Here’s sneak peek #7 of Happy Healthy Gut! I will post a new preview, from a different chapter, every 2 days until release date (January 2), so stay tuned for more…
From Chapter Eight (Chemically Speaking):
“The definition of food: “material consisting essentially of protein, carbohydrate, and fat used in the body of an organism to sustain growth, repair, and vital processes and to furnish energy; something that nourishes, sustains, or supplies.”[i]
Notice how the definition emphasizes the food’s ability to sustain growth, repair, furnish energy, and nourish? Now think of fast food, processed food, and all the chemicals tossed into the mix of what’s being eaten on a daily basis by the majority of North America.
A significant amount of people are not eating food. They’re just eating.
Reductionism is the act of removing targeted nutrients from the whole of one food (extracting calcium from broccoli, for example), and isolating it in order to either market this nutrient by itself in the form of a calcium supplement, or to add it to an existing preparation in order to make it more attractive to the consumer, such as ‘calcium fortified’ orange juice.
The argument for reductionism sounds well intentioned: by adding a nutrient to orange juice that it does not naturally possess, the consumer can take advantage of ingesting that nutrient without having to eat broccoli. Win-win! Except…
Recent studies have shown that by removing the nutrient from its original whole food, it does not work as well, if at all.[ii] Scientists are beginning to understand that the complexity of that particular nutrient needs the environment of that whole food in order to activate the benefits. For example, perhaps there is an element to the food that helps that nutrient be absorbed when eaten, and without that element, it just won’t happen. This could be an “ah-ha moment” for all those who have hailed reductionism as the next best thing since (iron fortified) sliced bread. The result is this: the whole food will always be more nutritious, in every way, than the sum of its parts. For anyone experiencing digestive unease, you already know that we could all definitely benefit from better nutrient absorption. “