Four Sigma Foods vs. Superfoods
Credit: Eric Langley
LUONTOlife team has an internal mission to democratize superfoods around the world. In order to do that we will be focusing on sharing the world’s simplest superfood information for free to educate people. We will also try to innovate completely new superfood products that will help in this mission and provide the minimal funding we need to stay in the game. But the first question we always get is “what is a superfood?” This question is two-fold. What foods are super and what foods are not so super. Superfoods to us are some of the most natural and oldest foods on the planet. Nature did not mean them to be a marketing gimmick. Too bad that’s what they have recently become.
The name superfood has recently gained unprecedented hype around it. Nowadays any freakin’ dried berry can be sold as a Superfood for a premium price in some chic smoothie bar. We see this as a huge disrespect to the real nutritional rock stars. Our answer has been that only Four Sigma Foods (FSF) are real superfoods. In this blog post we will explain more deeply what we mean.
Normal Distribution and Sigmas
First little context. The whole Four Sigma Foods concept is based on the theory of normal distribution. Here’s the summary of it from Wikipedia.
“In probability theory, the normal (or Gaussian) distribution is a continuous probability distribution that is often used as a first approximation to describe real-valued random variables that tend to cluster around a single mean value.”
So in more common terms, if there’s a large enough group of data they seem to form a bell shaped curve around the mean value that itself is the peak of the “bell”. For example, scores on intelligence tests are likely to be normally distributed. The mean is about 100 and a typical person is likely to score within about 15 points of the mean, that is, between 85 and 115. There’s an equally small amount of extremely low and high scoring IQ individuals. Normal, or Gaussian, distribution is proven to be extremely accurate across several sciences, including natural sciences. Almost everything in nature that we can measure well enough does follow the normal distribution theory.
When trying to see how special some data point is, one can count the sigma, a.k.a how many full standard deviations above the mean they are. Every full standard deviation value is one “sigma”. About 68% of values drawn from a normal distribution are within one standard deviation σ away from the mean; about 95% of the values lie within two standard deviations; and about 99.7% are within three standard deviations. So basically over three sigma IQ would be being smarter than 99.7% than the world’s people.
Warning: too much geeky stuff here. Skip to the next chapter if you’re not interested.
It’s really hard to know how many species there are in the world. Estimates often are between 2-10 billion. The ones we have identified are between 1.4-1.8 million. For example experts say that there’s 375,000 plants and 150,000 mushroom-forming fungi. Honestly, I don’t think nobody really knows the exact numbers. One could argue that even though we know are minority of all the species, we do know through various indigenous tribes the majority of the edible species. And one could say that we shouldn’t put all the species in to the same bucket as many of them are not usable to humans, and some are extremely usable.
You can calculate the food sigma by the following formula:
Anyway, in our math we have used the base number 1,8 million species as the base data as it’s already known and we expect that its Four Sigma Foods represent about 50% of all the real superfoods.
So then the math goes like this:
Amount of real superfoods = Ntot*Erf(n/sqrt(2))
So then this means that there’s around 100 Four Sigma Foods on the planet, from which we do know right now 50. If all species would have been created equal, which they aren’t, then there would be around 20 real superfood plants and 8 superfood mushrooms. Do you still follow? Good.
Product offering logic
I love blueberries. I grew up eating wild blueberries and they still bring a smile to my face. But are they more nutrient-dense than like 99.9999% of the world’s plants? No. They are simply good healthy food. Nothing super in them, but you should still consider eating them. The TOP50 foods need to be much more.
Real life examples: Superfoods vs. Four Sigma Foods
- Broccoli has many healthy nutrient compounds, but Chlorella is packed almost everything your body needs, and it also detox your body.
- Apple a day may keep the doctor away, but take little bit of Cordyceps, Reishi, or Chaga once in while, and all pathogens will be powerless against your pathogenproof immune system.
- Oranges are a good source of vitamin C, but Camu camu contains 30 to 60 times more vitamin C than an orange.
- Plums are said to be high in antioxidants. Well, raw cacao has 8 times more antioxidants than plum. In addition, raw cacao contains hundreds of other substances that are highly beneficial to your body and brain.
- It is common knowledge that carrots are a good source of beta-carotene. Meet spirulina. It contains many times more beta-carotene than carrot. Spirulina is also a complete protein, high quality source for essential fatty acids, and highly bioavailable iron, and is a complete source of B vitamins.
- Turnip is average high in vitamin C, and only in vitamin C. Maca, instead, is a strong adaptogen and full of nutrients, helping your body effectively increase your stress buffer. With maca you can do more things without getting a burnout. Plus maca may enhance your performance in the bedroom too.
We hope that this short, geeky and hopefully enlightening article about Four Sigma Foods helped you to understand what is the difference between hall of fame of superfoods, A.K.A. Four Sigma Foods, and normal healthy foods. We still recommend you to eat normal plant based food as it’s the first step and the foundation of healthy and balanced diet. When the foundation is sturdy enough you can start building up your own skyscraper of Four Sigma Foods. The more you add four sigma foods into your diet, the higher your performance and mood will rise.
Your FSF blog writers,
Tero and Mikko