What Can We Learn?
Are You Getting Enough Nutrients in Your Diet?
As you review your diet of the past week, ask yourself, “Did I eat the right amount of fruits and vegetables every day?” The recommended amounts are five servings for children, seven servings for women and nine servings for men. If you can say “yes” – congratulations! If you are like most people you did not reach that goal. And, if you are like most of us, you did not eat all of your fruits and vegetables from an organic source; so, the fruits and vegetables may have been lacking in nutritional value.
Staying on top of our nutrient reserve is important. Our bodies make millions of new cells every day: heart cells, brain cells, bone and blood cells. Every time a cell dies it should be replaced. If you do not have the right amount of nutrients to construct a new cell you will either make an incomplete cell or none at all. The outcome is bad in either case, so we really need to keep all nutrients on board at all times. This is why we suggest a multiple vitamin and mineral supplement.
The word supplement means in addition to something – to make up for a deficiency. Vitamin and mineral supplements should be taken in addition to a healthy diet. They make up for the deficiency we face due to the poor nutrient density in our foods. Supplements also help out when our diet is less than perfect.
The simplest way to help support your nutrition is to take a general multi-vitamin and mineral supplement that provides a broad range of nutrients at standard nutritional levels. However, please keep the following points in mind:
- Some supplements contain very high doses of certain nutrients. When you take nutrients in extremely high doses, you are no longer in the world of nutritional supplementation and have passed into the riskier world of megadose treatment.
- Calcium and magnesium minerals are very bulky, and few multi-vitamin/mineral supplements provide the daily requirement. These minerals generally must be taken in the form of additional pills. Note: It isn't possible for your body to absorb a day's worth of calcium in a single dose. At least two doses are necessary.
The most common nutritional deficiencies
- Calcium Helps with bone density, muscle contraction and digestion
- Chromium Helps with blood sugar control
- Folate Helps protect against birth defects, heart disease and depression
- Magnesium Helps protect against high blood pressure, kidney stones and migraine headaches
- Vitamin B-6 Helps protect against heart disease, depression and arthritis
- Vitamin C Helps with detoxification, immune system health and connective tissue
- Vitamin B-12 Helps protect against anemia and fatigue. Helps with nerve health and energy
- Vitamin D Involved in bone and skin health and helps protect against diabetes and obesity
- Vitamin E Helps improve circulation
- Zinc Helps protect against acne, ADD/ADHD, the common cold and macular degeneration
Very few of us are so deficient in these nutrients as to show symptoms of outright malnutrition. However, subtle deficiencies may increase the risk of a number of conditions. For example, insufficient intake of calcium and Vitamin D may increase your chances of developing osteoporosis, and inadequate folate and Vitamin B-6 may speed the development of heart disease.
Besides vitamins and minerals, intake of essential omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids [Omega Prime] is often inadequate.
A strategy for everyone
Finally, note that food contains many substances other than vitamins and minerals that may enhance your health.
Supplements won’t make up for bad dietary choices. We simply must commit ourselves to eating more fruits and vegetables. Still, the reality of life is that we don’t always attend to our diet perfectly. So, appropriate nutrient supplementation can help make up for the deficiency we face because of poor nutrient density in our foods and an imperfect diet.
Take Control of Your Health Eat the appropriate amount of fruits/vegetables Nutra Fruits daily: Children: 5 servings Women: 7 servings Men: 9 servings Focus on organic whenever possible Eat high quality protein daily (34 to 71 grams)Eat Omega-3 fats every day (flax, walnuts & some fish)Take a balanced multiple vitamin/mineral supplement Vita Daily AM/PM (what I take!)Take an EFA supplement like Omega Prime Take Vitamin B-12 every morning Take Vitamin C every morning and at bedtime How to start eating more fruits and vegetables