It sounds good, and I want to believe it. But I don’t. There’s just too much evidence to the contrary.
Because of poor diets, hectic schedules, nutritionally depleted foods coming from our farms, additives and preservatives and pesticides and herbicides, it’s almost impossible to get all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients you need WITHOUT taking nutritional supplements.
Here are the top 5 reasons why I think virtually everyone should take nutritional supplements.
1. The modern western diet stinks.
There’s no way to sugarcoat it. Most westerners eat more bad stuff than good stuff. And we eat too much of everything. That’s why 2/3 of Americans are overweight or obese. And that’s one reason why we aren’t getting the vitamins, minerals and nutrients our bodies crave.
I get that the fat-laden and high carbohydrate foods taste good, are inexpensive and are convenient, and I understand that not everyone can afford to buy organic food or has the time to prepare nutritious meals every day because they are too busy trying to make a living, but eating well has to become a higher priority.
In my opinion, Big Macs, Whoppers With Cheese and the like should be controlled dangerous substances (CDSs) because they are, indeed, dangerous to our health if we consume too many of them.
Yet we eat them and, worse yet, feed them to our children.
It’s tragic that the diseases of middle age such as obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure are now common in teens and even children. Can you say “child abuse?”
Nutritional supplements – which in many cases are extracts of the foods we should be eating – won’t solve all of this but, at least, they insure that minimum daily needs for vitamins, minerals and nutrients are met.
A lot of people get it. Studies show that about one-half of the U.S. population takes a daily multivitamin. I wonder why it’s only half.
2. Our hectic modern lifestyle is not conducive to healthy eating.
Our schedules tend to be jam-packed. We move quickly from commitment to commitment, obligation to obligation. With this hectic lifestyle, it’s difficult to find the time to plan, prepare and eat a balanced and healthy diet.
And, not only is our lifestyle hectic but it is stressful as well. Stress robs us of nutrients such as calcium, magnesium and zinc. And, stress causes excessive sympathetic nervous system activity which reduces our ability to absorb and utilize nutrients even more.
3. The soil on our farms is depleted of nutrients so our food isn’t as nutritious as it used to be.
Because of modern agri-business methods, nutrients in farm soil are depleted. The fields are over-farmed and fertilizers are used that actually deplete the soil of essential nutrients.
I recently read an article by a doctor who parodied a familiar old expression by saying something like “26 apples a day keep the doctor away.”
His point was that, because of what I’m talking about, it takes 26 apples today to get the same nutrition that only 1 apple provided about 100 years ago.
So even those of us who try to eat nutritiously will have a hard time getting all of the vitamins, minerals and nutrients we need without dietary supplements.
4. Food additives and preservatives degrade the nutrient content of our food.
The produce you get at your local grocery store may have been grown on the other side of the country and trucked to your store. And, food doesn’t stay fresh indefinitely.
So that we can have produce even when it is out of season in our part of the country, food manufacturers add preservatives to the food so they can ship it long distances. The problem is that these preservatives degrade the nutrient content of the food.
The result is that what you eat is different, and less nutritious, than the food was before the preservatives were added.
In addition, food producers often add synthetic substances such as MSG, NutraSweet, splenda, food coloring, artificial flavors that increase your body’s needs for nutrients.
5. Food is polluted with chemicals that increase our need for nutrients.
Pesticides, herbicides, and chemicals are common on modern farms. These pollutants increase our need for vitamins, minerals and nutrients to combat their effects on our bodies.
Dietary supplements are not magic pills that solve all of this. However, they are a good step toward making sure that your body is getting the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients it needs.
In coming articles, I will discuss the nutritional supplements that have been proven to be the most beneficial, how to decide which supplements you should take and how to pick the best manufacturers.