Twenty Plus Reasons Why You Need to Take Supplements Every Day
Are supplements a necessary part of a healthy lifestyle or are they just another manifestation of the commercial rip-off revolving around people’s interest in their health? It is an important question. After all, if you’re eating a healthy diet, why on earth would you need to supplement? We’ve uncovered almost two dozen reasons. Check them out for yourself.
Crop Nutrient Losses
As agriculture was introduced, it became possible to produce foods in much greater quantities. We were suddenly able to produce considerably more than we consumed. We also learned how to store the excess foods for long periods of time. However, mass production comes at a price. Growing crops on the same spot, year after year, quickly leads to environmental degradation. Decades of agriculture have overworked and depleted of minerals the soils in which we grow our crops. This means the foods grown in those soils will be missing the same minerals that are missing from the soil. As a vivid example of the nutrient loss of food, consider that, in 1966, 20 kilograms of apples contained 1000 mg of Vitamin C. Today, it takes 100 kilograms of apples to get that same 1000 mg of Vitamin C. Despite what many people believe, there is also not a huge difference in nutritional value between your average fruit and vegetable item and its organic counterpart. The organic version may not have been sprayed with chemicals, but it will still have been grown in soil devoid of minerals. Go deeper on how modern farming practices have killed soil minerals here.
Eating too much, too quickly can lead to indigestion, meaning that we are not realizing the benefit from the nutrients that we eat. Stress can also cause indigestion. Indigestion reduces the absorption of vitamins and minerals. The eating habits of many people also undermine their body’s ability to get the most from the foods they eat. Most people do not chew their food as well as they should. This makes it difficult for the body to pull the nutrients from that food source. Eating on the run is one more way that we undermine our body’s ability to benefit from the vitamins and minerals that are in our food.
Over-cooking can easily destroy valuable food nutrients. Processing of food, along with preservation techniques, also leads to a depletion of vitamins and minerals
Studies suggest that microwave cooking alters the nutritional structure of food. Microwaves speed up the molecules in our food. Vitamin B content, specifically, will be reduced if you microwave foods like broccoli, kale, and spinach.
As man became able to cross the oceans by ship, the demand for preserved foods that could be transported and traded for long periods of time rose. That has led to the adding of chemicals and other preservatives to our food to enable it to undergo long-distance transportation and storage without spoiling. Length of storage and freezing deplete the nutritional value of foods. A lot of the foods that you purchase from the supermarket have been shipped over huge distances, requiring them to be stored for a long period of time. This can cause severe depletion of nutrients, especially the all-important B-Complex and C vitamins.
Eating a too limited range of different food groups will result in nutritional deficiencies. The typical western diet is heavily weighted toward sugar-laden processed carbohydrates and light on green, leafy vegetables. That is terrible news when your body is craving vitamins and minerals.
Allergies to foods, crash dieting, and poorly designed vegetarian diets can omit significant dietary sources of nutrients. For example, the low-carb craze has led many people to remove carb foods that are important sources of vitamins and minerals.
A lot of the genetic modification of fruits and vegetables is done to enhance the aesthetic appearance of the food, rather than the nutritional value of it. In fact, often improving the look of the food acts to the detriment of the nutritional profile, with vitamins and minerals being destroyed in the modification process. Find out how dangerous GM foods really are.
The use of prescription and over-the-counter drugs has skyrocketed in the last decade, yet the majority of medications further deplete the body’s store of essential nutrients, such as minerals and vitamins. When the majority of people are eating a diet that is low in these nutrients in the first place, that is not a healthy place to be.
<p>As we age, our need for certain minerals changes. As an example, calcium requirements are higher over the age of 50 due to age related osteoporosis. Different situations in life may also call for higher nutrient demands. Pregnant women, for instance, have a need for more folic acid. Women experiencing menopause will need a higher intake of calcium. There are also certain diseased states where people have increased demand for minerals and vitamins. In addition, some food, such as carrots, provide Vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene consists of two vitamin A molecules stuck together. There is a rate-limiting factor in the body’s ability to cleave those molecules apart to produce vitamin A that it can use. Getting it in supplement form is far easier, especially if you are deficient.
Our air, our food, and our water are more polluted than at any time in human history. Our body has to fight against thousands of toxins just to keep on an even keel. This demands the use vitamins and minerals to negate the harmful toxic effects of the environment. Antioxidants, such as Vitamins A, D, and E, are especially important in this regard.
Everybody is different. Our genetic make-up means that we have unique requirements as far as nutrients, minerals, and the exhibiting of negative results if our levels of minerals and vitamins is too low. A lot of people have genetic deficiencies to such things as chromium, magnesium, biotin, Vitamin D, and zinc. Supplementing will allow them to correct their imbalance.
Changed Eating Habits
Up until a few thousand years ago, humans ate whatever they could get their hands on. Our ancestors gathered wild fruits, plants, nuts, and berries, and hunted for meat and fish. They loved to eat the stomach and small intestine of their prey, along with the liver, heart, and bone marrow. These parts have a far greater nutritional value than the muscle meat which we focus on today. Modern-day fruits and vegetables are also quite different from what our ancestors picked fresh from the branch. The wild apple was a tiny, hard, and tart fruit that looked unappealing compared to what we see on today’s supermarket shelves. It had a much higher nutritional value.
Specific Vitamin and Mineral Benefits
Scientific research is constantly uncovering the benefits of taking a certain vitamin or mineral to help bring relief to all manner of medical conditions. As an example, there are a number of vitamins and minerals that have been shown to aid in the fight against cancer. Supplements allow you to get them in the doses needed to get results without taking in an excess of calories.
Protection from Toxins
For early man, the toxins and dangers he faced were obvious – a poisoned mushroom or saber tooth tiger. Today they are less obvious and harder to get away from. Toxins invade our body from every direction. They come not only from the foods we eat, but also from such sources as:
- Industrial cleaners
- Unnatural light
To cope with all of these toxins, our bodies need nutrients. However, the modern diet is not providing us with the nutritional ammunition in the form of antioxidants and pre-biotics to combat those challenges. Taking a quality supplement will allow you to fortify your body’s immune system to give you the best protection possible.
Modern farming methods don’t just remove vitamins and minerals from food, they also extract water. At the same time, the mineral content of water has been severely depleted. Water filters make the situation worse. They will usually remove such vital minerals as magnesium from our water. However, if you drink water that isn’t filtered, you are likely taking in too much chlorine and fluoride, which play havoc with a number of body organs, including your thyroid.
Water DepletionLow calorie diets are very popular nowadays. Not only do they not work, but they also lead to an even lower intake of micronutrients than seen in the general population. We are designed to eat a lot of calories. When we don’t, we can become undernourished. We need about 2750 calories per day in order to get all of the micronutrients we need.
Grain Fed MeatYou may not think too much about what the animal on whose muscles you are dining ate, but it makes a big difference to the nutritional quality of your piece of steak. The animal will have either been grain fed or grass fed. The vast majority of meat eaten by Americans is grain fed. Grain fed animals will have a far lower amount of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and essential fatty acids. This makes the meat that we eat today far different from the kind consumed by our Paleolithic forebears.
PesticidesPolyphenols are produced by fruits and vegetables as a defense against bugs. However, when that fruit or vegetable is sprayed with a pesticide to kill the bug, there is no longer a reason to produce polyphenols, so the plant will stop doing so. Yet, our body thrives on polyphenols. They are a powerful antioxidant, which many researchers believe have the power to defeat cancer cells. We cannot afford to eliminate them from our diet. Apart from preventing us from getting polyphenols, pesticides present a lot of health problems in themselves. They cause irritation of the skin, eyes, and nerves. They lead directly to headache, nausea, fatigue, and lethargy, and they can cause a number of different types of cancer.
The milk that we drink has also undergone some radical changes. We’ve taken a lot of the fat out of our milk, but most of the nutritional goodness is in the fat. In addition, the process of pasteurization kills off even more nutrients. The result is that the milk that we buy at the supermarket is not so healthy.
When we work out, we place extra demands on our body that can only be met by the nutrients that we put into it. You will be using up a lot more energy when you exercise, which needs to be replaced. Your need for protein will also be higher.
Eating healthfully can be expensive. Getting the amounts of a mineral or vitamin that you require through whole foods could well be cost-prohibitive. For example, salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, but it is also a very expensive fish to buy. The other worry with salmon has to do with bacteria. Most of the salmon that you buy will be sourced from farmed salmon stock. Farmed salmon don’t look as healthy as wild salmon. In order to beef up the appearance of the fish, a pigment is added to their skin.This ramps up the amount of PCBs and pesticides in the fish. In addition, farmed salmon have much lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids than wild salmon do. Getting the omega-3 fatty acids through a supplement will probably be more cost-effective.
Fertilizers aren’t what they used to be. A century ago, manure was the main fertilizer used to feed crops. Modern farming has largely replaced manure with superphosphate fertilizers. While superphosphates do a good job of supplying phosphorous, nitrogen, and potassium, they contain a pitifully low amount of trace elements. We need those trace elements, such as iron and zinc, for a whole host of vital bodily functions. Unless we supplement, we will be unlikely to get them.