This is a question that I have been asked consistently throughout the programme! Well in terms of "superfoods", you have actually been consuming them every day!! As a nutrition adviser, the term super food is rarely used, as it is more of a marketing term which highlights the health benefits of eating certain foods. Well all fruits and vegetables can be given the "super" title, as every day this month I have been highlighting the health benefits!!
Ok but what about supplements?
I am a firm believer in feeding your body with fruits and vegetables in order to give you those vitamins and minerals that your body needs. However, a majority of the population are not eating enough of the daily recommendations and do have to turn to vitamin supplements to aid deficiencies. If your GP has prescribed you a course of vitamin supplements, please do take them as directed, however I would recommend that you eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, so that you can nourish your body naturally also.
There are so many companies making health claims about taking a cocktails of this supplement with that can do XY&Z for you, many of which are over priced!! However, if you look at the labels, a lot of these tablets are filled with fruits and vegetables and then bulking agents. Now if you have a health issue that hinders you from eating whole fruits and veg, then a supplement may be needed. However, if it becauses of time and convenience, then I would encourage that you prioritise your health before a supplement will become a MUST.
Are protein powders necessary?
That's a very good question. Well again, these are more convenient short cuts of taking in more protein without carrying large amounts of food. As a minimum, we should all be having at least 0.8g per kg of bodyweight. Professional (elite) athletes have to consume alot more - roughly 2g per kg of bodyweight daily.
Now a majority of people don't take the time to do the math . Protein does NOT have to come from animal sources or powders laced with animal proteins (whey, casein etc). We have a wealth of proteins within a plant based diet from soya to quinoa!! Whatever your protein source, do the math and don't over do it. Protein in it's recommended amount helps to aid muscle repair and recovery, but too much will have an impact on our cholesterol levels and can lead to weight gain.
Ok but what about the vegan friendly powders?
Haha I knew that one would come up. Always check the ingredients!! We all have different goals and whilst my mantra will always be to supplement naturally, do your research. Yes there are a range of great vegan friendly health products on the market, but just because its vegan friendly, it doesn't necessarily mean we need it. Whatever powder you go for, seek objective advice in order to make an informed choice.
Lots of you have been asking me about spirulina, wheat grass, moringa and other green powders. So rather than making this one long Q&A, I will focus on each of these over the next few days.