SUPERFOODS OR SUPER HYPE?
LET’S TALK TURKEY
If ever there was a time to talk food, this is it. But considering the food that’s on our minds is a virtual bacchanalia of greasy, crisp turkey skin, stuffing, sweet potatoes with those teeny gooey marshmallows, gobs of green bean casserole and every kind of pie possible…it might seem ironic to talk about superfoods.
WHO PUT THE “SUPER” IN SUPERFOODS?
The word “superfood” hit the nutritional scene somewhere around the 1990s, quickly becoming a buzzword in the language of food and health. A simple internet search for the word reveals close to 10 million results — predominantly from health and nutrition blogs, online newspapers and magazines. But the fact is, that there is no accepted definition, and definitely no scientific way of classifying foods into superfoods. And the term “superfood” is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. And yet, when it comes down to the concept of it, people are eating it up.
MMMM…MARINE PHYTOPLANKTON, YUMMY
You can walk down the fruit and vegetable aisles in the store, and pretty much everywhere you look, you’re looking at foods that are really good for you. Dark greens, avocados, berries…they all pack a healthy punch. But when it comes to what a lot of people think are superfoods, it can get somewhat exotic, not to mention expensive. Quinoa, chia, hemp seeds, kaniwa, teff, maca powder mangosteens, turmeric, dulse, hijiki, kombu, wakame, rambutan, jackfruit, carambola, kiwano, arame, dragon fruit, cherimoya, oca, raw cocoa, wheat grass, spirulina, camu camu, lucuma. Gets to sound a little loco. And not exactly appetizing, either. But oh, the wonderful ways they can heal your body and mind. Supposedly.
CLAIMS TO SUPER POWER
All right, we’re just going to go with a list here which will point out how just how ludicrous it seems for any foods, super or not to say they can do:
- Reduce risk of heart attacks
- Prevent blood clots
- Protect against stroke
- Improve fine motor skills
- Relive tension headaches
- Unstuff stuffy noses
- Prevent nausea
- Promote brain health
- Detoxify your liver
- Clear your skin
- Undo diabetes
- Fight and suppress urinary tract infections
- Stimulate bone-building cells
- Assist digestive system, relieve cramping, gas and muscles aches
- Improve memory and coordination
- Combat cancel and detoxify
- Boost antioxidants
- Prevent ulcers and yeast infections
- Improve oral health
- Protect bones
- Ward off PMS symptoms
- Unclot blood clots
- Build bones
- Build muscle
- Convert food to energy
- Boost your immune system
- Lower cholesterol
- Reduce inflammation
- Reduce asthma-related wheezing
- Help arteries stay relaxed and pliable
- Fight infection
- Lower blood pressure
- Improve vision
- Detoxify the body
- Prevent hardening of arteries
- Improve mood
- Keep blood vessels healthy
- Boost communication between blood cells
- Neutralize free radicals that cause aging and cell damage
- Reduce effects of age-related conditions like Alzheimer’s or dementia
- Enhance libido to improve sex
- And for the purposes of our discussion here, balance hormones.
- All this from kimchee? Are you kidding?
WILL HEAPS OF HEMP REALLY BALANCE YOUR HORMONES?
If you Google (and the world is Googling 24/7), you’ll see tons of “10 Hormone Balancing Superfoods”, “Superfoods that Balance Hormones Naturally”, “The Superfood Solution to Balancing Your Hormones”, “40 Superfoods to Restore Hormone Balance”. Articles like these even turn up on Pinterest. Pinterest? Sorry, but superfoods have no magical powers. They could be perfectly healthy, but they are not enchanted. Will a daily dandelion and goji berry smoothie smooth the way to extended life? Raise your hands if you believe it. Good. No hands. And thinking that any single superfood can make a dent in what hormones need to function, can be dangerous thinking.
SUPERFOODS AREN’T SCIENCE
Hormones control nearly every aspect of how we feel. Insulin, serotonin, cortisol and dopamine, not to mention estrogen and testosterone, can all be thrown off balance by a number of things from excess sugar, caffeine or alcohol, to aging, medications, stress, lack of exercise and even toxins in the environment such as solvents and pesticides. Because hormones are involved in so many aspects of our functioning, hormonal imbalances can have wide-ranging effects. Balancing them is a complex medical puzzle not to be solved by any so-called superfood on the planet. And not to be self-diagnosed as to what your body really needs.
REAL FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Treating hormone imbalances starts by determining exactly which hormones might be out of balance and causing symptoms you might not have attributed to hormones. At Denver Hormone Health, they know everything about every hormone in your body. And considering there are about 50 of them, you can trust them to help you more than mountains of any acai bowls. The medical hormone experts at DHH determine your hormone levels with advanced blood tests. That allows them to determine what might be out of balance, allowing them to create a unique treatment plan tailored to your needs. Incorporating superfoods into your diet can’t hurt, but it’s no substitute for making overall healthy lifestyle choices, one of which is calling Denver Hormone Health for an appointment now.