What Has Happened to Our Food?
I think by now we have all heard that we are not getting ENOUGH of ALL the vitamins and minerals our bodies need from our diet; even if we eat several servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Why aren’t we getting the enough of the needed vitamins and minerals from foods? It is no surprise plants get their nutrients from the soil, but is today’s soil providing everything a plant needs to thrive? Today’s soil has been over-harvested for years which has depleted essential trace minerals and vitamins. On top of that, crops are being picked early and out of season to keep up with commercial demand, which means they didn’t have time to develop the natural substances responsible for their flavor, aroma, and nutritional value. This is why fruits and vegetables grown in a home garden have a lot more flavor.
Along with micronutrient deficiencies, fruits and vegetables have been sprayed heavily with several types of pesticides which prevents them from developing the antioxidants needed and used as a natural defense system against pests and disease. We, in turn, lose out on the benefits from anti-oxidant as well. Once crops are picked they typically travel anywhere from 700 to 1,500 miles to get to your local grocery store. Here they sit on the shelves for a few days, then sit on your counter or in your fridge, and by the time you’re ready to eat them, they have typically lost more than half the nutritional value they originally had which wasn’t great to begin with.
Just 60 years ago, an orange, when first picked, had 90% more Vitamin C. The iron in Spinach is 1.5% of what it was 60 years ago! In addition to all of this, a lot of our foods have been genetically modified and altered from their original state and often contain dyes, sulfites, and other preservatives – all of which increase the toxic load and can lead to an allergic reaction to these foods, as well as a host of other problems.
The Need for A Good Quality Whole Food Supplement
About 90% percent of the vitamins being sold today are isolated chemically synthesized nutrients that have been combined into a multi-vitamin. Some supplements on the market have been mixed with insignificant amounts of whole foods so they can claim to be a food-based multi-vitamin or supplement. Taking these types of vitamins can actually create imbalances and deficiencies in our bodies because they are missing a lot of necessary and important nutrients only a whole food can provide! Your body will only absorb a small percentage of isolate forms of nutrients and utilize even less which makes them ineffective.
When you consume whole food nutrients, your body recognizes them as nourishment and can use them to support and build your health as Mother Nature intended. Nutrients from a fruit or vegetable alone can contain more than 25,000 different micronutrients known as co-factors. These co-factors give your body the complete and full spectrum of nutrients that are designed to synergistically work together to nourish and repair your body at the cellular level. They play a vital role in your overall health and well being. This is also the reason food based multi-vitamins are becoming so popular.
It is important to find a superior quality whole food vitamin if you wish to provide all the nutrients your body requires. But wait, not all food-based supplements are made equal. Make sure you do your research because there is a difference in the quality of raw ingredients, testing performed, and how supplements are formulated and bound together. Here are some tips when looking for a whole food vitamin to ensure potency, purity, and quality:
- Find out where the raw materials are sourced from. The majority of raw materials that come into this country have contaminants in them such as heavy metals and pesticides. Organic ingredients are typically the best.
- Make sure the manufacturing facilities are audited by the FDA, recognized for cGMP (current good manufacturing processes), and raw materials and processes are certified by independent third-party experts and auditors to ensure quality, potency, and purity.
- Look for 100% cellulose vegetarian capsules free from SLS, and gelatin or animal tissue.
- On the product label, make sure the product doesn’t have flow agents such as silicon dioxide or chemical magnesium stearate. You will also want to avoid fillers, additives, and binders such as cellulose, rice bran, rice flour, food coloring, etc.
Do I Need to Supplement?
Nutrient deficiencies are becoming very common because of the poor nutritional value of today’s foods. Should you be taking a multi-vitamin to compensate? YES! Becuase food is not the same as it was even 100 years ago, it is essential that you are supplementing vital nutrients. Make sure the supplement you choose is not just a chemical blend and hits all the points listed above.