Show of hands, how many of you start the day by turning on your coffee maker? Now while I can’t actually see any of you holding your hands up, I think it’s pretty safe to assume most of you are. Making that first cup of coffee is natural, but what if instead of coffee when you turned on your coffee maker, you got your daily servings of vitamins and minerals?
That’s the idea scientists at Nestle have come up with. The serving of vitamins and minerals would be formulated to your daily needs; to be sure you didn’t get too much or too little of the good things your body needs to function.
It may sound too much like science fiction to be true, but Shape Magazine reported that Nestle’s Institute of Health Sciences is working on the project, which has the code name “Iron Man.”
How would you feel about giving up food? Not for a fast, not for a cleanse, but giving up food completely and instead consuming pure nutrients in a daily “smoothie.”
That’s the idea Rob Rhinehart and his team stumbled upon when they were working on a technology startup at the end of 2012. Funds had run low, and they realized food costs were draining what little funds they had left.
He added he tried cheap food options, but they weren’t what he needed. So he decided to approach food like he would any other engineering problem.
“You need amino acids and lipids, not milk itself,” he said in an interview with the New Yorker. “You need carbohydrates, not bread. Fruits and vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals, but they’re mostly water.”
“It just seemed like a system that’s too complex and too expensive and too fragile.”
If something has stayed the same for 20 years, it’s usually either a sign of a tradition holding fast, or an indication that it’s time for a change. Change is in the air at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which has plans to overhaul its 20-year-old design of food labels.
According to the FDA, the new design is headed down the path of final approval. “The agency is working toward publishing proposed rules to update the nutrition facts label and serving size information to improve consumer understanding and use of nutrition information on food labels,” Juli Putnam, a media spokesperson for the FDA, told TIME magazine.
Many consumers and nutrition experts are saying it’s about time the labels are updated. Michael Taylor, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods told ABC News that, 20 years ago, “there was a big focus on fat, and fat undifferentiated. The food environment has changed and our dietary guidance has changed. It’s important to keep this updated so what is iconic doesn’t become a relic.”
The last notable change to food labels was the separation of trans fats from all fats in 2006, due to consumer demand.
Phosphorus is best known for the role it plays in bone and teeth development; however, getting enough is also important for many other things. It plays a crucial role in the body’s utilization of protein, fat, and carbohydrates so they can be used for overall growth, maintenance, and repair of the body’s cells and tissues. This mineral also helps with the production of ATP, adenosine triphosphate, which is an important molecule the body uses to store energy.
Most phosphorus can be found in protein-rich foods like meat, milk, and eggs. If you consume a diet that is rich in calcium and protein, you’re probably getting enough. In fact, most Americans have no problem getting enough of this micronutrient. Additionally, breads and cereals are often fortified with it; however, the form of phosphorus found in these products is typically not as absorbable by the body.
According to the Institute of Medicine, the average adult needs 700 milligrams of phosphorus each day. Requirements are based on age and vary for each age group. Children between the ages of 0-12 months need 100 – 275 milligrams per day, 1-3 year olds require 460 milligrams per day, 4 – 8 year olds need 500 milligrams per day, and those between the ages of 9 and 18 require 1250 milligrams per day.
As our lives grow increasingly busy and the stress and pressures from our jobs continues to build, our health typically takes the brunt of the blow. We’re sleeping less and spending more time in stressful circumstances. This invariably leads to poor dietary habits which deprives our bodies of nutrients and ultimately intensifies the health impacts we suffer. These dynamics are the primary reason for the popularity of acai, a berry that has been called a “super food.”
Those who have used acai claim that it helps to alleviate many common ailments that have stymied doctors and other medical experts for years. But, what is acai? Where does it come from and what are its inherent benefits? Below, we’ll discuss the origins of this “super food,” the benefits of eating it and whether choosing it is the right dietary choice for you.
Where Does Acai Come From?
The acai berry comes from trees that are native to the rain forests of Brazil. Rich in antioxidants and other nutrients, the berry has been consumed by the tribes and communities within the rain forests for years. Today, the pulp is extracted from the acai berry and used as a staple in these communities for a variety of dishes. Having been discovered by explorers years ago, the acai berry is harvested and exported to countries around the world. Companies that wish to leverage acai’s growing popularity in developed nations produce smoothies, juices and sorbets using acai.
Benefits Of Using Acai
There’s a long list of benefits that proponents (and marketers) of acai claim is inherent in the berry. Many of these benefits are likely due to the high level of antioxidants (specifically, anthocyanins) found within. These anthocyanins help prevent heart disease. In fact, it’s estimated that the acai berry has several times the level of anthocyanins as red wine (also known to help prevent heart disease).
The acai berry is also thought to contain a high level of important vitamins and Phytosterols. Vitamins A, B1, B2, C and E are found in great supply in the berry which helps your immune system battle illnesses and injuries. The Phytosterols in acai are believed to help your cardiovascular system function effectively. In addition, acai contains an assortment of fatty and amino acids that help your muscles regenerate while providing a significant boost of endurance and stamina.
There have even been links between acai and insomnia. Many people who use acai claim that the nutrients and antioxidants within the berry help to regulate the hormones and chemicals within the brain that cause sleeping disorders. Though much is unknown about acai, many nutritionists suggest that people begin taking it to help resolve many illnesses that conventional medicine seems unable to remedy.
Is Acai Right For You?
Researchers continue to test the potency of acai. But, despite how much still remains unknown about the fruit, many people have claimed that their problems with insomnia, weight loss and lack of stamina have largely been remedied by consuming acai on a daily basis. If you have been battling any of the symptoms or conditions mentioned above, consider adding acai to your daily diet.
Article by Damon Zahariades