According to Kibbe Conti, a registered dietitian, the disruption of Native food systems has contributed to the increase in degenerative, chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes among Native Americans, especially on reservations (J Transcul Nur 2006. 17(3):234-245). â€¨By developing nutrition models that reflect traditional food patterns but uses modern foods, Kibbe believes that Native Americans can experience a reduction in disease risk factors and a return to health.
In June 2004, the USDA released the largest study to date of food antioxidant sources. Not surprisingly, many of the top 20 foods are traditional Native American foods. Antioxidants such as Vitamin A, C, and E and selenium, help reduce the risk of chronic diseases and cancer and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (J Agric Food Chem 2004 Jun 16;52(12):4026-37).