The ethos of this blog centres around primal living, and without doubt the vast majority of health supplements contradict that principle. Loaded with artificial sweeteners, bulking agents, allergens, GMO-derived ingredients, additives, emulsifiers, synthetic toxins and plenty more besides, most food supplements are antithetical to a ‘natural’ way of living.
Feed the Body Real Food
The human body is optimised to digest real food – recognisable nutrients found in nature which make valuable contributions to a range of body systems, from the skeletal system to the cardiovascular. While there are many protein powders which may help you gain a little muscle, most are highly processed and can lead to higher levels of blood acidity. Most, in other words, do not resemble anything close to a natural foodstuff. And the same applies to many synthetically-produced multivitamins, preworkout formulas and diuretic-type products.
Not all health supplements are bad, of course: we should endeavour to avoid judging all companies on the behaviour of the worst offenders. Raw whole food supplements can have a place in a nutritionally-balanced diet, providing plant polyphenols, vitamins and minerals in abundance – without the nasty additives and sugars.
10-a-Day for Longer Life
Earlier this year, researchers from Imperial College London examined the effects of eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables . Assessing data from 95 previous studies, they learned that consuming ten portions (not five) each day was associated with the greatest benefits. Specifically a 33% reduced risk of stroke; a 31% reduction in premature deaths; a 24% reduced risk of heart disease; and a 28% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
What’s more, 10 portions of fruit and veg a day (which equates to around 800g) reduced the risk of total cancer by a massive 13%. In total, the number of preventable premature deaths worldwide was estimated to be 7.8 million.
Imagine! 7.8 million deaths prevented each year from simply eating more natural food. It speaks to our previous point: the human body has evolved to depend on such nutrition, and the body functions more efficiently when fuelled in this way. Everything from our attention spans and immunity to our energy levels and mood is improved.
Eat Naturally for Better Gut Health
To stay on the point about primal or natural living, another news item caught our eye in recent months. It was all about the hunter-gatherer diet, and it came to light after King’s College London Professor Tim Spector spent three days living and eating with the Hadza community in Tanzania.
The Hadza people, who follow a pre-agricultural lifestyle, eat an indigenous ethnic diet of fruit, vegetables and game, i.e. hunted wild mammals and birds. Spector learned that members of the tribe had the most diverse gut bacteria of anyone anywhere in the world.
What this means in real terms is that the Hadza people have microbial communities in their gut which minimises their risk of developing pretty much every major ailment known to us. After three days, Spector analysed his own stool sample and found that he’d gained 20% more microbe types. Typical Hadza people have 40% more than most westerners.
Spector suggests such microbial diversity is also a consequence of the Hadzas’ rugged way of life, pointing out that they do not use utensils or sterilise anything. “Everything is thrown on the fire, fur and all. That’s what we all used to do, what our bodies are pretty much designed for.”
Field of Greens: A Raw Vegan Food That’s 100% Natural
But where were we? Oh, yes – supplements. As said, some of them can very much align with primal eating habits. One such product is Field of Greens, sold by Water for Health in the UK but manufactured in the US by green food specialist Vibrant Health. Field of Greens is a 100% raw vegan food powder made entirely from organically-grown greens and freeze-dried grass juices.
No additives. No bulking agents. And certainly no GMO. Field of Greens is purely green food, ground and concentrated into a fine powder. Its 14 ingredients are:
- Wheatgrass whole-leaf powder
- Wheatgrass juice powder
- Alfalfa sprouts powder
- Alfalfa grass whole-leaf powder
- Alfalfa grass juice powder
- Collard powder
- Spinach powder
- Broccoli sprouts powder
- Barley grass juice powder
- Barley grass whole-leaf powder
- Oat grass whole-leaf powder
- Oat grass juice powder
- Kale powder
- Parsley powder
Each is raw, certified organic and kosher. Vibrant Health also use the lowest temperature employed in the industry when turning the veggies into powder.
Because it’s a pure raw vegan food supplement, Field of Greens is highly alkalising and helps to counteract the effect of acid-forming foods in the diet. It makes a great green juice or detox smoothie when added to water; if the taste is a little too ‘plant-y’ for your liking, just chop up some fruit and toss in the blender.
Due to its high volume of green ingredients, each scoop of Field of Greens supplies good levels of Vitamin A (from beta-carotene) and bone-building Vitamin K, not to mention trace amounts of calcium, iron, potassium and magnesium.
You certainly want to keep building vegetables into your regular meals, but Field of Greens is a great way of getting some extra nutrients from the plant world and maintaining healthy pH balance. Try it for yourself and let us know how you get on.
Green, lest we forget, is good. Whether you hit five, eight or ten portions of veggies a day, make sure you’re eating natural food and the rest will fall into place.