Monday, November 22, 2004

Anti-oxidants and Authentic Aussie foods

Just a comment on the health aspects of Australian native foods.

We evolved hunting and gathering an enormous range of foods and severely compromised our nutrition by narrowing our diet to only those food we could domesticate. What this means is that most races reduced the range of foods they ate down to 10% of their ancestral traditions. Little wonder that we have so many nutritional diseases often called diseases of civilisation.

More recently, scientists are discovering enormous differences between the nutritional value in wild foods compared to cultivated ones. Sure, once correcting for water content, the macro-nutritents are roughly equivalent but the devil is in the details: Anti-oxidants are at record levels, for example, it is well recognised now that my analytical proof and scientific publication of the world record for a fruit concentration of vitamin C lies with the Kakadu plum (now used in nutritional supplements, cosmetics and foods to a lesser extent); additionally, anthocyanins in many wild fruits like rosella, Davidsons plum, Illawarra plum, quandong and riberries are also highly significant. In fact, a recent report by a doctor has suggested that Parkinson's disease can be cured with oral sprays of blends of anti-oxidants.

The interesting thing with whole foods is that the anti-oxidants also seem to come with other components such as folic acid, iron, co-enzymes and what are called adaptogens and which collectively, improve the efficacy and absorption of the anti-free radical compounds. There's a lot going for eating these super-foods rather than popping pills of synthetic cocktails (and just making the pharmaceutical companies richer).

Australian food

Then there is a whole gammet of nutritionally beneficial phytochemicals in Australian wild herbs and spices and I refer you to this website for some information and here for a more detailed collection of papers on the topic.