Natural Selection

Words: Hannele Steyn

Health & Fitness

All of us want to be healthier, happier and have more energy, but nowadays there are literally thousands of supplements and food tips that are advertised, and herein lies the problem. How do we know what's really good for us and what's just pure hype? To cut through the clutter, here are a few important nutritional facts, especially for sports people.

Natural Selection

Spirulina and hemp seeds are superfoods and are also two of the highest sources of vegetable protein.


Zinc is good for prostate function.


Refined sugar and trans-fats are two of the biggest killers and causes of illness.


Adaptogens, like Siberian ginseng, improve adrenal function, help the cells eliminate toxins, improve utilisation of oxygen and therefore also enhance the body’s access to energy.


Essential fats (Omega 3) and CoQ10 are two of your most important supplements to take in addition to a good multivitamin. Vitamin supplements use to be a ‘nice to have’, but are now more of a ‘have to have’.


A mineral supplement is as important as a vitamin supplement because our foods are very nutrient deficient, unless we eat 100% organic. Our bodies tell us that we are hungry when we are actually just ‘nutrient depraved’ and not because our tummies are empty, thus the more nutrients your foods contain, the less hungry you will get. That is the whole reasoning behind eating organic and including superfoods into your diet.


Cinnamon can help lower blood glucose levels and is important if you suffer from diabetes.


Seaweed is the 'mother' of all organic life and contains amino acids, proteins, minerals, trace elements and vitamins.


A balanced diet is still the best diet: enough proteins (not an overload), loads of essential fats (Omega 3) and low glycemic carbohydrates.


A person that drinks a sports drink five days a week, whilst training, takes in more sugar than the average person that indulges in a sweet every day. And we thought the sport junkies were the healthy ones. There are healthy and good sports drinks out there, but make sure you take a good one, use it in the correct way and only when you really need one.


We pay two to three times more for an energy bar than a normal health sweet in the shops, although some are just glorified sweets. Similiarly, we will pay more for bite size, individually-wrapped nougat than the same big one, so we might as well cut it up ourselves and in fact, it opens up easier during a race.


Research studies have shown that the kind of food we consume in the early stages of life sets the metabolism pace of our body for the rest of our life. Therefore, the benefits of eating right in our early years will be greater and long lasting.


To skip breakfast before training is not good and will slow down your metabolism. To do it every once in a while is ok, as it teaches our body to use its own reserves, but not all the time.


Peanuts are not a nut, but a highly-saturated fat legume.


Make sure that you take a pre- and probiotic regulary. If you are lactose intolerant, you can substitute it with nut milk, which is far superior to soy milk and much better tasting than goat milk, and it’s easy to make too.


Recipe for great tasting almond milk:

• 500 g of raw almonds with the skin
• Enough water to cover the nuts
• A mesh cloth (you can buy this at most health stores)
• A strong blender



• Soak the nuts in water overnight.
• Blend until the water turns ‘whitish’ and the nuts are a fine paste.
• Pour through the cloth.


This is a delicious, healthy drink and you can use the leftover paste to bake bread or biscuits or in a smoothie.


Some information sourced from Natural Health Magazine.


Issue 26 Jun '13
Hannele Steyn