From its humble start in 1938, Better Nutrition is still going strong, driven by its original mission—to inspire and educate health enthusiasts about supplements, holistic therapies, food, beauty products, and natural living. Through the years, BN has always been a little ahead of the curve. When other publications featured articles about the dangers of cholesterol in the 1980s, Better Nutrition questioned the science, contemplating if cholesterol was in fact the real villain. To capture the magazine’s avant-garde spirit, we put together this retrospective of cutting-edge Better Nutrition stories from the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s.
Try a Prehistoric Diet!
They saw the Paleo craze coming: “Aside from their completely ‘natural’ diet, our ancestors had one other aspect of life in their favor so far as health is concerned—they worked hard physically. But they ate lots of protein, fiber, and other essential nutrients. More importantly, it was a well-balanced diet.”
Vitamin C as Cancer Therapy
Cutting-edge cancer research: “While the cancer experts continue to look for that elusive drug that will cure cancer, Dr. Ewan Cameron in Scotland and Dr. Linus Pauling in California are making nutritional history with their use of vitamin C for terminal cancer patients. It makes exciting reading.”
Did You Know?
The word vitamine was first coined by Casimir Funk in 1912. Funk was a Polish biochemist researching treatments for beriberi, a disease caused by vitamin B (thiamine) deficiency.
Is Spirulina the Food of the Future?
A supplement superstar in the making: “Spirulina is an excellent food supplement to be taken alone just for additional protein which we feel we may need, or used in almost any way in preparing food to raise the protein level of the final dish.”
Celiac-Sprue Disease Is Often Misdiagnosed
Before Celiac disease and gluten-free were household terms: “This is another victim of Celiac-Sprue who spent years trying to find out from doctors what was causing her severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and other problems. At age 16 she was given Valium and digestive aid drugs. But she was constantly ill and depressed. Eventually she found out that she was sensitive to gluten.”
F.O.S.—S.O.S. for Your Gut
Early adopters of good bacteria for gut health: “Have you fed your bacteria lately? While many bacteria are dangerous critters, others are actually beneficial, including many that reside in our digestive tracts. … FOS, also known as inulin or ‘neosugar,’ are considered ‘prebiotics’ because they serve as fertilizer for ‘probiotics.’”
There Are Specific Nutrients for Stress Relief
Breaking new ground when it comes to the hazards of chronic stress and the effectiveness of antistress supplements: “The dynamics involved in the destructive process of continued stress can be neutralized by a great supply of antioxidants, minerals, and other therapies, such as meditation.”
Vitamin B (thiamine) was the first to be discovered, followed by vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin B (riboflavin).
Other noteworthy topics covered in BN …
- “You cannot remain healthy without fat,” declared an article in a ’50s issue.
- As early as the ’70s, BN contributors presented research on the benefits of organic farming.
- Also in the ’70s—pre-smoothie days—articles detailed how to cook with protein powders.
- Cutting-edge research on magnesium appeared in an early ’80s edition, with information on using the mineral to avoid heart attacks and congestive heart failure, and to treat addictions and insomnia.
The Supplement “It” List by Decade
- 1930s: Cod Liver Oil, Vitamins B and B
- 1940s: Multivitamins, “Pep” Pills
- 1950s: Calcium, Iron, Desiccated Liver
- 1960s: Kids’ Multis, Vitamin B
- 1970s: Papaya Enzymes, Protein Powders
- 1980s: Single Vitamins: C, B-Complex, & E
- 1990s: Herbs: St. John’s Wort, Garlic, and Echinacea
- 2000s: Fish Oils, Probiotics, Vitamin D
80 Years of Better Nutrition:
- Better Nutrition in the 1930s – The Grapefruit Diet
- Better Nutrition in the 1940s – The Original Master Cleanse
- Better Nutrition in the 1950s, Part 1 – Gelatin Molds
- Better Nutrition in the 1950s, Part 2 – Wheat Germ
- Better Nutrition in the 1960s, Part 1 – Granola
- Better Nutrition in the 1960s, Part 2 – Fondue
- Better Nutrition in the 1970s, Adelle Davis
- Better Nutrition in the 1980s, Part 1 – Fit for Life
- Better Nutrition in the 1980s, Part 2 – Bran
- Better Nutrition in the 1990s, Part 1 – Low-Fat Diets
- Better Nutrition in the 1990s, Part 2 – Low-Carb Diets