Can Superfoods and Tonic Herbs Make You Superhuman?
This “Aha!” hit me like a ton of bricks the other week. I’ve spent most of my adult life diving deeper into health and nutrition, learning from many of the top people in the field in my search for peak performance.
Just recently I decided to run an experiment on myself. For 30 days I would become a raw vegan.
My standard diet before was pretty good by most standards. I eat a decent amount of raw food already, trying to eat a salad each day, and typically blending up at least one smoothie a day. But I wasn’t already a vegan or even a vegetarian, not by a long shot. I love eggs and meat. Although I typically get the healthy stuff, like grass-fed meats, it would be quite a change. I mean I still eat out and not always at organic restaurants.
What happened over the 30 days surprised me…
There was almost NO change in my performance, mood, sleep or how I felt. I lost a little weight, but besides that nothing much happened.
What was going on? And that’s when I came to the conclusion that I was already quite healthy. And perhaps diet is not the most important thing you need…
Even before this, I would confidently state that how well you sleep and how you control your stress level is way more important then what you eat. Sure, what you eat can definitely impact those things, but the opposite is true too. If you stay up late you’re more likely to make worse food choices, which then makes your sleep poor, and the vicious cycle continues.
Anyway, back to diet. One thing I’ve done for many years is to consistently include the top superfoods in my diet. I’ve been a student of David Wolfe for many years. I regularly consume cacao, MSM, powdered greens, coconut oil, honey, fish oil, seaweeds, algaes, berries, chia seeds and many more.
I’ve also been a student of herbalism, most notably Chinese tonic herbalism, learning from Ron Teeguarden. Once again, part of my regular daily diet are things like shilajit, reishi, chaga, cordyceps, rhodiola, pine pollen, ant, schizandra and more.
I did these things with my regular diet, and I did the same on my raw vegan diet. (I avoided the fish oil and ant then for vegan purposes, and I also realize some of these herbs are cooked, but that’s how many, but not all, need to be taken and I wasn’t about to skip these.)
Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine by they food.”
Most of the food produced today — even raw organic food — has had most of the medicinal components bred out of it. Sure a few components remain, but it’s not like it once was, or as it still is among wild foods. These medicines can also be poisons, depending on dose. This is both a good thing and a not so good thing.
The main precept of Chinese tonic herbalism is that there are certain superior herbs, known as tonic herbs, that can be taken everyday to promote radiant health (like those I’ve mentioned above). These herbs are full of dual-direction medicine that will help you in anyway you need it, like modulating the immune system up or down as needed.
What if these superfoods and tonic herbs really become a mainstay of your diet — if they become your food, as Hippocrates said? If you add superfoods and herbs to your food pyramid what will happen?
I now believe that regularly consuming superfoods and tonic herbs is more important than getting the best diet ever. There’s so much debate and science both ways about what the best diet is anyway, so you can’t be sure.
I’m not saying that you should keep on the standard American diet and just add superfoods and tonic herbs to it. I’m still a proponent of moving towards more natural foods. But I think this is a major step that may even have more impact then the diet alone. And that first case would be much better than the SAD without the herbs or superfoods.
What are your thoughts? Agree or disagree with me? What’s been your experience with superfoods, tonic herbs and changes in diet? Please comment below.
Logan Christopher is a performing strongman, peak performance trainer and a natural health enthusiast. You can find much more about him at his blog at www.LegendaryStrength.com and he is also a co-owner at www.SupermanHerbs.com where you can find several of the tonic herbs mentioned in this article.
Article updated on: July 23rd, 2012