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I’m concerned about the emphasis the media put on superfoods.
Researching food and cooking takes up much of my week. I ask questions so I can fully understand the why’s. My curiosity pushes me to discover the science and evidence based reality. We are only as informed as we are right in this moment and science moves at a mighty rate!
Having worked on developing our Wellbeing Series and Kristen’s healthy focus classes naturally superfoods form part of this so I investigated their so-called ‘super’ powers.
Amanda Bryce (Qualified Nutritionist and Integrative Pharmacist), co-presenter in the Wellbeing series, alerted us to Phytic Acid. It is found predominantly in seeds, grains and hulls of nuts. In some instances (dependent on what else you have eaten and how it was prepared i.e. cooked or raw) phytic acid can inhibit the absorption of calcium, iron and zinc. This can cause serious illness over time.
Quinoa is classed as a superfood. It is a great source of protein and contains all 9 of the essential amino acids our bodies need. But, the seeds have a naturally occurring bitter coating. Before cooking it’s recommended to rinse the quinoa under cold running water which may reduce the nutrients somewhat.
Oats contain phytic acid, along with all their fibre and nutrients. Soaking oats for a few hours reduces the phytic acid. My question was then when discarding the soaking liquid, how much of the other goodness is going down the drain?
It seems that anything consumed to excess will over time cause harm. Take alcohol for (a slightly flippant) example, when consumed for the majority it makes you feel good! Over time if consumed to excess your liver will develop a deathly disease. Do we all stop drinking because of this? No! But we do limit ourselves to enjoy in moderation.
So please, these superfoods that come with aggressive marketing campaigns and celebrity endorsement mustn’t be over consumed!
The solution is to eat a wide variety of foods. Include superfoods, but don’t eat the same stuff day in and day out for years. Many fruits and vegetables are superfoods in their own rights and offer superb nutrients and fibre. Eat vegetables of varying colours as they all contribute different value to our bodies.
Eat real food, not processed or over refined. Find out what you are eating. And understand anything consumed in excess will have consequences, superfood or not.
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