Have you been drinking the #CleanFood Kool Aid?
Following Instagrammers with no qualifications as nutritionalists that post pictures of trendy food fad post surf snacks? Usually served in bowls? We knew it!
According to a brilliant article in The Guardian last week, you could be suffering from orthorexia, ‘an obsession with consuming only foods that are pure and perfect.’
Or maybe you’re just easily lead…
You pretty much can’t move in the surf world without someone thrusting a bowl of acai upon you, or more likely, shovelling this purple semi frozen Brazilian fruit mush smugly down their cake hole whilst checking the surf.
The North Shore, Bali, Byron Bizzle… acai has taken the shredosphere by storm.
“Just something fun to think about next time you’re standing in line to spunk 9 bucks on a bowl of purple lies”
But… is it really that good for you? And if yes, then however did Homo sapien manage to successfully evolve around the world for 30,000 odd years without importing frozen food from the Amazon basin?
While acai has some decent vitamin content (just like all the fruit n’ veg that grows in your garden), its antioxidant properties are usually the subject of the pseudo science clamour, generally hailed by those who don’t know what they are or do.
Check dis: a) you actually need free radicals (the thing antioxidants remove) in your body to destroy invading bacteria. And b) you make your own antioxidants anyway, to keep them in balance, namely uric acid (+ water = pee pee) and glutathione.
Most of the antioxidants in fruit are to protect them from sunlight damage, and may not be that available to the human body anyway.
Just something fun to think about next time you’re standing in line to spunk 9 bucks on a bowl of purple lies.
2. Chia Seeds
Kelly Slater has championed chia, even endorsed a product called ‘Chia Pod.’ (If there are two words that shit me, one is chia, and the other is pod. Everything is a ‘pod’ these days. Surf Snowdonia has B&Q garden sheds it calls ‘sleeping pods’. If something is called a ‘pod’ your bullshit alarm should be sounding).
Similar to acai, it’s the antioxidant properties of chia that are often unfeasibly lauded. It does also contain omega 3, but if you’re a vegetarian (i.e. no oily fish) and want a good source, chia is no better than stuff like linseed or hemp.
Wheatgrass has been on the surf program for a while, it is particularly favoured by ex-pro surfers after a massive weekend.
Essentially, the outrageous claims as to its benefits are a nonsense. There are no miracle restorative effects. Sure, green juices are generally pretty healthy, and certainly better for you than a can of Dr Pepper/bucket bong, but a shot of wheatgrass barely even makes one of your 5 a day.
Historically, one the claimed benefits of wheatgrass is that it ‘oxygenates’ your blood. This is utter bullshit. Chlorophyll (the green stuff) is cited as being chemically similar to haemoglobin (the stuff in your red blood cells where oxygen is carried around your body). Yeah… well not that fucken similar.
The green powder that you put in your smoothie to make it… green.
Spirulina is one of those things you could use to confuse the shit of your parents in the 90’s after you came back from a surf trip to oz, for example.
They’d be slightly wrongfooted from their previous weed smoking, lazy, dole-bludging image of surfers by your new found interest in health and nutrition… just long enough for you to plan your next move.
Spirulina does has some decent stuff in it that you need, like calcium, niacin, potassium, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, and essential amino acids.
But you’d be far better off getting them by simply eating plenty of fresh fruit and veggies, so you get the fibre and other things you need.
Anytime you’re spooning in a bit of powder into your diet… well it’s not doing you any harm in itself, but replacing eating (you know, like chewing, digesting, moving through your gut by peristalsis, shitting out) those actual foods that contain those nutrients with a spoonful of powder probably ain’t ideal.
5. Manuka Honey
If you’re planning on ingesting your manuka honey, from New Zealand, as opposed to dressing wounds/lancing boils with it, it might be worth noting that it’s got sugar >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> than any tiny amounts of stuff that’s supposedly vaguely good for you.
6. Coconut oil
Sounds groovy enough. Because coconuts and surfing seem like two things that should go together in an ideal world, right?
Nobody has ever surfed a reef pass in crystal clear water off a coco palm-fringed island and wished they had just spent hours in traffic heading to a job that in no way inspired them creatively, instead.
Nobody has ever supped cool, sweet, coconut water through a straw from a freshly-macheted coconut after surfing a reef pass in crystal clear water and regretted their immediate life choices, much.
However. The outrageous list of claims made about coconut oil should arose suspicions in even the most gullible among you. It would be easier to list the things coconut oil isn’t so far claimed as being able to help you with.
If it does really make you thin, clever, less cancerous, better looking, a more accomplished lover, deeper tuberider, etc etc, well there is no clinical evidence yet to support it. At all.