As a lover of Real Food, I’m no fan of supplements. I believe that if you can find food grown in naturally nutrient-rich soil (or meat from animals fed their natural diets), you are pretty much guaranteed to have the right balance of vitamins and minerals to not just survive, but thrive.
But let’s be honest. How many of us are able to stick to that diet perfectly? Furthermore, how many of us can say with certainty that our food isn’t grown in depleted soil (even if it’s certified “organic”)?
Enter Food Renegade Newbie Tip #5: Eat More Superfoods.
What Are Superfoods?
According to the Weston A. Price Foundation:
Superfoods — as opposed to vitamins or supplements — are foods that naturally concentrate important nutrients. Unlike dietary supplements, or vitamins taken in isolation, superfoods provide many nutrients that support each other and prevent the kind of imbalances that often occur when vitamins are taken singly.
Isolated vitamins and minerals do not occur in nature, and can not be considered traditional or Real Food. Superfoods, on the other hand, are foods that traditional people groups have sought out for centuries for optimum health.
Naturally, there are a host of foods that can be called superfoods for one reason or another. But here are some of the basics that everyone really should work on incorporating into their diets:
Fermented Cod Liver Oil
Did you know that the vast majority of us are Vitamin D deficient? 65% of us live in parts of the world where for 6 or more months out of the year, it’s impossible for us to get enough UVB rays from the sun to produce sufficient quantities of Vitamin D. Even during the rest of the year it’s hard to get sufficient Vitamin D because we typically spend too much time indoors, or too much time behind glass windows (which blocks UVB rays and increases exposure to Vitamin D leaching UVA rays), or we shower too frequently and remove the Vitamin D oils before they’ve had a chance to be absorbed into our bloodstream through our skin.
Traditionally, people overcame the seasonal nature of natural Vitamin D production by eating foods high in Vitamin D — eggs from pastured hens, lard from foraged hogs, and yes, fermented cod liver oil. Also, traditional peoples ate a diet 10 times higher in Vitamin D than the standard American diet (SAD).
Fermented Cod Liver Oil is an excellent source of Vitamin D and Vitamin A, and also a decent source of Omega 3 fatty acids. If you struggle with being tired or depressed and you don’t get at least 20 minutes of direct sunlight (no shade, no sunscreen, no clouds, just you, the sun, and lots of exposed skin) between the hours of 10am and 2pm everyday (more if your skin is darker), you really should be taking fermented CLO.
High Vitamin Butter Oil
This deep yellow oil from cows eating rapidly growing green grass is rich in Vitamin K2 — an important activator that helps the body utilize minerals, protects against tooth decay and heart disease, and contributes to a properly functioning brain. Without Vitamin K2, your body can’t properly utilize the fat soluble vitamins (like D and A).
If you eat raw butter, milk, and cheese from grass-fed cows, you’re probably getting enough of this in your diet. But if you can’t get these raw dairy products, High Vitamin Butter Oil is a good way to ensure you’re getting enough of the all-important K2.
Spirulina and Kelp
For those of us not living by the sea or inland waterways, who don’t have regular access to fresh seafood, these superfoods can give us many of the benefits of seafood. Traditional Aztec, African, and Asian cultures have all eaten these foods because they’re easy to dry and transport inland. They’re a rich source of sea minerals, vitamins, and protein.
Glandular and Organ Extracts
Eating freeze-dried organs may not sound like your idea of fun. So, here’s a question for you. Do you eat 10% of your meat in the form of organ meats? If you’re like the typical American, the answer is no. But traditional diets prized organ meats and glands, and modern research has shown that eating these nutrient-dense foods can support our own organ and glandular functions.
So, you’ve got two choices. You can start eating more organ meat (a worthy goal), or you could start taking freeze-dried organ/glandular extracts.
(photo by bizzzarro)
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