Even if we eat pretty well?
1. We tend to eat based on what we prefer, and our preference is often based on flavor and convenience rather than on nutrient richness. Basically, this is a result of affluence; we have many choices to choose from, rather than just what’s available locally and seasonally. (It is one of our culture’s ironies that local seasonal food has become the most expensive, but greater demand is helping to make it more affordable.)
2. Grain-based (even whole-grain-based) diets are relatively low in nutrition. This is more pronounced when the primary grain has been refined. Bagels, pretzels, muffins, chips, bread, cereals, crackers, etc. are very filling, but provide relatively little nutrition. We are no longer eating high-nutrient foods in necessary quantities for optimum cell health. A tuna salad with 4 oz. of tuna is more nutrient-dense than a tuna sandwich.
3. Toxic exposure (sunscreen, fragrances, cosmetics, hair color, smog, cleaning products, outgassing from new carpets, paints, plastics, and construction materials, pesticides, etc.) requires specific nutrients, both to help the liver detoxify, and then to combine with the toxins to help them eliminate from the system.
4. Pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter drugs such as Ibuprofin and antacids, disturb our acid/base balance, which reduces the break-down of food and absorption of nutrients. They also can cause inflammation of our intestinal lining, leading to malabsorption and food sensitivities. Antibiotics wipe out many species of “friendly” bacteria essential for digestion. With compromised digestion, fewer nutrients are absorbed.
5. Soil in the U.S. has been heavily depleted of nutrients due largely to the practices of agribusiness. Mineral content in 1992 was found to be 85% depleted from 100 years previously. Organic farming restores nutrients to the soil, and is one reason to buy organic whenever possible. But, most of us eat out at least two meals per week with the U.S. average five meals out per week. It’s rare that restaurants serve organic foods.
6. Fad diets such as low fat, and other restrictive diets like vegan and raw food diets, further challenge our intake of essential nutrients.
7. A body suffering from inflammation, which occurs in cases of all chronic pain or disease, requires more of many nutrients than a healthy body in order to regain complete health. We each create billions of new cells every day. What we choose to feed them, over time, has the power to make dramatic positive changes in our health.
8. We have forgotten the importance of organ meats and have almost entirely excluded them from our diet. Many of us also avoid fermented foods, and end up with dysbiosis (an imbalance of essential bacteria), which then puts extra nutritional burdens on us.
Even if we are eating well now (mostly organically grown single-ingredient food), exercising regularly, hydrating, thinking happy thoughts, and getting some exposure to sunlight, we might need extra nutrition for a time to correct for past actions and restore the body’s optimum health.
More things to consider
Resist buying inexpensive dietary supplements at discount outlets and drugstores! Most of these are synthesized in laboratories by pharmaceutical companies. They are not food. In the long run, they can do your body more harm than good. Please use only high quality whole food supplements.
Prolonged nutrient deficiencies can lead to a myriad of health conditions, such as fatigue, memory loss, migraines, and heart disease.
If you want to achieve or maintain optimum health, seek the advice of a nutrition-savvy health care provider who can help you before problems arise.