If I get all I need from my food, why should I supplement my diet? Many people feel this way, and many health authorities tell us we don’t need supplements. As long as we are eating a good diet, we should be okay, right?
But there are a few problems with this idea.
First of all, let’s take a look at what the USDA found when they surveyed the diets of 21,500 people. How many of those people do you think got 100% of the RDA for even ten essential nutrients? Half of them? Or maybe just a quarter of them? Nope. Try none.
That’s right, out of 21,500 people, not even one of them met the RDA. But, of course, I eat better than those twenty thousand people. I really do!
I eat plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables…at least five servings every day. And I eat fish rich in Omega IIIs several times every week. And I eat several servings of whole grains each day. Sure, that’s me.
Oh, all right, maybe not. But even if I did, there are other factors to consider.
What is lacking from the food I eat? Is it grown in soil that is depleted in nutrients…has it been harvested unripe…artificially ripened with chemicals…displayed under bright lights? Am I cooking it too long or boiling it in water? Could these things cause more nutrient loss and reduce the nutritional value of what I’m eating?
Has my food been refined to increase the shelf-life, removing those parts that contain the most nutrients? How about enriched? I personally love for my foods to have a few synthetic chemical nutrients tossed back into them. It makes me feel so healthy to see a long list of vitamins and minerals on the label.
What about other factors like stress or illness? Could those increase my nutrient needs beyond what I may get from my regular diet?
Sure they could, and they do. There are lots of reasons why I can’t or don’t get all I need from my food, and there is plenty of scientific evidence to support them. Unfortunately, our failure to provide our bodies with what they need doesn’t usually cause noticeable differences right away. It builds up with time and usually leads us toward degenerative disease.
Along with eating right and getting plenty of exercise, supplementing our diets can be a great way to boost our energy, health, and longevity.