Introduction to the Book
Substances in food keep us alive.
We call them nutrients. We can now identify, extract and synthesise them and to some extent, understand how they work within our bodies. Science calls some essential because their requirement in our cellular function is non-negotiable. How to get optimal amounts of them from clean whole-food is covered in this resource.
However, it is propitious to view these 30 or so essential nutrients as guides on our quest for optimal health. Simply put, if we have them covered, then most assuredly we are also imbibing multifarious, wondrous and often natural medicinal substances direct from nature.
This is a collection of 42 Food Synergy Profiles that cover 27 essential nutrients. In its simplest form, these profiles give you an idea of which foods and food groups provide generous quantities of a particular nutrient. Each profile contains mostly whole-foods that are rich sources of a key nutrient. Each of the important food groups is represented.
I was told I need more Magnesium
We often hear things like – Vitamin C is an essential anti-oxidant or recovering alcoholics need extra vitamin B1, or omega-3 fats are beneficial for brain and immune function. And we are frequently told Magnesium is good for muscle relaxation.
It could be that our doctor or health professional said: “get more zinc and fibre in your diet.” Or stay away from sugar (sucrose) foods.
These wholefood-nutrient snapshots quickly and easily direct you to lists of foods highest (and lowest) in a particular nutrient. Taking supplements should be an absolute last resort. After all, there is no multivitamin that has over 11,000 compounds that are available in a single leaf of spinach.
The book is a useful complement to the diet analysis we offer at Food Synergy. If, for instance, you find, after doing an analysis that your diet is low in Magnesium for example, then just looking up the Magnesium profile will enable you to tweak your diet accordingly. See our analysis examples.
A lot of background work and planning has made this resource very easy to use while at the same time exceedingly useful.
Real-world serving sizes
We have carefully worked out real-world serving sizes so that resultant nutrient content more realistically reflects what we get from eating a meal. And choosing the most representative and commonly available foods around the globe has further simplified using this resource.
Common serving sizes are converted to grams so that calculated nutrient quantity is accurate as possible while at the same time informative for us food nerds, nutritionists, dieticians and mums and chefs designing meals.
Note that we offer a full recipe analysis and labelling service also.
Foods within each nutrient profile are clustered into groups like Non-Gluten Grains, Legumes, Meats, Nuts, Seeds, Dairy, Fruits, etc. It is encouraged to get the optimal intake of a nutrient by eating across a range of food groups. This way you enhance the synergistic effect of various nutrients working together.
Multiple nutrients are often required simultaneously in critical metabolic enzyme pathways in the body. Some can be stored in the body while others have short life spans. A daily diet needs to replenish many water soluble nutrients continuously.
The word synergy is at the core of this work.
Evidence to date indicates that eating across food groups and maximising food diversity enhances nutrient sufficiency while providing a solid foundation for optimal health.
Yet in addition to the 27 nutrients presented here, there are thousands of compounds in foods that we are only just beginning to explore. Many are showing powerful health-giving and even medicinal qualities.
At Food Synergy we consider whole food as a ‘delivery medium’ from nature that keeps us optimally tuned and vibrant. We might only know of a few nutrients within this medium at this point, but nature supplies so much more with each whole fresh morsel.
So when someone says “eat more vitamin C” you might think, “ yes, I’d like some Acerola cherries or a pummelo or maybe an organic apple with lunch”. In so doing you will flood your body with a swag of additional nutrient-substances that nature has prepackaged for you in an anti-oxidant rich skin.
We are already designing Part 2 of this work due next year. This will focus on amino acids, fatty acids, flavonoids and other phytonutrient content. Also stay tuned for Food Synergy Superfoods.