Superfoods: Slick Marketing You Don't Need
The superfoods and vitamin supplements that people take on a variety of diets for a variety of reasons are almost universally superfluous, and in many cases outright harmful.
Various "gurus" say that people eating vegetarian, vegan, raw food, or SAD diets need to take superfoods to make up for nutritional inadequacies in their diet, but their claims are ridiculous and scientifically false.
If you're eating a varied diet of whole, ripe, raw fruits and vegetables, getting plenty of vigorous exercise, and leading a healthy lifestyle with enough sleep and sunshine, then you don't need to supplement anything.
If you're not living in this manner, then the answer isn't to supplement, but rather to correct your food intake and lifestyle.
Dried supplements, superfoods, and green powders are little but dried junk food parodies of the natural foods we should be getting our nutrients from.
Take the Bonobos, our closest animal relative. They eat raw fruits and vegetables in massive quantities and are several times stronger than humans.
They don't take any superfoods, but they almost never get sick in the wild. Humans are the only creatures on earth to grind things into odd dried powders and pills and think we'll benefit from them.
Quality Over Quantity: More is Not Better
Practicing physician and nutrition expert Dr. Joel Fuhrman recommends supplements in some circumstances, but agrees that they can be dangerous.
"A high intake of just one nutrient when nature has combined it with many others may make things worse, not better. We humans, especially physicians, are notorious for interfering with nature, thinking we know better. Sometimes we do- all too often we don't.
Only later, when it is often too late, do we realize that in fact we have made things worse. While it still may take decades longer to understand how whole foods promote health, we must accept the fact that the foods found in nature are ideally suited to the biological needs of the species. (1)"
Previously on the same page, he gives example of a study looking at beta-carotene and vitamin A consumption as a cancer inhibitor. The researchers were far into their study before they realized that that people taking these supplements actually were suffering from a 17 percent higher incidence of cancer than those on the placebo.
Concentrated vitamins out of the ratio that nature intended in whole fruits and vegetables are not healthy. The body has to work to expel them similarly to the way it has to eliminate toxic residue from cooked foods (2)
The amount of nutrients we require are far less than traditional medical advice would have you believe. The difference is in the lifestyle. People eating cooked, denatured food and those that have high fat intakes (above 10 percent) absorb a very small portion of the nutrients they take in, making them think that they need more.
What they really need to do is correct their poor lifestyle, which will fix their absorption issues. When your body is fit and healthy, all cellular function, including the absorption and utilization of nutrients,improves.
Green Powders are Junk
If superfoods and other "health foods" were natural, we would be interested in eating them. Instead, the water has usually been pulled out of them, along with the fiber and other vital parts, making them completely unappetizing and hard to consume.
If you were trapped in a health food store in the supplement aisle, you'd die of starvation among all the "nutritious foods." There generally won't be a single edible food there.
When you remove the water from food, the oxidation process destroys many of the remaining nutrients, making them far less nutritious than than they were in a whole state.(3)
Save Your Money for Fruit: Avoid Superfoods and Supplements
There's always a new miracle vitamin. Year after year the telemarketers come on the air and raw gurus publish their books, touting the newest scientific breakthrough which they'll gladly sell you for a pretty penny.
But what happened to last year's breakthrough, and the ones from the last decade? What the nutrient panderers don't tell you is that all the previous miracle superfoods failed to cure people, and surely this years crop will as well.They just want your money, and they'll endanger your life in the name of health to get it.
Supplements and superfoods are expensive, and a waste of money. Spend that money on fruits and vegetables and you'll be much better off.
Follow this link for information on a
healthy raw food diet that makes superfoods unnecessary.
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(1) Dr. Joel Fuhrman, "Eat To Live," pg 56
(2) Dr. Douglas Graham, "The 80/10/10 Diet," pg 261
(3) Dr. Douglas Graham, "The 80/10/10 Diet," pg 261
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