I love this article, which talks about new research showing that when it comes to getting nutritional bang for your buck, it's food itself rather than supplements, vitamins, etc. that holds the key.
The article refers to recent studies that have looked at whether ingesting specific nutrients--B vitamins and beta-carotene--can prevent heart disease, cancer, and other ailments. All of these studies so far have shown no value, or even a slight negative value, to the supplement approach.
These researchers argue that it's the food, not what's in it, that's good for us. Sitting down to a plate of steamed kale with olive oil and garlic is an entirely different matter, nutritionally, than dosing yourself with B-vitamins, iron, etc. This follows along with conclusions from a 1970s study showing that when you enjoy what you're eating, you actually get more nutritional value from it. Shocking!
Here's the money quote in my book:
[Researchers] focus on the concept of food synergy - the idea that more information about the impact of human health can be obtained by looking at whole foods than a single food component (such as vitamin C, or calcium added to a container of orange juice).
Just as some of us have been saying all along, food is medicine.
So on this Thanksgiving week, lift a fork in honor of the pleasures and privileges of food. Say thanks to your body, a splendid machine that knows how to make use of food, and to your taste buds, which let you enjoy it.
Then dig in.