In praise of ‘ordinary’ foods

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In praise of ‘ordinary’ foods

By Jane Clarke

February 11, 2019

Many of my patients would love to hear that eating one or two foods could prevent cancer or stop it coming back. If only there was a REAL superfood which would be the miracle cure for all illnesses. Reading the crazy headlines that adorn our newspapers, you’d think there is. But if you look behind the stories at the actual scientific studies they shout about, you would see that so often experiments are carried out in laboratory conditions, with astronomical, completely impractical amounts of the so-called superfood. You’d simply never be able to consume the same amount in daily life in order to achieve the effects claimed.

The reality is that ‘superfood’ is largely a marketing term which boosts sales of acai berries, pomegranates, blueberries, or whatever is this week’s nutritional hero. These foods do have wonderful properties, such as being rich in antioxidants and flavonoids which we know are good for our health. But the benefits we experience come from having them as part of a varied diet, where every food’s particular cocktail of nutrients can add to our overall nourishment to create a broad spectrum of goodness and, essentially, flavour.

Don’t overlook the less glamorous ingredients that are just as important in our diets – apples and carrots, beetroot and cabbage. They’re the foods you find at your corner shop and supermarket, not expensive health stores. And they’re nutritional champions, too.

 

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