Have you guys checked out the parody article I wrote for Ben Greenfield? It was for a parody contest and I won! Boom! I hacked the contest with my biohack-enabled writing skills. Yeah, yeah, I know. Sometimes I try to be funny instead of being funny. But, anyways, if you haven’t read the article, give it a read! It’s literally an award-winning article.
Today’s article is the 2nd of a series called: Foods most people don’t eat. You can read the first article of the series here which I talked about Brazil nuts, raw nori and other sea vegetables. The reason I wanted to write this series is to take a better look at the micronutrient content of our diet and what we might be missing. Usually, people tend to eat an “okay” diet and fill in the blanks with supplements. While this can be an “okay” protocol, it is not the best for striving in my opinion. In other words, if you want to survive, sure, you can do that. But, if you want to strive, I believe we should get all our micronutrient needs from real food. Plus, not only we feel full by eating these foods, we may end up spending less money because we can ditch certain supplements. Another benefit of eating real foods is that toxicity can be avoided. Certain micronutrients can be toxic when taken through supplements: e.g. zinc. If you do not balance your zinc intake with a certain ratio of zinc-to-copper, zinc can become toxic. Foods like oysters (hint, hint) are really good sources of zinc and they come with copper. Before I hint more on the foods I’m going to talk about today, let’s get to it.
Oysters: Seafood, even though pretty much everyone recommends that we should eat enough of, is not a staple in our diets. Furthermore, oysters are not the most popular choice when we think of seafood. It is very strange that these creatures eat whatever is floating around them and can be very nutritious. But when you think about it, the ecosystem of the ocean or the sea is very diverse and full of nutrients. Oysters are amazing sources of zinc, copper, iron, selenium, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, and vitamin A. According to Mat Lalonde Ph.D. (nicknamed “The Kraken”), a lecturer at Harvard University and a special person when it comes to biochemistry, human metabolism and nutrient density, shellfish such as oysters are one of the most nutrient-dense foods available. Dr. Jack Kruse, who likes to take a look at our diets with a quantum physics perspective, says that oysters should be a staple in our diets. And, according to Mark Sisson who is “the Primal guy” and a very knowledgeable person when it comes to health, oysters are “truly the stars of the shellfish world.” Dr. Dominic D’Agostino who is a pioneer in the ketogenic diet world, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, and a Research Scientist at the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, said on the Tim Ferriss Show that oysters are one of his go-to protein sources. I don’t know about you, but the guys listed above were enough for me to include oysters in my diet. Just to give you more reasons, zinc (especially balanced with copper) is a crucial micronutrient for testosterone production and strengthening immune health. Also, vitamin A in oysters is the real vitamin A. Orange/reddish plant foods contain beta-carotene which is then converted to vitamin A in the body. While we lose some of that goodness during the conversion, retinol, aka vitamin A, in oysters can be used directly. I personally eat canned oysters by the company Crown Prince about 2-3 times a week.
Sardines: Sardines? Blah! Alright. Calm down, bro! When I tell people that I love eating sardines, the response I get is hilarious. I don’t know why, but the general population has something against sardines and they ask how I can ever be eating sardines. First of all, I tell them they are actually very delicious. They are also very sustainable sources of protein. And, they are very easy to grab-and-go. When I am taking a vacation, I usually pack a few cans of wild-caught sardines by the company Season, so that I know I have something to eat if I get hungry. The response I get is funny because I counter-ask them if they ever tried eating sardines and the response of almost all people go something like this: “Uhmm?!? I don’t remember. I don’t think so. No. I don’t think I ever ate sardines.” Dude, c’mon! You really never tried sardines before and for some reason you think that it’s ridiculous that I eat sardines. Give it a try. I think they are very delicious. Also, when it comes to nutrient density, they are close to the top of the list as well. Sardines are really good sources of vitamin B12, selenium, phosphorus, omega-3 fatty acids, iodine, copper, choline, vitamin D and calcium (skin and bone are bonus). With this micronutrient profile, they are very good for heart health, bone density, inflammation, muscle protein synthesis, connective tissues, immune health and vitamin-D status. They are also very sustainable sources of fish. I probably eat about 3-4 cans of sardines each week and am very proud of it. Trust me! Give it a try. The ones that come in olive oil are plus because you also get other polyphenols coming from olive oil.