Superfoods, Anyone?

A Simple, But Uncommon, Common Thread

Photograph of dew-laced, succulent blueberries

Blueberry Superfood

YOU PROBABLY have bumped into a myriad of stories over the last several years about “superfoods”, and some superplaces were people live long and well because of their diets, as this great site, Blue Zones, proves.

From the Blue Zones “About” section:

“… we took teams of scientists to each location who know how to identify lifestyle characteristics that may explain longevity.  In Sardinia, Italy we found a wine with the world’s highest-known levels of antioxidants, and in Ikaria, Greece we discovered ancient herbal teas that lower blood pressure.   On the other side of the planet, we found an island where purpose and mutual support networks called Moai explain an extra half dozen years of life. In Nicoya, Costa Rica it’s the mesoAmerican diet of beans, squash and a special corn tortilla that is propelling people into their 90’s at rates 4 times greater than in the US.”

People in these places do live longer and better, and the interesting thing is that they do, indeed, have something in common.

I’m partial to common denominators.  I look for them to help me make sense of things, to understand how things are connected.

And, sure enough, there is a common denominator here too: The healthiest foods on earth are the least processed by man, and the most processed by Nature. (Take a bit of seed, a patch of dirt, may the Heavens sprinkle rain and the Sun cast rays of warmth.  Wait about three months, and, volià, food good for eatin.).

The places where the residents’ diets are predominantly comprised of foods deemed to be “superfoods” live the longest and healthiest.

No news here, is there?  But I write about this anyway, because getting man out of the food making process as much as possible, and putting Nature in as much as possible, is a mantra that’s worth cultivating.

Having such a thought foremost in your mind while grocery shopping our in a restaurant will help you choose the food that supports your health.

I like how board-certified nutritionist, Jonny Bowden, puts it: What superfoods have in common is that they don’t have bar codes. (Low in sugar, too.)

Nuts, beans, veggies, berries, grass-fed meat (if you hafta get your protein that way) — they’re on Nature’s list, says Mr. Bowden in this informative and quick-to-read article.

And, speaking of lists, are 33 great foods a big enough number to feed your healthy recipes?  If so, read how an 86 year-old billionaire stays fit.

P.S.  Despite Mr. Bowden’s contrary assertion, I still think cow’s milk is for cows, raw or otherwise.  What do you think?

Joe Garma

I help people live with more vitality and strength. I'm a big believer in sustainability, and am a bit nutty about optimizing my diet, supplements, hormones and exercise. To get exclusive Updates, tips and be on your way to a stronger, more youthful body, join my weekly Newsletter.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 4 comments
Petra Henell - November 13, 2009

I think the cows are dear to share their milk with me for my morning coffee;-)

Alexandra H. - November 17, 2009

Well i think that if cow milk benefits our health (which is what my parents have always insisted on..:) ), then why not drink it?! Wether or not it is natural? – Well how natural is super-concentrated man-made supplements for that matter? …whatever does the trick i guess :)

Joe Garma - November 17, 2009

The milk thing is hotly debated among nutritionists and their ilk. To simplify the argument, one side extolls the protien and calcium benefits, and the other the difficulty with digestion which could instigate various (usually) low level allergies (this side often makes the case that cows milk is designed for calves with multiple stomachs, not children with one).

Yes, agree that supplements can be overdone. It’s best to get nutrition from raw, fresh, unprocessed food. That said, there are many instances where supplements are helpful, such as fish oil (the oil in a capsule), cayenne (the pepper in a capsule), curcumin (tumeric in a capsule), etc. Some concentrations are very useful, such as the much studied and recommended Resveratrol (a promising longevity formula primarily consisting polyphenols and red wine extract) and mushroom extracts (like “Host Defense”) that are great immune system builders.

The bottom line: get your overall nutrition from live, fresh food (juicing is great!) and supplement to address areas of concern, like if you’re dark skinned and live in Antarctica (get Vitamin D!!), are depressed (SAMe could work), stressed (SAMe and fish oil), achy joints (Glucosamine, Chondroitin and MSM), etc., etc.

This is a good time to add the disclaimer that I’m not a doctor or health professional and you should review your supplementation interests with someone who is.


Click Here - June 15, 2012

My observation about the superfood and  super places are those where the people live free hand due to their diet patron.Even in greece there found the ancient herbal tea leaves just to control the blood pressure.This is very suit for the body fitness.


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