¿Por qué Popeye no tiene más fuerza?

Un estudio realizado por la Rutgers University (New Jersey, USA) sobre diversos alimentos concluyó que comparativamente las verduras cultivadas convencionalmente con el uso de agroquímicos, tenían un 87% menos de minerales que las cultivadas biológicamente.

Estas investigaciones demostraron que una abonada excesiva con nitrógeno hace que la productividad se incremente, pero también que los cultivos de espinacas, por ejemplo, popularmente sinónimo de hierro, carezcan de este elemento; de un momento a otro se transforma en un vegetal antinutricional. Cuando se comparan las mismas variedades de espinacas del cultivo anterior pero producidas en suelos orgánicos equilibrados, estas tienen 1938 m.e.q (miliequivalentes) de hierro, contra 1 m.e.q en las espinacas químicas. El mismo fenómeno se repite con las lechugas, los tomates y el poroto.

Un estudio sobre el agotamiento de los minerales en los alimentos en Reino Unido. Período 1940-1991.

Entre 1940 y 1991, fue posible comparar y contrastar el contenido mineral de 27 variedades de verduras, 17 variedades de frutas, 10 cortes de carne y algunos productos lácteos y quesos. Los resultados demuestran que ha habido una pérdida significativa de minerales y oligoelementos en estos alimentos durante ese periodo de tiempo. Se sugiere que los resultados de este estudio no pueden tomarse al margen de las recientes tendencias dietéticas, medioambientales y de enfermedades. Se mencionan brevemente estas tendencias y se hacen sugerencias sobre cómo se puede detener e invertir el deterioro de la calidad de los micronutrientes en nuestra ingesta de alimentos.

Se observa que los hábitos alimentarios de la población del Reino Unido han cambiado drásticamente. Desde la publicación de la 4ª edición, en 1978, se ha producido un aumento espectacular de la popularidad de los alimentos procesados refinados (comidas “rápidas”), que suelen tener un alto contenido en grasas saturadas, azúcares, colorantes, conservantes y aromatizantes. En los últimos 30 años, estos alimentos se han convertido en la “norma”. En consecuencia, ahora tenemos una generación que considera esta situación como normal y sus hijos crecen considerando las comidas y bebidas “rápidas” como una dieta adecuada.

Las “materias primas” con las que se elaboran estos alimentos suelen estar contaminadas por herbicidas, fungicidas, pesticidas, antibióticos y hormonas. Como ha demostrado este estudio, también se ha producido un importante deterioro del contenido en minerales de aquellos alimentos -verduras, frutas, carne- que pueden considerarse la base de una “buena dieta”.

Los minerales son lo que nos compone. Somos una amalgama de la “materia” de la tierra y una cualidad que a menudo se entiende como “fuerza vital”. Es improbable que podamos funcionar de forma óptima a nivel físico, mental y emocional si los alimentos que tenemos a nuestra disposición son deficientes en minerales y oligoelementos vitales, y por inferencia otros micronutrientes.

Desde el punto de vista fisiológico, sería muy difícil subestimar la importancia de los minerales y oligoelementos. A menudo actúan como catalizadores de todos los demás nutrientes que el cuerpo utiliza para desarrollar y mantener una buena salud. Se sabe que el magnesio, por ejemplo, está presente en la ruta metabólica de 300 reacciones enzimáticas, mientras que el zinc es necesario en 200 reacciones enzimáticas. Por lo tanto, el deterioro del contenido mineral de los 64 alimentos que se pudo rastrear durante el periodo de 51 años entre 1940 y 1991 debe considerarse alarmante.

Se han tocado los temas más amplios que podrían relacionarse con la pérdida de micronutrientes en nuestra cadena alimentaria, se podría concluir que en Reino Unido (y el mundo) estamos sobrealimentados pero desnutridos y es necesario reconocer que los minerales y oligoelementos son generalmente deficientes en nuestras dietas. Se deben producir cambios en nuestra política educativa, así como al más alto nivel en nuestras políticas de cultivo, adquisición y producción de alimentos, para garantizar que su calidad sea del más alto nivel.

Actualmente, 30 años después del estudio, la tendencia de la desmineralización de nuestros alimentos producidos de forma convencional continúa. Nos urge optar por alimentos producidos de manera regenerativa, de alto valor biológico y con alta densidad de nutrientes.

Los datos utilizados como base para este estudio se publicaron en 5 ediciones, inicialmente bajo los auspicios del Consejo de Investigación Médica y posteriormente del Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación y de la Real Sociedad de Química (Reino Unido).

Autores: R.A. McCance y E.M. Widdowson.


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