I assume that there is not one athlete who does not know about the importance of food for peak performance, but probably few live this premise.
Living it is yet another story
Maybe one reason for this deficit is that nature science has not really been able to understand the physiological processes the various foods induce as a whole? May be another reason is that we are so “facts-driven” that we don’t trust our experience, and the experiences of human of hundreds of years?
It does not help to analyze the components of a food to understand its effects as a whole. We cannot simply compile the effects of every single element. The effects are an emergent phenomenon that is more than the addition of the parts – it means that food stuff is complex thing.
Because of this situation for many of us the healthiness of food is a rather vague and arbitrary term. The discrepancy, the split between scientific knowledge and experience is very pronounced in relation to food. The history of science of food is short, but experience dates back to ancient times.
From food stuff medicinal products have been extracted ever since. Nowadays we have labs synthesizing compounds we know as ingredients of foods that we have identified as healthy or curing. From a chemical and biochemical viewpoint this products are the same. But there is a difference, the compounds from the lab are purer, they are mono-substances, they lose the properties of ingredients which are polyvalent.
Purity does not necessarily mean better and more efficient. It may even be that the unharmed (healthy) complexity of the ingredients gives food its special power.
Meat contains beside all the macronutrients fat and protein hormones, growth factors, iron other trace elements etc., fruits contain various vitamins, electrolytes etc., milk contains calcium, growth factors, and other peptides, so does Biestmilch …. the list is endless …
The conclusion simple: food contains everything we need to survive, and stay healthy, and protect us from chronic diseases.