Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Thoughts: An article about vitamins and supplements...how they don't really work at all...
This blog is thanks to Earth Diet reader Daniel Toop. This aticle from www.nytimes.com
People don’t eat nutrients, they eat foods, and foods can behave very differently than the nutrients they contain. Researchers have long believed, based on epidemiological comparisons of different populations, that a diet high in fruits and vegetables confers some protection against cancer. So naturally they ask, What nutrients in those plant foods are responsible for that effect? One hypothesis is that the antioxidants in fresh produce — compounds like beta carotene, lycopene, vitamin E, etc. — are the X factor. It makes good sense: these molecules (which plants produce to protect themselves from the highly reactive oxygen atoms produced in photosynthesis) vanquish the free radicals in our bodies, which can damage DNA and initiate cancers. At least that’s how it seems to work in the test tube. Yet as soon as you remove these useful molecules from the context of the whole foods they’re found in, as we’ve done in creating antioxidant supplements, they don’t work at all.
Indeed, in the case of beta carotene ingested as a supplement, scientists have discovered that it actually increases the risk of certain cancers. Big oops.
But we do understand some of the simplest relationships, like the zero-sum relationship: that if you eat a lot of meat you’re probably not eating a lot of vegetables. This simple fact may explain why populations that eat diets high in meat have higher rates of coronary heart disease and cancer than those that don’t.
To read the full article visit link http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/28/magazine/28nutritionism.t.html?_r=3&pagewanted=2
Challenges: I know a lot of people who will take a vitamin supplement so they don't have to eat that particular fruit or vegetable. I say it again and again, the Earth provides us with EVERYTHING we need naturally. And yet we go and rob something that is natural to create vitamins and pills and then market them so well that people believe that we should take supplements rather than absorbing the actual food.
Triumphs: The good news is that every vitamin supplement you see in the stores (if it is a legit vitamin supplement, and by that I mean not made up of a bunch of artifical chemicals, compounds and crap) comes from a food that the Earth provides so you can find it in fruits, vegetables, nuts and meats instead. For example beta-Carotene is found in nectarines, carrots, sweet potatoes, kale, spinach, turnip greens, winter squash, collard greens, cilantro and fresh thyme and it helps prevent night blindness and other eye problems, skin disorders, enhance immunity, protects against toxins and cancer formations, colds, flu, and infections. It is an antioxidant and protector of the cells while slowing the aging process. To maximize the availability of the carotenoids in the foods listed above, the foods should be eaten raw or steamed lightly not be stripped from the food and packed in a pill or powder vitamin form.
What I Ate Today:
Breakfast: Juice, beetroot, ginger, celery, carrot. 2 nectarines.
Lunch: A pear. A apple. A avocado. Walnuts.
Dinner: Rice with cooked black beans.
Dessert: Chocolate balls with walnuts.
Snacks: No snacks.
Recipe: Chocolate balls recipe in blog Day 115
Exercise: Working on set "The Man In The Maze" www.themaninthemaze.net
223 days to go!