I’m a sucker. I admit it. I know better, but I do it anyway. I fall for every single South American superfood or exotic Asian herb there is. You name it, I’ve tried it. Cordyceps? Of course. Rhodiola rosea? You bet. The herb formerly known as Siberian ginseng, now called eleuthero? Check. Acai? Camu camu? Yerba mate? You get the picture. You know what I’ve learned from all this experimentation? The placebo effect is real, but overrated. Let me explain.
Supplements are generally a waste of money. They may have some effects, but everyone’s body will react differently. So some people eat superfoods and become superpeople, and the rest of us wonder what they hype was all about. That these so called superfoods are nutrient dense is without a doubt. But then so are all plant foods. If it is a commonly cultivated plant food, suffice it to say our ancestors knew what they were doing. They cultivated it for a reason, and continued to do so because it worked. If cabbage wasn’t a superfood, it would still be a wild green that you would probably run over with your lawnmower. Oh wait, those are dandelion greens, but I digress.
These exotic Amazonian foods are fun. Often they taste good. They are nutrient dense. They won’t put a superhero’s cape on you, but they will lighten your wallet. But sometimes the expectation and pleasure create that placebo effect, and if it’s worth the cost, I say by all means, indulge. I will. If nothing else, the variety can only help. It probably won’t help much in the long run, but it’s fun in the meantime. I will keep looking for that secret sauce that will make me fly up hills. I know it’s waiting for me somewhere deep in the Amazon or high up in the Himalayas. One day I WILL find it!
The Typical Antioxidant Superfood Breakfast:
1 C Oats
2 C water
1-2 T each: goji berries, maca root powder, chia seeds, dried cranberries, raw cacao powder, super greens powder, and raisins (how pedestrian! but they are berries!)
1/2 C fresh berries if berries cost too much, then a pear or peach
1/4 t each: ground cinnamon and cloves
Bring the water to a boil and gradually add the remaining ingredients, starting with the dried fruit. Put the fresh fruit in the bottom of a small plastic bowl and cover with the oatmeal. Take with you and eat when needed.
Can anyone guess the ORAC measure of antioxidant power in there? I won’t tell you about cost…
In the spirit of Mofo and new things I will try a new breakfast… Breakfast quinoa! Oh wait, isn’t quinoa a superfood too? Or has it earned mundane status yet?