Nutrition

Miracle Foods? Not All Supplements Are Made Equal

As Americans live longer and longer, leading busier and more stressful lives, our bodies suffer. Compared to previous generations, we have higher rates of heart disease, cancer, asthma, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and a host of other chronic illnesses.

With illnesses comes a plethora of proposed natural supplements and health foods. Acai berries for weight loss. Or ginkgo biloba for memory. Maybe wheatgrass shots to prevent cancer.

Unsurprisingly, these miracle foods actually do very little to improve your health. However, there is a lot of science that backs several other healthy, natural supplements. This great visualization makes it easy to see which supplements do what they claim (the higher up on the chart, the more evidence in their favor):

miracle foods infographic

At the bottom of the list are some of the more popular fad foods: Acai berries, ginkgo biloba, wheatgrass, goji berries, and ginseng. Some of these super food supplements may still have potential (the orange circles), but few studies demonstrate an impact on health.

At the top, however, are a number of great dietary supplements that can positively affect your health and wellbeing without the nasty side effects that can come from pharmaceutical alternatives.

Drinking several cups of green tea a day can lower cholesterol, prevent cancer, and assist in weight loss.

Taking calcium and vitamin D can lower the risk of breast cancer and increase bone strength.

And eating garlic can lower blood pressure.

For more information on how eating the right foods can keep you healthy, keep an eye out for MyPlate Mondays, our new series on healthy eating and nutrition.