Superfoods are bullshit, part 2

Superfoods are bullshit, part 2

When I published part one of this two part series on superfoods, we received so much traffic that it almost crashed our website! I guess I might have touched a nerve with this issue, which isn’t surprising to me, considering just how long we have been sold this “superfood" myth. What’s been more surprising to me is how few people have spoken out on this issue before. I always thought it was obvious, but I guess that’s a reflection of just how out-of-step I am with the natural health industry. My goal is to teach both my patients and students to become self-reliant, to develop for themselves an insightful and penetrating vision of health that allows them to see past the hype. This is why I include a strong component of patient education in my clinical practice, and was part of my motivation to found the Dogwood School of Botanical Medicine in 2012. Years ago in my early twenties, I spent a great deal of time meditating and studying Buddhism, traveling as far away as Bodhgaya in modern … [Read more...]

Is raw cacao a superfood?

Is raw cacao a superfood?

I recently answered this question on the Food As Medicine website: One of the subjects folks seem to be interested in these days is raw cacao nibs. They can be found in health food stores often sold for very high prices, the packaging and marketing exuding with confident exclamations that raw cacao nibs are indeed theobroma - the 'food of the gods'. And it is true: the name Theobroma is a Latin, scientific epithet meant to capture the traditional importance of cacao in Meso-American culture. Cacao was essentially a kind of currency for the Aztecs, Mayans and other Meso-American groups, as well as a sacred beverage and general health tonic. Like tea and coffee, the popularity of chocolate quickly spread throughout the West after the Spanish, Swiss and especially the Dutch got hold of it, mixing it with varying amounts of sugar and condensed milk that forms the more familiar form of chocolate we all know. One of the key elements of today's cacao marketing push is this idea that "raw" … [Read more...]