice of various ancient grains and superfoods to sprinkle on top of your marked-up spring greens. 

Now, theres an argument to be made that some of these ancient foods deserved to stay obsolete. Whatever chia seeds are doing for you, it cant possibly be worth their magnetic attraction to your gumline. I think, if we want to start eating and drinking like warriors of yore, we should go ahead and fully send it.

Here are six ancient superfoods we should bring back into the fold…



Its great when a drink looks like something from a 4chan “trips and I drink this” post.

The Mongols, warriors you think every alpha male YouTube channel would be all over emulating, had a signature drink attributed to their strength: mare's milk. Horse milk would be collected and fermented by the warriors, thickening it up while also adding just the slightest hint of alcohol. Strength and courage in one easy sip? Its like protein whiskey! Now, to be fair, the drink, known then as airag, is still available in Central Asia today, though its now called kumis, which is a lateral move at best. Im just saying, it would fit right into that one weird section of a 7-Eleven fridge.


People are throwing back all varieties of stinky water nowadays, from kombucha to apple cider vinegar. So why not toss in something with a little historical chutzpah? Im talking about the Roman drink known as posca, which is sometimes genuinely referred to as “the Gatorade of the Roman Army.” Are you kidding me? Toss that on a camouflage print bottle, and youre immediately fueling Brazilian jiu-jitsu gyms across the country. The recipe is pretty simple — its basically spiced, diluted vinegar. So yeah, taste might not be its strong suit, but vinegar with salt and sweeteners, as Quartz points out, covers all of Gatorades advertised bases. Plus, the kind of B.O. youd be pushing out two poscas deep would make sure you get any gym machine to yourself.

Melas Zomos


This is actually a modern German blood soup, so imagine this, but way grosser.

What could possibly beat a go-to food of Roman warriors? Well, a go-to food of the Spartans. Theyre the kind of warriors that weird, manliness-obsessed guys with tactical knife collections strive to be. Their helmet shows up all over the branding of anything thats supposed to evoke one of the worst fake words ever invented by the internet, “badassery.” If you want to live the warrior lifestyle that your tight olive green T-shirt suggests, its time to choke down some melas zomos, or spartan black soup, which is just pork chunks stewed in pigs' blood.


If youre headed out on any number of trails, sure, you could bring trail mix or granola. If youre a sad, estrogen-filled hippy, that is. Gnawing on nuts sitting on a stump? Thats heavily squirrel-coded, lame-o. What if I told you there was another option, one that smelled like a half-cleaned animal carcass and looked like an iced turd? Im talking about pemmican. It was a Native American staple, which means that everyone thinks it was invented by cowboys. Its made of rendered fat and whatever dried meat you feel like, mushed together, sometimes with berries. Sure, you could have a PowerBar, but how is that going to help you feel like a special little warrior? 

Gladiator Blood

Public Domain

Anyone want a sip?

If you really want to get in the warrior spirit, why fuck about with bars and tonics, when you could go straight to the source? You could do as some Greeks did, and just down a lukewarm mouthful of gladiator blood. Now, this probably doesnt have the nutritional bona fides that some of the others on this list have. But it does feel like something pulled out of a bulking vampires food diary, and thats pretty metal. Plus, they thought it could cure epilepsy! It doesnt, but itll make the foam coming out of your mouth look crazy!


Theres another ancient bit of ingestible healing that would probably have you pleading for more Maximus blood, and thats the bezoar. A bezoar is made of partially and totally undigested material from the stomach, compacted into a disgusting lump. If youre a habitual hair-chewer, you might be cooking one of your own up right now. Youd think that something being undigestible would be a good indication that it is not, in fact, good eats, but ancient doctors disagreed. If you showed up at the doctors hut with anything from leprosy to snake poisoning, there was a chance you would be handed a stomach rock and told, bottoms up for the second time around.

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