We hear a lot in the media about this or that being the lastest 'superfood.' Soy is a classic case. However, on inspection, many of these foods do not turn out to be so super after all. Case in point, someone was recently touting purslane (a leafy green weed) to me as a superfood high in Vitamin C and Folate. But when I checked its nutrition data, I found that one cup of purslane only met 15% of my daily Vitamin C needs and 1% of my Folate needs. I guess now I can see why some vegans are forced to eat giant bushels of food each day! So my question is, what do people think are the REAL superfoods packed with vitamins and minerals, healthy fats and proteins, omega 3s etc? What foods are truly superfoods and why?
Kidneys (like a souped up version of muscle meat: it contains all the normal nutrients, but in substantially higher quantities).
Whole herring, sardines, mackerel, salmon (all excellent for omega-3 primarily, but also highly nutritious, the whole versions of all of these foods also provide the option of eating some bones to get calcium, magnesium etc and these fish are especially good for containing vitamin D.
Oysters (notoriously good for zinc, quite significantly exceeds the next best food, beef, in this respect, which itself quite substantially exceeds the next best foods).
Spinach Very nutrient dense in a huge variety of nutrients, but especially crucial for magnesium and also useful for copper, in my diet.
Cocoa (if we can actually absorb the nutrients in it, given the phytate and flavanoids. Most useful for zinc, magnesium, iron, stress-reducing chemicals and assorted antioxidant flavanoids if you like that sort of thing)
Seaweeds (for the iodine as much as anything, but also typically good for magnesium)
I second yolks, brassicas, liver and roe and would add very mature cheese to the list for the K2 (so long as it's sheep/goat milk in my case).
There are also too many plants/herbs to list that contain tonnes of micronutrients per calorie, if you set aside any individual questions of antinutrients and other compounds and how many carbs you want to limit yourself to. Just an example more or less at random, green peppers would seem to provide a pretty complete diet if you selectively supplement it with some amino acids and o-3.
Wild Animal Liver.
Wild Animal Meat.
Raw Grassfed Milk
Freerange Egg Yolks
Enzyme Rich Fruits
Brassica Vegetables after cooking to neutralize goitrogens
The good ole pastured, omega-3, or regular (in that order) egg is tops in my book...in terms of availability, cost, and sheer flexibility this wonderful meat would be very hard to argue against. I am all for the organ meat, fruits and avocados, but you cannot beat the simple egg for cheap, available nutritional density.
Try to eat a wide variety of foods that are available to you. As soon as research breaks out on a particular food, everybody thinks "Wow, this stuff is great! I need it or else I will be malnourished"
Well the truth is, as long as you're eating real food (like leaves and animals), you're getting more nutrients than most of us can possibly know. Also, studies have shown that when intakes of vitamins are low, the body tends to absorb them better. If a starving person eats well, he doesn't necessary suffer from disease as much as calorie deprivation.
Superfoods are super merely because they catch our attention, and distract from the other foods available to us. I for example, live in the northeast and have access to an abundance of berries. Blueberries, I believe, are prevalent in Maine and have exceptional benefits for the mind and aging-prevention.
Also, keep in mind that most Superfoods as we know them (or as conventional wisdom knows them) are supplemental, that is we eat them because of availability and any possible nutritional shortcomings. Ideally we all should have every cut of beef, pork, bison, kudu, rhinoceros, horse and every kind of fish available to us. We should also know how to properly prepare it all, and have the time to eat it whenever we want. Unfortunately this isn't even possible for primitive humans and hunter-gatherers. In SAD terms of precedence, once the meatloaf is gone, its time to break out the potatos. In SAD terms of nutritional shortcomings, an apple a day will go along way.
Just as you aspire for that job promotion, you aspire for the top level of carnivory in the food chain.
Superfoods tend to be expensive, so know what to spend on. Splurge on grass-fed meat, sashimi, and seafood. See something you haven't had before? Buy it, and make yourself enjoy it (except tripe, smells like feces, texture is even worse ;) ).
Superfoods is basically a trademark of commercial nutritional science. One marketing spiel is "Anti-oxidants, defeat death". Science reveals anti-oxidants in fruits, therefore eat fruits. Superfoods is just ordinary food with the human embellishment of a prefix.
Don't eat food, eat souls. By souls I mean actual life, not crap created by life for nourishment. Don't touch milk if its not from your mother, and if you're over two, probably not from her either. Honey from our perspective is functionally bees' milk. Fruit (think apple flesh) is basically cheese for a tree's seeds. Roots (tubers are practically massive roots) are stored food for a plant. Food is tailored for an organism's unique needs. Honey may have benefits (http://jn.nutrition.org), but I wouldn't recommend a passing jars out at your next cook out.
Seeds and eggs are the finest examples of souls, but they are the most difficult to procure. Even if seeds were good despite their opiods, enzyme-inhibitors, phytates, and whatever else science will later show, they are excrutiatingly difficult to procure. I'm no zoologist or paleoanthropologist, but eggs seem even more rare. Would bird lay their eggs in the middle of a grassplain or jungle floor, visible to predators? Cavemen weren't Treemen. It wasn't worth the trouble to climb a tree to grab 5 eggs, or less than 400 calories, and risk breaking them on the way down. The protein is less bio-available raw, which how they were most likely consumed. Which is unusual, considering how the protein in red meat is more available (http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/content/abstract/7/4/367?maxtoshow=&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&fulltext=raw+meat&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&resourcetype=HWCIT).
Properly cooked (blind-folded technique), eggs have excellent protein and an attractive spectrum of nutrients. A complete anomaly, just like the word Superfoods.
Genesis 9:3 "Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things." If you have any faith whatsoever, this verse and the aforementioned text should motivate you to eat sensibly. Superfoods is label of profit for the grower and greed for the consumer. Research has proven Goji Berries extraordinary, but why exploit Brazil and have a few handfuls shipped overseas so you can toss them into your mouth and inadvertently eat some denatured trash, knowingly or unknowingly, later in the week. Unless you're Clark Kent, go eat your avocado on the pretext of original sin.
My list and what I think a very healthy diet could be almost 100% based upon is below. I don't think macronutrient raio matters so much, provided you start out healthy -- no (pre)diabetes.
Organic raw coconut;
Organic sweet potato & other tubers (carrots, turnips, etc);
100% grass-fed cow (or, sheep, goat), including dairy;
100% pastured chicken, including eggs;
Organic raw (& not dutched) cacao;
Organic wild blueberries/other berries;
Organic herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano, etc);
Low-mercury, oily wild fish (e.g., wild salmon (preferably sockeye) or sardines);
Vitamin D supplement.
In my opinion (I am far from being any kind of expert) a superfood should be something that you could healthily live on exclusivly for extended periods of time. I really don't see any berry, fruit, nut, seed or vegetable fitting that criteria.
I don't think it would be eggs either because so many peope are allergic to eggs, which doesn't seem very "super" to me.
I think it would have to be some form of meat. Either a fatty meat or an organ. I don't know if eating organ meats exclusively is health though, so I would be interested to find out from those people with more knowledge on the subject?
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