Ordinarily, the balanced diet and fresh food we eat should be loaded with nutrients necessary for good health. But nowadays, we aren’t getting enough nutrients from our diets again, causing many to continue to dig their own graves with their teeth without even knowing. Every day the so called balanced diet meals are slowly killing us.
The typical African diet is heavy in carbohydrates, nutrient-poor processed foods; refined grains, and added sugar — all linked to inflammation and chronic diseases. Yet even if you eat a healthy, well-balanced diet, you may still fall short of needed nutrients. That’s a consequence of many things which had changed in our planet. Also, another factor is aging as dietary experts had said as we get older, our ability to absorb nutrients from food decreases.
Believe it or not, it’s perfectly possible to eat lots of good food and still starve your body of the nutrients it requires for real health and well-being.
Sadly, the industrialized food production has fundamentally altered the nature of the food we eat over the course of the last 50 to 100 years. Sure, it looks the same sitting on our supermarket shelves and local market stores, but it isn’t.
Perhaps, you should begin by evaluating how much of your diet is still industrialized. Do you eat refined sugar or grains? Do you eat packaged or processed foods and drinks — even the organic kind? Do you eat canned vegetables & fruits? Do you cook with yellow seed based cooking oils like vegetable oil or canola oil? Do you eat conventionally raised meats? Do you drink conventional milk? Do you eat store-bought eggs? Do you eat grains like wheat or corn without sprouting or soaking them first?
Any one of these food choices can lead to nutritional deficiencies. In particular, the industrialized diet almost completely lacks Vitamins A & D as well as Omega-3 fatty acids.
And If You’re Conscious Enough
People think when they avoid industrialized junks to take cooked organic meals and fruits, they will be fortified with all the needed nutrients; far from it as often times, that has also failed, leaving them in perpetual state of anxiety and atimes bewilderment.
Before you get confused, below are the reasons why your natural food materials always fall short of being called 100% organic and why you should no longer rely on getting all of your nutrients from food alone.
- Improper Farming Practices – Fertilizer?
Improper farming practices deplete the soil of essential nutrients. When plants are repeatedly grown on the same land, the soil loses vitamins, minerals, and microbes faster than they can be replaced. Over time, the plants have fewer nutrients to grow. Fertilizer contains just enough nutrition for the plant to survive until harvesting, but not enough to support human health. In addition, most plants are not harvested fresh. They sit on trucks, shelves, and counters for weeks before being eaten. Over time, the nutrient content of these plants decreases.
Most modern fruits and vegetables are grown to increase their sugar content, not their nutrient value. As a result, the most common fruits and vegetables are artificially high in fructose and lower in key nutrients.
When plants contain fewer nutrients, the animals that eat these plants are also malnourished. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Health found copper levels in the UK have dropped 90% in dairy, 55% in meat, and 76% in vegetables. Copper is an essential nutrient that helps to regulate several pathways in the body, including energy production and brain function.
- Water Depletion
Water is also depleted of minerals due to modern production methods. There is a huge variation in the mineral content of bottled and tap water, with tap water generally having more. Most water filters remove important minerals such as magnesium, which is essential for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. Up until recently, clean, unfiltered fresh water was the main source of magnesium for humans. Not anymore. Our water is filtered of essential minerals like magnesium, contaminated with chlorine, and fortified with potentially harmful chemicals like fluoride.
The filtration of precious minerals from water could explain why people who drink water higher in calcium than magnesium develop more myocardial infarcts and ischemic heart disease.
- Low-Calorie Diets Are Low Nutrient Diets
I know this is a crazy idea, but starving yourself of key nutrients is bad. Consuming a low-calorie diet means you’re consuming fewer total micronutrients. As humans, we’re designed to consume large amounts of nutrient-dense calories to meet our body’s needs. When you’re constantly restricting your caloric intake, it’s easy to become malnourished. When you’re consuming low-quality foods, like pasteurized non-fat milk and other franken-foods, you have to eat even more to obtain the right amounts of nutrition. That’s how you get fat. And just one more example of why food quality matters.
Animal foods are generally higher in calories and nutrients, so it’s no surprise that’s where the majority of calories came from in early human development. Since the modern trend is to reduce the consumption of animal foods, people are consuming fewer nutrients per unit of food.
- Non-Organic Foods Contain Fewer Nutrients
Non-organic, pesticide-treated vegetables are lower in cancer-fighting polyphenols than organic ones, thereby exposing one’s cell to deadly cancer. This is because the plant produces polyphenols as a defense against bugs and pathogens. When there is no reason to defend themselves, the plant stops producing polyphenols and your body and brain suffer the consequences.
Unfortunately, organic is not always possible due to financial or logistical reasons. Even when you can find organic foods, they aren’t necessarily better.
- Grain-Fed Meat & Conventional Dairy Milk
As if taking red meat isn’t bad enough, meat derived from animals fed with grains, unlike grass-fed animals is abysmally low in antioxidants, micronutrients, fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins. Grains are not a food for humans or grazing animals. When herbivores are fed grains, they become malnourished, just like humans. Grain-fed animals and farmed seafood can also serve as a carrier for more toxins, which increases nutrient needs.
Raw, unpasteurized, unprocessed, full-fat dairy can be good for you, but the kind most people buy at the grocery store is not ok. The majority of nutrients in milk are found in the fat (cream). When you remove or reduce the fat, you are removing and reducing the nutrient content. Pasteurization destroys some of the nutrients in both skim and full-fat milk. Conventional dairy is also high in aflatoxin and other mycotoxins that were in the cattle’s feed.
- Toxin Exposure
Your body needs nutrients to deal with toxins. When more toxins are present, you need more nutrients. If you’re living in a cave or the garden of Eden, this will be less of a concern. If you’re like the rest of us mortals – you’re exposed to a litany of toxins on a daily basis. This emanates from Xenoestrogens, industrial solvents, petroleum products, food, stress and lack of sleep.
Our bodies weren’t designed to deal with these toxins using only nutrition from food. Instead, it’s good to support detoxification and methylation pathways with supplements.
- Nutrient Absorption Declines With Age
Several studies have shown kids need more nutrients to support growth, and older people need more nutrients due to mal-absorption. As you age, hydrochloric acid and digestive enzyme production naturally declines, making it difficult for you to break down and absorb nutrients from your foods. As you age, you also often begin taking medications which can interfere with nutrient absorption. This means you need to take more nutrients in the most absorbable form possible.
- Exercise Increases Nutrient Needs
Athletes often think tons of exercise is the key to a long and healthy life (it’s not). They are among the first to denounce supplementation as unnecessary, often with the idea that exercise is the best medicine. I don’t advocate high amounts of exercise, but this is an important point. If you’re doing enough exercise to substantially deplete energy reserves, you’re also using more nutrients for energy production and recovery. As a result, athletes are at an even higher risk of nutrient deficiencies. Since many athletes eat a low nutrient, high toxin diet – this is a serious concern.
- Supplementation May Help You Live Longer
Aging is a natural process, but it’s not fun. If there are supplements that can delay this process, why not take them? As long as there isn’t an undue risk of harm, it’s hard to justify avoiding a substance simply because our ancestors didn’t have access to it. There is good reason to believe a higher intake of nutrients may prolong life. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors may have been malnourished at certain times which is not beneficial. If supplements can buy you a few more years of quality life, why not take them?
- Expense Versus Health
Whether we like it or not, sometimes supplements are cheaper than real food. In the case of something like salmon, it may be better for you to supplement with a high-quality fish or krill oil than to settle for a farmed variety. Farmed salmon is low in omega-3s and high in toxins.
The idea that you can get all your nutrients from food is fine in theory, but virtually impossible in practice. Of course, there is evidence that consuming nutrients from food is highly beneficial which is why you should also focus on a nutrient rich diet. However, it’s rarely enough anymore in an ever changing world.
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