During dinner conversation with my extended family last night, the topic of nutritional supplements came up. I had to bite my lip as I listened to at least ten, different people share their supplement strategies.
One family member was pleased to have found "a great deal" on six months worth of a random supply of supplements at Costco. Another had never used supplements because "they don't work so I might as well just flush my money down the toilet." Another was actually told to take fish oil by her doctor, but couldn't tolerate the burping and aftertaste. Yet another said over a dinner plate--devoid of a single, fresh vegetable--that his "healthy diet" gave him all the nutrients he needed.
Clearly, none of my relatives grasp the fundamental importance of following a measurable and comprehensive supplement plan. They get their information from profit-minded marketers--and from doctors who are not nutritionally trained. I know for a fact that many supplements don't work. Still, most people intuitively know that, on some level, they need supplements.
While I could have monopolized the entire evening with a rebuttal, I kept my comments brief. Most notably, I agreed that many supplements are a waste of money--especially those bargain brands at big-box stores like Costco. The body doesn't recognize or utilize chemical copy cats--which are recognized by a two-part name like ascorbic acid--well. The human body was designed to thrive on real foods. But the inherent quality of the foods we eat has steadily declined during the past 50 years. So even the healthiest of diets fall short of supplying an adequate supply of essential nutrients.
Here are the eight, major factors that have contributed to the dramatic decline in the overall quality of our food supply:...
1. Soil depletion has reduced the nutrient content of the foods that are grown in it. In many areas of the world--especially the United States--the land has been over farmed.
2. Modern fertilizers are toxic and fail to replenish the earth with fundamental trace elements. Less than a hundred years ago, manures were used extensively for fertilizer. Today, artificial superphosphate alternatives have all but replaced them. Superphosphates act more as a growth stimulant that a soil builder; they lack the health-enhancing trace elements found in manure. Their rampant use has furthered soil depletion and nutrient deficits among the crops they produce.
3. Hybridized crops produce lower nutrient foods. And unfortunately, they are currently the norm, even on organic farms. While they yield more food per acre, hybridized crops produce foods with a significantly lower nutrient content than those our grandparents grew and ate.
4. Pesticides and herbicides can damage or even destroy necessary, soil-based microorganisms, further reducing nutrient density. To produce nutrient-rich foods, plants must be grown in soils high in healthy microorganisms. It doesn’t matter how many times you wash a piece of sprayed produce' the toxic, chemical residues will remain inside the food itself. Many pesticides contain deadly chemicals (the same ones used for biological warfare during World War II) that severely tax the human body. Some contain lead, arsenic, and other toxic metals. Our current laws allow sewage and even factory sludge to be sold as fertilizers, even if they contain significant quantities of toxic metals.
5. The long-distance transportation of foods reduces their nutrient status. As soon as a crop is harvested, its nutrient content begins to diminish. Today, many foods are grown thousands of miles from where they are sold and consumed. Some may spend more than a week on a truck or train before they reach you.
6. Food processing drastically reduces nutrient content. The refining of wheat to make white flour, for example, removes 80% of its magnesium, 75% of its zinc, 87% of its chromium, 88% of its manganese, and 50% of its cobalt.
7. Food additives further deplete nutrient density. Thousands of artificial flavors, colors, stabilizers, and preservatives are added to most processed foods. The majority of these are toxic, depleting the body of vital nutrients when they are ingested.
And this list doesn't even include genetically-modified foods which have clearly been shown to damage our intestinal lining and contribute to a variety of serious, health-related risks.
Nutritional supplements are a must! But don't default to thinking that an inexpensive multivitamin or random selection of any synthetic nutrients are going to get the job done. Choose wisely and choose Core 4 Nutrition, the measurable and comprehensive supplement system that includes products made from more than 60 different whole-food concentrates; that integrates proven formulas for restorative vitamin D3, omega 3 and nitric oxide support; and that includes at-home assessments for measuring and monitoring your actual results.
I hope this post has given you some food for thought!