Here's a great example of how our diets literally affect the way you breathe and sleep at night. A patient who happened to have grown up in Rwanda told that there are three major ethnic groups in his home country: The Tutsi, the Hutus, and the Twa. The Tutsis are generally tall, pastoralists, and eat mainly soft foods, usually milk products, beans and sweet potatoes. It's also known that the Tutsi have severe cavities, dental crowding and crooked teeth. The Hutus are generally agrarians, but hunt occasionally. The Twas are pygmies, and are true hunter-gatherers, eating nuts, fruits, meat, roots, and grains. They also have the reputation of having great looking teeth.
This what Dr. Weston Price described in his classic book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration: What you eat leads to certain predictable jaw and dental structures. This phenomenon is seen across all cultures throughout the world. Smaller jaws and crooked teeth means smaller airways behind the tongue, with more frequent arousals and less sleep efficiency. It's not surprising that my patient, who happens to be a Tutsi, has obstructive sleep apnea.
What type of foods do you eat? Do you eat like an agrarian farmer, or a hunter-gatherer? Please answer in the comments box below.