Superfoods, supplements, and herbs....what do you take?
There are SO many out there!!!! I use cacao, goji, chia, a greens powder, and maca daily, as well as take msm tablets, but want to incorporate more herbs and possibly more supplements.
What superfoods, supplements and herbs do you incorporate into your diet? how? why?
my superfoods are bananas, mangoes and watermelons ;)
superfoods are definitely a marketing hype. it's a big money maker for greedy gurus. if you're eating a healthful diet then you should be getting everything you need. if you're not getting everything you need from your diet, then the diet needs to be rethought.
everyone tries to cheat nature with superfoods and supplements, but nature knows best. the best form of vitamins and minerals are from raw fruits and veggies. they come in perfect packages with perfect ratios, plus water and fiber. why take a supplement which supplies one vitamin, another which supplies fiber, another which supplies omega 3, another that supplies minerals, and then drinking loads of water separate, when you can get everything you need from whole fruits and veggies?
Though I do agree lots of it is hype and they are not a necessity for good health I don't see why you are condemning "superfoods" whether they be "super" or not, most of these things are natural fruits\roots\seeds, how are goji berries different from any other dried fruit? or chia from any other seed?
I don't agree with you that they all have little worth, hemp seeds are considered a "superfood" by many and they are a simple natural seed like any other seed that doesn't require any processing, and which is very nutritional, the fact that people take advantage of these type of things just to make money has nothing to do with the food itself..
When I first heard the term superfood, it referred to fruits known to have great nutritional/antioxidant properties and some greens. BEFORE people could score a buck off of it, powders and stimulants weren't referred to as "superfoods."
That said, I use a B12 sublingual regularly. I have some greens powder and I like the taste and the ingredients but I don't consider it a superfood or a supplement; it's just dried greens.
If I want a superfood, I eat blueberries or kiwi, kale or spinach. :)
When you can, to the OP, try to go without cacao....it's addictive and a stimulant, and, in my opinion, replaces what you could have had in your diet in calories as healthy fruits. If you are just adding dates to make it sweet, that's better than agave and yacon syrups, but still, it's not ideal to have it every day. I did this when I first went raw but realized immediately it wasn't healthy and I worked on weaning myself off of it.
Also, I am not opposed to non-superfoods powders, supplements, if people WANT to take them, but they should not replace real food: fruit and greens.
I have seen a blog where the person considers powders and junk as a food/meal. It's unbelieveable.
Oh ok now I get you lulu, but specifically regarding hemp protein powder I think its the fiber that they take out and not the fat, but I might be mistaken..
" don't agree with you that they all have little worth, hemp seeds are considered a "superfood" by many and they are a simple natural seed like any other seed that doesn't require any processing, and which is very nutritional"
Eating my own eyelashes might have some nutritional benefit as well, but there are better sources of nutrition in fruit and vegetables. :p
I feel so great when I eat a lot of fruit. Sorry - that was off-topic. :)
I love your posts, too!
Compering eating your eyelash to eating a dried berry like goji or a seed like hemp seed is null in my opinion, to me it feels like many people took the other end of the coin but just with the same amount of extremeness with this type of condemnation of "superfoods", a dried fruit can&does happen regularly in nature and is consumed by many animals, yes too much of it isn't good, but also too much of anything else isn't good, all needs to be taken in moderation...
The ":p" at the end of my post means it was supposed to be a little bit funny. ;)
There are three different categories we're dealing with here. The definitions are IMHO.
** "superfoods" (foods/powders you're supposed to add to your diet because they're nutrient dense)
** supplements (specific nutrients you need that you don't get in your diet or feel will help your quality of life)
** herbs (plants that have certain medicinal qualities you feel will help your quality of life)
Each of these can be completely misused. Often the terms will be used interchangeably, so I like to keep it clear. Every person will view each category differently.
"Superfoods": If you think of the basic idea of raw food -- i.e. try to eat foods in their natural state, unprocessed -- then the notion of superfoods as powders and pills becomes a bit obviously out-of-place. On the other hand, there are "superfoods" that are pretty tasty additions to a diet and they don't hurt. I use goji and cacao because they taste good. I don't make them a daily regimen. Especially given the addictive qualities of cacao and the cost of goji berries, daily use wouldn't be such a great idea.
Here on the forums some people seem to really dislike superfood sellers. I can understand why. Superfoods as a category are the easiest to "market" to people. Why? Because they don't make specific claims, usually. They just claim that you need them. Usually, you don't. But placebo effects are powerful and people are eager to try things with claims of vibrant living and high energy. (Heck, I've fallen for a bunch of them before. I've been awfully gullible.) They're good for you, in terms of being nutrient dense, but so are regular fruits and vegetables.
Some things, like maca, really fall under "herbal medicine" because they are good for specific conditions (maca for hormonal balance, for instance).
Supplements: If there are specific nutrients you know you need, then do your research and try supplementing. I supplement B vitamins, calcium/magnesium, and vitamin D because I don't get enough of these in my diet and it's just not possible otherwise right now for me to get them. Ditto for MSM if you have a joint condition or pain and want to see if it makes you feel better. No problem there; experimenting is fine when you can afford it. But piling things on because you feel like you "should" isn't necessary. It'll give you expensive urine.
Herbs: Well, I have an herbalist in my family, so I get free consultations. :) Without a broad review of the literature (including scientific) and experts online or in books, you may easily waste your money. Herbs aren't regulated for their claims by the FDA. And herbs are drugs -- meaning they may have effects you don't want. So you gotta research and base it on your specific conditions or lifestyle. And for serious/acute problems -- go to a doctor.
Bottom line: I believe in experimenting and see what you like and how you feel. But I also believe in trying and seeing how you feel WITHOUT certain things -- like superfoods and supplements and herbs.
And remember, it's not just Big Pharma that has a profit motive -- Big Herbal/Big Superfood/Big Supplement do, too.
YMMV. IMHO. And all that.
This is truly great! Excellent discussion!!! And kinda reinforces what I was looking for. I prefer to rely on whole foods nutrition but was worried that maybe I was missing out on some deep dark secrets. I'm happy with large salads the size of my sink and the occasional treat ( i eat chocolate cuz i looove the taste and have had no adverse side effects thus far). Nice to hear I can save some cash and nix the goji/maca/protein powders off my grocery list.
You guys rock my world :)
Sypita, thanks for starting the discussion! Yeah, the thing you want to avoid is the sense of "ugh, well, I guess I gotta buy this..." when it's not having a noticeable effect on how you feel over time. If you find you feel better with more protein, or whatever, then go for it, but only your body can tell you best!
Hurrah for sink-sized salads :) Leafy greens (and all the trimmings) are amazing things.
I've never had the opportunity to try goji berries. I slowed down on the dried fruit, but do find having some dried dates and figs good to have in case I won't be around somewhere with a lot of refrigeration. Apples seem to go okay, and sometimes bananas. But, I've had some gross experiences. So, I might order some dried goji berries to keep for tough times. I do have a container of hemp seed. I don't use it everyday though, so it's not to expensive if you don't rely on in day to day. Now that I think of it, I tend to rotate my foods a lot.
I don't take anything really. Mainly because I am the cheapest person you will ever meet. I mean, it would be nice once in a while to have some goji berries, but they are so damn expensive. I get all my nutrients from fruits and veggies. No vitamins, supplements, blah blah blah. Waste of money that I don't have.
superfood2, sorry for that then, missed the :p, seemed to me like you were trying to make a joke out of me.. :).
No problem!! Sorry it seemed offensive.
The only thing I take is E3 Live shots every morning and I put a scoop of a dried powder of E3, maca, and hemp in my smoothies! I also try to take a high quality probiotic and sometimes digestive enzymes. Does anyone else do E3? and if so have you felt a difference or noticed any health improvements?
I find some of the bile against superfoods in this thread to be just as self-serving as the "superfoods sellers" you are condemning at the same time. Yes I agree, you don't "need" them, but to categorically dismiss them as marketing hype is overdoing it. I use many superfoods, and I KNOW, don't think, that they have enhanced my raw foods diet. Superfoods are an easy way for busy people to get nutrient dense foods into their diet. Working people don't always have time to go to the supermarket and make an organic salad in time to bring to work. Also, these superfoods bring nutrients that can't be found easily in the western world and make them available to us in a convenient way. I KNOW that maca and cordyceps have helped my workouts and workout recovery, I KNOW that I get instant energy from blue-green algae and marine phytoplankton. I KNOW that goji berries put me in a good mood, have helped my skin and give me energy throughout the day. Also, don't ignore the fact that 99.9% of americans will never go raw, and the opportunity to get extremely nutrient rich foods in a convenient form can enhance and save lives. It has been much easier to get my mom, who has always been unhealthy, to take a raw green powder and snack on goji berries than it has been to get her to make a salad or eat a piece of fruit.
You think superfoods are all hype and you don't need them, that's fine, don't take them, but don't make people who use them and benefit from them feel guilty as if they are supporting some money making machine' out to rip off the general public. They aren't Philip Morris. Also, I know several people who are selling superfoods as a sincere effort to share something that has enhanced their lives with others. Let people make their own decisions, and before you bash the products, bring some science as to why they aren't any help.
I just eat fruit and veggies and feel my best when I have a good balance of both. Also, loads and loads of greens every day.
I take zinc and vitamin B12. But no powders or anything like that. I'm not against them but I personally don't care to use them at all.
haha lulushka, maybe you could?? i don't have a job right now so i only spend my money on gas, food, and 99 cents movies at the cheapie movie theatre.
I'm most definitely the cheapest of all! I literally spend less than $25 a week on food for myself.
$25 dollars a week! WOW!!! that is amazing. I spend about 100 at least.....I eat a LOT.
How exactly do you pull that off?
I grow some, use discount places and I only eat fresh stuff......I buy a pound of sunflower seeds every six months or so and that's the only nut/seed I use so everything is just fruits and veggies. Nothing crazy.
Before raw it was way more expensive. But I was still a frugalbutt.
wow 25$ a week.. I spend about 100$ a week.. maybe even more.
EDIT: do you buy organic produce?
My impression of supplements/superfoods/herbs and so forth is that they're most beneficial to people trying to heal themselves of deficiencies or disease. And that the cleaner your diet is, and the longer you're raw you're need for anything beyond whole food nutrition will vanish. They're simply a starting point/catalyst to a healthier you.
Personally I still like Vitamineral Green. But i dont think I need it as much as i used to. I also like maca, it helps me a bit for my period. I used to take an iron supplement but now I no longer have a problem with low blood iron.
Oh I wish I could have a garden...I don't exactly have a green thumb. I have two plants, a ficus which is dead and a cactus which is low maintenence. I'm a bad plant mom. But I would love to learn more and grow my own food. Perhaps when I get a yard. It would absolutly help with food cost.
I don't disagree that people could have effects from maca, goji berries, etc, but I surely wouldn't call those items "superfoods."