Scientific white paper by John H. Maher, DC, DCCN, FAAIM, Vice President Education and Research – ©BioPharma Scientific, Inc. 2008
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates.
Today, more and more patients are looking for support and direction from their health professionals when it comes to nutritional supplementation. They already know that nutrition, like exercise, is foundational to staying healthy, vital and active. Most also know that they do not eat as well as “the experts” advise, so many take dietary supplements. But with the avalanche of products now promoted to them most are overwhelmed. And I am confident many of my fellow DC’s feel the same way!
For some of you there may be a philosophical resistance to supplying patients with “a pill for this and a pill for that.” For others, you have shelves full of different supplements that in and of themselves may be efficacious, but the shear number to keep track of and utilize may be somewhat overwhelming for you, your staff and/or your patients. Of course, targeted nutraceuticals are often of the highest value, but a “Super Food Solution” as presented below can help minimize the amount of pills taken, usually greatly enhancing compliance and patient satisfaction.
Furthermore, regardless how useful a particular supplement might be, if the diet is not changed, there use maybe to some extent likened to spraying perfumed aerosols to cover the smell in the kitchen when what is really need is to take out the garbage!
The Super-Food Solution
There is more or less general agreement among most versed in nutrition that the major dietary needs are:
- Less high calorie, hydrogenated fat filled, low nutrient density “junk” and “convenience” foods
- More phytonutrient rich fruits and vegetables of all the colors, most especially “greens”
- More omega 3 fatty acids, especially from fish and flax or foods fortified with omega-3’s
- More lean protein, yet with a complete and balanced amino acid profile, with less high saturated fat proteins, especially red meats.
- More soluble and insoluble plant fibers from bran, seeds, and beans
- More use of micronutrient dense foods like wheat germ, black strap molasses, flaxseed, phytonutrient rich products such as dark chocolate, green tea, red wine, cinnamon, marigold and even zoonutrient* rich products like undenatured whey protein and colostrum. (Just as phytonutrients are compounds in plants beyond the usual vitamins and minerals that have the potential for a salubrious effect on human physiology, there are peptides and sub-fractions in undenatured whey and especially colostrum that also have benefit potential. Since they cone from animals, not plants they are called zoonutrients. (zoo’-oh-nu-tree-ents)
A “Super Food Solution” is designed to supplement the diet by providing convenient, good tasting and pleasantly textured instant, powdered drink mixes and meal replacements made almost totally from ingredients listed in number 2 thru 7 above.
The advantages of such an approach include:
- Obviates, or at least lessens, the need to take many pills as few patients will continue to take lots of pills long term.
- ideally displaces “junk- fast food-convenience food” with “healthy- to-go, fast food – health food” which:
- not only adds nutrients, but lessens the intake of empty calories
- frees up funds used for junk food to budget in health food
- avoids promoting the “take this for that” paradigm, but supports lifelong wellness from within messages.
“Menopause Super Food Meal” Example
An example of a “Super Food Solution” for a rational nutritional program for a menopausal woman might be a follows:
8 ounces of soy milk, or soy protein powder, fortified with calcium and vitamin D**
5 gram flax seed, (1 tsp.) fine ground, 1 scoop (8 – 12 gram) of a fruit and vegetable greens drink powder mix that contains resveratrol, a phytonutrient from grapes and certain vines.
Such a “Menopause Super Food Meal” would be rich in phytoestrogens from soy, flax lignans and resveratrol. These phytoestrogens have been shown to reduce bone loss in menopausal women. Additional bone health support would come from the Vitamin D and calcium. Additional heart and blood lipid support would come from the soy protein, the fiber and omega-3’s in flax, and the resveratrol, the phytonutrient thought to be most responsible for the “French Paradox”. The green tea and lecithin (a good source of choline ) in many greens products and omega-3’s in flax would tend to help maintain short term memory as we age. There would also be very high antioxidant value from the greens drink and flax. If there were cruciferous vegetables in the greens product (kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli) it would support healthy breast along with the Vit d and flax lignans. Plus, used as a quick meal replacement, perhaps with an apple or a palm full of almonds, it would support most weight loss programs, being low glycemic, yet filling.
Given the right foundational phytonutrient, zoonutrient, protein and omega -3 rich professional quality powdered drink mix formulas, it is just as easy to prepare a good tasting “Immune Super Food Meal”, “Healthy Heart Super Food Meal”, “Mind Wellness Super Food Meal” or “healthy Joints Super Food Meal”. Yet, you the health professional may only need to carry three or four basic super food powder, liquids, and / or bars products to make this happen. The rest of these “Super Food recipes”, perhaps like wheat germ, cinnamon, calcium and Vit D enriched OJ or soy milk, can be purchased as foods at the health food store or the grocery market.
Of course such “Lifelong Wellness Super Food Meals” will only lead to life-long compliance if:
- they taste good
- they mix easily
- they deliver a difference patients can feel
- and they are easy to purchase
The Business End of Wellness
There are two reasons why some of the basic a “Super Food Solution” type powders, bars and/or liquids and products should be supplied by health professionals:
- patients get what they really need
- from products that really have in them what the labels claim
Ideally, said products should be available through health professionals only. This both adds enhanced perceived value, (perhaps even an enhanced placebo effect!) and allows the health professional to be reimbursed for her extra time and service through providing a consumable product leading to repeated life-long use by the client and often her family.
Remember, if these products are built around lifelong wellness care, then by definition, they should be taken life long. It follows then, that in order to support such a commitment to lifelong wellness, the practitioner should have a web site or in-house fulfillment so product can be delivered directly to the patient when office visits are no longer regular.
For those readers interested in learning more, I would be happy to send you a copy of a free booklet for patients called, “The Super Food Solution User’s Guide” via my contact information below.