Let’s Talk About It.
Many people don’t believe that they need vitamin or mineral supplementation. They believe that they can get whatever it is their bodies need from their food. Yet our food, our soil, and our environment have been altered radically in the past decades, and what was once true, I believe, is no longer the case.
The fruits and vegetables you and I ate as children contained more calcium, phosphorous, iron, riboflavin, and vitamin C then they do today. Scientists believe there are also significant declines in the levels of magnesium, zinc, vitamin B6, and E, although no one was documenting those vitamins and minerals at the time. This is based on ongoing analysis of soil depletion and technological farming methods, which have become more intense with each passing year.
Perhaps the best evidence is that our nation’s health is deteriorating; auto-immune diseases, obesity, diabetes, and more, are on the rise, and for the first time, our life expectancy has actually decreased.
When farming and the food industry became “Big Business”, our countries focus turned to developing crops that could grow bigger, more rapidly, and have a longer shelf life. However, nature will not be rushed, and the various crops ability to uptake nutrients could not keep pace with the resulting fast growth rate and increased size. Coupled with soil depletion and early harvesting which utilized artificial ripening methods, timed to ripen in time to hit the grocery store shelves, our fruits and vegetables are now significantly lacking in key nutrients. For example, in order to obtain the same amount of Vitamin C found in an apple in 1986; you would need to consume about 100 apples today. It’s almost incredible.
We could talk further about our current farming methods, but suffice to say, the US farming practices are not something we can easily control. (PhytoQuant does control our farm operations, using no pesticides, no fertilizers, and only activated spring water).
Yet you and I can control what we consume on a daily basis. Although today’s fresh fruits and vegetables may not contain the nutrients they did in the past, they are much healthier than highly processed foods.
We all have challenges with our daily diet. In a perfect world, my meals would consist of only fresh, organic fruits, vegetables and healthy, lean proteins. Preferably, they would be picked from my own garden. I confess that although I do a pretty good job with my nutrition, I am not nearly as diligent as I could be. Maybe that is true for most of us? Skipped meals and convenience foods find their way into our daily routines and that can affect our intake of those much needed nutrients; fiber, vitamins, and minerals, healthy phytochemicals, and so on.
Stress is another significant factor that affects our nutrient requirements and intake. And given the current pandemic situation, our stress levels are higher than ever before. When we feel threatened, our “fight or flight” response can shut down our digestion; restricting blood flow, slowing the contractions of the digestive muscles, and decreasing secretions needed for effective digestion. This can then reduce and restrict our ability to absorb nutrients. Stress also causes our body to prioritize the functioning of the heart, lungs, and muscles over other body functions, signaling minerals like magnesium, for example, to be redirected there and therefore increasing our need for more.
These large issues barely scratch the surface of where, why, and how depleted our cells are actually becoming. Our cells are the first to feel the effects of those various deficiencies, and we’re learning more each day about the importance of the deficiencies being recognized in cellular membranes, and the mitochrondria, often the first place to see the lack of proper nutrients.
We are also gaining a fuller comprehension of the chemistry and biochemistry of our microbiome, and the importance of nurturing our cells and digestive health with nourishing foods and supplements.
We are now enlightened in how and where micronutrients have an impact and therefore, an immediate effect.
I have changed my personal goals; my belief is that our focus should be to improve not just our lifespan, but our healthspan, allowing us to live not just a longer life, but a more vibrant, healthy, thriving life.
We have no choice but to supplement our diets. This is not a trend; Prenatal vitamins have been prescribed for years. Doctors are now prescribing probiotics for cesarean newborns. Supermarkets and drugstores have rows and rows of multi-vitamins, minerals and super foods, and there are articles and TV segments every day that want to give you advice.
The question is not, “Should you supplement?”. The real question is, “Which supplements should you take?”.
There is much more to say on this topic, and the science of nutrition landscape is continuously evolving. Next week, we’ll dive into what to look for in supplements and how to determine which supplements you should take.
We’re glad that you’re here, and we intend to continue to share what we know to be true. We are here to help. Please feel free to reach out to me or my team if we can help.
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