Why You May Need Some Supplements
“I am eating a balanced diet so I get enough nutrients from the food I eat.”
At first this really makes sense, right?
Eating more fresh whole food and less processed foods should give you a supply of nutrients you need, right? Maybe it is true for our ancestors but realistically at this modern time, this is not the case anymore.
Have you met anyone who really eats a “perfect” diet- no fried, no processed food, no fast food, all natural and organic whole foods free from toxins and unwanted chemicals, everyday? I haven’t.
Even if you have found someone eating a perfect diet, it is still impossible to get the vitamins and minerals we need for optimum health from food alone. We need to have a “perfect” world where we can get plenty of sleep, no stress, no pollution, no pesticides and chemicals, and all the organic and natural fruits and vegetables that we can eat. Especially in this fast-paced world, we may even have very little time to prepare and cook healthy meals. Instead, we opt for the quick and easy options.
There are 6 reasons why you may need to take some dietary supplements.
1- Our body’s ability to produce and absorb nutrients decline with age
Let’s face it. We can’t control time. We will eventually grow old and as we age, our body will eventually lose its ability to produce and absorb nutrients. An example is the production of collagen, which is a major component of connective tissues. Collagen starts to decrease from the age of 30 onwards. This is why, as we age, we develop dry skin and form wrinkles. Another example is our digestive enzymes, which helps break down the food we eat so that nutrients are better absorbed. These enzymes naturally decline as we get older.
2- Our soil is depleted of nutrients
Like it or not, the nutrients in our soil is steadily declining over the years due to modern farming and hybridization techniques. These may increase growth and resilience of plants against pests but in exchange it decreases the soil’s minerals, vitamins and microbes. This robs off the plant’s essential nutrients which in turn makes the animals and humans undernourished.
3- Stress depletes nutrients
We all know that stress negatively affects the body, especially the digestive system. When in stress, your body switches to fight or flight mode, allowing more blood circulation into your muscles instead of your digestive system. This decreases your body’s ability to digest food properly and absorb nutrients. Moreover, chronic stress rapidly depletes nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin B, vitamin D, omega-3, calcium, magnesium and zinc.
4- Alcohol deplete nutrients
Alcohol in limited amounts can be relaxing and may provide antioxidants for the body. However drinking too much can cause many health risks such as unstable blood sugar levels and liver failure. Alcohol depletes the body’s level of vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids which your brain, liver and nerves need to repair and restore. Alcohol also inhibits the absorption of B vitamins and zinc.
5- Environmental toxins are on the rise
Every day we are exposed to environmental toxins- from cleaning products and personal care products we use, from the air we breathe and the water we drink, and even the food we eat. Our bodies are constantly loading with free radicals and toxins that harm the body. While naturally, our organs such as the liver will try to flush out the toxins, it can go to an overdrive when the toxins are too much and eventually get stored up in the fat tissues and bones. Antioxidants such as vitamin B and C can be quickly depleted leaving less nutritional support.
6- Medications interfere with nutrient utilization
Drug and nutrient interaction can take place wherein a drug can interfere with nutrient uptake and absorption. Some drug can decrease nutrient production and absorption. For example, taking statins can greatly decrease CoQ10, which is very important for the muscle cell energy production. Taking antibiotics can deplete calcium, magnesium, potassium and some B vitamins. Women who take birth control pills tend to have lower levels of selenium and vitamin B12.
Bridging the Nutritional Gap
National nutrition surveys show that a large percentage of Americans do not get all the nutrients they need from food alone and that they even fall short of the average requirement. This may be due to poor eating habits, wrong way of dieting and poor food choices. Although supplements are just that- supplements that support a supposed healthy diet and lifestyle, they can still help in supporting bodily functions and bridge the nutritional gap. Supplements are not the answer to everything, of course. Proper food and food preparation, eating habits and active lifestyle are still the core foundations of health. One should still be mindful when taking a supplement. It is best to consult a qualified healthcare practitioner who is well verse with such so that you have better guidance for your health.
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