Carol (Missy) Cohen MPH, CHHC

Why Supplement?

Do I need supplements?

If I eat a healthy diet, why do I need supplements?

That is an excellent question and one that I hear on a regular basis.

To answer that question, let’s first take a look at a USDA survey from 2003* that showed:

  • 37 % of Americans do not get enough vitamin C
  • 70% of Americans are deficient in vitamin E
  • 75% don’t get enough zinc
  • 40% don’t get enough iron

In addition, over 2/3rd of Americans are deficient in magnesium and many more have insufficient levels. **

Why is that?

  1. We are choosing food-like substances and not foods that provide us with true nutrition. What do I mean by that? Let me ask you, how much vitamin A do you find in a Frappuccino? How much vitamin C is in an orange Starburst candy? When was the last time you went an entire day eating foods that had not been in a package? Foods like candy, pasta, boxed cereals, sports’ drinks, hot dogs, crackers, etc. do not provide us with nutrition in the same way that broccoli, strawberries, organic free-range chickens and raw milk do.
  2. Our food has much less nutrition than it did 50 years ago. The average apple has 41% less vitamin C than it did in 1975. Collard greens have 60% less potassium and 85% less magnesium. Those are just two examples of how we have to eat much more of the healthy stuff to get the same nutrition that we did in 1975.
    1. Modern farming techniques do not allow minerals to go back into the soil. Fields are not left to fallow and crops and livestock are not rotated to allow the minerals in the livestocks dung to re enter our food supply.
    2. Global topsoil erosion has resulted in less minerals available to the plants which means, less minerals available to us.
    3. The hybridization of vegetables allows the vegetables to look good but have less nutritional content than their earlier predecessors.
  3. The use of pesticides has increased dramatically. Pesticides reduces the plants need to naturally fend for itself. These vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that we acquire from eating plants are the plants defense mechanism against environmental factors. When a plant is not forced to fend for itself, it does not produce the same amount of these things as its predecessors. Besides avoiding putting these toxins in our bodies, this is another argument for choosing organic foods as frequently as possible. They just plain have more nutrients.

 

Why not just supplement and skip eating real, whole foods?    

Eating real food and supplementing your diet are NOT the same thing. Think of supplementation as an “insurance policy.” It’s an opportunity for the body to get daily support. Or, if there is a known deficiency, it fills in that nutritional gap to help find fast relief for annoying symptoms while you work with your coach or physician to get to the root cause of why you have that deficiency in the first place.

Why real foods are better

A typical multivitamin has about 30 vitamins and minerals. The average stalk of broccoli has over 500 nutrients! AND… scientists do not yet know how all those 500 nutrients affect each other.

The typical supplements are made from chemicals that are body does not readily absorb. Keep that in mind and choose high quality supplements. Again, this is something that your health coach should be able to support you with.

Finally, the combination that the nutrients show up in foods typically help to increase their absorption into your cells. Think about things like vitamin A, E and K. All of these vitamins are fat-soluble and show up in avocado. Avocado is a healthy fat that aids in the absorption of these vitamins into your cells. After all, if you don’t absorb it, you can’t use it! It needs to be in your cells for the vitamins to do their thing.

Do you wonder which supplements you may need?

              It is highly likely that your chronic headache, body stiffness, digestive concerns, etc. are a nutritional deficiency and this nutritional deficiency is leading you down a path of dis-ease in your body. Contact me and we can work together to get you immediate and long-term relief.

To your health!

Missy

              *Ames, B.N. 2004. A role for supplements in optimizing health: the metabolic tune-up. Arch Biochem Biophys. 423(1): 227–34

**King D, Mainous A 3rd, Geesey M, Woolson R. Dietary magnesium and C-reactive protein levels. J Am Coll Nutr. 2005 Jun 24(3):166-71.

 

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