Here’s why the whole ‘five-a-day’ thing is wrong

Sunday 22nd July  2012

The Dispatches programme on Channel 4 the other night has re-opened the whole dilemma over the faults in the nutritional advice that we receive.

Successive governments have hidden their responsibilities to the nation’s health by trotting out the same old phrases.

Meanwhile the food giants have hijacked the whole thing and are flogging us processed pap pretending that it has any nutrient merit at all.

I’ve touched on this concept many times, and I usually get a raft of e-mails for my pains.

Really, I've been surprised by the volume of emails I've had about this subject. It seems that when I wrote about vitamins a few months ago, I opened a huge can of worms.

(Not literally a 'can of worms' of course. If I were to eat worms I certainly wouldn't go for the canned variety. I'd pick fresh worms and advise Good Lifers that natural was best!)

Click here to discover the perfect way to get a full set of vitamins

Before I reveal an extraordinary piece of new information I've found about the whole vitamin thing, let me recap for you...

How the Great Vitamin Debate began...

Back in December I wrote a letter about how to get the most vitamins and minerals from your daily diet, and I showed you how you could make fantastic meals from them in my cookbook – Season to Taste

My point was that too many people (myself included) don't put enough effort into trying to keep their diets varied and packed full of fruit and veg.

After this email I received a deluge of comments and criticisms. The suggestion was that I was being a bit idealist and optimistic about getting all my nutrients from five-a-day.


Tell me that when I'm living in my pure air, tax-free vegetation pod in the clouds! Then you'll be sorry!

Anyway, many readers rightly pointed out that not only was life far too complicated, hectic and crazy to achieve this perfect diet...but ALSO that the quality of natural food these days simply wasn't up to scratch. Why?

  • Because the modern farming preference for high yields over nutritional quality has lowered the nutrient levels in our food.
  • Because heavy industrial farming has depleted the level of active nutrients in the soil.
  • Because plants have been bred to withstand pests and disease and last during long overseas journeys. But it's the elements that make plants decompose faster and make them attractive to pests that also make them healthy.
  • And finally, because modern transportation methods mean that food is carted half way across the globe, and then shoved on a supermarket shelf for WEEKS before you get to eat it.

All this is very true.

So I went off and did some more thinking and reading. (This is my usual response to criticism. Just ask my constantly infuriated wife!)

I decided I agreed with these statements... even though I still felt I should encourage people to eat as much natural, fresh, locally sourced fruit and veg as possible.

I also realised that the government's five-a-day wisdom could be hopelessly outdated.

Why this mainstream advice is old hat

Knowing that the advice is wrong isn’t new news though!

A newspaper article in the Daily Express on February 12th 2009 reported the views of natural health expert Dale Pinnock. He told the paper:

'The current five-a-day recommendations are based on standard dietary guidelines written 40 years ago, when the soil was richer in vitamins and minerals. Now, because of intensive farming methods and increased pollution, fresh fruit and vegetables don't contain nearly enough nutrients.'

His view was that the only way to address this was for people to take daily supplements.

And that got me thinking...

If people need and want to top up their daily dose of nutrients with supplements... what would be my ultimate recommendation? What are the best supplements to take?

And if we think of natural food as the 'ideal', what's the next best thing to food?

Many readers have asked me to look into this. And after lots of research, I've found something I think you'll like....

The benefits of Essential Food

I've found a type of supplement that ticks all the right boxes, as far as I'm concerned.

It's called 'Essential Food’. And it has been especially developed to work like real food with the same active properties, for instance it is easily digestible and makes its nutrients readily available.

Get your food essentials in one easy daily dose – click here for details

Essential Food's formula is the first of its kind and contains only organic nutrients in naturally occurring formats. This, coupled with high bio-availability, makes for a food supplement that serves primarily as an energy booster and also a natural foundation for health.

Essential Food's potency revolves around the inclusion of one key ingredient: Pre-sprouted barley.

This is something which goes back to ancient times.

Back in the days of the Roman Empire, barley was a much prized foodstuff. Under their direction larger scale production of the crop was developed to ensure that the estates and villas were well supplied with this important cereal.

In fact it was prized so highly that it was even used as a form of currency.

One of the things they discovered was the benefits of sprouting the barley seed in huge sheds, then drying them in the sun. This process released a staggering amount of nutrients from the grain – much more than if it had been eaten whole.

And of particular interest to me is the fact that this was the embryonic stages of using malted barley for brewing...... hurrah!

Pre-sprouted barley actually provides...... wait for the list...

- 18 vitamins & minerals

- 2 essential fatty acids, plus 6 others which are classed as important

- 18 amino acids

- A huge amount of energy

This looks to be a winning form of supplement. It's high quality, it's designed to be absorbed into your body more quickly and effectively that regular supplements. And rather than giving you one vitamin or another, it comes as a fully complementary package you can take every morning without hassle.

All the elements are designed to work together to give you the best possible nutritional top-up.

It’s not just food – it’s ESSENTIAL! – Click here to find out more

Yours, as always






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